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HR Strategies Payroll Case Study

HR Strategies Delivers All Payroll On Time During Week-Long Ice Storm

Actual Picture from Ice Storm
Taken in Lawrenceville, Georgia February 2011

Challenge:

With HR Strategies powerful integrated on-site support and personal service, clients can rest assured that the responsibilities of payroll have been handled completely and accurately, even in the most adverse conditions. In February 2011, a large portion of Georgia, and therefore Metro Atlanta, experienced heavy snow and extreme winter conditions which are unusual for the area. Metro Atlanta, including Duluth where HR Strategies is headquartered, is not used to extreme winter conditions and can easily have its roads and infrastructure crippled by large amounts of snow. The snow storm that affected Georgia in February of 2011 was dubbed “snowpocalypse”, and caused many school and business closings for several days. While employees may have enjoyed having a few extra days at home, they still needed to get their scheduled paychecks. Employers were already worried about loss of revenue from being closed for business, and the thought of having disgruntled employees from a delay in payroll was an added worry on their shoulders.

Solution:

HR Strategies understood the need for client employees to be paid, and the need for the client to have one less business concern during the stress of an unforeseen circumstance prohibiting business and life “as usual”.  On the Friday before the big storm, HR Strategies staff came together and devised a plan to ensure that payroll processes, and all other client needs, would be met in case of inclement weather.  On Monday, when it seemed that the world had closed down in Georgia, HR Strategies was armed and ready for business as usual.  Beginning that morning, payroll specialists were busy getting to work, only this time it was in their homes. The entire staff took advantage of their ability to work remotely and were able to continue business as usual, to the best of their abilities from home. Payroll specialists took hours over their cell phones from clients, ran the processes and reports, sent direct deposit and bank files, all from home.  They were able to keep in contact with each other and the rest of HR Strategies staff through conference calls, and ensure that all clients were handled.  The owner and CEO of HR Strategies, along with one designated payroll specialist, was able to make it to the office to pick up live checks and reports that had generated to be packaged for clients. These live checks were then hand delivered by the owner to the client locations, as most courier services (i.e. FedEx, UPS) were not operating on time or at all during the extreme conditions. Over the next three days HR Strategies continued to make sure that all of their client payrolls were handled accurately and on-time from remote locations.

Results:

Dedication, team work, and planning enabled HR Strategies to go above and beyond to ensure that their clients and client employees were paid, and their needs met.  HR Strategies was able to pull together and use their resources and remote capabilities in order to deliver at a time when most services were unable to. Through the dedication of the whole team, clients were able to experience that HR Strategies provides exceptional service.

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HR Strategies Payroll Management

What:

Generally speaking, employees view payroll as simply receiving a paycheck. However, as a business owner, you are aware of the time consuming process that is involved in preparing those paychecks, distributing them, and the myriad of reporting and tax filing that comes as a result of paying your employees. The process of payroll demands time from an employer; time that could be better utilized concentrating on the revenue-producing side of your operations. HR Strategies is here to free up that time for you by removing the hassle of payroll processing, administration, tax reporting, and compliance.

How:

HR Strategies offers a prescribed and proven process; which is customized to your individual business needs through a variety of tools. Our Time Tracker and Time Tracker Plus software allows you to improve productivity through job costing, and accuracy through our easy to use features and data collection options. HR Strategies’ dedicated payroll specialists easily manage employee information, and simplify your payroll process by checking for accuracy, offering the option of pre-approval by clients, preparing direct deposits and checks, preparing garnishments, and processing a variety of management reports and payroll registers. Our comprehensive HR Information System allows seamless payroll integration with your company’s accounting system, as well as the ability to make address corrections, get online pay stubs, and reprint W2s. As a client of HR Strategies, you have the option of going green and becoming paperless, by which you will receive your reports electronically, and will have web notification when they are ready! If you choose not to go paperless, we have a variety of delivery options for you to receive your comprehensive payroll package. These options will include: direct deposit stubs and/or live checks, invoice, payroll register/journals, payroll worksheets for the next pay period, allocation reports, benefit reports, and other client specified management reports. With HR Strategies, rest assured that all of the after effects of running payroll are handled for you, with on-time and accurate filing of all payroll related taxes to the correct authorities.

Benefits:

Nothing can destroy morale as quickly as a problem that affects pay. Let us handle the complex requirements of payroll processing for you. With our powerful integrated on-site support and personal service, you can rest assured that the responsibilities of payroll have been handled completely and accurately, allowing you to focus on your core business. Our personal attention and commitment to you through our complete payroll team, with your assigned dedicated payroll specialist, will strive to help you run your business better by handling the busy work for you.

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Payroll Management Testimonials

“I have been very happy with the service. Everyone is always professional. Our Payroll specialist has always been there to help me with all my payroll issues. The entire team is outstanding to work with! I would recommend them to anyone.” –Construction

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“All of our payrolls have been delivered in a timely manner and their staff members have gone over and above to accommodate our needs. I really like the fact that we have gone to a paperless system. I do not have to deal with checks or check stubs. Everything is either directly deposited into a bank account or put on a debit card.” –Medical Practice

See all Testimonials Here

The Importance of Communication in 401(k) Offerings

We have discussed 401(k) plans in the past, either by simply mentioning retirement planning in passing or dedicating full posts to the subject. If you are a client or a follower of this blog, you know that HR Strategies offers 401(k) programs, retirement planning, college financial planning, and many other ways for you and your employees to save money.

Recently, an article came out by Stephen Miller concerning 401(k) matching. Miller is an online editor/manager for SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. The article, entitled,401(k) Match: ‘Thresholds’ Drive Participation More than Rates: A sampling of the wide variety of matching formulas”, discusses the importance of employer-to-employee communication in regards to choosing a 401(k) plan matching formula. Miller draws from a July 2012 report by Brigitte C. Madrian, the Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her findings show that changing matching formulas can result in higher savings for employees, while keeping the employer contribution the same. Here is a basic scenario using two example formulas from the article:

Employee A and Employee B earn the same yearly salary: $100. Here are the two match formulas they have to choose from:

Employee A

Employee B

50% of the first 6% of Salary

25% of the first 12% of Salary

EE Contribution/Quarter=$6

EE Contribution/Quarter=$12

Remaining Yearly Salary=$94

Remaining Yearly Salary=$88

Employee A sees the higher match percentage and goes with the 50% of the first 6% of salary. Employee B does a few equations, and decides to go with the 25% of the first 12% of salary.

50% of the first 6% of Salary

25% of the first 12% of Salary

50% x (6% of $100)

25% x (12% of $100)

50% x $6

25% x $12

ER Contribution/Quarter=$3

ER Contribution/Quarter=$3

As you can see, the employer contribution is the same for both employees. However, as we go further, we see that there is a definite difference in the employee savings.

EE Qtly Contribution+ER Match=$9

EE Qtly Contribution+ER Match=$15

Employee Earns= $36/year

Employee Earns=$60/year

$94(salary)+$36(contribution)=

$130

$88(salary)+$60(contribution)=

$148

Madrain states that there is a risk that employees are more likely to perceive the higher rate/lower threshold as a better savings plan. However, in the example above, we can see that even though the employer match is the same for both employees, by choosing the lower match rate/higher threshold, Employee B is earning an extra $18 a year. Furthermore, the effect of higher savings is compounding! Employees contribute to their 401(k) on a pre-tax basis, thus increasing savings and take-home pay, while setting aside money for their retirement. In most cases, and with proper alignment of education and diversification tools available, higher deferrals typically result in higher returns, increasing the compounding effect of savings.

While those of you who are well versed in the language of 401(k) might see this as common sense, a majority of your employees may not see it that way. This is why the article stresses the importance of making sure your employees are in the know about 401(k) matching. The cost will stay the same for you, the employer, but your employees will be benefiting from increased savings and the knowledge that their employer has helped them work towards stability in their financial future.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) identifies the fiduciary responsibilities of plan sponsors to include education of participants and eligible employees. Lack of education often leads to inadequate diversification of assets and thorough understanding of the plan’s features. Each plan sponsor must ensure that they dedicate the proper resources and time to thoroughly educate their employees about their 401(k) plan.

Don’t forget, HR Strategies offers a variety of retirement savings plans. Our knowledgeable HR Consultants will help your employees with their 401(k) needs, while helping you to fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities.

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HR Strategies HR Consulting Case Study

HR Strategies Aids in DOL Audit

Challenges:

HR Strategies supplies a variety of human resource solutions to many different client companies, including HR consulting and regulatory compliance. For many companies, the thought of a DOL audit can be stressful and overwhelming. HR Strategies recently had a client, a 20 employee commercial cleaning company, who was subject to a US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Audit. HR Strategies’ client was investigated on hours worked, overtime, salaried vs. hourly status, work permits, and time cards; during which current and former employees were interviewed. The client needed to supply information and handle all requests made by the US DOL, in a timely and professional manner, while still focusing on running their business.

Solution:

The client notified HR Strategies of the investigation and HR Strategies was able to work closely with the client. HR Strategies provided consultation and helped manage the investigation. With the aide of HR Strategies the client was able to provide all necessary documentation on payroll data and at the same time shored up the clients current pay practices. In addition, HR Strategies staff was able to join the client to meet with the investigator in person multiple times, for a total of nearly 5 hours, thus providing the client with the reassurance of having a professional HR team on their side.

Results:

At the end of this vast investigation, no violations were found and no fines levied on HR Strategies’ client. The client was very appreciative of the extensive efforts made in aiding them, and stated that without HR Strategies he could not have managed this exhaustive investigation.

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