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Human Resources & Payroll

2012 Review of Red Wing Software, Inc. – CenterPoint Payroll

Red Wing Software, Inc. – CenterPoint Payroll

From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.

BEST FIRM FIT: Organizations looking for a fully customizable, in-house solution to meet a variety of payroll needs


  • Highly customizable user interface
  • Ability to allocate payroll across multiple departments, locations and pay rates
  • Strong reporting capabilities
  • High level of support for end users


  • Multiple add-on modules may be required to achieve full payroll capabilities
  • Not designed for high volume payroll processing

CenterPoint Payroll provides users a fully customizable user interface to assist with payroll processing across a variety of organization types. Target markets for Red Wing Software are traditionally small businesses with vertical segments including agriculture and non-profit organizations, but CenterPoint Payroll may be adapted to suit the needs of virtually any payroll need, regardless of complexity.

Designed as an in-house solution, CenterPoint Payroll is best suited for organizations employing 250 or fewer employees. They also have installations for companies with as many as 4,500 employees.

CenterPoint Payroll is designed as an in-house payroll system and is installed in the typical desktop and/or network scenarios. The interface is intuitive to navigate and highly customizable. Users are allowed full customization within each category listing on the left part of the screen and can specify reports and task shortcuts commonly used. Part of the navigation pane on the left part of the screen contains a list of all currently open windows and allows for quick navigation between each open screen.

New client files may be setup through wizards provided with the system or users may copy from an existing client database. Either method will reduce the time spent and data entry necessary to create new files. Each company file may have multiple tax, income, deduction and benefit codes assigned and each employee in the respective companies may have an unlimited number of these items assigned to them.

Default rates may be assigned to each code and adjustments may automatically be applied to employees based on specific date information in the system. This allows for employee paychecks to accurately reflect pay rate and deduction increases without manually overriding them with each payroll run.

New to CenterPoint Payroll for this release is the ability to direct employee and employer payments for retirement, HSA and other benefit plans to specific bank accounts. By using this feature, each payment is properly cued up for transfer instead of relying on manual methods, thus reducing potential for errors and improper money movement.

Direct deposit of employee paychecks is also available but will require an add-on module to process the information. Electronic filing and payments to tax agencies is processed through Aatrix and will require a minimal fee per transaction. Paper processing of all payroll runs, reports and filing requirements is included with the system.

CenterPoint Payroll provides introductory human resource management functionality. Each employee record can house multiple addresses and phone information as well as other personal information such as spouse and children names. Employment information regarding hire date and raises is also maintained. CenterPoint Payroll can also serve as a document storage repository for employee resumes, job applications, W-4 information and a variety of other documents. Links are maintained within each employee record directing users to the stored documents.

CenterPoint Payroll has strong reporting capabilities and relies on the Microsoft Report Builder platform to generate and modify reports. Over 100 native reports are installed with the solution and virtually every report is fully customizable. Reports may be modified through applied filters and other additional fields added to the reports.

Native, modified and custom generated reports may be saved as favorites and recalled for future reporting needs. Reports may be exported to Microsoft Excel and to PDF file formats. In addition to reports, users may create custom check stubs to print on blank check stock.

Reminders may be setup for nearly any event within CenterPoint Payroll. One item unique to CenterPoint Payroll is the ability to track employee training and certification requirements. This add-on module ties directly to each employee and allows tracking CPE requirements and expiration due dates for employee certifications, such as a CPR certification. Reminders may be setup to prompt users at specific intervals to ensure certifications do not lapse.

CenterPoint Payroll is part of a suite of products offered by Red Wing Software and directly integrates with each of these products. Integration with some retirement benefit providers is available but will generally require an add-on module to achieve this functionality. CenterPoint Payroll does have the ability to export a CSV file to import into any modern GL accounting system; however this requires users to map all fields prior to import. Time data may be imported to CenterPoint Payroll through Microsoft Excel or CSV file formats.

Each screen within CenterPoint provides users direct access to help and support options. Traditional desktop help is installed with the product and is available through the help menu. Other direct help and support includes access to a support knowledgebase on the Red Wing website.

Several training videos are provided and include detailed assistance on how to perform a variety of tasks and setup options within the software. User guides are also available for download and/or printing through PDF file formats. Unlimited telephone support as well as product enhancements and all state tax table updates are also included.

All above mentioned help and support options are provided under the elected annual support contract. Formal training is also available and can be tailored to fit the needs of an organization. All formal and custom training options will require separate fees and will be dependent on location and level of training needed.

Red Wing Software is currently in development of a web based interface for displaying detailed payroll information to employers and employees. Currently, the Publish Pay Advice module is available and provides employees who participate in direct deposit the ability to view an electronic version of their current paystub. This module is available for a nominal monthly fee per participating employee.

CenterPoint Payroll is a highly customizable payroll solution that can be modified to fit the payroll needs of virtually any organization. CenterPoint offers flexible pay rate and department allocations through an intuitive user interface. With a SQL database platform, the program is stable and provides a shared platform for add-on product functionality as well as strong reporting capabilities.

Pricing for a single company and one state starts at $795. Several add-on modules are available and are priced dependent on module. Additional user seats are available for $295 per seat. Support is offered in multiple tiers and starts at $550 per year (for one user seat), and an additional $80 for each additional concurrent user.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

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