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End-of-Year Housekeeping Chores

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.

Know More


Legal Currents

The Gig Economy and PEOs

Uber, TaskRabbit, Takl—these online providers of on-demand services are becoming a part of our everyday lives, but the labor issues swirling around on-demand workers are equally prevalent and many are currently unresolved.

Human Resources

Diversifying Your Workforce

There is little doubt that businesses benefit from a diverse workforce. Much has been written over the years promoting diversity programs and the benefits that businesses receive from their implementation. An increased labor pool, improved employee morale, more creative solutions to business problems, and a positive public image are just a few of the benefits that are often associated with a diverse workforce. As employers have sought to diversify their workforces and reap these benefits, the aspects of diversity that seem to have generated the most attention are gender, nationality, ethnicity, and age. However, there is a large group of talented, hardworking, and qualified individuals that is often overlooked—individuals with physical, developmental, or intellectual disabilities.


Get Your Timing Right!

Do you know what stage of the marketing life cycle your PEO is currently in? Does your strategic marketing plan align? Marketing objectives and tactics change as your business moves through the standard life cycles. Getting the marketing mix right based on where your PEO is on the life-cycle timeline will help you focus on the right goals, maximize expenditures, and achieve the widest range of results.


The Inside Word

The Evolution of PEO

This is the first of 10 articles I will write as the 2018 chair of the NAPEO Board of Directors. As I mentioned in my remarks at the Annual Meeting in Orlando in September, I have spent almost my entire legal career serving the PEO industry. My relationship with the industry started in 1988 when my client, Wallace Brumley, decided to start offering staff leasing services to his insurance agency customers. My involvement with the industry became full-time when I closed my law office in 2002 to come work for Brumley Professional Employer Services as Wallace’s in-house general counsel. In 2011, I continued to serve the industry through a new forum, SWBC Professional Employer Services, after Wallace and his wife Margaret decided to retire and sold their PEO to SWBC, a financial services company

NAPEO Notebook

NAPEO’s 2017 Annual Conference & Marketplace Patrick J. Cleary

As we gathered for NAPEO’s 2017 Annual Conference & Marketplace in Orlando, Florida, last month, Hurricane Irma was gathering strength some 1,500 miles southeast of us. Many attendees pinged us to see if the conference was still on. We assured them it was. The conference was set to wrap mid-day on Friday—the hurricane was set to hit Key West (about 400 miles south) on Sunday, so we went full speed ahead. Luckily we didn’t have many cancellations—PEO folks are a hearty bunch—and we pressed on. As predictions of the track of the storm changed, some of our South Floridians peeled off early and later, some of our Tampa/Clearwater/St. Pete folks headed home, as they were being evacuated. Remember what we do: PEOs need to make sure their clients get their paychecks, etc., without interruption, and so we (understandably) lost some folks to the call of duty.


2018 NAPEO Chairman of the Board Norman L. Paul, Jr., J.D.

Norman Paul is a dependable, thorough leader skilled at engineering compromise. He lives near San Antonio, Texas, and is the CEO of SWBC Professional Employer Services. Norman first learned about PEOs (then called staff leasing) in the late 1980s during a presentation at his local Rotary Club. Soon thereafter, Norman began working as outside counsel to Wallace Brumley, who had just started a PEO. In 2002, he became full-time in-house counsel for Brumley Professional Employer Services.

Up Front

NAPEO’s New Branding and Marketing Research Project Ready to Begin Kerry Carruthers

Last month, we told you about NAPEO’s new branding and marketing effort to grow the industry and drive new business to our members. At that time, we had narrowed down our search for a firm to help us with the project to four finalists, who were all making presentations to the NAPEO Board of Directors during our 2017 Annual Conference & Marketplace in Orlando, Florida, in September. At the September board meeting, each of the four firms provided an overview of its approach and a full proposal (which board members had the opportunity to review prior to the meeting). Board members asked questions of each firm’s representatives and then ranked the firms in order of preference. Based on the board preferences, we now have a “Final Two:” Heart + Mind Strategies and Povaddo.

Statehouse Update

The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men Daniel Harris

The State Government Affairs Committee is making its annual list of priority states on which NAPEO will focus during the upcoming year. As everyone knows, a plan is an essential part of any facet of life and the State Action Plan identifies the goals NAPEO will strive to meet and directs the actions we will undertake for the upcoming year. However, a major part of our job—and success—is contingent upon events on the ground and our ability to respond quickly to information we receive. We became aware of a few developments that we weren’t necessarily expecting this year, of which PEOs should be cognizant.

Legal Q&A

EEO-1 Form, PEO Registration? Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. We heard there have been some changes with the EEO-1 form that came out last year, you know, the one with 3,000-plus data points. Did that form go away? A. The new, more onerous form is, at a minimum, taking a break. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stayed indefinitely the deadline for compliance with the revised EEO-1 form reporting requirement for data on wages and hours worked. Recently, EEOC Acting Director Vicki Lipnic announced...

PEOs in the Community

Changing the World, One Child at a Time Vic Tanon

For spring break this year, my high-school age daughter Raegan and I went on a mission trip to Ciudad Coahuila, Mexico, in the Mexican state of Mexicali. We were assigned to a community impact team of 25 students and adults for this annual trip organized by Bayside Blue Oaks Church in Rocklin, California. This year was the 22nd anniversary of the trip, in which missionaries build housing and provide various community services to the impoverished border town. So, instead of heading to our annual vacation in Lake Tahoe, we drove to Cuidad Coahuila to participate in this mission.

The Big Picture

Promoting Disability Employment Around the Globe Thomas J. Donohue

The U.S. sets a powerful example for the world by the way we promote and protect the rights of our citizens with disabilities to contribute to our economy. Unfortunately, many nations still lag behind in their treatment of people with disabilities. That’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is highlighting how American businesses—as they always do—are taking the lead in finding solutions to this problem, even without any legal obligation to do so.


Annual Conference & Marketplace

NAPEO held its 2017 Annual Conference & Marketplace from September 6 to 8 in Orlando, Florida, and...Wow!

Everything about this year’s conference was big. The numbers were big: More than 900 people attended. The Marketplace was big: There were more than 123 exhibitors. The educational programming was big:There were 10 interactive inspiration labs on the topics everyone is talking about. There were 14 breakout sessions covering all of the operational areas of the PEO, plus current issues PEOs are facing. The keynotes were big: Scott Stratten, Jon Steinberg, Carlos Rodriguez, and Bill Rancic capitivated the NAPEO audience. The entertainment was big: NAPEO’s own Britt Landrum, III and his band, The Rowdies, rocked us at the biggest and best party NAPEO’s ever seen. Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma was scheduled to arrive in central Florida only a couple of days after the NAPEO conference wrapped up. It created a little tension, but we weathered the stormThere were big events during the conference, too. First, NAPEO celebrated and bid farewell to Rex Eley, PEO pioneer and founder of the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), at a retirement party that was both joyful and tearful. Second, NAPEO’s and the industry’s highest honor, the Michaeline A. Doyle Award, was presented to Bruce Cornutt, who upon receiving the award said, “I’m flabbergasted,” a humble and honest response to a great honor.

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