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This blog was written by Wade Goins, CEO & Co-Founder of Kurensē.

When it comes to payroll, speed and efficiency are key. Traditional paper payroll checks cost employers a lot of time and money, and they can open the door to fraud via stolen routing and account numbers. They are also inconvenient and slow for employees to get their pay.

Electronic payroll removes much of the headache traditional paper payroll causes. It’s much simpler to administer, and payroll is typically processed via direct deposit to the employee’s bank account. But this isn’t the complete solution: A significant number of employees don’t have a bank account. According to the FDIC, 8.4 million households are “unbanked”¹, meaning they don’t have a bank account with which they can receive direct deposit.

To retain the benefits of electronic payroll while addressing the significant number of unbanked employees, many HR service providers are deciding to offer paycards as another payroll vehicle. Paycards allow them to deposit an employee’s earnings into a debit card in the same way they would do a direct deposit, and the employee can then access their funds via the debit card, rather than through a bank.

While this seems like an obvious solution for an HR service provider, it’s important to know that there is a wide variety of paycard vendors, and their offerings can be distinctly different with varying degrees of benefits. There are 3 aspects to a paycard offering that an HR service provider should pay close attention to:

Can you reverse deposit?

Any HR service provider is familiar with the less-than-efficient process where SMB clients must communicate employee hours worked to the HR service provider so payroll can be issued. Often the hours are reported at the last minute, and often clients will neglect to inform their service provider of employee status changes. This can often result in payroll errors which require a reversal of deposit. This is achievable with direct deposit into a bank account, but many paycard vendors will not allow a reverse deposit. So the HR service provider is left to try to recoup funds by deducting from a future paycheck, something very cumbersome and only possible if the employee hasn’t been terminated.

HR service providers should inquire of any paycard vendor whether they allow reverse deposit, which will avoid significant hassle down the road.

How easy is the employee set-up process?

Issuing paycards to employees requires a lot of numerical data to be entered into the payroll system. If this is entered manually, human error is almost guaranteed, often resulting in employees not receiving their pay because the paycard was set up incorrectly. That of course is a huge headache for HR service providers, as they have to field all the unhappy employee calls that result, in addition to quickly fixing the error.

Some paycard vendors provide automated ways to set up employees with paycards, such as barcode scanning systems that allow the HR service provider to simply point and scan the card and the employee information and have it brought into the payroll system automatically. This dramatically decreases data entry errors and thus far fewer unhappy employee phone calls for the HR service provider to field

Be sure to ask your paycard vendor if they have an electronic process for setting up employees with paycards.

Do you have visibility into the status of all your paycards?

When an HR service provider issues a large amount of paycards, it can easily get very complicated keeping track of things like which cards have been activated and which ones haven’t. If the service provider is forced to call the paycard vendor every time they need to know the status of a paycard, that is of course very inefficient. And it also results in frustrated employees, because usually the issue involves an employee not getting paid on time, something that needs to be addressed urgently by the HR service provider.

Some paycard vendors provide HR service providers visibility into all their paycards via an administrative portal, and such a portal should definitely be on the list of “must haves” when evaluating paycard vendors.

Overall, offering paycards as another payment vehicle is a real plus for HR service providers and their clients. But as with anything, there’s the right way to offer it and the wrong way. The wrong way could make paycards more of a headache than before they were even offered. Conversely, the right way can bring a huge sigh of relief to HR service providers, their clients, and their employees. Do your research and be sure you do it right the first time.

Learn more about the Kurensē paycard solution on its PrismHR marketplace page.

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A new client runs its first pay card payroll but the ACH comes back as “insufficient funds”—and the client is nowhere to be found.

A second client runs two unexceptional small payrolls before telling you they just signed a big customer which requires 40 immediate new hires to handle the additional business. They also need to pay the new employees on pay cards. The next payroll bounces.

These are two examples of actual schemes targeting HROs. Recently, there has been an increased number of reported fraud attempts like these across the entire payroll industry. What’s more disconcerting is that you can be vulnerable even if a prospective client satisfies standard security requirements, such as providing an FEIN and passing a credit check (as was the case in the first scenario above).

As PrismHR joins industry leaders like NAPEO (recent report: The Pillars of Cybersecurity for PEOs) in monitoring these developments, we want to make sure you are aware of resources to help you keep your data and platform access secure while mitigating risk. Because the security of the platform—and the client data that resides in it—is our highest priority.

6 Ways to Safeguard Your HRO from Payroll Fraud 1. Use authentication services

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) offers an additional layer of security to verify a user’s identity and prevent unauthorized access. In PrismHR, your organization can enable MFA at the system, client, or user level. Ensure that MFA is enabled for all users who have access to the payroll system.

2. Get alerts when ACH data changes using PrismHR Pulse

Set up an email notification that alerts worksite employees any time their direct deposit information changes. This gives the employee an opportunity to contact you immediately if they did not authorize the change, and allows you to be more proactive about identifying potential issues.

3. Enforce strong passwords

A strong password is the foundation of system security. By default, PrismHR requests upper and lower case letters, one numeric character, and must be at least 8 characters long. You can encourage or even require your users to change passwords periodically. For help with passwords, use a password-generation resource such as strongpasswordgenerator.com and a password management solution such as lastpass.com.

4. Restrict user access

Limit individual user access to specific Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or a range of addresses. For example, you may require office employees to be logged into your corporate network to gain access to PrismHR, while manually authorizing the individual IP addresses of remote workers’ home networks. By restricting the networks with access to PrismHR, it’s much more difficult for an unauthorized user to gain entry to the system.

5. Run audit reports

PrismHR has robust reporting features that can help tip you off to suspicious activity. Look for an unusual number of changes, or for account/transit numbers that are the same or very similar. Confirm that any changes are accurate. Additionally, PrismHR recommends a review of all ACH audit records, ideally right before the ACH files are transmitted. This will confirm that nothing was altered during the business day. Fraudulent fund transfers are typically initiated and tested in small amounts just before a large sum is removed from the system. Even one change that was not authorized can indicate a vulnerability.

6. Be vigilant and suspicious

Train everyone who touches the systems (e.g., service providers, worksite users) on security best practices. Educate your users to be wary of emails with embedded links or attachments of any kind. While they may look legitimate, clicking a link or attachment can hand over access to your computer to hackers. Phishing efforts often include requests for account credentials from what appears to be a co-worker. Once a hacker has access to your computer, all your stored passwords may be available.

3 Characteristics of a Fraudulent Client

How do you spot a potential payroll scheme? Based on reports, a fraudulent client could have some or all of the following characteristics:

  1. You have never met the client in person and have only communicated with them by phone or email.
  2. The client may get agitated when an in-person meeting is requested.
  3. The client may be “in a hurry,” “simple to set up” and impatient during the onboarding process, and/or push back aggressively on wire transfers for funding.

Please be on alert that this type of activity is occurring and educate your teams. If you have experienced payroll fraud, notify your local/state/federal law enforcement agencies.

PrismHR customers can download the PrismHR Security Best Practices Guide which contains guidelines for safeguarding ACH, direct deposit and banking information for clients and worksite employees.

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What are the qualities of top-performing sales organizations? For one, they work efficiently. Those administrative and other non-selling tasks that nibble away at the day get cleared off their plate as much as possible. But ensuring time is spent productively takes more than delegating lower-value tasks. It’s also minimizing wasted effort by focusing on the right buyers with the right message. And it’s about speed. You need to get new hires up and running quickly, and help each individual salesperson maintain velocity through each stage in the sales process.

Whether you’re starting your sales organization from the foundation or looking to rehab a fixer upper, John G. Allen, Executive Vice President of Sales at G&A Partners, outlines a step-by-step guide to building a high-performance team that is productive and efficient.

Step 1 — Start simple

Make a list of all the things that you need to do to have a top-notch sales team, and prioritize the items based on the greatest immediate impact. Typically, a lot of smaller PEOs get so overwhelmed with everything they have to do to scale a sales team. They get stuck, do nothing, or they attempt to do a lot of things without a focused effort. First, you need to find a sales leader that demonstrates both the ability to prospect and sell, but also has the vision and the capabilities to scale a sales organization. Before anything else, you need someone that will lead the effort.

Step 2 — Track sales performance analytics

Identify a system that’s going to help you track your opportunities, the activity associated with those opportunities, and the activity associated with your sales reps. It also must provide you with visibility into those analytics as a sales leader, and the ability to customize and share dashboards so performance metrics can be shared with internal stakeholders.

Step 3 — Product and positioning

It’s one thing to have a sales team, it’s another thing to make sure you have something that you can actually sell at a high volume. Look at what you’re selling and determine whether or not you have the right product and positioning that will resonate in the market. For example, if you go to a certain market where you don’t have a master health plan and your comp policy doesn’t resonate, it just got a whole lot harder for you to get in the door.

Step 4 — Define your sales process

Make sure that you have the basic processes down from a sales standpoint, where you can say, “We have a way to identify leads and call on those leads. Once there’s an appointment set we have collateral and talk tracks that we can use when speaking with a prospect. We also have a professional looking proposal that touches on the important aspects and is clear and concise.” Make sure you have these items and a defined process for sales reps so that when you start hiring new people they know exactly how to follow it.

Step 5 — Design a training program

You need to ensure that your people are getting trained on the basics, because there’s nothing worse than hiring someone and then finding out three months later that they’ve never received the training and you’re left dealing with (or replacing) a low performer.

Download How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process

This article is excerpted from the PrismHR eBook, How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process.

Read Full Article
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When it comes to changing the habits and processes of a sales operation, there are no overnight successes. It starts with a vision and a commitment by your organization to work incrementally toward a goal. In the case of G&A Partners, the evolution of the sales process occurred over the course of a few years—and it will continue to be refined as the company grows and the marketplace continues to mature. So what was G&A’s blueprint for building more efficiency and consistency into their sales process? John G. Allen, Executive Vice President of Sales at G&A, outlines the six steps the organization took to build a foundation for success.

Step 1 — Contact & Opportunity Management

Getting all of your account contacts, leads, and opportunities into a CRM system gives you visibility into who those individuals are. It’s the first step to creating a more efficient system for managing sales activity while improving collaboration across your entire organization. However, it’s important to remember that this is an ongoing process. Keeping your data clean, consistent and complete is challenging, but it’s an investment that will yield high quality insight to help you accelerate your success and reduce delays in the sales process.

Step 2 — Task Tracking

Setting up task tracking gives you visibility into activity levels for each of your sales reps and across the entire team. But first you need to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will measure to assess the effectiveness of your sales organization. The challenge is there are dozens of sales metrics you can measure. You might start with some basics around activity level per rep, monthly sales vs. target, and average sales cycle. (See Part 3 for more about measuring performance metrics.) By aligning tasks with KPIs, you reinforce the desired behaviors (e.g., call volume, meetings), create greater accountability, and begin to collect data that can be analyzed to identify trends between activities and closed deals.

Step 3 — Pipeline Visibility

You need a real-time view of each opportunity in the pipeline, from early stage (initial meetings) to late stage (proposal and negotiation). This helps you create more accurate revenue projections, understand your conversion rates at each stage, and home in on where to focus your efforts. It’s also critical that sales reps have access to their performance metrics as well as regularly scheduled pipeline reviews with their manager.

Step 4 — Dashboard Creation

Dashboards allow you to get snapshots of the data you want to see on a consistent basis to help you manage salespeople and their activities. The data available in sales management software can get deep, and repeatedly running reports can cause confusion and slow you down. Customizing a dashboard with your need-to-know information helps you and your executive team get the answers they need quickly, and the data will be there if you ever need to drill down for more detail.

Step 5 — Data Analysis

Now that you’re tracking activity and have access to this information, you can start tracking individual data points like closed deals by industry or referral source, as well as advancement ratios and close ratios by lead source or industry. That way you can go even deeper and offer data-driven guidance to sales reps. For example, you may decide not to focus on an industry because it has a long lead time or a history of not closing as successfully. Your analysis can also inform higher-level sales strategy as you think about defining your target market (see Part 1) and focusing sales resources on more profitable opportunities.

Step 6 — Process Integration

The final step is taking your process and integrating it with other sales enablement tools to help you become even more efficient. Those technologies need to map to steps in your sales process—and communicate with each other—to increase speed and insight. If the technology is too disconnected from each other or your process, it can slow down your sales team and have a negative impact on productivity. Allen explains that a turning point for G&A was hiring a dedicated resource to manage the organization’s sales enablement tools. “Many small PEOs can’t afford to hire this position, but if you have your sales leadership managing your CRM, you’re not going to take it to the next level. We hired someone to manage our sales enablement tools that came with the specific skill set.”

Download How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process

This article is excerpted from the PrismHR eBook, How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process.

Read Full Article
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Every quarter, PrismHR publishes a Products & Services Update to inform customers of the many developments that occur each quarter relating to product updates, new partnerships, customer support initiatives, and lots more. It’s a great way to see the sheer volume of activity that goes on at PrismHR to ensure constant improvement in products, services, and support that help HR service providers expand and strengthen their own businesses. Note: If you’re a PrismHR customer, be sure to check your email to get your customer access to the Q3 2018 Products & Services Update.

Here’s an excerpt of what was just published to PrismHR customers about Q3 2018:

Take a look at the Products & Services Update by clicking on any of the topics below:

NEW PRODUCTS & FEATURES
PrismHR Onboarding Business Rules & Form Sets

There’s been a lot of excitement about PrismHR Onboarding since it was announced in June, and we’re pleased to announce some key new features.

The new Business Rules Library allows you to create a variety of business rules that ensure the correct forms are shown to the correct set of employees. You can create global business rules that apply to all your clients or client business rules that apply to a subset of clients.

The new Form Sets allow you to group your forms for easy organization, such as creating a group of all your clients’ handbooks.

Benefits Enrollment Life Events Enhancements & More

In Q2 2018, Life Events functionality was launched with very positive response from customers. With the Q3 release, Life Events is even better with enhancements like allowing employees to upload life event documents, life event workflow types being added to the dashboard and reports, and the addition of all life and disability offer types.

In addition, you now have the ability in Benefits Enrollment to email confirmation statements, post disabilities that require Evidence of Insurability with visibility to the GI overage, and allow flexible spending plan eligibility to vary by benefit group.

Employee Portal PTO Approvals

Manager PTO Approvals are now available in the Employee Portal. Using the new PTO approval dashboard widget and overview page, client managers can now easily and quickly approve time off requests right in the Employee Portal where they perform actions as employees themselves. It’s all in one convenient place.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES

In addition to the new product updates mentioned, PrismHR also released a wide range of other product updates, enhancements and fixes throughout Q3 that you can find summarized below.

Which Product Updates Matter to You?
Benefits

Benefits Enrollment releases included many enhancements to Life Events and emailing employee confirmation statements. PrismHR releases give you new one time HSA match feature code in system parameters and new special option in group benefit plans. The Employee Portal release includes employer benefit contributions.

Payroll

PrismHR updates include the payroll retirement contributions report feature, mass change to employee pay groups, new payroll version of gross-to-net-register report, and new employee pay rate report.

Risk/Tax/Finance

The PrismHR releases include workers compensation report, G/L accounting features, and G/L template and chart of account maintenance.

Implementation

The PrismHR releases include mass change to employee pay groups, alert for approvals pending on payrolls, and custom email template for invoices. Benefits Enrollment releases include Life Events enhancements such as allow employees to upload required documents. PrismHR Onboarding includes business rules library and form sets. Employee Portal releases include ability to approve or deny an employee PTO requests.

HR

PrismHR releases include new payroll version of gross-to-net register report, prorate new hire hours, conditional rules panel on pay codes form, and report class information updated in payroll and client reports.

IT

PrismHR releases include field security added to payroll versions of reports, manager users listed in client security, alert for approvals pending on payrolls, and custom email template for invoices. The Benefits Enrollment releases include new substitution variables, and download functionality added to benefits enrollment trade. PrismHR Onboarding includes export dashboard data and New York wage PDF mapping. The Employee Portal releases include single sign-on menu, field-level security, show or hide password, and user experience improvement in themes.

COMPLIANCE
W4

In June, the IRS released a proposed new W4, aimed at establishing a withholding paradigm that aligned better with the income tax code alterations from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Initially, these changes were pegged for finalization by January 2019. However, after significant payroll industry pushback, the IRS recently pulled back the reins on these changes, delaying implementation until 2020. You can read more from the IRS here.

The Employee Portal team is targeting mid 2019 for functionality that will allow employees to complete / update their W4s via the portal, post onboarding. This will streamline and simplify the process in time for what may be a surge of existing employees looking to make an update using the new format.

PARTNERSHIPS
New Partnership between PrismHR and Kurensē

PrismHR is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kurensē, a leading financial payments technology company that provides HR service providers a no-cost payroll card solution that’s easy for clients to implement. This new partnership will make it easy for PrismHR customers to streamline delivery of payments and reduce payroll costs while offering employees a faster, more convenient way to receive their pay.

PRISMHR LIVE

PrismHR LIVE is the HR service provider industry’s biggest technology conference. Hundreds of PEO and ASO leaders will convene in Boston, June 17-20 2019.

Customer Support
Year-End Webinar

To help you prepare for year-end processing, we will offer a webinar to review best practices for setting up and processing W-2s and 1099s, and to provide tips on troubleshooting common issues. Anyone is welcome to attend, whether you’ve never processed W-2s and 1099s in HRP or PrismHR or even if you’re just looking looking to dust off those skills from prior years. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Initializing Employee W-2 Forms and 1099s
  • Reporting W-2 Boxes, including Benefits
  • Balancing and auditing W-2 and 1099s
  • Making adjustments to W-2s
  • Ordering W-2 forms
  • Printing and aligning W-2 forms
  • Creating EFW2 Files
Sales & Marketing

The PrismHR SEEDS program gives you sales and marketing resources to help make it easier to market and sell PrismHR technology.

The latest resources in SEEDS:

A New Way to Demo

Tired of setting up and logging into your demo accounts for quick prospect demos? There’s an easier way to show the PrismHR technology that powers your services. The Clickable Demo makes it easy to show prospective customers employee and manager functionality without ever needing to login to the platform.

Employee Portal Resources

Has your organization upgraded to the new Employee Portal? If you need help getting the process started, be sure to check out the Employee Portal section in the product area of the quarterly update. The resources in SEEDS can help you show clients the value of the new employee and manager technology. And, once you move to the Employee Portal, you can take advantage of the employee experience video.

“Creating a Great Employee Experience” Video

Providing a great employee experience is more important than ever. With this new video resource, you can show prospective clients how your technology and services can enhance their employees’ experience while alleviating many of their HR-related challenges.

Events

PrismHR attended key NAPEO events in Q3:

CFO Seminar

July 11-13, 2018
Chicago, Il

PrismHR attended CFO Seminar and presented at the Technology Showcase. The Technology Showcase was a new program this year and PrismHR presented on what’s new in PrismHR technology.

Annual Conference & Marketplace

September 5-7, 2018
Phoenix, AZ

This year’s event provided many educational sessions and networking time in the Marketplace.

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When it comes to changing the habits and processes of a sales operation, there are no overnight successes. It starts with a vision and a commitment by your organization to work incrementally toward a goal. In the case of G&A Partners, the evolution of the sales process occurred over the course of a few years—and it will continue to be refined as the company grows and the marketplace continues to mature. So what was G&A’s blueprint for building more efficiency and consistency into their sales process? John G. Allen, Executive Vice President of Sales at G&A, outlines the six steps the organization took to build a foundation for success.

Step 1 — Contact & Opportunity Management

Getting all of your account contacts, leads, and opportunities into a CRM system gives you visibility into who those individuals are. It’s the first step to creating a more efficient system for managing sales activity while improving collaboration across your entire organization. However, it’s important to remember that this is an ongoing process. Keeping your data clean, consistent and complete is challenging, but it’s an investment that will yield high quality insight to help you accelerate your success and reduce delays in the sales process.

Step 2 — Task Tracking

Setting up task tracking gives you visibility into activity levels for each of your sales reps and across the entire team. But first you need to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will measure to assess the effectiveness of your sales organization. The challenge is there are dozens of sales metrics you can measure. You might start with some basics around activity level per rep, monthly sales vs. target, and average sales cycle. (See Part 3 for more about measuring performance metrics.) By aligning tasks with KPIs, you reinforce the desired behaviors (e.g., call volume, meetings), create greater accountability, and begin to collect data that can be analyzed to identify trends between activities and closed deals.

Step 3 — Pipeline Visibility

You need a real-time view of each opportunity in the pipeline, from early stage (initial meetings) to late stage (proposal and negotiation). This helps you create more accurate revenue projections, understand your conversion rates at each stage, and home in on where to focus your efforts. It’s also critical that sales reps have access to their performance metrics as well as regularly scheduled pipeline reviews with their manager.

Step 4 — Dashboard Creation

Dashboards allow you to get snapshots of the data you want to see on a consistent basis to help you manage salespeople and their activities. The data available in sales management software can get deep, and repeatedly running reports can cause confusion and slow you down. Customizing a dashboard with your need-to-know information helps you and your executive team get the answers they need quickly, and the data will be there if you ever need to drill down for more detail.

Step 5 — Data Analysis

Now that you’re tracking activity and have access to this information, you can start tracking individual data points like closed deals by industry or referral source, as well as advancement ratios and close ratios by lead source or industry. That way you can go even deeper and offer data-driven guidance to sales reps. For example, you may decide not to focus on an industry because it has a long lead time or a history of not closing as successfully. Your analysis can also inform higher-level sales strategy as you think about defining your target market (see Part 1) and focusing sales resources on more profitable opportunities.

Step 6 — Process Integration

The final step is taking your process and integrating it with other sales enablement tools to help you become even more efficient. Those technologies need to map to steps in your sales process—and communicate with each other—to increase speed and insight. If the technology is too disconnected from each other or your process, it can slow down your sales team and have a negative impact on productivity. Allen explains that a turning point for G&A was hiring a dedicated resource to manage the organization’s sales enablement tools. “Many small PEOs can’t afford to hire this position, but if you have your sales leadership managing your CRM, you’re not going to take it to the next level. We hired someone to manage our sales enablement tools that came with the specific skill set.”

Download How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process

This article is excerpted from the PrismHR eBook, How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Every quarter, PrismHR publishes a Products & Services Update to inform customers of the many developments that occur each quarter relating to product updates, new partnerships, customer support initiatives, and lots more. It’s a great way to see the sheer volume of activity that goes on at PrismHR to ensure constant improvement in products, services, and support that help HR service providers expand and strengthen their own businesses. Note: If you’re a PrismHR customer, be sure to check your email to get your customer access to the Q3 2018 Products & Services Update.

Here’s an excerpt of what was just published to PrismHR customers about Q3 2018:

Take a look at the Products & Services Update by clicking on any of the topics below:

NEW PRODUCTS & FEATURES
PrismHR Onboarding Business Rules & Form Sets

There’s been a lot of excitement about PrismHR Onboarding since it was announced in June, and we’re pleased to announce some key new features.

The new Business Rules Library allows you to create a variety of business rules that ensure the correct forms are shown to the correct set of employees. You can create global business rules that apply to all your clients or client business rules that apply to a subset of clients.

The new Form Sets allow you to group your forms for easy organization, such as creating a group of all your clients’ handbooks.

Benefits Enrollment Life Events Enhancements & More

In Q2 2018, Life Events functionality was launched with very positive response from customers. With the Q3 release, Life Events is even better with enhancements like allowing employees to upload life event documents, life event workflow types being added to the dashboard and reports, and the addition of all life and disability offer types.

In addition, you now have the ability in Benefits Enrollment to email confirmation statements, post disabilities that require Evidence of Insurability with visibility to the GI overage, and allow flexible spending plan eligibility to vary by benefit group.

Employee Portal PTO Approvals

Manager PTO Approvals are now available in the Employee Portal. Using the new PTO approval dashboard widget and overview page, client managers can now easily and quickly approve time off requests right in the Employee Portal where they perform actions as employees themselves. It’s all in one convenient place.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES

In addition to the new product updates mentioned, PrismHR also released a wide range of other product updates, enhancements and fixes throughout Q3 that you can find summarized below.

Which Product Updates Matter to You?
Benefits

Benefits Enrollment releases included many enhancements to Life Events and emailing employee confirmation statements. PrismHR releases give you new one time HSA match feature code in system parameters and new special option in group benefit plans. The Employee Portal release includes employer benefit contributions.

Payroll

PrismHR updates include the payroll retirement contributions report feature, mass change to employee pay groups, new payroll version of gross-to-net-register report, and new employee pay rate report.

Risk/Tax/Finance

The PrismHR releases include workers compensation report, G/L accounting features, and G/L template and chart of account maintenance.

Implementation

The PrismHR releases include mass change to employee pay groups, alert for approvals pending on payrolls, and custom email template for invoices. Benefits Enrollment releases include Life Events enhancements such as allow employees to upload required documents. PrismHR Onboarding includes business rules library and form sets. Employee Portal releases include ability to approve or deny an employee PTO requests.

HR

PrismHR releases include new payroll version of gross-to-net register report, prorate new hire hours, conditional rules panel on pay codes form, and report class information updated in payroll and client reports.

IT

PrismHR releases include field security added to payroll versions of reports, manager users listed in client security, alert for approvals pending on payrolls, and custom email template for invoices. The Benefits Enrollment releases include new substitution variables, and download functionality added to benefits enrollment trade. PrismHR Onboarding includes export dashboard data and New York wage PDF mapping. The Employee Portal releases include single sign-on menu, field-level security, show or hide password, and user experience improvement in themes.

COMPLIANCE
W4

In June, the IRS released a proposed new W4, aimed at establishing a withholding paradigm that aligned better with the income tax code alterations from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Initially, these changes were pegged for finalization by January 2019. However, after significant payroll industry pushback, the IRS recently pulled back the reins on these changes, delaying implementation until 2020. You can read more from the IRS here.

The Employee Portal team is targeting mid 2019 for functionality that will allow employees to complete / update their W4s via the portal, post onboarding. This will streamline and simplify the process in time for what may be a surge of existing employees looking to make an update using the new format.

PARTNERSHIPS
New Partnership between PrismHR and Kurensē

PrismHR is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kurensē, a leading financial payments technology company that provides HR service providers a no-cost payroll card solution that’s easy for clients to implement. This new partnership will make it easy for PrismHR customers to streamline delivery of payments and reduce payroll costs while offering employees a faster, more convenient way to receive their pay.

PRISMHR LIVE

PrismHR LIVE is the HR service provider industry’s biggest technology conference. Hundreds of PEO and ASO leaders will convene in Boston, June 17-20 2019.

Customer Support
Year-End Webinar

To help you prepare for year-end processing, we will offer a webinar to review best practices for setting up and processing W-2s and 1099s, and to provide tips on troubleshooting common issues. Anyone is welcome to attend, whether you’ve never processed W-2s and 1099s in HRP or PrismHR or even if you’re just looking looking to dust off those skills from prior years. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Initializing Employee W-2 Forms and 1099s
  • Reporting W-2 Boxes, including Benefits
  • Balancing and auditing W-2 and 1099s
  • Making adjustments to W-2s
  • Ordering W-2 forms
  • Printing and aligning W-2 forms
  • Creating EFW2 Files
Sales & Marketing

The PrismHR SEEDS program gives you sales and marketing resources to help make it easier to market and sell PrismHR technology.

The latest resources in SEEDS:

A New Way to Demo

Tired of setting up and logging into your demo accounts for quick prospect demos? There’s an easier way to show the PrismHR technology that powers your services. The Clickable Demo makes it easy to show prospective customers employee and manager functionality without ever needing to login to the platform.

Employee Portal Resources

Has your organization upgraded to the new Employee Portal? If you need help getting the process started, be sure to check out the Employee Portal section in the product area of the quarterly update. The resources in SEEDS can help you show clients the value of the new employee and manager technology. And, once you move to the Employee Portal, you can take advantage of the employee experience video.

“Creating a Great Employee Experience” Video

Providing a great employee experience is more important than ever. With this new video resource, you can show prospective clients how your technology and services can enhance their employees’ experience while alleviating many of their HR-related challenges.

Events

PrismHR attended key NAPEO events in Q3:

CFO Seminar

July 11-13, 2018
Chicago, Il

PrismHR attended CFO Seminar and presented at the Technology Showcase. The Technology Showcase was a new program this year and PrismHR presented on what’s new in PrismHR technology.

Annual Conference & Marketplace

September 5-7, 2018
Phoenix, AZ

This year’s event provided many educational sessions and networking time in the Marketplace.

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The experience walking in a HR tech buyer’s shoes at the HR Technology Conference & Expo in Las Vegas was emotionally and physically exhausting. Nearly 450 vendors spread across the massive expo hall. Up and down the (fifteen!) rows I went, the slick-branded booths and eager faces behind them blurring together. I think it’s safe to say any Fitbit-wearing attendees closed in on their personal bests during the event.

My first impression: this is all a bit overwhelming. And I’m not the only one. In the buyer panels I attended, I heard the same sentiment about trying to navigate the HR tech marketplace. That’s not to say some vendors didn’t create interesting experiences and stand out (one comes to mind which I’ll explain later), but as Josh Bersin said in his keynote at the InfluenceHR event earlier in the week, “HR buyers are totally baffled, they’re not tech analysts.”

The good news is there is more demand than ever for HR technology and outsourcing, and there are opportunities to stand out and win business amidst the confusion. They say what happens in Vegas stays there, but after flipping through dozens of pages of notes from the events, I feel the need to share three key takeaways worth thinking about.

HR tech buyers are overwhelmed and confused—stand out with storytelling, personality and own your niche

Bersin tracks more than 7,000 vendors in 37 categories in his research on the HR Technology market. Based on those numbers, six-and-a-half percent of the market was represented in the expo center and this is what the phone directory-like exhibitor list looked like:

(Click to Enlarge)

According to Bersin, HR tech vendors look remarkably alike to buyers. On top of that, many major companies—including Facebook—have entered the marketplace, and startups are coming fast and furious. Many companies are hiring consultants to guide them through the buying process and implementations.While most SMBs don’t have the resources to hire this type of specialist, they struggle with the same level of overwhelm and confusion. It’s an opportunity for you to be that consultative business advisor, and use diagnostic selling to build rapport and help them identify their ideal solution.

Bersin warns there is no perfect fit between vendor and buyer today, and advises HR teams to “buy what you need and expect to throw some of it away in a few years. The market hasn’t yet consolidated and there is a good chance the vendor you choose today may be acquired and you’ll need to deal with [a technology reconfiguration] then.”

So how can you give buyers confidence and a sense of security?

Bersin says to clarify your message and position yourself well in a niche you can own. No one is successfully partnering with every type of customer, he says. Customer stories can be very effective in showing buyers what you can do for them. In fact, case studies have the highest completion rate (87%) among types of B2B sales and marketing content, according to research presented by Russ Heddleston from DocSend at InfluenceHR.

Sharing case studies are not only effective in telling your stories to customers, but also to the media. In the InfluenceHR session, “So, You Want PR?”, Andrew McIlvaine from Human Resource Executive and Lisa Holden from Entelo agreed that customer stories break through the clutter of product information that is most commonly pitched to journalists.

Buyers value relationships as much as technology
While many of the panelists represented larger companies, their HR challenges and needs share much in common with organizations of all sizes, including SMBs. We want to do business with people we like, people we trust, and people who come to the table with empathy and understanding for our unique situations.

Effectively communicating the outcomes your technology can deliver is important but don’t overlook the value of relationships. “Vendors are winning because the buyer likes the salesperson,” says Bersin. “At Bersin we have a saying: We don’t sell research, we make friends. Sales and marketing need to think about their personality.”

Bersin points to the investment Deloitte (which acquired Bersin’s agency in 2013) still makes in client dinners, face time, and relationship building even when today’s technology makes digital engagement easier and more scalable.

“You’re buying a relationship along with the technology,” says Susan Collins, Director of Talent Acquisition at Talbots, who appeared on the buyer panel, “Selecting the Right HR Technology: From Need to Implementation”.

On another buyer panel, Kelly Hoven Ortelli from Great-West Financial, advised salespeople to “work on my timeline and not yours. Understand what our business roadmap is, including where we’re at with implementing other technology.” For enterprise and SMB buyers alike, not showing empathy toward their unique situation is one surefire way to torpedo a nascent relationship.

Customer experience matters—and it starts with employees

After registering for the HR Technology Conference, my inbox was peppered with dozens of emails from vendors inviting me to stop by their booth for a demo and chance to win a voice-activated device/gift card/smart watch. (Disclaimer: I did snag a stuffed monkey and foam ninja for my three-year-old.)

One email stood out because it was unexpected and offered me something exciting without any salesy strings attached. The email said Qualtrics had assembled a group of employees to fulfill “dream requests” for each of the conference attendees. All I had to do was complete a form and they would take care of it. Some attendees asked for Starbucks, a blanket for a cold session room, or a hard-to-find charger. And Qualtrics delivered, literally.

I submitted a request on behalf of my six-year-old son who has been obsessed with rocks and gemstones for the past several months. Before my trip he said, “Daddy, did you know there’s gold in Nevada?”

Would the Qualtrics Dream Team sift through all the requests to help me find a golden souvenir for my aspiring geologist? I received a text message from a member of its team confirming they were on it. A few hours later I got a second text asking where they could meet me to fulfill my wish. Outside the expo entrance I met Allison who handed over a black bag with a smile, no questions asked.

While there wasn’t pure gold in the box, my son’s reaction surely was.

Now this looks like a campaign about delighting a customer (or prospective one), but it all starts with employees. In fact, Qualtrics delivers “dreams” through its Employee Experience Bonus, offering each employee $1,500 to have an amazing experience—no questions asked. It’s part of the culture that makes interactions like the ones I had authentic.

As you consult your SMB clients on themes such as recruiting and employee experience, a good place to start is to try to understand what motivates your employees (e.g., salary, being part of a growing company, flexibility) and why new hires choose you (and why they stay). It could give you insight into the culture and personality at their company, and how they can create those exceptional experiences for their staff and customers.

“The ‘New Normal’ changes with each new person who joins your organization and with each change you make,” says Gretchen Alarcon from Oracle.

The same can be said for each customer and employee interaction. So, how can you make those moments golden?

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Many of us have been given this sage advice, often attributed to Will Rogers, when getting ready for a significant new meeting like a job interview or a first date. Even the makers of Head and Shoulders shampoo want to be sure you pay close attention to the first experience people have of you.

While the expression might be a bit overused, the message actually has a lot of relevance in the business world, particularly when it comes to the first impression a new employee has of his or her new employer.

A positive first impression has a significant impact on employee performance and retention. A successful onboarding experience can drive employee performance up by 15%, and committed employees like that are nine times less likely to leave.¹ Losing an employee can be very expensive; when factoring in the costs of recruiting, hiring and training a new employee, the total cost averages out to about 6 – 9 months of that employee’s salary to replace him or her.² So there’s a very clear cost benefit to a positive impression held by a new employee. And that impression starts with their very first day on the job.

No One Wants the DMV Experience

To help ensure a positive first impression for your clients’ employees, it’s worth thinking about what really does create a positive (or negative) first impression. For instance, most of us have had some interaction with our state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (the dreaded “DMV” or “RMV” or similar acronym). And it’s very likely that the first impression you formed was not positive. Long waits, complicated red tape, and unfriendly service all likely contributed to your negative impression of the DMV. Compare that to an online shopping experience you’ve recently had at such a place as Amazon.com. The ease of finding what you need and purchasing it and the fast delivery all likely contributed to a positive impression, at least as it compares to your impression of the DMV.

Wouldn’t your clients want their employees to have an Amazon experience rather than a DMV experience on their new job? If their new employees’ onboarding process is cumbersome, confusing, and difficult to get through, their employer will seem more like the DMV to that new employee, forming a very negative impression that, as the saying goes, employers won’t get a second chance to make.

What Makes Employee Onboarding a Positive Experience?

Much like the DMV, the new employee onboarding process requires a lot of complicated forms to be completed. But it doesn’t have to be as painful as the DMV. With the right onboarding solution, complicated forms can be intuitive and easy so employees never miss a field. If it’s not obvious how to advance through the process, if it’s confusing how to complete certain tasks, or if it takes too long or requires long wait times, frustration will take over. So first and foremost, look at the onboarding process through the eyes of your clients’ employees, and work to make it a seamless, painless process.

Just as importantly, be sure it is responsively designed and is mobile-centric. Mobile phones have overtaken desktop as the primary way to access the internet.³ So a new hire is very likely to be completing the onboarding process with his or her phone. If the onboarding process hasn’t been designed to work easily on a mobile device, once again, you’ve raised that frustration level, leading employees to draw negative conclusions about their employer. Employees could assume the lack of a modern process reflects their employer’s whole approach to business and their employees – outdated, old fashioned, and out of touch. Those aren’t usually the traits of an employer that employees want to stay with. Again, the first impression will stick.

So just as you’d make sure your interview suit is neatly pressed and your shoes shined to be sure you leave a great first impression in that big job interview, make sure your onboarding process is sharp and spiffy and ready to make your client’s new employees very glad they made the choice to work for them.

Learn more about the benefits of advanced and user-friendly onboarding tools here.

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Axios HR increased its conversion rate by 65% through a diagnostic-oriented sales process and by implementing software that improved consistency, efficiency, and collaboration. The results were highlighted in Blythe Kazmierczak’s session, “Tips on Improving Sales Efficiency to Win More Deals,” at PrismHR LIVE 2018. In it, Kazmierczak—EVP, HR Solutions at Axios HR—discussed the framework her sales team uses to have more strategic conversations and win more deals.

A Consistent, Consultative Approach to Complex Deals

So what is diagnostic selling? According to Jeff Thull who introduced the concept in his book, Mastering the Complex Sale, the role of the salesperson is to “help a buyer diagnose their problem and design, evaluate, and implement a solution that provides a high level of value to their customers. It requires taking on the mindset of a physician and advising the customer, and it really is a deeper, more complex process than most salespeople are accustomed to.”

In diagnostic selling, the ultimate goal is not to get a signed contract. In his article, The End of Solution-Based Selling, Thull says, “The goal is a high-quality decision based on an honest, thorough and rational evaluation of the correlation between the customer’s problem and the seller’s solution. That decision may well indicate your solution is not the best fit.”

Axios HR uses a four-stage sales process based on Thull’s “Prime Process” model: Discover, Diagnose, Design, and Deliver.

The Discover phase resembles a traditional qualification stage but is much more comprehensive. More than just identifying a company that meets the requirements of a prospect, sales need to understand their business, make informed assumptions on the symptoms they are challenged with, and gauge the prospect’s willingness to actually make a change.

In the Diagnose phase, conversations with prospects resemble more of a doctor-patient conversation than a sales presentation. Axios HR develops a personalized “HR Diagnostic Report” around the 5 Cs: Cost, Compliance, Care, Competitive and Culture.

“At a high level you’re managing across these five areas as an employer. We do a diagnostic in each to show symptoms around things that might be an issue,” explained Kazmierczak. “When we think about our solutions, there are so many things we could do. The diagnostic helps us have a strategic conversation about their business, where they want to be, and where they think opportunities are.”

For example, in Culture, the team will take a look at average staff tenure—an indicator of retention—and diversity, and then get feedback from the prospect on how well they stack up against an industry benchmark. In Competitive, indicators such as “attrition” and “time to fill” help kick off a conversation about employees the prospect has lost, how it impacted their business, and any challenges in filling open positions. Did an employee leave because of an issue with their manager, culture, job design, or something else?

Many traditional sales presentations lead with the solution. In the Design phase, the input from the diagnostic conversations informs the ideal solution for the prospect. This is a more collaborative approach, and in some cases the best alternative at the time may not be a service your company offers. What is paramount is getting to the right solution together rather than attempting to find a fit for your solution.

The Deliver phase doesn’t end with a signed contract—or even the implementation of the product. Closing a deal is one milestone in a long-term process of building a relationship and ensuring the client’s success using the solution.

Improved Visibility and Collaboration with Sales Management Software

With 500 local SMB clients and three divisions within the organization, Axios HR was running into issues with salespeople running into each other.

“A staffing person was just [with a prospect], and two hours later somebody else was cold calling. So we needed a common sales tool that would allow everybody to see what was going from a sales activity perspective,” said Kazmierczak.

Axios HR uses two types of sales management software which integrate with each other: Salesforce during the front end of the sales process (i.e., Discover and Diagnose phases) and PrismHR Pulse to streamline the proposal and underwriting activities.

“The input we receive during the Diagnose phase is summarized into a proposal that is also generated in Pulse. So it’s really been helpful to get the sales team to stop using pet documents and follow a common process,” said Kazmierczak. “When I do my deal checks with the sales team I can get a better sense of whether they’re actually finding out what the client really wants.”

Investing in technology to help support Axios HR’s sales process has helped improve visibility and collaboration. It has also eased the burden of sales training while accelerating how quickly new team members can start contributing.

“The thought process around putting [the technology] in place was being able to onboard someone and not have it take three years for them to be productive, which was kind of our track record with the old process,” said Kazmierczak. “Part of the business case was to be more consistent, but also have a more structured process in onboarding and getting new salespeople up to speed faster.”

Watch Blythe Kazmierczak discuss how PrismHR Pulse helps the AxiosHR sales team improve efficiency and win more deals.

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