Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yeeee Ha!

I just returned from a great time visiting with my friends and acquaintances at PASBA (Professional Association of Small Business Accountants) in San Antonio, TX.

Wow, it was quite the change to drop into a climate that is 80 degrees and 98% humidity from a normal fall day for Logan in Redmond, OR... 29 degrees as I hit the airport at 5am!

I love talking to the folks at PASBA because they are the kind of Accounting Professional who has consciously stepped outside of the box to try something new with a group of like-minded individuals.

I am, of course, focused on Payroll, and tried to actively see how the payroll side of the business was going for the members while I was there, and here are a few of the major points I gathered:

  • Some clients are g-o-n-e gone. These tended to be in the fields of construction, realty, and financial based establishments

  • Many clients have laid off a few employees, but continue to remain active clients

  • Those with a strong payroll presence (100+ clients on payroll service) are not taking a hit. They are adding clients as they lose them and are breaking even or gaining market share

All in all... not bad. Things could be much worse! One of my most memorable conversations was about the level of fear that is growing in many small businesses. Folks are worried, and with good reason, but is this worry going to lead them to make foolish moves with their business practices in light of the doom & gloom presented to us each day on the evening news, websites, and blogs?

Point: People are afraid -- sometimes without good reason

We need to start thinking like a frightened client (not that we all don't have a healthy dose of fear in us right now!). What is that client thinking? How can we help them to not freak out and in-source their payroll?

This is the topic of a three part series of articles that will posted here over the next few weeks. I will be looking for input from anyone out there in the field who has something to share with their peers that I can share via this forum and others.

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