How Does CenterPoint Fund Accounting for Municipals Compare with Basic Accounting Programs?

By Stephanie Elsen

Red Wing Software provides software to help cities/municipalities be in complete control of their own finances. CenterPoint Fund Accounting Software for Municipals is Red Wing Software’s accounting application that is a great fit for small to medium-size towns and cities that are outgrowing their basic systems and need more functionality.

Red Wing Software customers understand the benefits of using CenterPoint Fund Accounting to manage their city’s finances, rather than using a basic program. Because of their wide-appeal, basic, mass-marketed accounting systems get a lot of press and have a massive number of users. These products are top-of-mind for many people in search of accounting software. Many people ask us to compare CenterPoint against those products. CenterPoint Fund Accounting includes the basics you need plus specific features for municipals. Here are some of the main differences between CenterPoint Fund Accounting for Municipals and basic accounting programs. To summarize the reason: many CenterPoint users come from basic programs and are seeking specific features that can help them manage their city better.

  • Track by Funding Source

    Track income and expense by fund, department, and/or locations. With basic systems, tracking options are limited.
  • Track Operational Results

    Tracking financial operational results can be done by fiscal year or calendar period. Many basic systems limit this information to yearly.
  • Six-month Financial Report

    CenterPoint has the ability to produce a customizable six-month financial report for local or state reporting. Basic systems do not typically offer this report.
  • Cost Analysis

    Track repair and maintenance costs to assets for easy reporting and analysis of total costs. Most basic systems do not track specific asset and equipment maintenance costs.
  • Financial Analysis

    CenterPoint offers a financial analysis tool to easily cross-section your results by fund, department, and location. Basic systems offer generic financial tools that are not easily customizable.
  • Labor Allocation

    Allocate labor across multiple funds and departments with CenterPoint. Basic systems allow tracking by company only.
  • Setup Wizard

    A setup wizard will guide you through the process of setting up items to track and manage your city. Many basic programs only guide you through the setup of only basic information.

Expand Limited to Unlimited.

Some programs limit the amount of data you can have in your system. When you reach these limits, which you were likely unaware of at the start, you will need to move on to something new. Here are some of the ways CenterPoint compares to typical basic systems when it comes to limits:

 CenterPoint Accounting Basic System
Funds Unlimited Limited
Concurrent Users Unlimited Limited
Customers & Vendors Unlimited Limited
Support Calls Allowed with Support Plan Unlimited Limited
Transactions Unlimited Limited
Years of History Saved Unlimited Limited

Beef Up Security

One person might start out running the whole accounting system, but eventually tasks will be divided up. At that point, you will likely want to limit what employees can do and see in the accounting system, based on their job. CenterPoint has menu level security, so users can see only the screens they are given access to within the system.

Not all programs are created equal. Any accounting system has its positive and negative points. Just because something is used and known by the masses does not mean it’s the best product available. Basic programs do a great job for many municipals, for many years. But when your city starts to outgrow its accounting software feature set, it might just be time to contact Red Wing Software. 800-732-9464,

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