Professional Employer Organizations

PEOs, or professional employer organizations, provide small to mid-sized businesses the clout they need to compete with larger enterprises and offer employees better benefits packages and incentives. Highly qualified job seekers won't settle for working at companies which do not offer benefits. Today's college graduates entering the workplace, and those who have been accustomed to getting all the perks of employment at larger companies, expect employer-provided retirement programs, such as 401ks, Roth IRAs, unemployment insurance, and worker's compensation. But for smaller businesses, the cost of providing such benefits can break the bank. Co-employment contracting with reputable PEOs gives cash-wary entrepreneurs an opportunity to provide high-end benefits.

Professional employer organizations are independent agencies which hire a small company's employees and lease them back to the owner. As employer of record, the professional employer organization handles Human Resources functions for the client, including payroll, unemployment insurance, quarterly taxes, and retirement programs. PEOs issue client-leased workers paychecks each pay period and w-2s at the end of each tax year, just as if those employees belonged to the PEO. And in fact, on paper, they do. Client/owners are free to focus on generating revenue and maintaining the daily operation of the business without the headache of handling human resource functions or feeling a pinch in the pocketbook for paying exorbitant insurance rates.

Anyone who has a kid brother can understand the concept behind professional employer services. Older siblings watch over younger brothers and take the brunt of the responsibility for little brother's welfare. Tiny tykes know that as long as big brother is around, they don't have to fend for themselves. Similarly, PEOs are like a business owner's benevolent big brother: they go to bat for small owners by brokering unemployment insurance, paying for worker's compensation insurance, and administering attractive, high-end benefits packages -- all under their own employer identification number -- to save little brother time and money. Professional employer organizations take on the risk and liability of running the business by covering leased employees with unemployment insurance and worker's comp. If a client-leased worker gets hurt on the job, the PEO handles the claim, while the client is free from obligation. Everyone needs a benevolent big brother; and there is none greater than Christ Jesus. Those who accept Him as Lord and Savior and develop an intimate relationship will find that He is beautiful for situations, including making the right business decisions: Prov. 18:24: "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

Professional employer services give small businesses credibility with top notch job seekers, too. Because of the ability to offer the same benefits as the big guys, small entrepreneurs can compete for the best qualified workers who, in turn, help increase profitability and productivity. The advantage to co-employment with a PEO is that professional staff leasing psychologically expands a client/owner's corporate presence and lends more credibility. Compare two businesses in the same field: one co-employs a PEO, while the other one goes solo. Both have the same operating budget, the same number of employees, and provide similar services. On payday, the PEO client's leased employees report to the staff leasing office to collect paychecks, which are already printed with withholding taxes, insurance and other deductions tabulated. Leased employees leave feeling confident that they have a secure job with a stable business that takes care of its workers.

Meanwhile, the solo owner begins distributing payroll checks that a family member has laboriously toiled over the previous night. Some employee hours were unaccounted for, while others had deductions that couldn't be verified. The family member doing the books is also unsure of how much withholding tax to take out on several workers. When the non-PEO owner's workers pick up their checks, many dispute inaccurate hours and leave disgruntled. A few decide not to return, because the company seems a bit shaky, especially when it comes to getting paychecks accurately and on time. Some workers complain about the lack of benefits and worry about what will happen if they get hurt on the job. After several years of working without the benefit of professional employer services, the solo owner decides to close up shop, disheartened by a high employee turnover rate, discouraged by an inability to make payroll, and dismayed at mounting federal and state tax obligations. It's clearly owners who try to manage small companies without the aid of professional employer organizations that stand a greater chance of failure.

The cost of partnering with professional employer organizations is relatively inexpensive and can save a small business owner thousands each year. PEOs generally charge from 3% to 15% over client/owner payrolls. Fees are billed on a weekly or quarterly basis and include payroll expenses, insurance, and administrative costs. PEOs can purchase lower rate unemployment and worker's compensation insurance and add a markup, which is passed on to the client. But the savings owners realize by partnering with a competent PEO more than compensate for the added expense, especially since they don't have to foot the bill for higher premiums. Small business owners seeking professional employer services can browse the Internet or look in the local telephone directory. Owners can work online with a reputable PEO or within a local office. Because PEOs have had a bad reputation for abusing the staff leasing system, prospective providers should be thoroughly investigated through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the state Secretary of State's office. Owners should ask for references and read contractual agreements carefully to ensure the company's credibility.

Forensic Accounting Programs

Forensic accounting programs are designed to enable people with the skills needed to solve financial mysteries and fight frugal crimes. The field has become one that has been glamorized by popular culture through portraying detectives and crime scene investigators as being on the front lines of problem solving. The investigators are perceived to employ advanced methods of science and technology in efforts to right what has been wronged. This portrayal is not inaccurate, as forensic accountants do pour over records and paperwork carefully and meticulously and arrive at conclusions through the study of available information.

Many people immediately regard the field as being one full of exciting mysteries that can be solved by gathering clues and figuring out motives and suspects as they relate to crimes. However, the actual practice is one of pouring, painstakingly, over records and accounts. In fact, those who desire to delve into the field are encouraged to become as familiar as possible with legalese and law. Forensic accounting programs are designed to train those with the skills needed to perform with the utmost accuracy in accounting and imbue them with the the confidence to possibly present findings in an intelligent, concise manner in a court of law. Those in the profession "shall utter knowledge clearly" (Job 33:3), so that the facts presented can stand with validated importance. Accountants find out all possible information based on results from the study of evidence and other findings. The methods used are performed with the utmost accuracy and yield findings that are as precise as possible.

Unlike traditional accounting classes, which teach people how to study financial documents and deal with finances, forensic accounting programs are intended to teach the necessary skills studying financial documentation in addition to that of files and evidence, much like that of private investigators. Forensic accounting combines investigational skills with those of litigations support and the resolutions of disputes. Those involved in this line of work many times handle assessments relating to possible damages resulting from disputes between parties of domestic disputes before they are taken to a court room. Occasionally when such cases make it to the courtroom, a forensic accountant will testify as they are considered an expert witness. They also oversee the handling of investigations into matters pertaining to possible identity thefts, fraud, and even in the tracking down of offenders.

The skills cultivated through forensic accountant programs include that of the ability to think outside the box. One must be able to process financial information and other documents while simultaneously able to draw conclusions and uncover facts surrounding financial documents. Those who desire to enter the field must acquire the skills and need to have a bachelor's degree in either finance or accounting, and also be qualified as a Certified Public Accountant. There are various ways of acquiring forensic accounting certification through the necessary educational programs and certificates, including many websites that offer classes online through the Internet.

Forensic accountants are involved in virtually every branch of the business world and all branches of the United States government. The profession is one that is needed everywhere, therefore guaranteeing those in the field a well paying occupation in an ever increasing realm of exciting challenges. Qualified individuals have a wide variety of positions to choose from once they enter into this line of investigative work. Those with forensic accounting certification can work as or alongside lawyers, IRS auditors, Consultants, Financial Officers and more. There are also hundreds of job opportunities in the FBI and CIA. Due to the continuous high demand for people to work in the field ensures continued interest in a high paced environment as more and more openings become available as financial dramas unfold.

In order to enter the field specialized education is necessary as normal accounting degrees do not cover enough information as is required. Forensic accountants must be experts at not only obtaining information but also in analyzing facts and data. Normal accounting skills are not enough, however very helpful as a basis is required in order for more training to be built upon the basic skills and knowledge. Forensic accounting certification is not difficult to obtain, however, one must be dedicate do learning vast quantities of information in order to be successful.

Forensic accounting programs are essential for those who desire to obtain positions that will enable them to take part in select investigations. Unlike a regular accountant, those in the forensic field can be likened to Sherlock Holmes, solving crimes and uncovering mysteries by detailed study of clues and evidence. Those in this field can be sure of a career that is not only exciting, but rewarding financially and on a personal level as well, as finding a position is almost guaranteed for those starting in to the line of work. Job opportunities are in continual abundance and will be so indefinitely due to the nature of man.

Methods of study have been compared to and even regarded as a science, meaning that the information gathered and conclusions derived can be counted upon and trusted to hold up under intense scrutiny. Forensic accounting certification can be the first step into an exciting and ever changing career path that is sure to be financially rewarding, and rarely dull. Whether working with a company, firm or independently, the career will always be a necessary one. The field is ripe for up and coming investigators and accountants itching to uncover knowledge to solve disputes and right financial wrongs.

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