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ADP Solutions for Payroll, Workers’ Compensation and Employee Handbooks Hit ‘The Spot’ for Local Restaurateur

Ever since she was a teenager, Cassie Fishkin dreamed of owning a restaurant – a comfortable, informal little place where people could gather for long conversations and healthy food. She told herself it would be her “retirement” career after she’d succeeded as an attorney. She never imagined her passion to be a restaurateur would outweigh her desire to practice law.

Once she’d made that life-changing decision, however, Fishkin bought into a restaurant partnership and began honing a new set of skills. She rotated through every position, learning the nuances and challenges of restaurant management. She combined her business acumen and creativity, and realized that she’d finally found her professional niche.

In 2015, she also realized her dream when she opened the doors of her bistro, The Spot, in Montclair, N.J. At first catering to walk-in, take-out and delivery business, the restaurant grew to accommodate patrons who wanted to sit and linger over their meals. With this growth, as most small business owners learn, came myriad day-to-day challenges that absorbed valuable time and sapped critical resources.

Months later, Fishkin needed help managing the human resources and payroll needs of 20 employees, so she decided to implement RUN Powered by ADP®. She also needed help developing an employee handbook to codify her HR policies, employee rights and responsibilities.

ADP Solutions for Payroll, Workers' Compensation and Employee Handbooks Hit 'The Spot' for Local Restaurateur

The Spot features locally sourced ingredients, dishes made from scratch, and flavors from around the world. Its menu also includes gluten-free selections.

“Processing payroll and items related to it, such as workers’ compensation, is extremely time consuming,” Fishkin explained. “Most of my 20 employees are hourly. There’s a lot of math involved and you need to be accurate when you review hours worked and tips allocation. Using ADP’s integrated, online system has made these tasks very simple.

“ADP’s solution is so much easier to use than the one I was using previously,” she continued. “For instance, I can set a customized template and the system is very intuitive and flexible. I can generate reports, provide copies of pay stubs, complete a special payroll calculation, and correct a check. All of these options are at my fingertips. And I no longer have to deal with separate providers since everything is integrated in RUN.”

Administering payroll, tracking workers’ compensation and providing employees with HR guidelines can be challenging for any business, according to Maria Black, president of Small Business Solutions and Human Resources Outsourcing at ADP®, let alone a small business owner consumed with the day-to-day duties required to keep that business afloat.

“It all boils down to the time it takes to accurately track and process these items, which can be so vital to the success of the business and satisfaction of its employees,” Black said. “We understand the pressures small business owners experience and pride ourselves on providing them with solutions that can ease critical business functions.”

Fishkin’s employees also appreciate the ease of ADP’s payroll solutions.

“One employee lost his W-2 form and came to me asking if I could help,” Fishkin recalled. “I just went back online and got another copy. Another employee – a college student – needed copies of pay stubs for financial aid and I was able to provide those quickly for her. You can’t imagine how valuable it is to me and my employees to have that level of convenience and ease. They were able to get what they needed in minutes. I didn’t have to call my accountant and make them wait.”

In the past, Fishkin also has experienced some challenges managing her workers’ compensation insurance policy. Specifically, large upfront deposits and time-consuming year-end policy audits were difficult issues.

“Preparing for a policy audit has become a lot easier,” Fishkin explains. “Previously, it would take me hours to go through the year’s reports and gather all the information I needed. With ADP’s Pay-by-Pay® premium payment solution, it’s live, in real time and the workers’ compensation premium is paid automatically. There’s no time-consuming tracking involved.

“Now, I pay workers’ comp premiums based on my real payroll data, not an estimate,” she continued. “That helps me avoid paying a big deposit when my policy renews, and makes the audit at the end of the year easier.

“That’s the difference that ADP brings to the table,” she said. “With other providers, I’d have to estimate my employees’ wages for the year and pay a large premium audit. Now, I’m paying real-time so I don’t get hit with an unexpected expense at the end of the year.”

Certainly, time and money savings are great perks for Fishkin, but given her legal background, she also was focused on protecting herself, her business and her employees’ rights.

“As an attorney, it’s important to me that my employees know and understand their rights, as well as what’s expected of them,” said Fishkin. “That’s why ADP’s guidelines for creating an employee handbook were so useful. No business owner wants to be taken advantage of. It’s easier for everyone to know what their rights are and for employees to be informed from the beginning. Guidelines help keep everyone on same page.”

That requirement was especially vital to Fishkin, who has seen what can happen in the absence of these valuable procedures.

“I’ve dealt with labor disputes in the past and in one instance – because I didn’t have accurate records and couldn’t obtain the information I needed quickly – I lost the dispute,” she recalled. “In that instance, I had to pay an employee twice, plus pay some fines. I decided that that was poor business practice and I didn’t want to experience that again. I learned the lesson the hard way. That’s why I wanted a strong payroll system and an accurate handbook.”

Using ADP solutions for the past year has boosted Fishkin’s confidence that she’ll be able to handle many of the challenges she’s encountering as a small business owner. Her accountants even gave ADP the nod.

“I happened to be speaking to my accountants when I was considering implementing ADP solutions,” she recalled. “They mentioned they had a longstanding relationship with ADP and they were thrilled that I wanted to move forward with the company. Frankly, my decision was a no-brainer when my accountants endorsed their solutions.

“I’m glad I decided on ADP,” Fishkin concludes. “I believe that once the business reaches a point where my employees want and need access to the solutions – to view their pay checks, for example – I know the tools will be there for them.

“Equally important, I know that as my business grows, ADP solutions will be there to grow with it,” she said.

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