Provided by the New Haven Chamber of Commerce:

Human Resources is something every business, big or small, has to deal with every day. Unfortunately as a business owner, unless you have training in Human Resources (HR), just the basics can be overwhelming. That is where XcelHR can help. Next year XcelHR will celebrate its 25th Anniversary helping area business owners with human resources and employee administration services. XcelHR specializes in serving small business. Mike Walton, Business Consultant for XcelHR said, “In fact 95% of our clients have fewer than fifty employees. In a nut shell, we are providing Fortune 500 quality HR services to small businesses at a very affordable price.” Most small businesses take a shotgun approach to HR.  They have 12-15 entities or more involved with various aspects of handling HR issues.  That usually puts the owner in the position of trying to coordinate the various entities.  Since most owners are not trained sufficiently to handle all HR stuff, there is duplication of effort in some areas and major gaps in others.  And, since most small business owners are unaware of all Federal and state HR laws they need to comply with, they are also at risk of being assessed fines and penalties that could exceed $100,000 or more and maybe even jail time.  This method, while common, is fraught with inefficiencies and increased risks.  The owner, and often his or her senior managers (usually the highest paid employees in the business) are spending time doing essentially clerical tasks they are not trained to do.

Outsourcing HR functions through a company like XcelHR is a smarter way for most small businesses.  In essence, they are hiring one expert company to perform and be accountable for most of the HR functions.  It frees up the management team to spend more time doing what makes the business profitable.  And unlike an in-house HR professional, the business owner doesn’t have to provide office space or pay payroll taxes or benefits if they outsource. XcelHR offers a comprehensive “Professional Employer Organization” or PEO outsourced HR plan. Many businesses today need help managing increasingly complex employee related matters such as health benefits (including the Affordable care Act), workers’ compensation claims, payroll, state and federal HR law compliance, and unemployment insurance claims, and much more.  They contract with a PEO to assume these responsibilities and provide expertise in human resources management. This allows the PEO client to concentrate on the operational and revenue-producing side of its operations. PEOs contractually pay everyone in the client business including all payroll taxes, deductions, etc. through XcelHR’s FEIN (federal tax ID number), and may secure benefits and workers’ compensation through their FEIN. By providing these services, most of a small business owner’s personal risk and liability is transferred to XcelHR, while lowering their HR related labor costs. XcelHR’s web-based solution integrates everything associated with employee administration. This includes benefit administration, human resource services, payroll processing, payroll tax filing, retirement plan administration, risk management services and much more. XcelHR can also help clients that are interested in winning government contracting opportunities to grow their business.  XcelHR coaches them through the bureaucracy, forms, and red tape as well as introducing them to the prime contractors that can feed them business. Walton gave an example of an issue that is more common with small businesses; problems with cash flow.  He said, “We offer a pay-as-you-go program for workers’ compensation that allows a business to pay a small portion of their workers’ compensation premium with each payroll.  Instead of paying the traditional way, with a deposit at the beginning of the policy period and then a prepaid quarterly premium based on projected payroll, XcelHR makes the deposit and quarterly premium payments to the carrier for the client.  Then we charge a pro rata portion back to the client on each payroll. That means at the end of the year, the client has paid the exact amount of workers’ comp required, which eliminates the need to do a year end workers comp audit.  This way there is no surprise “settle up premium” if the client underestimates their quarterly payroll. This also saves our client the money they would have to pay somebody to do the audit, as well as the time in collecting all of the information to make sure the numbers balance. That could save a small business owner hundreds (or thousands of dollars), not to mention improved cash flow.”

Mike Walton

XcelHR is very flexible in working with the small business owner to customize the Human Resource solution that works best for them.  Because of this variety of services, Walton said, “There is literally something new that comes up every day. And there are so many things that we can do that are helpful for our clients.” Walton also shared that the sheer volume of HR information can be challenging, “If you break down what we do into its component parts, any one of the parts can be a specialty or profession in and of itself. With over seventy different services, and all of them interrelated, the complexities of the combinations makes it so no two days are the same.” Walton continued with another example, “If a business is providing an update on their health insurance, then they have to update a number of other documents including their handbook. If there is a conflict between any of those documents they leave themselves vulnerable to fines, fees, and possible law suits.” Another issue Walton shared is the impact a change in one area can have on others such as the
Affordable Care Act. Some laws apply to businesses of one size and not to others.  Since the Affordable Care Act is being phased in, some rules are applicable now, some will be next year, and some the year after. There are also exceptions and waivers.  And government regulations could change with very little advanced notice.  XcelHR has to stay on top of this moving target to provide reliable information for their clients. Walton said, “By virtue of having certified experts in each of these areas, we can assure all of our clients are getting current information.”

XcelHR has been a member of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce for almost two years. Mike Walton has participated in our Ambassador Program since early 2014.  He said, “Participating as an ambassador has been a real hoot. I grew up in a small town and so working with a small town chamber has given me access to business owners I might not have access to otherwise.”  He continued, “And the other thing is, most people have had a very good experience with the New Haven Chamber.   So most business owners are willing to spend a few minutes with representatives of the New Haven Chamber.”

POSTED: 02/28/15 at 8:14 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News