The Library

Golf Fore Food Charity Event

GFF-Logocrop

Southwestern Payroll recently co-sponsored the Golf Fore Food Event with Brock and Associates at Forest Ridge Golf Club in Tulsa, OK. Our awesome team consisted of: Darin Alred, Blake Moffatt, Andy Gray, and Pro Golfer Matt Novozinsky of South Lakes GC.

Golf Fore Food is a Pro-Am golf tournament in beautiful eastern Oklahoma.

Each company involved brings a volunteer team to pair with a PGA Professional for an event designed to bring aid to the Eastern Oklahoma Community Food Bank.

The pros get a chance to compete against one another, and help their team to win the tournament. Before the game, PGA Pros all offer their time for short clinics to help improve the game.

Darin & Samantha pic crop

The Food Bank programs provide more than 335,000 meals each week to eastern Oklahoma families in need.

Thank you to our Eagle Sponsors

Citizens Security Bank, Rich & Cartmill,
Benefit Plan Strategies, Hodges Warehouse,
Spring Point Technologies,
Helmerich & Payne, Regent Bank.

Creative services compliments of Aqua Vita Creative.

Do you care about your community? Looks like we have something in common! Let’s talk. Call 918.587.3321

SWPay Does Route 66 CPA Run

The Route 66 CPA Run 2014 was a fantastic adventure filled with sun, sweat, laughter and much support for the Crime Prevention Network.

CPA 2014 2

This Saturday, at 8:00 in the morning, the runners lined up – ready to run the race for Crime Prevention Network.

Participants bolted from the line even as the walkers began to line up behind them for the 8:15 Walk/Run. Our team participated with gusto and greatness, and we came away happy about giving our time and breathless from the run.

Don’t miss out next year!

2 Rt 66 2014 CPA Run

Do you care about your community? Looks like we have something in common. Give us a call and let’s talk payroll sometime. Call 918.587.3321

Real Security for Data and Paperless Payroll

It seems that almost every day we hear about someone who has been the victim of identity theft or has had their confidential information exposed. Often this is a result of transmitting sensitive data through unsecured email.

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As a payroll provider, we take our responsibility to keep your information safe very seriously. That’s why we continually look for new and better ways to protect our clients and their employees.

Security experts will tell you that even the best systems are only as secure as the users keep them. Any system that is not simple for both sender and recipient is less likely to be used correctly or used at all. This is especially true for email.

Additionally, the most secure email can still be printed and left lying around. Paper is often the weakest link in the information chain of most businesses. That means easy electronic access to secure data can help avoid unnecessary printing and enhance security.

At Southwestern Payroll, we’ve integrated a sophisticated and powerful email security solution for delivering sensitive payroll reports to clients and employees without printing.

All information electronically transmitted in or out using this system is fully covered by the highest level of security protection available on the market. Data is kept fully secured and confidential.

The system, provided by Shugo, is certified as McAfee Secure, and is used by more than 75,000 businesses around the country to comply with the increasing number of state regulations intended to ensure all payroll, business records and other sensitive data are carefully protected.

The system can be used in a variety of ways to simplify the delivery of sensitive information. First and foremost, we use Shugo’s File Guardian to deliver payroll files and reports to clients and earnings statements directly to employees automatically.

Secure Paperless Payroll

Recipients are sent an email indicating that new files have been delivered to their Shugo account. They can access these documents by simply clicking the link and entering their access code.

For more information on paperless check delivery Click Here.

We also use Shugo to send clients secure emails directly through Microsoft Outlook. Shugo integrates seamlessly and allows you to encrypt emails or attachments just by clicking the Shugo icon.

And, clients can send us a secure email as well by going to our website, clicking on “Client Login” and then selecting “Secure File Mailing”. This opens our Shugo portal where you can choose “Secure Send”.

Secure Email Example
Secure Email Example

All files and documents sent by any of these methods are stored online in your own account for easy retrieval at your convenience for up to 12 months. We provide these personal accounts to you and your employees at no cost. Managing them is easy and fully automated.

To learn more about “going paperless” or how you can use Shugo for your own company, contact Southwestern Payroll at 918-388-3320 or contact us here.

2014 Route 66 CPA Run

Southwestern Payroll sponsors 2014 Route 66 CPA Run!

The Route 66 CPA Run takes place on September 13th, 2014, at 8:00 am at the H.A. Chapman Stadium. The Run benefits the Crime Prevention Network.

8:00 AM begins the 1K Fun Run & 8:15 AM 5K begins the Walk/Run @
CPA RUn

Here is the list of 2014 CPA Run Participants by Southwestern Payroll Department:

Running for Sales
Steve Hobbs, Jim Jarvis, Amy Slater and Megan Warren.

Running for Tax
Lana Fowler, Nicole Nance, and Katie M.

Running for Operations
Karla Lopez, Merida Minton, and Mandi Nichols

Let’s see what you all can do! Go Team!

It’s Labor Day: Don’t Labor – Just Relax

Business man leaving work happyOn this banking holiday we call Labor Day, remember, it’s all about you – the American worker.

On September 5, 1882, the first Labor Day parade took place, starting a movement to celebrate the many achievements, innovations, and contributions of American workers.

Today, you’re one of those workers, so enjoy the day off.

At Southwestern Payroll, we plan to kick back and relax too. Spending the day with family and friends, toasting one another with huzzahs, and enjoying a cold drink on one of the last hot days of summer is the only thing on our agenda.

We’ll see you on Tuesday, refreshed and reminded of all the good your work can accomplish in this great country.

Banking Holiday Alert: Labor Day

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All banks will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 1, 2014.

Be aware that no direct deposits will settle or be initiated on this day.

If your check date is Monday, September 1st, Tuesday, September 2nd, or Wednesday, September 3rd, you may need to contact us in order to coordinate your payroll processing for a timely direct deposit.

Southwestern Payroll Service’s office will also be closed Monday, September 1, 2014, in observance of Labor Day.

NOTE: If you would normally pick up your payroll – or have it delivered by courier on this day – please make arrangements to come in on Friday, August 29th or contact us to have the delivery date changed.

Questions can be answered through the contact form below or by phone at 918.388.3320.

Support

Employee, Contractor, or Statutory Employee: Who Are They?

SWPay Employee StatusOne of the questions we are asked most frequently is “Who is an employee?” The answer to this question has significant financial and legal implications for your business.

Here are some pointers to help you make this determination for your particular circumstances and point you to resources that will give you confidence in your decision.

Many businesses would prefer to pay all individuals as independent contractors, who do not legally require employer taxes, employee tax withholding or benefits.

In recent years, the IRS has paid particular attention to the determining of worker status, due to the loss of billions in uncollected taxes from those employers who pay employees as contractors instead.

While there is no simple rule for all purposes and all jurisdictions, there are numerous factors which can be looked at together to help determine who is an employee and who is not.

The IRS uses something called the 20 Factor Test to determine how much control the business exercises over the manner in which the work is done, the schedule of the work and resources used.

Generally, when a business controls or has the right to control what work will be done and when, where and how – then the worker is an employee.

The most common way to determine if someone is a contract worker is to rule out any factors that would make them an employee. A worker is only a contractor if you can only control the result of the work.

For example, when hiring a painter to paint your home, you have the right to determine an agreed upon price, a deadline for completion and whether the work is done to your satisfaction – and little else. Otherwise, they are considered a common law employee.

The IRS states: “Under common-law rules, anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed.”

Workers can be assigned to one of four classifications that govern how they must be treated for tax purposes. They are employee (common law), independent contractor, statutory employee and statutory non-employee.

Even if a worker might be considered a contract worker under the common law guidelines, there a four special circumstances that would render them a Statutory Employee.

Access these exceptions, and additional contingent considerations here..

In short, the exceptions are:

  1. Food and laundry delivery drivers who are agents or receive commission
  2. Life insurance agents who sell primarily for one insurance company
  3. Home workers using materials you provide to create items to your specifications to be delivered back to your company or customer
  4. Salesmen or saleswomen who sell goods to other businesses for resale or use in their businesses

When these special cases also are required to 1) Perform the services personally, 2) Do not have a large investment in tools or equipment and 3) Provide these services continually to the same base of clients, then they are considered Statutory Employees.

There are also three kinds of workers that must be treated as Statutory Non-employees, thus as contract workers.

They are:

  1. Direct sellers
  2. Licensed real estate agents
  3. Companion sitters not employed by a placement service

If payments are made to the sellers and agents only for sales produced and not based on any expectation of hours and they are employed under a contract that states they will not be treated as employees for tax purposes, then they are Statutory Non-employees.

If in doubt, submit this IRS Form SS-8 for an official determination.

Here are the complete IRS guidelines.

Ultimately, if you decide that you can treat workers as independent contractors, you may wish to consult a labor attorney or CPA to be sure you make the right call. It is always safe to treat a worker as an employee, and for most companies, this is almost always the right answer.

Call Southwestern Payroll with any questions to help you clarify whether your workers are employees or something else.

Additional information is available here from the Department of Labor.

Copyright: Southwestern Payroll Service, Inc. 2014 918.587.321 www.swpay.com

Best Payroll Company for Small Business – What to Look For

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No one ever said running a small business was easy, but managing the day-to-day operations is enough work without the added complications of accurately handling payroll.

Still, many companies choose to do just that – and often their efforts are rewarded by mistakes made in moments of exhaustion.

Why Outsource Payroll?

No matter how many employees you have, outsourcing makes sense for a variety of reasons. Small employers under 50 employees probably lack the expertise in-house to handle everything correctly in an efficient way. Remember that a payroll company doesn’t just provide you with a service, but with a knowledge base and team of experts with years of experience.

We are always ready to process payroll. We never get sick or go on vacation so you are not dependent on a single employee that knows how things work.

Companies of all sizes find that outsourcing costs less and allows employees to focus on revenue generating activities.

What Do I Look For?

When you make the decision to find a payroll professional, here are some things to look for. Take notes, make comparisons, and see what Southwestern Payroll has to offer.

Relationship

What’s the most important quality in the company you use to manage your payroll? Understanding. The payroll team you choose should take the time to get to know you and your company’s unique functions and practices.

They should take the time to understand you, your employees, your business, and how you operate. Without it, you’re just another client. With it, they’re part of your team.

At Southwestern Payroll, we make payroll easier for you and your staff – right from the start – by investing the time to understand how you run your business. We customize our strategy and tools to fit your needs.

Not only do we keep up with the large national payroll companies, we offer you personal service, an available staff, and the time it takes to keep your company’s payroll up-to-date, efficient, and meeting the needs of your employees. These benefits are usually missing with a company where you’re just another client number.

Experience

Look for a company that has the experience and knowledge to handle your payroll tax and compliance concerns. Payroll needs vary from business to business, and a good company will already have a plan for any situation that might occur within your office.

Whether you’re taking on new employees, starting to garnish wages, or need help with complex compliance regulations, they should be prepared to handle it with efficiency and accuracy.

Customer Service

Most payroll companies offer a direct line to customer service. But can you really get someone on the line in an emergency? Employees change bank accounts, W-2s get lost and people panic when the money’s not where they expect it to be. Having a live person ready to solve problems immediately can make all the difference in an emergency. We’re here to help you. And that means giving you access to us – whenever you need us.

Cost Efficiency

The service you receive should be cost-effective for your bottom line. If you spend more time calling the payroll company to make adjustments and corrections than you would doing payroll yourself, the cost has outweighed the benefits.

Our accuracy, efficiency, and concern for your business equate to money in your pocket and time on your hands.

Services Provided

Do they provide certain important features like payroll setup for new employees, payroll reports, and PTO accrual? How about payroll tax payment, garnishment service, and paycards?

Whatever your needs, today or next year, the payroll company you choose should be prepared to offer you service, standards, and speed to complete the transactions you need to succeed in business.

Ethics

Not only are ethics crucial to the reliability of a payroll company, they are vital to your health as a company. The handling of your money, and your employees’ paychecks, must be kept in the most trusted hands. So take a moment to really examine your dealings with the people you trust with the life blood of your business. Do you see evidence of character and good business practices in your communications with them?

At SWPay, all your funds can be reconciled and accounted for at any time. In addition to high standards of electronic information protection, we take special care of your information by controlling paper documents in our building.

Looking for a payroll company who cares about you?

Give SWPay a call: 918.587.3321

A New Website For Southwestern Payroll

Introducing the One, the Only, the Brand New Website for Southwestern Payroll!

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new and improved website. The new layout gives you ease of use and a simpler navigation. See the difference below.

Ye Olde Site

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New and Improved Site

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Accessing your site is now even faster and easier! Note the minor differences in navigation to Payentry.com and Time and Attendance below:

Ye Olde Site

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New and Improved!

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Our new site is more than just entertaining. We’ve chocked it full of advice and expertise. Have questions? Give us a call at 918.587.3321

Let us know if you have any questions. Enjoy!

Important HRmony Security Features

In an effort to enhance security to our system, Southwestern Payroll will be implementing an enhanced security login structure as outlined below. The change applies to all users within the system, regardless of whether it’s an administrator with full privileges or an employee using the ESS portal. Our goal is to provide not only world-class technology, but world-class security as well.

As all of you are aware, there are frequent news reports of security breaches at large and small companies and governments around the globe. With several high profile data breaches, including the most recent one involving the breach of the federal employee database, employers might be wondering – is there still something we can do better to protect our employees’ data?

The answer is absolutely YES. This is why we are implementing these enhanced security measures to protect the data of your company and employees.

We encourage you to share this information with your staff and employees. Many of them may already be familiar with this kind of process using online banking or other logins, as many banks now have such secure login practices.

Resources

pdf-iconADMIN Summary: Enhanced_Security_Requirements

pdf-iconEMPLOYEE Posting of Security Requirements

pdf-iconMFA Manager Approval

Note: Please share this “EMPLOYEE Posting” document with your employees.

Below is a Summary of the Changes

1. Enhanced Password Standards:
Going forward, your password must contain a minimum of 8 characters and include at least one of the following:

  • Uppercase Letter
  • Lowercase Letter
  • Number
  • Symbol

An example would be: Password1$

2. Multi-factor Authentication:
Multi-factor Authentication adds an additional level of security. After you enter your username/password and click login, if the system does not recognize this computer as one you have used in the past, the system will require a second form of authentication before you can continue. A code will be emailed or texted to you, which you will then enter to access the system.
The security combination factors are as follows:

  • Password = something you know
  • Code = something you have

What Will Happen On Thursday Morning?

Step #1: Users should start the login process as usual. After you successfully enter the username and password, the system will prompt you for a new password (even if your current password already meets the new standard). The password criteria will have to meet our new standards outlined above. (There will be on-screen instructions advising users of the new requirements).

Step #2: After changing the password, you will be prompted to configure the Multi-Factor Authentication Settings. Up to three methods can be configured for receiving the code, as follows:

  • SMS Mobile #: Will be used to send codes via text message (preferred method)
  • Email: Will be used to send codes via email address
  • Voice Phone #: Will be used to send codes via phone call

You may choose to enter all 3 or only 1.

The system will have pre-filled any phone or email that is already listed in your account. However if you want to use another phone/email for the purpose of receiving the code, those fields can be overwritten with new information. When done, click save.

Once this step is completed, you will be logged in to the system. (If you change your email or phone number in this process, it will not replace or update information entered in your employee profile, this is used strictly for code authentication).

Next time you log in, the system will list the methods you have selected in the setup process, you will be able to select one of those. The system will generate a random 6 digit code and send it to you, after entering the code; the system will validate the number and grant access to the application.

Important: If this is your office or home computer that you will use in the future to login, you should check the box to remember this computer. This will avoid the code requirement on future logins from “this computer”.

Note:
Password Change and Multi-factor authentication Will NOT be required when using Web Clock. However when you login next to the system portal, the system will prompt you to change the password and setup the new Multi-factor authentication; you will then have to use that new password for Web Clock as well.

Mobile Users:
Mobile users will be required to change their password as well according to the same guidelines. However for the mobile app, the system will not enforce the MFA code authentication. You will be able to login on the mobile app with the username/password only since it does not access the larger data system directly.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. We recognize that it might be a small inconvenience during the transition, but it is a big step in the right direction to protect your company and employee data.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call 918-388-3320 or email your account representative or support@swpay.com and we will be glad to assist you.