Thursday, December 9, 2010

Paychex Consumes SurePayroll

Paychex's acquisition of SurePayroll is an interesting move.  SurePayroll is one of the largest, independent payroll service bureaus that has been biting at the heals of ADP and Paychex for many years.  The release, linked below, calls out a few key areas of interest to Paychex:  their SaaS model, mobile payroll applications, and a big entry point into the Banking payroll channel.

Last month, ADP & Perquest, this month Paychex & SurePayroll... we can only wonder what the new year might bring.

“We are excited for our customers, channel partners, employees, and small businesses everywhere. This is a great combination of strengths,” says Michael D. Alter, SurePayroll president.

Friday, November 26, 2010

MasterTax, LLC - ADP Acquisition (Yes, yester-month's news)

Better late than never... I thought a splash of information on the acquisition of MasterTax by ADP in October might be in order.

Cynical thoughts....  It couldn't be more annoying to be an independent payroll service bureau who has been fighting off the ADP reps for years to end up standing naked in front of the enemy, pardon, 'worthy competition', as their client list is potentially thrown across the battlefield by an ally.  As you can see in PTM's published reaction to this acquisition, they anticipated an influx of Payroll Service Bureaus moving onto their tax management service as a result of this sale.

MasterTax has provided a great service for folks for many years, and I wish them well.  The part that might frighten an independent bureau is reflected in this statement from ADP's press release, “We look forward to leveraging our combined expertise in tax and compliance services, as well as introducing MasterTax’s clients to ADP’s broad offering of proven solutions.


It is a huge annoyance for a payroll service bureau to switch from one outsourced tax service to another - expensive too.  If I were in their shoes, I would make a call to ADP and ask them if they plan to offer their payroll services to my client list gleaned from MasterTax's records... and get it in writing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.  

~Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Perquest / ADP Comment Storm

As any politician knows, an information vacuum wants to be filled.  It is up to you to fill it with your own spin before the opponents do.  So it is with the information flow on the Perquest closure and client sale to ADP.

Now, I'm sure that there are a number of non-disclosures, etc. that are holding back the folks in the know from speaking to the event publicly, but a variety of points of view have been aired within the 40 plus comments that have been posted in response to my initial note on the topic.

Should any former principals of Perquest wish to post a response, I would gladly give them a forum here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Choosing a Payroll Service - Avoiding the Acquisition Bulls-Eye

In light of the recent acquisition of Perquest's client base by ADP (not an uncommon activity by them), the thought came to my mind that many small to mid-sized businesses may not be aware of what the 'Acquisition Target' warning signs are before they make a move to a new payroll service.

As their 'new' payroll service brings them on-board, it is typically a move off of ADP or Paychex and toward a smaller, more customer-centric service, which is great.

Downside?  When the 'Acquisition Target' payroll service bureau sells - the payroll clients go right back to the service they left, and ADP is the most likely company to be doing the acquiring.

This generally puts a sour look on the average business owner's face.

So, what are the warning signs that your new, smaller, friendlier payroll service may have a secret 'For Sale' sign taped to the back of their door?

Three Core Points:
#1 Investors Own the Company
#2 Previous History of Acquisitions in C-Level folks' Resume
#3 Abnormally Rapid Growth

To Point #1:  If investors own the company, they are likely in it to turn & burn the investment.  Once they see a tidy profit to be made (or - in the case of Perquest, a big loss to avoid), they are out - and so are you.

To Point #2:  If the management team has had previous history of their companies being acquired, it has to be very tempting to build the business specifically as a target for acquisition.

to Point #3:  Building on #2, if the management team is tempted - they may throw away money, acquiring clients by using deep discounts.  This bloats up the numbers, but the clients who got a deal may not feel so good about it when they are sold to ADP.

So, as a business owner, here are a couple of questions to get you started as you avoid a potential return to ADP or Paychex:
  • "I love your solution for my business' payroll and HR needs.  Can you tell me about your company's history?"
  • "How many clients do you have?"
  • "How many new clients do you bring aboard each year?"
    As always, moving your payroll to a new service can have many implications, including tax related issues.  Get as much detail as you can about the transition process, and don't be afraid to ask pointed questions.  If they don't have answers (or can't make a quick phone call to find out) - keep shopping.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Valiant Acquires Triton HR Payroll Processing Customer Base

    Valiant Acquires Triton HR Payroll Processing Customer Base and Expands Market Coverage with a Triton HR Independent Representative Agreement.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Perquest sells to ADP?

    We will see what shakes out, but it looks like Perquest has sold to ADP, and locked the doors to numerous regional sales offices...

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Home from Les Cayes, Haiti - 01.19.2010 11:40 PM

    From: Timothy Troxel
    Sent: Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 11:40 PM
    Subject: Haiti Team Update

    Hello Everyone,
    I thought it would be good to give an update on our trip out of Haiti. We were very fortunate to be able to fly back on planes that had brought in medical supplies and doctors. This was on Sunday morning. These planes were arranged in conjunction with a Mission from the Bahamas. Many or all of the pilots and planes were volunteered from private pilots in the states. We flew on a Cessna 340, a couple of Baron's and one that I didn't catch the type. We were able to get 9 from another group and then ten of the 13 from our group out in the first flight to Inagua. We did not have to fly through Cap Haitian, but they had flown through Cap on the way down. When we got to Inagua, we went through Bahamian customs and the planes were refueled. They sent a 182 and another plane back to pick up the remaining 3 from our group and several others.
    The rest of us flew to Nassau where we waited for the other 3. It was to late to get to Miami so we found a hotel for the night. The Methodist Mission group even provided us with a nice meal. On Monday, we flew to Miami on to different flights. We split as our group was from different areas of the country and some of us were able to make it back by Monday night and six had airline challenges that required them to stay in Miami until Tuesday. They got back Tuesday evening.
    I had a business trip so I had a whirlwind day and flew out to Salt Lake City and on to San Diego on Wednesday afternoon.
    The Haiti situation.
    Since coming back, I have gotten just a little bit of coverage and it is decent although it shows how little is understood about a day in the life of a typical Haitian. I thought I would give a little more information. Haiti is a place that needs tremendous help, even without the Earthquake. I believe it was 2008 where they saw four Hurricanes hit the Island in one summer. They have 8.5 - 9 million people there and an economy of about $2.4 billion. The average income of a Haitian is $400 per year, they have 80+% unemployment, and a relatively unstable environment.
    They have had oppressive government and really do not have a government that cares about their people at all. Basically, in a nutshell, the Haitian culture is to survive. They don't think of next week or next month, they think of where will my next meal come from. They are steeped in Voodoo, are largely illiterate, and have a lot of what we would consider to be uneducated superstitions. Many of these things contribute to the plight of Haiti.
    The areas we work in when down there are primarily the following:
    • Construction of roofs of schools and churches. - Our particular way is requiring the community to build the walls and then we give them a roof which is the most difficult and dangerous portion. Our teams come in which also gives the American teams a genuine taste of Haiti as we live among them. Most importantly, it shows the love of Jesus in action and has helped the churches to evangelize.
    • Well Drilling - provides fresh water in a country where people bathe, wash, and drink the same water.
    • SEED - Teaches the Haitian people how to farm with more productive and soil saving techniques.
    • Medical Teams
    My first trip to Haiti was in 1997, I believe. The good news is that I have seen noticeable improvements in some of the infrastructure. This earthquake will set them back, who knows how long, but they will continue to push forward.
    Please continue to pray for the missionaries that remain down there, the rescue workers, and the Haitian people.
    Thank you so much for the prayers, concern, and the love that has been shown throughout our trip. Thanks to all that were involved in helping us get out. And thanks to the many volunteers and professionals working in Haiti through this disaster. We have seen first hand how our God loves us, cares for us, and guides each of us if we seek him and walk as his children.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Friday, January 15, 2010


    Below is an accounting of Tim Troxel's time in Haiti to date. Updates will be posted as they become available.


    Les Cayes, Haiti - 01.15.2010 10:51AM

    From: Timothy Troxel
    Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 10:51 AM
    Subject: Haiti Team Update

    Greetings to all in the name of our Lord,

    As you all know, today was the day we had originally planned on leaving Haiti. I know you are probably getting information in bits and pieces so this email is to give as complete an update as we can. We are very thankful for the Lord's providence. As just one example, there was a sea container that arrived last Saturday with a lot of sheets, crutches, soaps, and other personal items. When it arrived, they were not sure exactly where it was going to go, but knew they would be able to find a place. Then the earthquake happened and friends in Christianville near Port requested a list of items. It matched up with much of what was in the container. We are truly grateful to be safe and rest in his hands.

    I have just bullet pointed items below:
    • We are safe in Les Cayes which is in the southwest portion of the island. We are staying at the guest house near the missionary compound.
    • A load of supplies was sent to the affected earthquake area.
    • A group was going to leave this morning was going to go, but was encouraged not to due to safety. Haitian drivers are taking the supplies. We foreigners are staying in.
    • Airspace in Haiti is restricted. Nothing is flying in and out of Les Cayes and very little in and out of Port au Prince. Mission Flights International (MFI) is flying limited flights out of Cap Haiti in the north to extract people.
    • To get to cap by driving, we would need to go through Port and it would be a very long drive if we can get there at all via roads.
    • Getting diesel is getting very difficult. Long lines are forming and stations run out. Supply lines are not running.
    • Flights are available out of Dominican Republic, however, to get there via driving, we must go through Port and it is also a very long way. Also crossing the border is an unknown.
    • The earliest AA flight out of Port is the 22nd, if they are able to keep the schedule and do not have to push it back further.
    • Another option that we have thought of is if there were any charter boats that could at least get us to the DR or Jamaica from Cayes. This is probably a little longer shot but may have promise!
    • Unrest has not begun yet that we know of. My understanding is that we are just now losing the supply lines and as things tighten up, things could get desparate, especially around Port.
    • Our biggest challenge with travel is getting out of Cayes without going through Port. Everything in this country goes through Port and everything is chaos and out of commission.
    1. We have heard the docks are down
    2. Pipelines are out
    3. The UN has lost many of their top personnel in Haiti when their main building collapsed. (The UN is the permanent police here.)
    4. The airport tower is down and they are out of fuel for refueling planes.
    5. The airport has little room for planes to sit so they probably cannot land many more.
    6. They are burying in mass graves at this point.

    We know that we are in God's hands as always. As of right now, we are making the best of things and working to get as much done as we can around the compound. We have no idea when or how we will be able to get home, but we also are not the highest priority. We have food and supplies and our buildings are intact. There are others sleeping in the streets with no food or water right now.

    Thank you for your prayers and love. We trust God to keep us all until we meet again.


    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Les Cayes, Haiti - 01.14.2010 1:11PM

    From: Timothy Troxel
    Date: Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 1:11 PM
    Subject: Update

    Greetings to all,

    A brief update for all. We will probably have no good way to get out of Les Cayes for several days, but we are safe here. We have medication for blood pressure and Malaria. We have a lot of stuff that is going on a Haitian bus to a town near Port that has been devastated. It is amazing how the Lord works. They are going through the sea containers and there are all these things that they wouldn't normal need that much of like sheets, shampoos and personal supplies.

    We serve a wonderful Lord!


    Les Cayes, Haiti - 01.14.2010 7:03AM

    From: Timothy Troxel
    Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 7:03 AM

    Subject: Haiti Update

    Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour,

    This is an update based on the information we currently have. Yesterday, we worked around the compound. We filled all the containers we have with fuel. As of right now, Haitian airspace is shut down for all intents and purposes except a few flights out of Port au Prince. To get to Port, it is six hours and dangerous. All of Haiti is supplied through Port and the Haitian people live day by day with no reserves. There reports of no water and in areas that have been damaged. We are going to stay here in Les Cayes at this point.

    There are several options available once flights are coming into Les Cayes and there are enough of us to fill a plane. We are expecting to be here a little while. We are not going into town at all and are keeping a low profile at this point. The Lord has taken care of us and we trust in him to keep us as he sees fit.

    Once the US gets air traffic set up, (the tower in Port collapsed) we expect flights in and out of Les Cayes.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Les Cayes, Haiti - 01.12.2010 10:27PM

    From: Timothy Troxel
    Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:27 PM

    Subject: Haiti Earthquake

    Greetings in Christ's name,

    I just wanted to let all of you know that our team is ok. As many of you know, the largest earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years hit this evening about 10 miles from Port au Prince and you can read the details online at the news sites. As of right now, the airport is closed in Port, but we are all safe in Les Cayes, which is about six hours away. (Haitian speeds) We will have to play it by ear as pretty much all communication is out from here to Port. You probably know more than we do.

    I just want you to know that God has been watching over us and we have had many miracles. Even today, there were several times when we felt his hand guiding and keeping us from harm. We started this morning around 8 am and had a rather uneventful trip on a road that been very eventful. We arrived in Les Cayes at 6 pm after traveling around 70 miles. We had a fair amount of rain and had to cross moving water that could have swept us away, but a Haitian was there at just the right time to tell us where to go over the bridge to miss the holes. This is just one of several examples of how the Lord has watched over us.

    Please keep praying for our safety. When we get out is in the Lord's hands. Pray for the Haitians and the destruction that will be present. We are still feeling aftershocks here regularly. I look forward to getting home and seeing all of you.

    God Bless you and keep you until we meet again. Feel free to forward this on to anyone you think may need to know. My time is short in writing this. I will try to stay in touch via email.

    In Christ,


    As many of the followers of my blog know, I work for AdaptaSoft, Inc. a provider of payroll software to the payroll service bureau industry. I usually don't bring it up, as I try to keep my posts as useful and relevant to everyone as possible, which I hope is appreciated.

    Today I am making mention of it because the leader of our company (President/CEO/Owner) Tim Troxel was on the ground in Haiti on an annual mission trip sponsored by his church the day the earthquake struck. After discussing it at length with other folk at AdaptaSoft, I decided that posting Tim's emails from Haiti to his friends, family, and co-workers would give a unique perspective to those who find their way to my blog.

    Tim and the mission team are located in Les Cayes, which is on the western peninsula. Although it seems that little damage was sustained there, all supply lines have been dwindling and are now essentially cut off.

    I don't know how his story will play out. Their return flight was scheduled for today (1/15), but has been delayed for an undetermined amount of time. The priority is clearly on inbound humanitarian relieve - as well it should be.

    I am pre-dating this and the other posts so that the chronology of the story remains true, and will update it when additional messages come in from Tim. I know he would appreciate your prayers.