Payroll’s Charmed Professionals

BBNA display

Attending payroll functions on a local level has its advantages. Most of those I’ve attended in the Washington area allowed me to pull into my driveway at the end of the long day and sleep in my own bed. I really like that.

Another advantage was what I took away with me from the events. While I don’t normally get headaches, I know it’s been a good meeting if my brain hurts because it is so full from trying to process the information presented during general and workshop sessions, along with other activities. It’s like eating too much.

I recently attended the Charm City Annual Spring Conference near Baltimore.  The April 21 conference, which was hosted by the local Charm City American Payroll Association chapter, offered a glimpse of the breadth of issues that payroll professionals grapple with as they go about processing payrolls for their company’s employees.

The packed agenda had sessions on global payroll and expatriates, the Affordable Care Act, child support administration, data security and the push for paperless payroll.

We know that folks in payroll are a conscientious lot, for good reason. A failure in payroll can mean someone is short on money, the employer is exposed to penalties, taxes and support payments don’t get paid--the list can go on. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room, and even if a problem was not created by payroll staff members that group often is left having to fix it.

And because the stakes are so high, I think that’s why other sessions at the conference dealt with the role that stress can play on the payroll team, managing colleagues at work and financial wellness.

In between the payroll sessions, there was some time for us to network. Bloomberg BNA had a display for its domestic and international payroll services. Compliance, as you can imagine, is huge for payroll professionals. Our services have been key to helping thousands of organizations stay compliant. My colleague, Howard Perlman, CPP, addressed the conference. I also caught up with several people, including someone I had not seen in years. We took a certified payroll professional prep class together in 1991 and we passed the exam.

As I pulled into my driveway after the conference, the sun was way down but the issues that were addressed, what I had I learned and the comments I heard still were playing in my mind. Yes, the final metric of determining how much I got out of the event had been fulfilled: My brain hurt. 

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Follow Michael on Twitter  @MichaelTBaer  and join the Bloomberg BNA U.S. and Global Payroll group on LinkedIn .