CenterPoint Payroll is a client/server installed payroll system. The CenterPoint program is a full payroll solution that performs necessary live payroll functions such as direct deposit and tax form preparation and is not intended to manage general HR functions. For this payroll review, CenterPoint fits our “Full Service” model of payroll systems, which means that professionals using the program manage all of the data-entry functions related to payroll and accruals management, including setup of EFT, processing and mailing of forms, generating checks, reporting on unemployment, etc. It is also fit in our “Direct Client/Business Use” model, where business owners use the program to manage payroll for multiple entities.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS
CenterPoint is a full-featured payroll system that can be used with other accounting vendor software applications. It is robust enough to handle companies of all sizes and allows firms to perform payroll services in all 50 states. Tax forms are updated on a quarterly basis to ensure all company filings are correct and current. The interface is completely customizable to the user’s preferences, and employee output documents such as paystubs can be printed in either English or Spanish.
Adding clients is intuitive. Client information/data can be imported into the system via Excel or CSV. Adding and editing payroll deductions is simple, and the product supports an unlimited number of deductions, including cafeteria plans, union dues, HSA’s, garnishments, health insurance, 401(k) plans, and most other deduction types.
Since the product is focused on multi-employer configurations, processing multiple payrolls simultaneously is a simple task. The system allows for the import of employee time and allows users to easily process payroll via direct deposit or printed checks. All federal and state tax returns are updated quarterly. Payroll tax liabilities can be calculated, but cannot be electronically remitted. Third-party payments such as insurance deductions and garnishments can be calculated, but they cannot be paid through the CenterPoint Payroll system. Tax and third-party payment information must be downloaded to the GL in order to process the payments. 4
REPORTING & MONITORING
CenterPoint has a very flexible reporting module that allows users to create needed reports. With more than 100 standard reports in the system, it supports the generation of just about any report a business or payroll manager might need. The report writer is quite intuitive and easy to use, providing output options to Word, Excel, PDF and HTML.
CenterPoint also allows users to attach documents/files to each employee file. Managing employee files is easy with this system. Additionally, employers can track training and certification dates and periods.
With the optional Check Designer module, users can create custom paystubs, modify standard check layouts, and incorporate custom features like logos and MICR encoding into custom formats that print out on blank check stock. 4.25
INTEGRATION/IMPORT & EXPORT
The program can import from Excel, as well as from most time clock systems. Import from QuickBooks, Quicken, Sage Peachtree and text formats is also supported. Data can be exported to a GL report for import into most accounting programs, and a bridge program is available for transferring payroll data to the GL of most accounting systems. CenterPoint also integrates with Red Wing’s accounting software products, including CenterPoint Accounting, TurningPoint Accounting, and the CenterPoint industry-specific solutions for municipalities, nonprofits and agricultural producers. 4
The system provides traditional built-in Help functions, as well as numerous online support options. New users can view an online product demonstration, as well as take part in a community forum. Online training is available using the How2 Viewer, an online repository of web-based training for the key processes and tasks associated with CenterPoint Payroll, which is available to customers with a current support contract at no additional charge. Users can also take self-paced or classroom training through Red Wing Software University for an additional fee. Live U.S.-based telephone technical support is included in pricing. 4
CLIENT SELF-SERVICE FEATURES
In July 2010, CenterPoint Payroll released its Publish Pay Advice Tool, which is a module that allows companies to publish employee direct deposit advices to a secure web portal for anywhere, anytime access to paystubs. This optional module eliminates the need to print and mail a paper advice for each employee every pay period. However, because this review section primarily addresses SaaS-based products and the extensive feature sets available in web-based products in this area, no rating was assigned in to this review section for CenterPoint. N/A
SUMMARY & PRICING
The CenterPoint system is a best fit for practices managing payroll for small to mid-sized entities. The system can handle an unlimited number of employees and clients so it is ideal for any firm that wants to expand this part of their practice. A single-user license for unlimited employer businesses is priced at $795, and a single user license of the optional Direct Deposit and E-Filing module for an unlimited number of employers is priced at $395.
2010 Overall Rating 4
See inside September 2010
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