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2016 Review of CenterPoint Payroll from Red Wing Software

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CenterPoint Payroll


Best Fit: The product is well suited to both businesses wishing to process payroll in-house, as well as accounting firms looking for a solid, on-premise payroll product.

Product Strengths:

  • Product integrates with other CenterPoint Accounting applications
  • Product can be used as a stand-alone system
  • Excellent help and support options available
  • Good selection of standard system reports

Potential Limitations:

  • Does not offer client/employee access to the system

CenterPoint Payroll is an on-premise payroll application that can be used as a stand-alone product, or in conjunction with other CenterPoint applications.

From the 2016 Review of Professional Payroll Systems.

Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars

CenterPoint Payroll’s main user interface screen is easily navigated, with a drop down menu at the top of the screen, and a series of function icons directly below. During setup, users can take advantage of the various customization options offered, setting up shortcuts and timesavers that will reduce data entry. Transaction entry grids can also be customized to display only the features and functions that the user requires. Users can also set up a customized QuickList on the left side of the main menu that displays frequently used menu items for quick and easy access.

The Payroll Setup Wizard guides new users through the payroll setup process, allowing users to quickly select the options they need to utilize when processing payroll. Once the payroll database has been created, users can easily continue to customize the product to suit the needs of their business or their firm.

Mentioned earlier, CenterPoint Payroll is well suited to both businesses that wish to process payroll in-house, to the accounting professional wishing to offer payroll services to clients. The product easily supports multiple system users, and firms can add as many clients as needed.

The product supports a variety of pay entry methods, including manually entering payroll from timesheets, pulling time data directly from a time clock, or creating default payroll data that will run automatically, with users only needing to enter exceptions to this information. CenterPoint Payroll supports unlimited earnings and deduction types, and supports payroll processing for all 50 states. Users can easily preview paychecks prior to printing to reduce pay errors, and after-the-fact payroll is easily processed in CenterPoint Payroll as well. The product supports direct deposit and will deposit to an unlimited number of bank accounts per employee. Users can also easily process a one-time paper check for those typically receiving direct deposit – great for bonus payments. MICR encoding is also offered, with users able to use up to two signatures on paychecks if necessary.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.75 Stars

CenterPoint Payroll supports all required federal forms including 940, 941, 943, and 1099 forms. Over 200 state forms are supported as well, with all forms available to be printed or eFiled. CenterPoint supports over 250 federal, state, and local tax jurisdictions. CenterPoint uses Aatrix for eFiling, with an additional fee assessed if users choose to use this option. Conveniently, users can create a series of custom reminders regarding both payroll and tax due dates. CenterPoint Payroll also contains excellent audit trail functionality, with users able to display an audit trail for all edited, deleted, and voided transactions that take place in the product.

CenterPoint Payroll offers a solid selection of system reports, with users able to customize all system reports. Users can easily create a group of ‘favorites’ that are typically run after each payroll. Users can also set up batches of reports that can be generated at the same time, a great solution for monthly or quarterly reporting obligations. All reports can be exported to Excel, or saved as a PDF.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.5 Stars

CenterPoint Payroll can be used as a stand-alone payroll product, or in conjunction with other CenterPoint Accounting products. CenterPoint Payroll also offers a number of add-on applications designed to extend the functionality of the payroll product, including direct deposit functionality and an integrated time clock function. Users can easily import data from prior payroll applications or employee information from other applications directly into CenterPoint Payroll using the employee import tool. Basic exporting functionality is included with the product, and users can also opt to have custom exported developed if necessary.  

Help/Support: 5 Stars

CenterPoint Payroll offers a variety of help options throughout the software. The How2 Viewer is designed to provide product users with an online reference guide that will assist in both product setup as well as learning new processes. The How2 Viewer also includes training videos and complete training manuals. Customer Care memberships are available in both Silver and Gold levels and include unlimited toll-free access to the CenterPoint Payroll support center, as well as all software maintenance and updates. Gold level support also includes one hour of online training.

Users can also access training options such as An Introduction to CenterPoint and New User Essentials from the CenterPoint website. Classroom training is also available if desired.

Client Self-Service Features: 4 Stars

While a client/employee portal is not available in CenterPoint Payroll, the optional Publish Pay Advice module allows users to offer their clients access to a secure website, where an electronic pay stub is available to those using the direct deposit function, with an email notifying employees/clients when payroll information is available to view.

Summary & Pricing

CenterPoint Payroll offers users a full-service payroll application that is suitable for business use, as well as by accountants looking to offer payroll services. The product is available as an on-premise product only, and can be used as a stand-alone payroll product as well as in conjunction with other CenterPoint applications.   CenterPoint Payroll pricing starts at $795.00 for a single company. Multiple company options are available at an additional cost. Add on modules such as direct deposit and time clock functionality are also available with costs varying.

Customer Care Membership is offered in Silver and Gold levels, and includes unlimited toll-free access to support, all product updates and enhancements, a guaranteed response time, as well as discounts on training.

2016 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars