You’re a business owner.  You’re busy.  Your staff is busy.  You look for ways to save costs, save time, be as efficient as possible, and ensure you’re following the plethora of laws that running a business requires.  How do you handle all this?  Hire someone full-time to handle all that paperwork and humdrum work you are too busy to complete? Contract it out?  If you contract out, where do you look?
That’s where ASO-model businesses are the perfect fit for your business.  ASO (Administrative Services Organization) is a business that provides administrative and payroll services for your organization.  They can handle the gamut of back office tasks that you don’t want to pay a full-time employee to handle and at a fraction of the cost.  Here’s a breakdown of what ASO’s can do for you:
An ASO can handle everything (and I mean everything) that has to do with payroll just shy of the funds it requires to pay employees.   The biggest unknown in this “everything” is taxes; the taxes to take out not only for the employee but what the employer pays.  The knowledge, salary, and time it would take for an in-house employee to handle the task is absurd compared to letting an ASO handle it.  An ASO will not only handle the payroll tax portion but also payroll basics like filing W-2s for the year, setting up direct deposit (a great employee benefit every company should have), check printing, and new hire reporting to the state.  In addition to this, ASO’s have an HRIS system to help you track information on your employees. They can assist you with pesky wage garnishments, meet law requirements by providing a timekeeping system to record hours worked, set-up pay-as-you-go workers compensation, and assist you with unemployment claims to keep your unemployment insurance costs down.
With PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), IRS (you know what this one stands for) and ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) regulations, benefits administration can be tricky for a business to handle.  This is where an ASO can step in.  401ks, FSAsHSAsHRAs all require specialized reporting and administration.  Then there is health care benefits administration which require a whole other set of special handling from Open Enrollments, new hire enrollments, bill payment and reconciliation to ACA regulations and pre and post-tax requirements.
HR can be a HUGE headache and every business owner knows this.  You need, need, need someone who knows HR not only on a federal level, but also on a state level in order to protect you from the labyrinth of employment law out there.  Questions come up, answers are hard to find, and all the while you’re trying to protect your business and do the right thing.  ASO’s can provide you with HR support services that you can call upon at any time to assist you.  In addition to this, HR can draft policies, handbooks, handle harassment and discrimination claims, provide you with analytics on your workforce (retention, cost of hire, equal pay, etc.), strategies and tools on how to improve your culture and workplace, and coach you on complex situations in the office.  In a nutshell, if it has to do with your employees, HR can help you with it.
Payroll and benefits are a Pandora’s Box of administrative burdens and legal requirements.  It ALL requires an extensive amount of work and knowledge that you, the business owner, would rather not have to deal with.  You want to generate incremental revenue for your company without becoming burdened down by laws that can be highly demanding on your business!  An ASO can be a great solution to fill that gap and need. And it just so happens that we at VertiSource HR do all of the above and more!
By: LeiLani Quiray, SPHR
HR Director of VertiSource HR