Heidi Shadel | Human capital — taking care of your employees

Yep! Earned my OSHA Construction Safety and Health Card a little over a year ago. Am I proud of it? Probably — just a little. If you sit through several days of training on what you should and should not do on a ladder or in a ditch on a construction site, you would be just a bit! (I do a variety of things to better understand the clients’ needs.)

The training spread across three Fridays and for the most part, I was the only female in the room with 20 burly men. My presence in the room was making these guys uncomfortable. It was obvious in their body language. They would joke around and make comments to one another. If one worker thought the other was saying something inappropriate he would elbow the guy next to him. They would both turn around and look at me out of the corner of their eye.

I have to admit that I was uncomfortable at first, too. When these men realized that they could talk without me becoming offended they relaxed and were quite fun. During donuts and coffee breaks I was able to get to know them better.

These were hard-working guys who did what they needed to do to get the job done to “take the paycheck home.” According to their stories, it was not always in the safest of ways — thus the OSHA training.

I learned more about Human Capital through this training than I did on how to mark and safely secure a hole in the ground.

Human Capital was the lifeblood of this business — these guys not only represented the business, they were the business. This company had to take care of their employees because their employees were taking care of them.

Every company who has employees MUST take care of them. It is a good business strategy to always be thinking and asking, “What do my employees need?” If you have happy employees, 90% of the time you will have happy customers. Taking care of your employees just makes good business sense.

And YES, now I can properly secure a ladder to the side of my house.

Heidi Shadel is a Cumberland business owner and graduate of Frostburg State University with a masters in business administration. She believes in small business and the power that it holds in America’s economy, especially having a passion for helping small businesses succeed within the tri-state region. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter at Heidi Shadel @heidiann73.

Another Pain in the Rear for Employers – The New I-9 Form

A New I-9 Form

By Heidi Shadel

As if you didn’t already have enough to keep up with—on September 18, 2017, there is a new I-9 Form that we must use. What is the I-9 form? The I-9 is simply the form used to verify the eligibility of someone you want to hire to work legally in the U.S. If you are an employer you are required to verify every individual that you hire.

If you have hired an employee and do not obtain required and appropriate documentation you may be fined penalties which have recently nearly doubled. The fines and penalties are for each category that has not been properly completed or verified. You are not just responsible for filling them out but you must also maintain them. Penalties and fines can add up quickly.

Did you know that it is “best practice” to keep a separate I-9 Form file for each of your employees? Do not keep them in with other documents for that employee. Why? It is elementary, dear Watson (remember Sherlock Holmes). I-9 Form audits are on the rise, you may have already been asked to show an official your I-9 Forms to see if you comply. If you are audited and the person doing the audit notices that you are not in compliance with some of your other forms—they may pass this information on to another regulatory body. This will most likely result in yet another audit.

When did all this start? In 1986 the Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed, in which Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification had to be completed for all new full-time and part-time employees. It does not need to be completed for independent contractors. The burden of proof falls completely on the employer to ensure that all employees, citizens and noncitizens, are correctly identified and legally authorized to work in the US.
Form I-9 is not a big scary form, but the instructions must be read carefully and adhered to—pay attention to the details. It is advisable to seek guidance, sometimes, beyond just reading the instructions.

What are the changes?

The basic document has remained the same, the acceptable documents list and retention requirements have not changed. There are now three ways to complete Form I-9: 1) manually, pen to paper, 2) electronically, then print and sign, or 3) use an electronic I-9 vendor. The written instructions for Form I-9 has increased from 6 pages to 15 pages, you know, to simplify things (cough, cough!).

Even though these documents must be witnessed for verification by the Employer, it has some of us puzzled as to why webcams or some other forms of technology are not acceptable to aide in proving that these verification documents were presented.

Just a reminder – Employers do not have to update or use the new I-9 for existing employees.

You do not have to worry about this – just read the instructions carefully, watching for details. If you need help, ask for it.

Heidi A B Shadel
(888) 552-8747
ATR Advantage
122 S Centre St, 3rd Floor
Cumberland, MD 21502
Email Address: habshadel@gmail.com

ATR-HR’s New SEO Program

SEO Programs That Get You Found
View this email in your browser

If you build it, they will come… If they can find it!


SEO is ‘Search Engine Optimization’. Or, getting you found online.

We’re excited to announce the new ATR-Advantage and VineBUZZ Web SEO program!

We offer tailored programs for Organic (on site) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) SEO that fit your budget and get your business found.

And, unique in the businesswe offer a guarantee on our service goals, or you will not be invoiced that month!

Download our e-book, ‘SEO – What Is It, Why Do I Care, And How Do I Get It?’

Does This Sound Familiar?

You have a great business, and a good website that you paid valuable marketing dollars to build. But, that website doesn’t show up in web searches until 5… 10… maybe even 100 pages deep.

Isn’t it time you got your website working for you to generate leads?

FREE SEO Assessment on Your Website!

Let us perform a free assessment of your website’s SEO to find out how it’s performing now. We can help you see what’s working, and what’s not working, about your valuable business website.

We offer two ‘flavors’ of SEO programs:
Organic & Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

Organic SEO is about ‘words on the page’ and making sure your site is speaking to your audience.
Pay Per Click, or Google AdWords, can jump-start getting traffic to your website, quickly.
Learn More & Schedule Your Assessment

Our Organic Program Service Guarantee

  • Every month, you will gain traction on 5 new keywords. That means we’ll ensure that there are 5 additional words that can help your potential clients to find you – every month. At the end of a year, that’s 60 new keywords!
  • The progress of individual keywords may increase or decrease each month, depending upon search traffic. However, overall there will be a minimum of 25 new keyword search positions gained for all active keyword rankings.
Did we mention that if we do not meet these goals, you don’t pay that month!? (We did, but let’s say it again).
Download our e-book, ‘SEO – What Is It, Why Do I Care, And How Do I Get It?’
Copyright © 2017 ATR Advantage, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

No Small Business Should Do Their Own Payroll

By Dale Shadel, CPA and Business Consultant, Payroll Specialist

Small business owners wear many hats.  Payroll should not be one of these hats.  Laws, tax rates, and due dates are constantly changing.  The Penalties for “failure to pay timely” can become expensive.  The Internal Revenue Service charges a 2% penalty for paying employer taxes one day late.  These penalties quickly grow and compound.  We have dealt with clients who have fallen behind in these payments.  It is a difficult hole to climb out of! It is costly to get back in compliance with the Government.

Never, Never borrow from your payroll taxes to meet other obligations.  The “willful failure to pay” penalty can be 100% of the Tax owed and the Internal Revenue service can also access a 100% Responsible Officer penalty.  Loan Sharks charge excessive interest, but not usually 300%.  The loan shark may break your arm, but The Internal Revenue Service has the power to seize your Bank Accounts and Assets. 

Why not use one of the popular accounting programs and do payroll yourself?

We helped a small business set up their payroll.  We filed the paperwork to open their State and Federal payroll tax accounts and had their payroll up and running efficiently.  We had also helped them set up their books with a popular accounting program, but when you are operating a small business you time is at a premium and it is easy to miss due dates and tax deadlines. Even with the reminders from the accounting program, that taxes were due, they were late on paying their payroll taxes.  The penalty and interest cost them more than our payroll service fees would have been.

The client still seemed determined to “try to save money” by continuing to do the payroll themselves and have us pay and file the taxes the monthly and quarterly taxes so they would be made on time. This worked well for several quarters.  Once comfortable with doing the payroll they decided that they were now be able to take on the tax obligations themselves.  Once again, due to the demands of the business, payroll taxes were overlooked and not paid on time.  Dealing with tax notices, paying the penalty and interest is time consuming and costly. No small business should do their own payroll!  Let us handle these obligations for you so that you can focus your time and energy on what you do best, growing and managing your business.  We know payroll, we have been doing it for over 30 years, we can help you.  For a reasonable price, you can free yourself from the worry and hassle of payroll compliance.

You started your small business because you wanted to be in control.  You are the boss, you decide the course your business will take.   We can handle your payroll compliance and preparation, saving you time and energy to focus on running your business.  But you will still be in control of the process.

The large national payroll service providers use a trust fund.  You pay them a check for the amount of your payroll and taxes and they pay the employees and file the taxes for you.  There are many stories of payroll service providers paying the Employees, but not paying the Taxes.  The Employer will not find out for several years, by that time the amount of tax and penalties due will most likely lead to the closure of the business. We take a different approach.   We want you to be in control of your payroll.  We prepare the employee checks or direct deposit for you and file and pay all of your payroll taxes. The money comes out of your account, you sign the checks, you are still in control of your payroll and you can monitor these payments coming out of your bank account.

We keep up with the due dates and preparing the checks and tax forms, but you sign the pay checks. You sign the payroll tax forms and you can monitor these payments on your bank statements.  Years ago, I took an accounting job with a small business.  They were using one of the large national payroll firms to prepare their payroll taxes.  They thought that the payroll firm was filing and paying all of their taxes.  Since I was new, I asked questions to find out how things were handled.  The payroll firm had been paying the employees, but the company had not opted for the service for them to file and pay the payroll taxes.  They did not know these taxes were not being paid, as they only made one payment to the payroll service.  The tax notices would have went directly to the payroll provider.  The employee checks and payroll taxes would clear in the payroll service provider’s bank account.   That is why we take a different approach and keep you in control, you can see that these tax payments have been paid.  Any tax notices come directly to you, so you would know if there is a problem.

It is important for you to focus on your core business goals, we can help you do this through the personal and trustworthy services we offer.

Small business owners wear many hats.  Payroll should not be one of these hats.  Laws, tax rates, and due dates are constantly changing.  The Penalties for “failure to pay timely” can become expensive.  The Internal Revenue Service charges a 2% penalty for paying employer taxes one day late.  These penalties quickly grow and compound.  We have dealt with clients who have fallen behind in these payments.  It is a difficult hole to climb out of! It is costly to get back in compliance with the Government.

Never, Never borrow from your payroll taxes to meet other obligations.  The “willful failure to pay” penalty can be 100% of the Tax owed and the Internal Revenue service can also access a 100% Responsible Officer penalty.  Loan Sharks charge excessive interest, but not usually 300%.  The loan shark may break your arm, but The Internal Revenue Service has the power to seize your Bank Accounts and Assets. 

Why not use one of the popular accounting programs and do payroll yourself?

We helped a small business set up their payroll.  We filed the paperwork to open their State and Federal payroll tax accounts and had their payroll up and running efficiently.  We had also helped them set up their books with a popular accounting program, but when you are operating a small business you time is at a premium and it is easy to miss due dates and tax deadlines. Even with the reminders from the accounting program, that taxes were due, they were late on paying their payroll taxes.  The penalty and interest cost them more than our payroll service fees would have been.

The client still seemed determined to “try to save money” by continuing to do the payroll themselves and have us pay and file the taxes the monthly and quarterly taxes so they would be made on time. This worked well for several quarters.  Once comfortable with doing the payroll they decided that they were now be able to take on the tax obligations themselves.  Once again, due to the demands of the business, payroll taxes were overlooked and not paid on time.  Dealing with tax notices, paying the penalty and interest is time consuming and costly. No small business should do their own payroll!  Let us handle these obligations for you so that you can focus your time and energy on what you do best, growing and managing your business.  We know payroll, we have been doing it for over 30 years, we can help you.  For a reasonable price, you can free yourself from the worry and hassle of payroll compliance.

You started your small business because you wanted to be in control.  You are the boss, you decide the course your business will take.   We can handle your payroll compliance and preparation, saving you time and energy to focus on running your business.  But you will still be in control of the process.

The large national payroll service providers use a trust fund.  You pay them a check for the amount of your payroll and taxes and they pay the employees and file the taxes for you.  There are many stories of payroll service providers paying the Employees, but not paying the Taxes.  The Employer will not find out for several years, by that time the amount of tax and penalties due will most likely lead to the closure of the business. We take a different approach.   We want you to be in control of your payroll.  We prepare the employee checks or direct deposit for you and file and pay all of your payroll taxes. The money comes out of your account, you sign the checks, you are still in control of your payroll and you can monitor these payments coming out of your bank account.

We keep up with the due dates and preparing the checks and tax forms, but you sign the pay checks. You sign the payroll tax forms and you can monitor these payments on your bank statements.  Years ago, I took an accounting job with a small business.  They were using one of the large national payroll firms to prepare their payroll taxes.  They thought that the payroll firm was filing and paying all of their taxes.  Since I was new, I asked questions to find out how things were handled.  The payroll firm had been paying the employees, but the company had not opted for the service for them to file and pay the payroll taxes.  They did not know these taxes were not being paid, as they only made one payment to the payroll service.  The tax notices would have went directly to the payroll provider.  The employee checks and payroll taxes would clear in the payroll service provider’s bank account.   That is why we take a different approach and keep you in control, you can see that these tax payments have been paid.  Any tax notices come directly to you, so you would know if there is a problem.

It is important for you to focus on your core business goals, we can help you do this through the personal and trustworthy services we offer.

Share This