Compliance

If You Hire a Contingent Workforce, Security MUST be a Top Priority

If You Hire a Contingent Workforce, Security MUST be a Top Priority 7952 5304 Alicia East

Ransomware attacks have caused supply chain disruptions, compromised medical care, and even canceled flights. The issue simply isn’t going away. Most of us have added two-step verification to everything from our NestCams to our grocery chain apps and taken increased steps in our own personal security. This is a good start, but businesses that have access to workers’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) have extra responsibility. A mistake that compromises your own personal data is certainly an inconvenience, but if you fail when you’re handling other people’s data, it can be a crisis.

If you handle other people’s info, you simply must have solid measures in place so those trusting you with their data know they are in good hands. Ideally, they will never have to think about it. If they do, it likely means you’ve already messed up and you might even be in the headlines.

Security is Everything 

Can you think of many business functions in the world that access more priceless personal information and sensitive company information than hiring? The best systems, software, and teams mean little if they are vulnerable to security attacks. You’ll never make headlines for all your measures preventing an attack, but you’ll certainly make headlines the moment your efforts fail.

When you’re working on a big project and hiring enough workers to get the job done, the last thing you want to be burdened with is integrating all the systems to make sure you get it done securely. Building the infrastructure to hire and deploy a contingent workforce takes time and serious expertise!

How Do You Prevent a Security Breach And Stay Out of The News? 

The most secure organizations partner with and employ several internal and third-party resources to protect PPI as fiercely as possible.

At a minimum, we recommend you: 

• Encrypt everything at multiple levels
• Treat all sensitive information as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and in accordance with HIPAA recommendations
• Keep sensitive data from going offshore
• Have third parties perform monthly security checks and an annual penetration test

What CEO Todd Keener Has to Say About Security

Among other things, Todd talks about how security and privacy needs to baked into company processes, culture, and procedures. While security has always been important, the issue has accelerated greatly in the last five years. Staying in front of the changes requires the company to have the issue front and center and ongoing processes to test their own systems. Third-party systems should be in place to continually adjust and have continual formal improvement baked into everything you do.

Bottom Line

One of the biggest benefits of working with an Employer of Record (EOR) like PayReel is that we’ve already built the infrastructure to follow all of the above recommendations. We protect clients’ resources, contracts, and data at all times with multi-leveled security systems.

Hey, you can let your PR company keep you in the news for good reasons. At PayReel, we specialize in keeping you out of the headlines you don’t want to be saddled with. Bottom line: You better check yourself before you wreck yourself and also have partners in place to help you.

Nichole Rose - Payreel

Meet Nichole Rose—Our New Risk & Compliance Manager

Meet Nichole Rose—Our New Risk & Compliance Manager 250 333 Alicia East

Nichole Rose—our new Risk & Compliance Program Manager—stays ahead of the game to ensure  clients stay compliant. She covers Human Resources matters such as benefits, workers’ compensation, and wage and hour compliance. Staying on top of the ins and outs of risk and compliance is hard, time-consuming, high-stakes work. Isn’t it nice to know you have someone in your corner to keep some of the riskiest aspects of your business running smoothly and accurately?

As the oldest of 10 siblings who earned her undergraduate degree in teaching children with special needs, Nichole Rose’s background provided her leadership opportunities and a lot of experience helping others. As such, she is just the kind of person you want in your corner. Nichole Rose also has a wide knowledge of HR topics and a strong desire to do things by the book to keep people out of trouble. She will soon be sitting for PHR (a certification in professional HR) which requires her to do continuing education to stay on top of all the latest changes.

Nichole has served in HR roles for Lowe’s, a fast-food chain, and a manufacturing plant. She enjoys giving clients the information they need to make the best decision for their situation. She certainly doesn’t know everything, but if you have a question, she’s going to help you find out what you need to know.

Outside of work, you’ll find Nichole Rose watching baseball. Her favorite players are the Little Leaguers in her own house, but she enjoys watching the professionals, too. She loves her family (including her two dogs!), camping, fishing and sitting down with a good book.

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Risk And Compliance When Direct Sourcing (This is Non-Negotiable!)

Risk And Compliance When Direct Sourcing (This is Non-Negotiable!) 1920 1080 Alicia East

Using your own talent pool can be a wonderful way for businesses to meet their contingent workforce needs. Direct sourcing is the practice of finding and recruiting talent and then building, nurturing, and drawing from an internal network rather than enlisting a third-party. It’s an increasingly popular (and feasible) option and it has many benefits. Still, there’s one aspect of the practice that businesses must be absolutely sure to get right: risk and compliance!

Benefits of Direct Sourcing

Direct Sourcing allows businesses to place workers on a temporary basis, while keeping the best workers in the pipeline between projects. Building and nurturing an internal network means companies can draw from their own well, so to speak. There is no third party that will ever know a company and its needs better and cutting out the middle man can make the process quicker and more economical.

Risk And Compliance When Direct Sourcing

While finding your own talent and building your own network has many benefits, businesses need to be in position to do it in a way that protects them from liability. It’s not the glamorous part, but one of the most important parts to get right when direct sourcing is anything associated with risk, compliance, and payroll. Mitigating risk requires specialized skills, a great depth of knowledge, and a department with enough bandwidth to understand and follow rules on a state and federal level.

What’s at Stake?

You know who’s paying a lot of attention to all things risk and compliance? The government. As such, errors can be incredibly costly. In addition to heavy fines, offending businesses face damage to reputation and loss of resources–both financially and otherwise. The rules around classification and payroll vary from state to state and on a federal level as well. Regulations change frequently as well and hiring organizations must do due diligence to make sure they keep their practices compliant and their businesses in good standing. Any company using direct sourcing simply must also include effective independent contractor classification and payrolling services as a part of its plan.

Does Engaging a Partner Make Sense?

If there are any gaps in knowledge or capacity when it comes to risk compliance, worker classification, and payroll, engaging a partner makes good business sense.  In most cases, any company that doesn’t have a specific department to fill these roles will benefit greatly from engaging a partner with the appropriate bandwidth and skills. The best partner will be able to handle every worker type a business employs and will be equipped to handle everything related to risk, compliance, worker classification, and payroll for a contingent workforce.

When direct sourcing talent, many businesses find an Employer of Record (EOR) that takes care of all the administrative details of managing a contingent workforce is an indispensable part of their team.

If you’re considering whether an EOR would be helpful to your business, contact us! This is our jam.  

Paperwork - Payreel

Would Your Business Benefit from Partnering With an Employer of Record? 

Would Your Business Benefit from Partnering With an Employer of Record?  2560 1707 Alicia East
Today we’re going to talk about what exactly an EOR is, who can benefit most from partnering with one and why, and what you can do today if you’re ready to cut that red tape and get out from under a mountain of onboarding paperwork.

Let’s start with what an Employer of Record (or an EOR) is.

And since taxes, benefits, and insurance are some of the most complex, risk-heavy parts of doing business (seriously, did you want to stress eat a cookie just reading those words?) it can be a game-changer for certain businesses.

So which businesses benefit the most from partnering with an EOR? 

Businesses with a lot of hiring needs on tight deadline find that an EOR can be an absolutely indispensable secret weapon. These businesses often…

  •  Need to hire a lot of freelancers without making hiring freelancers their main business.
  • Don’t have time to deal with the administrative problems and mountains of paperwork that come with hiring, paying, and insuring workers.
  • Have a hard time keeping their workforce happy because it takes a highly-trained team and airtight systems to pay quickly and accurately.
  • Worry about getting on the IRS’s radar because the laws are always changing any errors can bring on audits, fines, and penalties.
Don’t pick up that cookie…I have good news!
This exactly where an EOR can be a total game-changer because it eliminates red tape for hiring while also keeping those doing the hiring out of court.

An EOR serves as the employer and takes on all related responsibilities and liabilities while employees work for another company. Depending on the needs, an EOR does some or all of the following:

  • Makes hiring new workers (often one of the most painful parts of the process) easier and faster
  • Covers payroll management for freelancers
  • Maintains current headcount
  • Guarantees on-time payment
  • Handles all compliance issues
  • Provides workers’ comp and all necessary insurance for contractors
  • Conducts background checks and drug screenings
  • Terminates employees, administers benefits, and handles some worker issues

By doing all that, an EOR can eliminate or greatly reduce the need for an HR department.

In short, an EOR turns a mountain of hiring paperwork (certificates of insurance, I-9s, E-verify forms, and so on) into a molehill.

Here’s what to do today if you think you might benefit from partnering with an EOR

If partnering with a company that specializes in these services and has existing systems in place would help you move your projects forward and keep your hands off those cookies, fill out our form at PayReel.com and we’ll talk through solutions for your unique situation. 

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You Have Better Things to do With Your Time Than an Audit

You Have Better Things to do With Your Time Than an Audit 5548 3699 Alicia East

The court battle over which workers can be classified as independent contractors versus employees does affect your business whether you want to think about it or not. Whatever the IRS makes a priority  of a topic will soon be the focus of audits, too. In short: that means anyone with workers must be well-versed on worker classification.

 

Independent Contractors (ICs) are self-employed, hired to do a specific job, and receive payment only for the work performed. Unlike a regular employee, they pick their jobs and regularly move from client to client, business to business. Also referred to as freelancers, consultants, and 1099’s, they report their own business income and pay self-employment taxes.

Hiring an IC is attractive to companies looking for outside creative resources who want to outsource work that is not central to their main line of business. The work is project-oriented and is typically completed in a short amount of time. It’s also easier on the budget to pay your IC as a vendor, not as an employee.

Sounds nice, right? But there’s a big catch.

The IRS has very strict guidelines that define true business-to-business relationships. These guidelines are meant to prevent firms from misclassifying would-be employees, thereby avoiding a bounty of state and federal taxes.

Is your IC really an independent contractor?

This is a deceptively complex question. It’s important to justify your “yes” because of the high audit risk associated with loose practices around independent contractors.

Best Practices:

  • Contractor has an established business entity and EIN
  • Contractor provides services to multiple clients
  • IC provides certificates of insurance, including general liability insurance and worker’s comp
  • Company and contractor have a signed services agreement
  • Agreement specifies project length, compensation and liability

When working with your contractors:

  • Do not train a contractor, direct their work responsibilities or define their work schedules
  • Independent contractors should use their own equipment
  • Do not provide any employment benefits, such as health insurance and corporate stock options
  • Contract on a per-project basis
  • Keep in mind that this is a business-to-business relationship

Prevent an Audit/Years of Headaches

Audits are costly and time-consuming even for businesses that do everything by the book. How much are you willing to pay in time and hassle for employee misclassification? If you have any questions about independent contractor status, trust PayReel to help you make the determination.

We screen each employment situation carefully to assess the entire relationship to make sure you are in complete compliance. Call us at 303.526.4900 or email info@payreel.com.

Newspapers - Payreel

Here’s How to Keep Your Payroll Compliant When Laws Change

Here’s How to Keep Your Payroll Compliant When Laws Change 2560 1707 Alicia East

Keeping on top of the ins and outs of compliance is hard, time-consuming, high-stakes work. It’s worth it to make sure you have an in-house team or a partner dedicated to keeping your payroll services running smoothly and accurately.

Legal Considerations

It’s hard to think of a higher-stakes aspect of business than where the money goes and how it gets there. Your in-house team or partner needs to do the following:

  • Mitigate compliance risks
  • Be aware of practices that could compromise compliance
  • Track benefits eligibility
  • Track changes in minimum wage, overtime, and sick leave policies in each state

Quick And Accurate Payment

Payroll operates at its smoothies when all of the following are in place and functioning well: 

  • Online management: Employees can log hours and supervisors approve them—all online—without the need for actual paper.
  • Payment is fast and accurate: A smoothly-functioning system to track overtime, submit time cards, and obtain supervisors’ approval.
  • Benefits eligibility: There is a process in place to know when employees become eligible for benefits.

The Bottom Line

Everyone is trying to figure out labor laws and fair pay. The gig economy and the worker classification challenges it brings to the forefront are top-of-mind topics for the government, employers, and employees alike.

PayReel knows the biz and the people in the biz. We are ahead of the game with every possible change and are ready to research and take the necessary steps. We stay up to date on payroll regulations and assist clients in navigating the increasingly complicated waters of payroll services.

If you think you might need a partner, rest assured the PayReel team is on top of following all regulations, rules, and federal and state laws. In a nutshell: We stay ahead of the curve so our clients never even have to think about payroll services and compliance.

 

Computer map - Payreel

Cyberattacks Are Coming: The Time to Protect Your Business is Now

Cyberattacks Are Coming: The Time to Protect Your Business is Now 2560 1709 Alicia East

President Biden’s warning to businesses was clear: Russian cyberattacks are coming. 

Tensions amid sanctions and Russia’s war in Ukraine are high and Putin’s playbook for countering such measures includes cyberattacks on essential aspects of American life. Consumers will remember last May’s cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which cut off nearly 50% of the fuel capacity for the East Coast as well as an attack against Meatpacker JBS from June, which threatened the food supply chain. 

Attacks that target food supply and fuel make the aim clear: the more disruptive to essential aspects of daily life for Americans the better. 

Protect Yourself 

The White House urged companies to take measures to protect themselves from these attacks and have also advised what to do if security measures fail. The list of measures for businesses is extensive, but one measure every single business and individual should take–as basic digital hygiene—is to use multi-factor authentication on all accounts. 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

PayReel takes cybersecurity very seriously and follows the above guidelines, including running exercises, encrypting data, and educating employees. Any disruption or inconvenience required up front is small in comparison to the havoc a successful attack may cause. The time is now.

Document Report - Payreel

What to Look For When Partnering With an Employer of Record

What to Look For When Partnering With an Employer of Record 2560 1707 Alicia East

Compliance is hard, time-consuming, high-stakes work. Many companies find that keeping on top of the ins and outs with an in-house team gets harder as laws change (and then change again). Whether you partner with a payroll service or build a team to do the job, you want to be sure they’re fully in position to protect you and your company. 

What to Look For In an Employer of Record

1. Ability to Diffuse Legal Landmines 

Contractor/freelancer payment and compliance regulations are ever-changing. Hedging your bets on the legal front means mitigating compliance risks, making sure you are compliant, educating yourself on practices that could compromise you, knowing the state and federal differences in minimum wage and sick leave policies and more. You should also be ready to head off potential vulnerabilities by teaching employees how to appropriately fill out timesheets.

2. Paying Accurately And On Time

This seems obvious, but nothing will tank your credibility faster than having employees come to you over inaccurate or late payment. This is especially difficult if your workers are in multiple states (and therefore, under different legal requirements). If you’re not ahead of tracking benefits eligibility and overtime, you’ll lose trust with employees, which affects employee morale. Services with online management for employees and managers as well as practices in place to prevent unnecessary overtime will help payroll services run like a dream.

3. They’re Ready For Changes

The most effective teams have dedicated people to researches changes as they happen so the company can take the necessary steps. They read forums like a boss and stay up to date on payroll regulations in every state. Navigating the increasingly-complicated waters of payroll services means making sure you’re following all regulations, rules, and federal and state laws. 

The Bottom Line

Labor laws and fair pay standard practices are in a constant state of change. The gig economy and the worker classification challenges it brings to the forefront are top-of-mind topics for the government, employers, and employees alike. Whether it’s your internal team or a partner, pick someone who can stay ahead of the curve so you never even have to think about payroll services and compliance. Life and work is chaotic enough.

As a payroll partner, PayReel makes compliance and payroll the easiest part of your day with a full range of services. We make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and see that everyone is paid properly. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 and meet the PayReel team here!

Stay Safe - Payreel

Mitigate Workers’ Compensation Risk in Four Steps

Mitigate Workers’ Compensation Risk in Four Steps 2560 1707 Alicia East

Just like any other insurance, workers’ compensation is a “just in case” plan you hope you’ll never need. But if you do need, it’ll save your butt a million ways and you’ll be so glad you have it. Workers’ compensation provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. Employers that ensure worker safety and implement best practices before they need them are in the best position to protect employees, keep claims manageable, and maybe even keep premiums down. And let’s just get one of the most basic points out of the way: Anyone with employees needs workers’ compensation. Yep, everyone.

Four Steps to Mitigate Workers’ Compensation Risk

Step One: Prevent

Chase prevention like you would chase the crisis or you’ll certainly end up chasing a crisis. Make regular safety meetings, ongoing education, and performance metrics standard procedure. If you don’t have the budget to implement every possible safety measure, you don’t have the budget for the project. The best workers’ comp claim is the one that never happens.

Step Two: Plan

Instead of scrambling to figure out how you’ll handle a claim if it comes up, take steps ahead of time. Make sure reserves are accurate. Have a standard operating procedure. Decide who will talk to the adjuster and within what time frame. Taking the time to lay out your processes while your brain isn’t in crisis mode means you make sounder decisions. The added benefit is that it will reassure your adjuster that you’re engaged and motivated to reach a speedy resolution.

Step Three: Implement 

Implement a return to work program and have a plan for injured workers who have been cleared for modified duty. These measures reassure insurance companies while demonstrating professionalism to employees.

Step Four: Invest

Invest in accurate worker classification. An independent contractor filing a workers’ comp claim can easily land a well-intentioned company on IRS and DOL radar screens. This happens with surprising frequency despite the logical assumption that an independent contractor should understand the implications of a business-to-business relationship. One key aspect of a true B2B relationship is that a worker’s business activity exists independent of the employer. Preventing misclassification and communicating clearly with workers is a worthwhile preventative investment.

What’s Ahead?

COVID-19 has changed workers’ comp in the short term, but its effects will continue to be felt. The issue is ever-evolving in any environment–with or without a pandemic. Analysts anticipate continued changes for the workers’ compensation industry ahead. Workers’ compensation carriers may face declining profits and escalating claims costs and operating expenses. Companies that address the subject proactively will be in the best position to ensure minimal premium increases. Aside from cost, keeping employees safe is forever a worthwhile investment.

money and clock - PayReel

The Hidden Benefit to Paying Contractors in 30 Days

The Hidden Benefit to Paying Contractors in 30 Days 800 534 Alicia East

Internal processes, red tape, and backlogged accounting departments make it hard to get checks in the mail. We definitely understand. Even when a practice is common among other companies, a slow corporate freelance payment policy might prevent you from working with the best people.

Paying Contractors On Time Is Good For Companies

We know that keeping workers happy can be a pain the arse. Still, like many things, a different perspective makes all the difference. Top contractors get booked quickly. When you pay contractors quickly, they’re more likely to answer your calls and ramp up your projects in a short amount of time. For busy department heads with big projects and short turnaround times, there’s nothing better than diving right in with tried and true creative partners. Saving time, money, and hassle by working with people who just get what you’re looking for is priceless.  Paying later than your competition can get you blacklisted or moved to the bottom of a contractor’s long to do list. The true pain is having to go through the entire process of finding someone who is a good fit and bringing them up to speed just because your tried and true contractors have prioritized other companies.

If the benefits to you aren’t enough, think about it from the workers’ perspective. Freelancers single-handedly juggle creative work, billing, marketing, and more. That means the person who sees your invoice in their red column is often the same one you’re expecting to bring their all to your next project. What seems like an insignificant to a big company can have a major effect on a small business’ cash flow.

Don’t Be a Hoarder

Just because many large companies have made it a practice to hoard cash and squeeze small businesses to increase their own bottom lines doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Not only does it add pressure to those you work with, it’s just not ethical. You may justify it by saying it’s not as bad as the latest headline maker’s illegal and greedy ways, but shady practices of any degree have no place in your business.

The Bottom Line

Paying contractors quickly is worth the investment. If it’s not feasible to transform your internal process, get a partner involved. You get the peace of mind of knowing you’ll always be in good standing with contractors. It pays to hire someone with systems in place.

Hiring contractors is a beautiful thing: It gives you a fresh perspective and talent without having to bring on full-time team members. Just make sure you do it right. Going from Net 90 to Net Now will save you time, keep you in good standing with contractors, and ensure you can feel good about the way you do business. Rather than trying to save Benjamins up front, take Benjamin Franklin’s advice and “Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”