International Strategic Thinking Month and Accounting Software

Did you know that September is “International Strategic Thinking Month”? There are a few things you can do with your accounting software to promote strategic thinking in your business.

Create a budget.

Creating a budget can result in increased confidence in decision making! A budget also helps you stay on track and create a profitable plan for the future.

Run an ABC Analysis.

ABC analysis within an inventory management software system is a practical report that can show you which items are most profitable. And, knowing which of your items are most profitable can help you make better decisions.

Run a Suggested Purchases report.

The Suggested Purchases process looks at the inventory information and determines which items need to be ordered based on current on-hand quantities and/or past sales demand (history). Purchase quantities are created from the sales item purchase information such as preferred vendor, minimum quantity, maximum quantity, normal order quantity, and vendor's minimum order quantity. This is a time-saving process that can automate purchase order creation.

Free, Secure Password Storage Applications

If you just read the title of this blog post and felt a huge sigh of relief, it may mean you've been trying to manage all your sign-in information and passwords on your own for far too long! has come up with a list of five free and secure password storage applications, so there is now help available to keep that information where you can find it, in a secure place. See their full blog post in this link!;siu-container

How Does the Prepaid Payroll Card Solution Work?

This guest post is by Niklus Vetter, who has been Sales Manager at TSYS smartOne Prepaid Solutions and has been in the payment industry for 6 years, and focused on the prepaid pay card industry for 3 years. smartOne Prepaid Solutions has offered prepaid products since 1997, and created a business unit focused on this product in January 2004. TSYS, now the owner of smartOne Prepaid Solutions as of 2011 has been processing prepaid applications for over 10 years in 17 different countries with 90 million accounts globally.

Red Wing Software is proud to offer payroll customers the ability to pay employees with debit cards, thanks to a partnership with TSYS Merchant Solutions?.Red Wing Software payroll customers, who are using direct deposit, can now pay their employees without bank accounts electronically with a smartOne Pay Card®. Red Wing Software customers have been happy with the service, and we caught up with Niklus from TSYS Merchant Solutions to learn more about how the system works. Here are my questions, along with answers from Niklus about the smartOne Pay Card® solution.

  1. Paying employees with debit cards is becoming more and more popular. How does payment via debit card work?

    Even with the invention of direct deposit, there has been a gap for employers to be able to pay all employees electronically. Some employees do not have bank accounts or do not wish to have their pay checks direct deposited into their bank accounts, resulting in employers continuing to pay their under banked group of employees with the more manual, costly, and time-consuming paper checks. The pay card closes this gap acting as the receiver of the electronic direct deposit, so regardless of whether an employee has a bank account or whether he or she wants to use his or her bank account to receive their pay, anyone can receive pay electronically with a pay card.

  2. Why would an employee want to be paid by pay card, instead of simply a pay check or direct deposit?

    If someone has direct deposit, they will more than likely not wish to change to a pay card. They are already receiving their pay electronically. Pay cards are an alternative to paper checks, with great advantages over the traditional paycheck for both the employer and employee. I have an example of these advantages that most people can relate to in one way or another. Years ago before joining smartOne and before the pay card was available, I worked a job in college but since I did not have a bank account, I did not have direct deposit for my paycheck. There were times I was not be able to get anywhere to cash my check on pay day (maybe my shift wouldn't end until after the banks closed), so if I needed money that evening - too bad. I just had a piece of paper in my pocket (my paycheck) that didn't do anything for me, until I took it somewhere to turn into cash. Usually I would have to wait until the next day and would go to a check-casher, pay a percentage of my total check, and get my remaining pay-day money all in cash. When I was finally able to cash the check, I was carrying around my entire pay in cash, which made it easy to lose or even get stolen. And because it was cash, I couldn't buy anything online or over the phone without purchasing and sending in a money order. The pay card would have solved all of this. I would not have even had to do anything on pay day. My pay check would have been loaded to my pay card that morning and I could have used pay card to make purchases anywhere accepting cards. I would have saved the 3 - 4% of my paycheck that I paid to the check-casher with each pay period. I could also have made a withdrawal from an ATM or at an accepting bank for free during business hours if I did need cash, regardless of having an account there. And, with a pay card, I could have replaced the card and protected my money if lost or stolen. I could have also paid for things online or over the phone without the hassle of a purchasing and mailing in a money order.

  3. I know some employers worry about lost or stolen pay cards. What features are in place to protect against that?

    First of all, the pay card tends to be more of a fixture in the wallet than a paper check, so losses of a prepaid card are statistically a lot less frequent than the loss of a paycheck. If the card is lost, the cardholder calls our 24 hour customer service and reports it as lost or stolen for a replacement. The employee works directly with our customer service to resolve the issue. A new card is issued to the employee and all back-end information (account and routing numbers) stays the same. The employer does not have to deal with the hassle of cancelling payment to a check and reissuing a paycheck to its employee, or even need know of the problem. Also, the zero liability policies for the card companies apply to prepaid cards, resulting in peace of mind for both the employer and employee if a card is lost or stolen.

  4. What else should employers know about paying employees with pay cards?

    Various states have different rules on employers mandating electronic pay, but whether you mandate electronic payment or offer both electronic and paper check payment options, pay cards are a great alternative for electronic payment. An employer should check on their state’s position on electronic payment. Also, if implementing a pay card program, employees can sometimes be resistant to the initial change, but the satisfaction rate once a pay card program is in place is very high. We have developed best practices for rolling out such programs that will reduce this resistance, and I would be more than happy to help walk any employer looking to implement a smartOne pay card program for their company and employees through the process.

Business Accounting Software – Why Costs Vary

If you’ve ever searched for just the right business accounting software, you’ve probably noticed that the price varies greatly by product. Many people wonder why there is such a variation in pricing among software products. Accounting software can range from ‘free’ to $100,000+ in price! Well, much like the price for your paid for the vehicle you drive, business accounting software prices vary for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some of the major components impacting the price tag.


Business accounting software ranges greatly in its functionality. The free and least expensive programs offer the most basic of features, like the ability to add customers, vendors, accounts and basic business information. Small businesses and those just starting up should be able to enter their basic accounts payable and accounts receivable information into the system and also pull out basic standard financial reports. The smallest of systems will usually place limits on the number of companies, customers, users, memory, and other data. More complex functions such as multiple warehouse management, customizable reports, serial number tracking and much more are available in mid-market systems, a great option for those who are outgrowing basic systems. Larger companies will typically opt for programs where the source code is available, meaning the actual software itself (not just its features) are customizable.


There are two types of customization when it comes to business accounting software. One type is more basic and allows you to customize components within the software. As systems become more robust, more customizability is offered within the system. The other is, as mentioned above, ‘open source code’ which allows you (actually, a programmer) to customize the actual program to meet your needs. The more customization available, the more expensive the software becomes. This is because more resources are needed to plan for and implement custom programming for your software system. The ongoing support of customized software takes more time and resources, thus the more complex your system, the more your support will cost.


How do you feel as a customer of the software you use? When you contact the company for help, do you feel important? Or do you feel lost in a sea of other customers, trying to get your voice to be heard? Your business accounting software is only as good as its support team. Maybe you need help in setting up your system, trying to find the most efficient way to do something, or solving a problem that seems to be taking you a long time on your own. Your software support team should be able to help you with any of these issues and more. If you have to spend time waiting and hoping for somebody to call you back, only to realize they are not experienced enough to help you, that is wasted time and lost dollars. Opt for support that is experienced and available within a reasonable amount of time. Yes the price tag may be more, but in the end you will save money and keep things running a lot more smoothly.

As with any important purchase you make, many factors should be considered when purchasing business accounting software. Every detail and feature within a business accounting software system costs money to develop, distribute, support and maintain. Instead of focusing on price, be sure that the software you choose can handle your business needs and help run your business for years to come.

Minimum Wage Adjustments

Do you have employees who are paid by piecework? This type of employee payment is typically used in agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.

Obviously there are both Federal and State minimum wage requirements you must meet as an employer. No matter what method you use to pay your employees, you need to make sure they are earning at least minimum wage. This can be difficult when you are calculating pay via piecework, unless you have the right software.

If you pay employees via piecework, be sure your payroll system has a feature to manage minimum wage adjustments, or in other words, a system that can tell you whether your employees have earned minimum wage. More importantly, if the employee’s piecework has not added up to minimum wage, the system can calculate the difference and add that amount to their pay, so that you are meeting the Federal and State minimum wage requirements.

CenterPoint Payroll Software for business and for agriculture has a minimum wage adjustment feature that can make this task much easier! Save the time and guesswork associated with minimum wage adjustments, and ask us about CenterPoint Payroll today!