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Friday
Nov042011

Employee Leasing Crook Going To Prison – PEO Clients Protected

Another employee leasing company executive is on his way to jail. Unfortunately, the person who gained the most from the “ill-gotten” gains is still on the loose. Recent articles from my SanAntonio.com report that Patrick G. Mire 49, pled guilty to keeping more than $70 million that small businesses had paid for payroll taxes or insurance. Also said to be under investigation is Charles Edward Pircher, 59, who served five years in federal prison for a $1.2 million savings and loan bank fraud in Austin, TX in the 1990s.

Mire states he operated PEOs from 1995 to 2007 under different names to commit the fraud. The names of the Professional Employer Organiztions included United Capital Investment Group Inc.; Service Professionals Inc.; SSI Management Group Inc.; Service Professionals AK of Nevada Inc.; Employer Liability Services Inc.; Safe Staff Inc.; Service Professionals of Texas Inc.; Service Professionals of Texas; ServPro of Texas LLC; United Focus Inc.; Centerpoint Outsourcing LLC; Synergy Personnel Inc.; and Comal Payroll Plus Inc.

The Internal Revenue Service and FBI claim that Mire and Pircher had management roles in professional employer organizations (PEOs) that collected payroll taxes from clients — usually small businesses like roofing companies and metal fabricators — that were never paid to the government, along with fees for workers compensation insurance that was never provided.

The scheme involved using a phony letterhead and setting up a phone line that gave clients the illusion they were calling an agent for Hartford Underwriters Insurance Co. In reality, callers were talking to a machine at the PEOs’ offices in San Antonio and the PEOs gave clients fake Hartford certificates of liability insurance, the plea agreement states. Hartford had no knowledge of it.

Pircher who has not been charged bought a 551-acre horse-training ranch called Paradise Farms in Medina County with money from United Capital Investment Group, one of the professional employer organization companies named in the current fraud case. He also used money from other PEOs he managed to help pay the $1.2 million restitution of his 1990s criminal case, according to court records.

Prosecutors have said the clients of the PEOs would not be on the hook for the tax losses.

NAPEO, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, should be making greater efforts to protect business owners and their employees from unscrupulous operators who treat clients’ payroll tax payments and insurance premiums as their own. Unfortunately, over 95% of employee leasing companies and professional employer organizations are private companies who disclose little or no information about their operations. Rating agencies such as A.M. Best and S & P do not follow or report on the soundness of individual companies or the industry as a whole. Let the buyer beware, do your due diligence or work with professionals who know the industry.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Guilty-plea-in-70-million-fraud-case-in-S-A-2251031.php#ixzz1cjTRlIBi

Saturday
Oct012011

Entrepreneurs and Professional Employer Organizations

It’s All About Building Winning Teams

You may think that this is a bold statement, but the reality is that most entrepreneurs achieve success not because they are visionaries, although many are, but because they are intensely focused on doing what they do best. In an earlier blog “No Man is an Island”, I explain how achieving one’s goal of launching a new concept, product or service requires diverse talents and experience that no single person can master.

Jeff Stibel, author of “Wired for Thought” in his article “Entrepreneurship is a Disease” published in the Harvard Business Review Blog offers this observation “What makes some entrepreneurs successful is the same thing that makes others successful: relying on strengths and avoiding weaknesses”.

“To be sure, entrepreneurs have an upper hand (or at least I like to think so): the energy level is higher, the confidence level is higher, and with time, entrepreneurs have a higher tendency to acquire subject-matter expertise. But success comes not from those things alone, but by leveraging core competencies. What makes me successful (sometimes) is that I combine my entrepreneurism with my strengths in taking calculated risks, decision making, and building teams of people I admire.”

So what does this have to do with entrepreneurs and professional employer organizations? Building a great team of dedicated and talented people often requires a structure that involves employees. With the advances in technology, these teams can involve people not only with vastly different backgrounds and skills, but located in different states across the country, or even other countries around the globe. As we know, administering any staff of exceptional people presents employers with a wide range of issues daily. Learn more in our video “Employees Are A Strange Animal”.

Leveraging Core Competencies

Entrepreneurs and small business owners shouldn’t be expected to know all the intricacies’ involved with employee compensation and payroll tax administration. Don’t expect them to stay abreast of changes in government regulations, employment practices and HR compliance issues. Business leaders can’t waste time securing workers compensation and general liability insurance, or developing a comprehensive employee benefits plan that enables their firm to attract and retain the valuable talent required to ensure success. Successful entrepreneurs outsource these functions to comprehensive HR outsourcing companies called professional employer organizations.

Many entrepreneurs engage the services of companies like ADP Totalsource, Alphastaff HR, Insperity and TriNet. These companies provide small and growing firms with a “turn-key” package of payroll administration, HR compliance, risk management, and a Fortune 500 employee benefits package for all of their employees. Professional employer organizations allow small business owners to eliminate multiple vendors, gain expertise and streamline HR operations; reduce exposure by minimizing costly mistakes, transferring risk and liability. These are only a few of the advantages that enable small business owners and entrepreneurs to save time and money. The most important benefit of outsourcing HR administration is it allows busy executives and entrepreneurs to focus their attention on what they do best …..

Building a winning team.

Sunday
Sep042011

Find a Professional Employer Organization at PEO.com

Leading Website to Locate PEOs and Employee Leasing Companies

Are you a small business owner or busy executive searching for assistance with managing your employee administration, benefits, and HR compliance responsibilities? Discovering the right solution has never been easier. Today, help finding an employee leasing or professional employer company is just a click away. Just type PEO on Google, Bing, Yahoo or your favorite search engine. Usually PEO.com appears first or second in the natural search, testimony to the site’s authority, content, and duration.

Click on the logo above to go the the PEO.com website  

The website is the brainchild of industry veteran and visionary Rod Diekema, who developed and launched PEO.com in 1997. The interface has changed over the years, with each new version contributing to an easy and safe user experience for the busy HR manager or business owner. Vistors to the site are treated to a soft and welcoming home page which offers the choice of searching for an HR outsourcing company by location or keyword. Trying to find local employee leasing companies in your state? Simply scroll down and pick the city nearest you.

Does your company require the services of a large national professional employer?  A search of PEO.com’s extensive database reveals Accord HR headquarted in Oklahoma City, OK has offices in Littleton, CO, New York and Syracuse, NY, Tampa, FL, and Tulsa OK. Boise, ID based Employers Resource serves clients with offices located from Anaheim CA, Atlanta, GA, to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Tx.

Maybe your the owner of a  small family business who is looking for a local “hands-on” HR company to relieve you of your payroll, HR administration, and employee benefit problems? High touch, high service professional employers like St. Louis, MO based Simploy HR or Employee Capital Management serving Michican and Illinois can be found with the click of a mouse.

Don’t take my word for it. Find an employee leasing firm or professional employer company that is right for you at PEO.com today. Not sure which types of PEO or HR organization is right for you? No problem. Knowledgeable PEO consultants and industry veterans are available to advise you of all your HR outsourcing options, and will help you find the best personnel management company for your company.

Wednesday
Aug242011

Why Employee Leasing and PEOs Are Dropping Risky Clients

Workers’ Compensation Markets Reported to be Shrinking

P & C insurance agents and employee leasing brokers will tell you that rates for workers compensation coverage have been the lowest on record for almost a decade. Work comp rates remain low in almost every state and occupation across the country. Much of the decrease in premiums was the result of a robust economy, spearheaded by a housing boom that led to record employment in the construction industry.

Insurers and employee leasing companies who specialize in construction and the building trades received billions in premiums. Powerful business associations lobbied state representatives to eliminate abuses to the system. Regulations passed to address tort reform were starting to take effect by reducing the frequency of WC claims filings and payment amounts.

While lower workers comp premiums is great news for business owners in general, and particularly for companies who employ workers in high risk jobs. This is not the case for workers compensation insurers, employee leasing companies and professional employer organizations that cover the risk when employees suffer an occupational injury.

In 2010, NCCI President and CEO Steve Klingel was quoted as saying “Today, the workers compensation industry faces a number of difficulties that will confront market stakeholders in the weeks and months to come.” Those difficulties include poor underwriting results, declining premiums, healthcare reform uncertainty, and now, an uptick in claim frequency added NNCI Chief Actuary Dennis Mealy.

Workers’ compensation insurance companies acknowledge that their costs continue to rise as premiums decline, according to a recent report released by the National Academy of Social Insurance. The drastic drop-off in workers’ being covered reflects the heavy impact the recession had on employment in the construction industry. According to the report, construction industry employment suffered a 19% drop making it the “hardest hit industry” between 2008 and 2009. Total cash benefits to injured workers and medical payments for their health care were $58.3 billion in 2009 compared to $58.1 billion in 2008, an increase of 0.4%.

What does this mean for business owners in construction, manufacturing, property maintenance, trucking and warehousing, and green companies involved in solar, water and wind energy production? Count on your operating costs for labor and personnel management to increase. Investments in risk avoidance, control, and risk management systems will pay dividends almost immediately. Implementing policies and procedures that enhance healthy and safe worksites create an environment which promotes greater job satisfaction, production, and employee and contractor retention.

If your current employee leasing company, professional employer organization, or workers’ compensation carrier is increasing rates, has given you notice of termination, or service is non existent, all is not lost. There are still many options available in the marketplace for blue collar and high risk occupations. Like many things in life, you just have to know where to look.

 

Friday
Aug052011

Small Business Payroll Grows in July - Intuit Small Biz Index

Intuit’s Small Business Index Shows Increase in Hours and Compensation

Intuit, developers of the popular accounting software program QuickBooks®, is also the nation’s leading provider of online payroll administration and processing for small business owners. Intuit has a wealth of information about small business employment serving more than 1 million small business payroll customers.

Intuit launched their Small Business Employment Index to provide a unique view into small business employment trends. Their index is one of the few to compile employment statistics for companies with fewer than 20 employees, which represent 87 percent of all U.S. employer firms and employ nearly 20 million people.

Small business employers added 50,000 people to their payroll and significantly increased both hours worked and compensation. Small business hourly employees worked an average of 110.2 hours in July, making for a 25.4-hour workweek. This is a 0.7 percent increase from the revised June figure of 109.5 hours.

Click on this link http://www.intuitinc.com/payrollindex to read the entire report.

Is this report a clear indicator of things to come? Small business owners and entrepreneurs across America struggle to grow their business, and contribute to revitalizing our economy. Like the red locomotive in the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could”, small business remains this nation’s only hope for a recovery. Small businesses are truly the builders of our economic wealth.

Unfortunately, our government and multinational corporations are selling us short. In the last month large corporations like Boeing, Cisco, Merck, RIM, as well as state and local governments reported layoffs in June of more than 140,000 employees. The news reports of the last week have never been grimmer. Growth in the last two quarters averaged less than 1 percent. Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded the AAA rating on America’s debt, flaming the fears of a global “double dip” recession.

Politicians continue to fiddle while Rome burns. History has shown that when true adversity strikes, America rises to the challenge. One of this country’s most loved and respected leaders said in an address “When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity”. That was in 1959 by soon to be President John Fitzgerald Kennedy to voters in Indianapolis.

In his 1961 inaugural address, President Kennedy gave his famous speech challenging Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you — Ask what you can do for your country”. He continued “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the feedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deed, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing here God’s work must truly be our own”.

Pray for our leaders to come together …. history is watching.

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