PEO operators are used to thinking a few steps ahead, and the fourth quarter of any given year shows this clearly. While PEOs are performing their day-to-day operations, continuing to execute their strategic goals, and preparing for year-end, they are also planning for the first quarter of the next year, with their current tasks being geared towards having a successful start when the new year arrives.
This end-of-year housekeeping involves every functional area of the PEO.
Let’s start with the sales operation. Viewing your PEO’s sales function in context requires looking at your markets and your competition. This helps the PEO develop plans for the year to come. Make sure your sales department and other PEO departments are in sync, your sales process educates potential clients, and your sales decisions are informed.
The end of the year is a great time for assessing client needs and client profitability. This helps the PEO make adjustments as well as take a really good look at its relationships with individual clients.
The framework on which everything runs, of course, is IT. Closing out the old year in the system is the first step towards the next year. The IT department should perform a self-analysis, an analysis of its interaction with other PEO departments, and an analysis of how the PEO’s growth plans will affect IT.
The legal department plays a key role, as well: It must be aligned with the PEO’s operational and financial plan, perform day-to-day compliance, support the company’s governance, and keep up with changes in the law.
Renewals, assessments, and goals are on the agenda for the risk management department at the end of the year, including renewal meetings with carriers, client review and assessment, claims reviews, evaluation of the PEO’s overall risks, and setting goals for the next year with these things in mind.
The HR, benefits, payroll, and staffing areas have their end-of-year checklists, too. The evaluations, plans, and changes that come out of this annual review will enhance the experience for your clients.
Finally, none of this would work without the finance department. It must prepare for W-2 reporting, send year-end notices, develop the budget, close out the year in the accounting system, and prepare for the annual audit.