Ask any business owner and you may find that one of the first things they did when starting their business was retain the services of an accountant. Such a partner isn’t there just to help with taxes, but to serve as a trusted advisor who can provide solid advice on managing cash flow, planning for growth, assessing risk and, in many cases, helping with payroll and other HR activities.
Because of the advisory nature of their relationship with clients, accountants today have a lot more on their plates than they ever did before. In fact, with the onset of the Affordable Care Act, recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and ever-changing payroll regulations, I’m seeing that many more small to midsized accounting firms (with five to 15 employees) are thinking about referring out their payroll business or stepping away from offering payroll services completely. The reasons they’re citing? Lack of time and the complexities of keeping up with payroll tax changes and other related compliance issues.
Accountant partner Lewis Andrews of Andrews and Company recently made the decision to use ADP® to process payroll for 60 of its clients.
“Every client was completely different. Payroll is not a smooth thing, it is forever changing, the rates changed; the numbers changed; the forms changed. It becomes an entire HR nightmare. My profit was probably two percent of whatever I was charging everybody. If I was going to transfer the payroll practice to anybody it was going to be ADP because they were the people that I trusted the most,” he said in a recent interview.
Now, Andrews and his team are able to easily access the information they need to help serve their clients, while ensuring his firm isn’t bogged down with the administrative and compliance minutia that processing payroll can bring.
“I can press one button and see every client I have,” he said. “It’s easy, it’s uniformed, its right there – every report. I don’t have to guess at one thing. It’s clearly the best platform out there. I would recommend ADP because it let me go on to do what I wanted to do and increase my growth by 40 percent in just this past year. And I can do a million other things. I can have more training in my office, I can concentrate more on my bigger clients and I never could do any of that before.”
Even more important, this shift has made a difference for Andrews and Company clients as well. Mitch Shidlofsky, owner of Mitch’s Westside Bagels, said it best when he shared, “Previous to using ADP I was nowhere near as efficient. My life doing the payroll has become really simple. It literally takes me only 15 to 20 minutes to run four companies’ payrolls and I can do it from the beach or I can do it from in my apartment — wherever I am. It’s really one less headache that I have to worry about when running a business.”
The good news is that ADP offers solutions that meet our partners’ needs. Whether an accountant decides it is beneficial for their firm to refer out a handful of clients or sell their entire payroll client business to us, I’m proud we have options to help accountants meet their clients’ needs.
By: Chris Rush, Division Vice President of Strategy, ADP Small Business Services