Accounting and Payroll Articles & Guides

Download FREE information and learn about accounting software and payroll software: features to help your organization, information about switching software, guides and checklists and more.

Article Listings

Ten Crucial Points to Consider in Choosing an Accounting Software Package for your Company.

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 09/01/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

There has been a lot of change in the accounting software industry over the past ten years. If you or a company you know of has endured your software company’s being purchased, you know that the process can be painful. The software’s support, enhancements, training and other aspects of the company’s service can all be affected in the changeover. Here is ten things to keep in mind when choosing accounting software.

Difference between General Accounting Software and Fund Accounting Software

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 09/01/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Many organizations start out using basic accounting systems. As they grow, they realize their accounting needs cannot be fully met. Here are some major differences between general accounting software and fund accounting software.

Guide to Accounting and Payroll Software Jargon

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/16/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Just as your business has its own set of jargon or industry-specific terminology, so does the software industry! If you are searching for accounting software or payroll software, the likelihood of hearing these terms is fairly high. Be prepared to speak with software representatives by understanding these key terms, and you will have a better chance of your needs being understood and met.

Technical Considerations of Switching Software – Is Your Payroll IT Team Ready

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/16/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

So you’re company is making the switch to a newer payroll software application. Now it’s up to you, the Payroll IT manager, to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible without too much interruption. Here are some key things to consider for an efficient switch, and to keep your IT team sane.

How Payroll Can Affect Employee Happiness

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/16/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

It’s true that employees expect their paycheck to be delivered to them promptly on payday. But did you know there are other ways your payroll program can affect employee happiness?

Why your Outdated Payroll Software is Costing you Time and Money

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/16/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

Situation: You are using an outdated payroll solution, and there are distinct benefits to moving forward such as improved efficiency and improved customer satisfaction. But you don’t want to move because the economy seems dismal, and you want to keep your money instead of spending it on software. If you take a closer look, you might just realize that keeping up the outdated payroll system is costing you more than the money it would to purchase a brand new system. Here is why your outdated system can be costing more money and time than you expected.

The Five Most Important Considerations when Selecting Payroll Software

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/16/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

Processing payroll on time is crucial to the management of your business. As your company grows, you may find that payroll processing becomes more complex with tax requirements, multiple employee types, increasing deduction types, and much more.

Payroll Tax Filing: Guide to Tax Filing Options

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/16/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

If you have employees, you are aware of your responsibility to file payroll taxes on time and accurately. These days, your business has several options for payroll tax filing. Here are the four major ways available for employers to file their employer taxes.

Payroll Trends: How to Use Software to your Advantage

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/15/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

Processing payroll may not be the most fun part of running a business. Over the years, payroll software programs have implemented newer technology that can help ease the complexity and make payroll processing go much faster. These new payroll trends can help the employer gain efficiencies and reduce payroll processing time. Here are some of the ways your business can take advantage of the latest payroll trends.

Payroll Technology: Four Trends for Improving Payroll

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/15/2017

By Stephanie Elsen

Is it time to search for a new payroll software program? If so, then you should be aware of the newest features available to those who process payroll. By becoming aware of current trends, you can choose a program that will grow with your operation for years to come, and you can also emerge a hero because of improved accuracy, time saved, easier tax filing, happier employees and much more!

Ten Ways to Use Accounting Software to Improve Your Inventory Management

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/09/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Red Wing Software specializes in providing software at a reasonable price to companies who are outgrowing their current software and need more functionality, especially where inventory is concerned. Through this experience we have discovered many ways that our customers have saved valuable resources by improving their inventory management. This article shares some of the insight we have learned over many years of customer communications.

Where Have All the Profits Gone?

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/07/2017

by Cindy Bauer

As a former business owner, I can remember singing this tune over and over again. Owning your own business, no matter how big or small it is, comes with many opportunities and unfortunately, some headaches, okay a lot of headaches. I remember when my husband and I started our business with a couple who had been high school friends of my husband; we certainly lacked a basic knowledge of business. But what we didn’t know about business practices, we made up for in enthusiasm and ignorance. You know what they say, “ignorance is bliss”. I eventually learned this to be false.

Accounting Ratios – Make Comparisons to Improve your Business

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/07/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Remember the days in grade school when you were learning to calculate ratios, and wondered when it would ever benefit you in real life? Well, it turns out that using ratios can actually make a big difference within a business. Using accounting ratios can help you pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in your business, so you can increase profits and reverse negative trends. If an accounting ratios function is available within your accounting system, be sure to make use of it. Using ratios can make a big difference; here’s how.

Is it Time to “Recycle” the Shoebox?

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/04/2017

by Cindy Bauer

For many of us, just the thought of financial records, budgets or tax returns, gives a chill up our spine. But the truth is, a lack of proper financial management within an operation can lead to un-informed decision making, and your bottom line can take a real hit.

Year End Accounting Checklist

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/04/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Business is rolling along just fine, and then suddenly you realize it’s year end! You think, “How does that sneak up on me every single year?”

Well, the answer is you are likely busy running your business! However, if you can get some preparation time in before year-end, being proactive will almost surely pay off. In fact you can save yourself a large dose of year-end panic by taking the following steps before year-end hits.

When is the Best Time to Switch Accounting Software?

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 08/02/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

This question is one Red Wing Software is asked frequently, being an accounting software company. Making the decision to move to a different software package can be tough, especially taking into consideration all the additional work in transferring data and learning the new system. Even so, your business needs change; software becomes outdated, and sometimes switching software is best for your business. So, when is the best time to switch?

What is Agriculture?

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 07/28/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Agriculture, by definition, is an industry, science, or practice, in which animals and/or crops are raised, for the purpose of providing food. Agriculture as an industry encompasses farmers themselves: the people who work in the field of agriculture.

Accounting Software Deployment Methods: Cloud, SAAS, In-House

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 07/20/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

These days, technology enables us to choose from a wide variety of installation types for accounting software. Which option is best for your business? It’s hard to know the answer without understanding the difference between these three terms.

Common Accounting Errors Easily Avoided

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 07/03/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Accounting is a crucial financial management component of any business. Good accounting records can help a business understand where money is going and where profits are coming from. However when errors are being made, things can take a turn for the worse in a hurry. Discover three accounting errors that can be easily avoided in an accounting program.

Farm Budgets – How Creating a Budget can Impact your Farm

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 06/30/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Creating a budget for your farming operation may seem like a daunting task at first, but farm budgets can make a big difference in the profitability of farming operations. You can choose to create a budget by hand, by using a spreadsheet, or you can use your farm software to help you. Either way, the outcome remains the same: increased confidence in decision making and increased profits for your farm.

Software for Agriculture – Who Needs It?

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 06/23/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

When it comes to tools to help a farmer manage an operation, is the most basic and widespread option always the best? Just think about your equipment, the tools you use out in the field. Do you buy whatever is cheapest, or do you like a certain brand or type of equipment? Do you buy the first thing you see, or research everything that is available first? The same logic applies to your software. The software you use is a crucial piece of equipment that can help you stay on track and be profitable. Don’t trust it to whatever is easiest to find or cheapest! Instead, have a careful look at your options and what fits best for your farm. At least then if you decide to purchase the cheapest and most basic package, you will do so with your eyes wide open, and you will know exactly what you are getting. So a good question here is, with so many basic software packages available, who needs software for agriculture?

Small Farm Profit | Tips from the Great Depression

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 06/21/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

See how the concepts used during the Depression can help you use your farm accounting software to bring in more money, or keep the money you already have!

Customer Success Story – Carisch, Inc.

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/25/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Carisch, Inc. is a Minnesota based company that owns and manages multiple Arby’s® restaurants. The company started in 1990 with one Arby’s location. Through hard work and excellence, brothers George and Jerry Carisch have grown their business to more than 70 Arby’s restaurants across seven states.

Payroll Processing – Is it Time to Start Using Payroll Software instead of Manual Payroll Processing?

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/25/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Are you ready to say good bye to the long green sheets and manually processing payroll, for a long term solution that can streamline your payroll processes and save you time and lots of headaches? This article may just help you make your decision.

Payroll Features – Five Essential Payroll Features to Improve your Payroll

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/23/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

With the constant growth in technology, many business processes are becoming more streamlined. Payroll processing that used to be done over several days with paper and pencil can now be done in minutes with the right software.

Time to Run Payroll? Tips to Simplifying your Payroll

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/22/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

Running your payroll can be time consuming and often, a real headache! Have you taken the time to see what payroll software can do for you?

Payroll Features - All Payroll Software is Not Created Equal

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/18/2017

by Stephanie Elsen

The feature sets among payroll programs vary exponentially more than the number of vendors. All payroll programs are definitely not created equal. When you are conducting your search, be sure to check into the flexibility of these features, which can vary greatly, and which you may not have thought about.

Paperless Payroll – How to Accomplish It

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/05/2017

by Red Wing Software

Payroll processes have certainly evolved over the years. It wasn’t so long ago when W-2 forms were still being typed up on a typewriter, and payroll calculations were being performed by hand. Thankfully technology has given payroll staff much better options, and payroll can now absolutely be completely paperless.

Payroll Processing – What is Payroll Processing? How to Set Up a Payroll System and Start to Process Payroll.

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/20/2017

by Red Wing Software

Payroll processing refers to the task of managing the payment of wages by a company to its employees. While the summary of payroll processing sounds quite simple, there are many behind-the-scenes steps that need to take place, before the actual processing work begins.

Payroll Calculations – What They Are, and How They Work in Payroll Processing

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/20/2017

by Red Wing Software

Payroll calculations are of course, only one step in the process of payroll for an employer, though a very important step indeed. Ensuring the correct amount is paid to the employee is not only important to that employee, but also to the state, federal and local government, from whom penalties are incurred if tax filing is incorrect or late.

What is a Paycheck Stub? Components of a Paycheck Stub and How They Are Generated.

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/20/2017

by Red Wing Software

What is a paycheck stub? Learn the components of paycheck stub and the steps that are used to generate paycheck stubs for an employee paycheck.

Payroll Taxes – What They Are, and How They Work in Payroll Processing

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/20/2017

by Red Wing Software

Employers know first-hand that paying payroll taxes can be extremely time-consuming and stressful. In addition to having to calculate taxes, the Federal and state government enforce strict filing deadlines, for which fines can be incurred, if not met. There are a variety of ways to handle the management and payment of payroll taxes.

The 3 Biggest Payroll Errors You Can Easily Avoid

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 05/05/2015

by Stephanie Elsen

Stiff penalties can be incurred by missing a tax filing deadline for payroll tax returns, or not making a timely payroll tax deposit. Some payroll services provide services that ensure the tax filing is done for you. If you are using an installed payroll system, you will need to manage the filing and tax deposits yourself.

Ag Accounting Software Checklist

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 07/21/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

This worksheet can be used as a guide to help your organization find the best accounting software application for you. Consider each field of information and fill in the appropriate answer for your needs. Send this check list to ag accounting software vendors you are interested in, or simply use it as a guideline when talking to vendors.

Three Ways to Make an Accounting Software Transition Less Painful

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 06/07/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

Switching software might not be as fun as going skydiving or going out to dinner with friends, but it’s often a necessity. Still, many businesses put it off and avoid the issue for as long as possible because they simply cannot bear the thought of disrupting the whole office with the transition. Nobody would blame you if you were one of them! There are some key things you can do to make the transition easier.

Accounting Software Features That Can Streamline Accounting

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 06/07/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

Handling the accounting for a business can be time-consuming, and that’s why it’s important to use any tools at your disposal to reduce unnecessary additional work. Accounting systems contain features that can help reduce work and also increase accuracy. Here are some of the features included in accounting systems that can help streamline accounting.

Computerizing Your Farm Records.

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/19/2011

by Red Wing Software

This free white paper was written for producers who are just beginning the process of computerizing farm records or for those wanting to upgrade current systems for better access to important management information. It covers needs analysis, software considerations, how to test the software against your needs, questions to ask vendors, and a comprehensive list of terms everyone should know.

Improving Your Dairy Accounting Methods

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/19/2011

by Bradley J. Hilty
Penn State Dairy Alliance

This free, 16-page booklet was a joint effort by the Penn State Dairy Alliance and Red Wing Software to provide progressive dairies with basic accounting principles and practices to follow. It covers six steps for efficient information management and outllines a recommended, dairy specific chart of accounts.

Payroll Software or Payroll Service – Six Important Considerations for Choosing your Best Payroll System

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/14/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

Processing payroll on time is crucial to the management of your business. As your company grows, you may find that payroll processing becomes more complex with tax requirements, multiple employee types, increasing deduction types, and much more. To efficiently manage your payroll, you will need to choose the best payroll system for your business to process payroll allowing you to continue to pay your employees on time, ensure taxes are filed promptly by due dates and still have access to the information you need.

HIRE Act and Your Payroll Software– What You Need to Know.

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/14/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act was enacted March 18, 2010 with two new tax benefits for employers who hire previously unemployed workers, referred to as “qualified employees”. The first benefit, called the “payroll tax exemption”, allows employers exemption from their 6.2% share of social security on the wages paid to “qualified employees” from March 19, 2010 through December 31, 2010. The second benefit is for each “qualified employee” retained for at least 52 consecutive weeks. Employers will be eligible for a general business tax credit, or “ New hire retention credit”, 6.2% of wages paid to that employee over that 52 week period, for up to a maximum credit of $1,000. Full details of the HIRE Act can be found at the official IRS Web site: www.IRS.gov. Meanwhile, if you are interested in taking advantage of the HIRE Act, there are several ways you can use your payroll software to help you manage the process.

Payroll Software Check List

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/14/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

This worksheet can be used as a guide to help your organization find the best payroll software application for you. Consider each field of information and fill in the appropriate answer for your needs. Send this check list to payroll software vendors you are interested in, or simply use it as a guideline when talking to vendors.

Accounting Software Checklist

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 04/13/2011

by Stephanie Elsen

This worksheet can be used as a guide to help your organization find the best accounting software application for you. Consider each field of information and fill in the appropriate answer for your needs. Send this check list to accounting software vendors you are interested in, or simply use it as a guideline when talking to vendors.

Year-End Tax Planning Alert—The 2010 Tax Act

View in   PDF or HTML

Published: 01/30/2011

by Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD

The newly passed and signed 2010 Tax Act, formally named the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, includes several provisions that will affect taxpayers. Here is the information you need to know now about this legislation, formally named the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.