For any business to thrive, keen attention must be paid to every internal process, whether it be intricate or simple. These processes are what strengthen a business model and aid in its smooth functioning. For a small business owner, at times, outsourcing one of the many processes comes into the picture for various reasons. But what drives the outsourcing of a process such as payroll and accounting, is trust.
Customers of Payroll Vault have clearly exhibited this trust and know that they’ve outsourced an essential part of their operations to the right company. In the following interview with Sean Manning, CPA, CFE, CEO and Founder of Payroll Vault, we delve into the nuances of accounting and payroll services franchising. Sean also provides his opinions of the industry and brief insights into what makes his company the most sought after.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Can you give our readers a brief overview of your company and its vision?
Payroll Vault’s vision is to be the most recognizable payroll outsourcing company with the highest customer satisfaction.
Payroll service ranks in the top 3 of the most outsourced business services by business owners. Franchise owners can tap into the growing industry and service the small business market. Small businesses—typically companies with 100 or less employees—account for over 90% of business world-wide.
I saw the small business sector as a much-underserved market for payroll services and that is why I decided to move into full-service payroll and help support the small business community.
Payroll Vault’s niche demographic is companies with 1-25 employees. Many of these small sized businesses are in a ‘do-it-yourself’ mode for their payroll which can leave the business owner at risk for compliance issues and they can struggle to keep up with the ever-changing legislation. Moreover, industry data shows that DIY business owners end up spending 18% more on their payroll than if they were to outsource it, and then they can reduce their risk for non-compliance dramatically.
What are the cutting-edge services offered by Payroll Vault?
Payroll Vault partners with Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of business payroll software systems, to provide technologies required for complete start-to-finish payroll processing. The engine around payroll service must be strong and I have had a very strategic partnership with Thomson for several years. The alignment with Thomson Reuters ensures that Payroll Vault has one of the best software solutions available for our clients with secure and world class data storage.
Other preferred vendor partners to Payroll Vault provide the workforce management solutions to support the business owner. Employer and employee portals help keep payroll information at their fingertips. Our franchise offices use client relationship management software to track client and lead data, reporting, KPIs, support information and training library, and the software has an intranet system so franchisees can communicate and support each other.
What are the special franchisee strengths that make your company unique from its competitors?
Payroll Vault is highly visible within our local communities while expanding a strong national footprint and provides a one-to-one client approach. When our clients need assistance, we pick up the phone and answer questions in real-time – no call or overseas processing centers. Everything is done at the local Payroll Vault office making us the go-to experts for business owners. We understand that time is of the essence when operating and managing a small business, and we pride ourselves on being more of an advisor or consultant for our clients. Our goal is for each business owner to have the opportunity to work ‘on’ their business and not ‘in’ their business.
The ability of the Team, from the Corporate to the community office level, to proactively plan and react when global circumstances occur, is being proven during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Payroll Vault already had sound business systems in place to sustain a mobile approach to virtually any situation. Due the amount of shuffling the nation had to do, as a system, we didn’t skip a beat and maintained the integrity and promise of personalized communication and access with our clients.
At the franchise level, the Team has been able to shift planned hosted conferences and Discovery Days to virtual events easily and effortlessly. The result has continued to display and build trust and integrity at all levels of the business. This global event has allowed us to show our clients and franchise prospects that this business can truthfully be run from anywhere, any time.
Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learned that has shaped the journey of Payroll Vault.
A successful business journey creates several experiences that have an impact on the company and its future. What is most perceptible is the cultural development at Payroll Vault. When people are allowed and encouraged to help create and mold the culture and given a safe environment to experiment and make mistakes that are designed to advance the business, everyone’s passion in their career path creates excitement and new opportunities. The culture becomes one of bold ideas and confident risk.
Another area that allowed Payroll Vault to flourish organizationally and be dynamic is our commitment to an energetic vision that is supported by a thought-out process described as our Success Framework.
Lessons – enjoy the process. Whether it is going back to the drawing board, revisiting systems and processes that can be more efficient with added technology or checking in with each team member to ensure they are on their preferred path to success. It’s a piece of the journey that cannot be overlooked or understated.
Where do you envision Payroll Vault to be in the long run and what are your future goals?
Payroll Vault’s goal is to be the chief small business payroll partner and trustworthy small business resource in local small business and professional communities across the nation. One of the highest values Payroll Vault holds is integrity.
I see us continuing to expand – increasing our number of franchise locations and supporting franchisee satisfaction is at its pinnacle while preserving unrivaled and highly personalized client relationships and service.
About Sean Manning
Sean has exceeded the conventional standards of the accounting industry and inspired entrepreneurs nationwide. As a second-generation CPA, for the past 30 years, Sean’s mastery of superlative client relationship management and strategic marketing has grown his companies remarkably. With forward thinking, he continues to pioneer an innovative approach to the accounting industry.
Technologically driven, he was amongst the first to transition his accounting firm, Insperience Business Services, to a paperless environment in 2005 and establish client portals to increase access, efficiencies, and support.
Revered by his peers as a “thought-leader”, he is sought after to speak and invigorate the industry with his out-of-the-box ideas. Sean is a master of managing and leading people. He doesn’t hire people for jobs in his companies, he offers them careers, and has created an unparalleled culture to inspire his team and the clients they work with – all leading to growth and success for everyone on every level.
In 2008, Sean separately branded his payroll division to Payroll Vault. Even in the height of the recession, Payroll Vault grew at a rate of approximately 125% annually – testimony that business owners like what Sean and his team are doing to “Re-Define” the payroll industry.
In 2011, Sean was featured on the cover of CPA Practice Advisor magazine for his success with Payroll Vault. His phone started ringing from accountants across the nation inquiring about his success with payroll, which then launched the company into the franchise arena in Quarter 4 2012. Payroll Vault is recognized as a ‘disruptive brand’ as the only payroll and workforce management services franchise in the industry.
Why Payroll Vault? – know from the clients and franchisees:
“There are many facets that come with owning a small business and payroll isn’t always as easy as it seems. The number of hours spent prepping and processing payroll was time that I desperately needed back. The amount of time it took to process payroll and keep up with monthly and quarterly taxes, it didn’t take much to persuade that we needed to outsource our payroll. It’s important to me that not only do my employees get paid in a timely manner, but also the details of taxes be taken care of as well. The time I get back from doing payroll means more time with my customers, employees, and even my family. I have full confidence in Payroll Vault to meet all my payroll needs. They know what it’s like to have a small business and the importance payroll plays. Let’s be honest, they make me look good and deliver on time every time.”
– Gretchen Butler (client) | Owner, Butler’s True Value Hardware | Madisonville, KY
“I am impressed with the community support given day-to-day among not only the Payroll Vault home office but the Franchisees as a whole. The mutual respect and availability of support in the Payroll Vault community is outstanding.”
– Sean Pettit, Franchisee Owner | Payroll Vault | San Antonio, TX
“Payroll Vault continues to upgrade and innovate in the development of the brand. Each year brings more quality and innovation to the franchisees and markets we serve.”
– Debra Schill, Franchisee Owner | Payroll Vault | Columbus, IN