Skip To The Main Content

The Beautiful PEO Operations & Technology Ecosystem

The PEO business is all about people. All of the PEO’s services are designed to benefit client companies and their employees. HR, benefits, payroll, and risk management are all done for people. Under the surface, each PEO has a rich operations and technology ecosystem that makes it all work.

All of the PEO’s functions require data, and this data must flow smoothly through the PEO. Like a coral reef, the PEO has a technology infrastructure that its operation depends on. The reef has hard coral, such as brain and elk horn coral, which serve as the framework. It has soft coral, such as mushroom coral and sea fans, which serve as a different kind of framework, much like the cloud does for PEOs. Like the coral reef, the PEO’s operations and technology work as an ecosystem that supports its life.

The coral reef is rich in life. An endless variety of life—fish, turtles, sharks, eels, crabs, shrimps, urchins, sponges, and algae—flows in and out of the reef, finding shelter and nourishment. An endless variety of PEO client and employee data flows through the PEO’s technological ecosystem in the same way, allowing the PEO to provide its services.

Technology, like the reef, can grow and adapt with changes in the PEO or its clients. Older coral may die, leaving its exoskeleton behind, but new coral builds upon it. There is always something new, just as in the PEO.

It’s a kind of beauty the PEO, its clients, and its co-employees can appreciate.

Know More


Legal Currents

Client Service Agreements and the ESAC Operational Best Practices

The PEO client service agreement (CSA) is a key document that both shapes and defines the relationship between the PEO and its client. Somewhat less directly, the CSA shapes the relationship with the PEO’s co-employees. The complex nature of the PEO arrangement demands a detailed client service agreement. When creating a client service agreement, what should be included?

Human Resources

The Compliance Conundrum

If your PEO is successful, that is no doubt due to your equally successful sales department. A good sales person has the uncanny ability to hone in on prospective clients’ needs and succinctly explain why and how the PEO can help in addressing those needs. While these conversations have been largely driven by workers’ compensation needs in the past, we are increasingly seeing clients who are wary of the current regulatory landscape and in need of a PEO to help navigate through the landmines. However, as we become that consultant of choice for our clients, we must also be mindful of how much help is too much.

Risk Management

The Dynamic State of Workers’ Comp

The concept behind the so-called “grand bargain” was supposed to be simple: workers injured while performing work on the job would give up their right to sue their employers in civil court in exchange for a guarantee of prompt medical care and payment of enough of their wages until they were able to work again. But, like any system in place for more than 100 years, workers’ compensation has seen its fair share of ups and downs. This ebb and flow has led to a number of recent developments of which PEOs should be aware.


The Inside Word

‘The secret of getting things done is to act!’

NAPEO’s Board of Directors, committee chairs, and senior staff are fresh off of our leadership retreat in early March. We reviewed NAPEO’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan to see if it is still timely and to verify that the assumptions at its foundation are still relevant. I am happy to report that they are; the association has made great strides in achieving parts of our strategic plan and the board is still in uniform support of it.

NAPEO Notebook

Productive Travel, Packed with Substance Patrick J. Cleary

It’s been a busy—but productive—few weeks of travel for me. In late February, I was in California to teach a class at Stanford, an annual gig. I used my time there to swing by and visit Jay Pimentel at TriNet, who serves on the NAPEO Board of Directors. A week later, I was back in Northern California for our board meeting and retreat. The board meeting was a regular business meeting, reviewing NAPEO’s finances and hearing updates on state and federal government affairs, marketing, membership, etc. The retreat was broken into two parts: reviewing and updating the strategic plan and discussing the proper role of the Leadership Councils (LCs). (Please visit to see the plan.)

Capitol Comment

Small Business Efficiency Act Implementation Update Thom Stohler

Since the beginning of the year, there has been quite a bit of activity on the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA).

NAPEO Advisor

EEOC Releases Changes and Clarifications; McDonald’s and the NLRB Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. Neither PEOs nor client companies are immune to charges of discrimination. This year, it is rumored that some changes have occurred regarding the disclosure of a respondent’s position statement and that there is some sort of electronic submissions process respondents can use. What is this about? A. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently implemented changes to the procedures for the disclosure of respondents’ position statements to charging parties....

PEOs in the Community

TriNet Cares Fosters Engagement in Volunteering, Charitable Giving, and Green Initiatives Jay Pimentel

TriNet appreciates the opportunity to support our clients as a PEO, helping them to focus on their core vision, while we take care of their payroll, benefits, and HR needs. Several years ago we decided to expand our ability to make a positive impact in the communities where we work and live. TriNet Cares was established to foster colleague engagement through volunteer opportunities, charitable giving, and green initiatives that affect TriNet and our surrounding communities.

Small Business Perspective

NFIB’s New President and CEO Is Ready to Work for Small Business

In March, NFIB welcomed Juanita Duggan as its new president and CEO. She is widely respected as one of the top business advocates in Washington, D.C., having served as president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the American Forest & Paper Association, and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. She has also served in key positions in the White House and some of the most influential firms in Washington, working on the important and complicated issues facing businesses of every size.

PEO Spotlight

Employee Management Services: Burton A. Huber Stephanie Oetjen

In the early 1980s, technology was big. Sure, technology was taking off in the business world, but it was big, literally. Companies that used computers used mainframes, what IBM called “big iron.” It typically took a room of metal framing to house a mainframe, hence the name, and one “big iron” could take up from 2,000 to 10,000 square feet. This is the information technology world Burt Huber, vice president and general manager of Employee Management Services (EMS), based in Cincinnati, Ohio, entered after college. He studied business management, with an emphasis on technology. He spent much of his career in IT and business systems design, which is basically looking at the role technology plays in business, marrying the processes within a business to the technology that supports those functions.

The Big Picture

Socialism Is a Dangerous Path for America Thomas J. Donohue

The 2016 presidential election is being defined by many of the same competing ideas that decided so many recent elections. Conservative ideals versus liberal principles. Higher spending versus lower taxes. National security versus individual liberties. These are healthy, important discussions about the best path forward for America. However, there’s another debate raging on the campaign trail that’s cause for real concern—a debate over free enterprise versus socialism.

Thank you to all ​PEO Insider Advertisers!