Building Assemblies Helps Manufacturing Processes

By Stephanie Elsen

Imagine your warehouse full of products. Sometimes you sell the products on your shelves as they are, and other times you put several of your items together to make another item. When you do this, how do you enter that information into your accounting software? It seems like a small question. But your answer can make a big difference to your company, for a variety of reasons. The term ‘assembly’ refers to an item that is sold from inventory and built from other items. The assembly process creates the finished product from various other items (components) from your inventory.

First, be sure you have components and assemblies set up as items in your inventory. Once you have both items set up in your software, you can begin using and building assemblies. Move forward with production as necessary, and when you go to enter the information into your accounting software, simply enter the finished item or assembly into the system and it pulls all the components out of inventory. The assemblies function helps you stay profitable, efficient and accurate! Here’s how.

Know costs and increase profits.

Since you have entered your component items along with their costs, you will be able to know the cost of your finished item. Knowing your cost is the first step in controlling your cost and becoming more profitable. Some accounting systems also allow for the inclusion of labor and overhead expenses, which can help you understand complete product cost. If any of the components within your finished item seem out of line, you will be able to see it and adjust accordingly. This can help you become more profitable.

Streamline order management.

Imagine the time you will save by entering only the finished item into your accounts receivable or order entry of your accounting software, rather than entering every single component that makes up the finished item.  You will save time and become more accurate in the entry of data. Some assemblies functions allow for the ability to run a production plan, and a ‘shortage report’, so you know ahead of time which components need to be ordered before production begins.

Stay organized.

When using assemblies, a bill of materials report can keep you and your staff organized. It can include necessary information, such as the items that will be needed for the production plan, which unit of measure they are needed in, how many of that item are currently on-hand and how many are required. This way it is easier to pull the correct items from the warehouse, and to know which ones are available.

Using the assemblies function within your inventory and accounting software can help you increase profits and stay organized. Many companies still handle these function by hand which can be tedious, tiring and inaccurate. Production plans are written by hand, and there is no way of telling which components are needed and which are available.

The Best “FREE” Payroll Software

By Stephanie Elsen

The Best “FREE” Payroll Software

I work for a company that has been developing, distributing and supporting payroll software since 1979. As part of my job, I monitor the terms people use to search the internet for payroll programs and services. At the time of writing this, around 3,600 people per month* search for the term “free payroll software”. I find it simply amazing that businesses try to find a free tool for such an important function. The stakes are high! Getting employees paid` and tax payments done correctly (and on time) are important to employees and the government. The penalty for filing taxes late or incorrectly can be severe. Paying employees late or incorrectly, well you know that’s just not good. If you got a vehicle for free and didn’t want to pay any money to keep it up, fill it with gas, get the oil changed and maintenance done regularly, how long do you think it would last? Well, in fact without putting gas in the car, it would probably quit running by the end of the week. What would happen to a payroll program, if somebody created a payroll program, put it out there for FREE, for people to download, and didn’t support the program after the sale was made?

Computer operating systems would still change.

Microsoft® is always working on and improving their operating systems, and as time goes on, the older operating systems become obsolete (and un-supported) and the newer operating systems take their place. Software needs to keep up with the changes and upgrades to operating systems, or it will not continue to operate properly.

Tax requirements and tax tables would change.

More and more states are requiring business to file taxes electronically. When government entities make requirements like this, payroll processing systems must adapt, or their software won’t meet the needs of its users and will become obsolete. Similarly, payroll tax rates change by state, and those rates need to be used correctly by employers. How will you process payroll if the tax rate changes haven’t been updated?

Technology would advance.

W-2s used to be filled in with a typewriter and pay used to be limited to printed checks. Now W-2s can be done on your printer, and checks can be deposited directly into bank accounts. Technology is always changing. If your payroll system doesn’t remain current, you will not be able to take advantage of things that can help your processes and make employees happy.

You would need help.

There are many things to think about when it comes to payroll, and payroll processing. Some programs are easier to use than others, but as your business grows and adapt, you will have questions along the way. It is crucial to have a support team available to help you with questions on setting things up in the system so they work correctly, help troubleshooting a problem, or just help with using the system.

Updating, maintaining and supporting a payroll program takes time and resources. Those things cost money. So the next time you see the term ‘FREE payroll software’, it’s a good idea to ask the vendor how they keep the program up to date and how they support the software users, without charging them any money.

*Data comes from Google AdWords Keyword tool. Global monthly searches with exact match keyword.

Accounting Software Programs – Have You Outgrown Yours?

By Stephanie Elsen

Accounting Software Programs – Have You Outgrown Yours

An accounting program can be a lot like a car. When you first buy a new car, it’s all shiny and new and hums along the highway smoothly. You probably enjoy that new car with the window down, a smile on your face, arm out the window and the wind in your hair. Who wouldn’t? And then one day, something gives out. Maybe it’s the engine or perhaps the battery dies. What do you do when this happens? Do you keep driving it anyway? The answer is ‘no’. You can’t continue to drive without an engine or a battery.

The situation is similar when the accounting software program you’ve been using for your business does not keep up with your business needs. Oh sure, everyone loved it at the start! They used the shiny new program to enter their respective data day after day; financial reports were run and distributed. Taxes were filed, and financials were managed. Things were great! And then *POOF*, one day you realized things were getting more difficult. Maybe you had two physical inventory locations but your program only let you manage one, resulting in a confusion about where in-stock items were located. Maybe you needed a key piece of information on a financial report which was unavailable for you to add. Or maybe your method for managing local taxes was getting far too time-consuming. Most probably, it was not one thing but many different things all together that made you notice your system could no longer keep up with your business.

I know, I know. You hate change, and so do your employees. You don’t want to find something new because switching is painful, and there are very few who enjoy it. But accounting programs cannot last forever. Use accounting software long enough to manage your business, and you will eventually outgrow its feature set.

If the accounting program you are using to run your business is starting to be that old rusty car with bald tires and a loud whirring noise while driving above 35mph, it’s time to look for something new. Yes the process of finding something new might be a little time-consuming, and yes it will cost you some money, and yes your employees might complain. But when the transition is complete, your business will prosper and have that *new car smell*, and you can rest easy again for a nice long time.

Make your accounting software program search easier with these tips:

Use these to help you find the right software:

Take advantage of these resources to make the transition easier:

  • A plan for who does what for the transition.
  • Training for all employees involved.
  • Easy-to-use resources for users to find answers as time goes on.

I work for an accounting software company, Red Wing Software. Our product CenterPoint Accounting Software can help meet the needs of your growing business, especially if you are outgrowing a basic accounting program. We offer resources to ease every single step of your transition. Click to learn more about Red Wing Software’s Accounting Software Programs for business, agriculture, nonprofits and municipals.

Your Payroll Program: Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency

By Stephanie Elsen

No matter whether you are using payroll software or a payroll service for your business, you are surely using a payroll program to enter and track employee information, hours worked, and all the associated necessary information to pay employees.

A basic payroll program may meet most of your needs at the start, but as time goes on and you grow, there will be areas that need to change along with your business. As a business changes and continues to drive for more efficiency and cost reduction, there are a number of areas to consider in your payroll program to make improvements. Consider payroll features that can decrease staff resources and reduce the costs of paper, printing, check stock, envelopes and postage.

Payroll program capabilities that the help improve efficiency and reduce costs:

  • Direct Deposit Payment

    Transfer pay electronically to employee bank accounts, rather than issuing printed checks.

  • Publish Pay Advices

    Distribute direct deposit pay advices electronically, rather than printing on paper and handing them out.

  • Electronic/e-Filing of State and Federal Reports

    File tax forms and reports electronically via the internet instead of purchasing all the associated materials, printing and sending them.

  • Time Clock/Time Capture Device Import

    Import employee time from a time clock/time capture device electronically, rather than entering the information by hand.

  • Leave Calculation and Reporting

    Maintain accrual, payment and reporting of vacation, sick leave, and PTO with the ability to print accrued, used and remaining on employee pay stubs.

  • Local Tax Tracking

    Set up and track local taxes or tax groups, rather than keeping track of that often complex information in a spreadsheet.

  • Multiple State Tax Tracking

    Track and pay taxes in multiple states, and track tax requirements for mobile employees working in multiple states.

  • Benefit/Deduction Tracking

    Track benefits such as 401K, cafeteria plan, and other benefits/deductions and employer matches within your payroll program rather than using an external spreadsheet.

  • Wage Garnishment

    Wage garnishment can be complex, depending on many factors. Track and pay complex wage garnishments in your payroll system. If your program cannot do it, you will need to manually calculate every payday and enter it into the system.

Many businesses that are outgrowing their payroll program or seeking time and cost-savings contact Red Wing Software, seeking a better way to handle their growing payroll needs. CenterPoint Payroll Software is an in-house payroll software program that can accommodate all of these functions and many more.

Your Payroll Program: Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency