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Easing business headaches

paymasters is a small payroll/human resources business helping other small businesses shed the burden of behind-the-scenes employee and financial paperwork. (from the left) Jim Piche, Kerry Haarstick, Aaron Dallmann and Jay Gunwall make up the PAYmasters team.

There's a new business in town that's hoping to take the pain of financial paperwork and bureaucracy away from local businesses and make it their own.

PAYmasters incorporated opened up in the Graystone building in downtown Detroit Lakes last spring.

Since then, they've been building a client base around the area of employers with small to medium-sized businesses -- employers who want to drop the burden of payroll and human resources issues to focus on their day-to-day operations.

PAYmasters President Jim Piche says they'll essentially take on all the things that bog down a business owner with complicated regulations, laws and paperwork.

"We will take on the payroll administration, the claims/risk management for worker's compensation; we'll take on the insurance for work comp; we'll administer unemployment claims, and we have an HR service," said Piche.

PAYmasters is both an Administrative Service Organization (ASO) and a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), which Piche says is pretty much the same, with one big exception.

"In the PEO world, we get into a co-employer relationship with the client, so all the employees will be paid under PAYmasters checks -- we are a co-employer who has a say in the hiring and the firing. In the ASO world, we are not the employer of record."

Piche and his three employees say being able to offer both ASO and PEO services makes them a strong organization to have in the backyard of local businesses, as they are able to cater their services to each client's needs.

Account Executive Aaron Dallmann says outsourcing human resources responsibilities is a whole lot cheaper than hiring an HR employee to keep on staff.

"And we don't bind our clients to contracts," said Dallmann, "So if you don't like us, you can fire us tomorrow."

The experts at PAYmasters don't think clients will want to do that, though, after tasting some freedom from all the background work.

In fact, according to Piche, while the PEO industry is relatively new (roughly 30 years old), it is one that is growing at a rate of about $5 billion a year.

"I think that's because it's becoming more and more of a burden," Piche said, "employment laws, regulations ... the laws are changing every day and it's hard to keep up on all that."

PAYmasters human resources expert Karry Haarstick says there are HR issues that come up all the time that surprise and confuse employers.

"Stuff dealing with Homeland Security and the Department of Labor, audits as far as pay, and until you have somebody get hurt and have to file a claim, you don't realize how much work it is," Haarstick said.

PAYmasters also deals with all the unemployment claims and benefits.

They do background checks, gross-to-net payroll checks, filing the tax returns and tax deposits -- all of which can sound overwhelming to somebody not trained this field of work.

"People go into their business to run their business, not to deal with the HR part of it," Dallmann said, "Some are just plain intimidated by it because there's a lot to know, and that's where we come into play."

For more information on PAYmasters, call 218-844-7560 or toll free 877-427-8506.