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Small Business Research Findings

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Small Business Research Findings

  1. 1. Perquest, Inc.PO Box 701301333 Broadway, Suite 1015Oakland, CA 946121.866.576.5340www.perquest.comRunning a small or medium sizebusiness today requires the abilityto look outside the business for• solutions,• ideas,• and best practices.2008Small Business Best Practices ReportExecutive SummaryCompliments of:Chapter 1
  2. 2. Perquest 22008 Small Business Best Practices Report Executive SummaryThe 2008 Small Business Best Practices Report publishes the results of a surveyof small and medium size businesses commissioned by Perquest Inc.The survey report consists of 5 chapters.1. Executive Summary2. Business Trends3. Business Metrics Best Practices4. Compensation Best Practices5. Outsourcing Best PracticesComplimentary copies of these chaptersare available from your Perquest Agent.
  3. 3. Perquest 32008 Small Business Best Practices Report Executive Summary2008 Benchmark Best PracticesExecutive Summary:Employers have entered an era of unprecedented challengewhen it comes to managing a business: rising customer ex-pectations, talent shortages, generational change, legal risks,outsourcing needs, and technology advancements are just afew factors significantly impacting the success or failure ofany business. Running a company today requires the abil-ity to look outside the business for solutions, ideas, and bestpractices. Escalating this challenge is the Internet, globaliza-tion, and competition from larger enterprises (think SAP insoftware, Wal-Mart in retail, or H&R Block in tax account-ing) in all product and service lines.Best practices are new standards for the bettermentof small businesses. Practices include:1. Focus all employees on revenue-producing activities(eliminate internal non-core activities)2. Make planning and daily decisions using metrics andbusiness analytics at both the executive andfront-line levels3. Use outsourcing partners to learn and instill bestpractices (processes, technology, systems) and reduce costs4. Proactively mitigate employee, environment,competitors, and legal risksWhile small businesses face a multitude of daily challenges,they have the advantages of being agile, flexible, customercentric, and more apt to develop and respond to innovation.Small businesses can also more readily adopt best practiceswhich is one of the reasons why Perquest, a leading providerof small business outsourced solutions, is releasing the resultsof this survey.This report summarizes the survey results and illustrates ourinsights from working with thousands of small businesses.The key findings detailed in this report discuss how smallbusinesses struggling with financial, employee, customerand time-related issues can effectively adopt best practices tocompete with larger enterprises for customers and employees.What is a Best Practice?Best practices are the most efficient (leastamount of resources) and effective (bestresults) way of accomplishing an activitybased on proven, repeatable proceduresLeading companies use best practices—aphilosophical approach based around con-tinuous learning—to find ideas and strategiesto improve performance.A best practice can be a method, process,activity, incentive, or reward that is moreeffective at delivering a particular outcomethan any other technique or process.
  4. 4. Perquest 42008 Small Business Best Practices Report Executive SummaryOther findings include:• Time distractions (84%) and people managementissues (47%) have increased• Finding talent remains a top concern; subsequently,retention programs are still an opportunityfor improvement and competitive differentiation• Companies who rely solely on financial compensationto attract and retain employees are missing out• The majority of SMBs are not using business oroperational metrics or analytics• Outsourcing to instill best practices in terms ofbusiness process and systems is becoming a mustThis report provides a snapshot regarding the stateof small business, including:• Business Change• Management Time• Top Business Challenges• Major Workforce Challenges• Tools to Improve Performance• Employee Motivational Tools• Outsourcing Best Practices• Payroll Solutions• Survey Respondent DemographicsWhy Best Practices?Improve PerformanceContinual focus on raising the bar andsetting new standards of excellence isa requirement for leading firmsRemain CompetitiveGiven today’s legal and talent landscape,large enterprises have an inherent advantageof more resources that can be overcomeonly with better processes and ideas.Reduce CostsSmall and medium size businesses (SMBs)do not have the financial pockets of bigbusinesses to “re-invent the wheel.”Avoid MistakesLearn from others—save time, money, andheadache.Find New IdeasGiven advancements in every facet ofbusiness, innovation is a requirement andkey driver of American business success.
  5. 5. Perquest 52008 Small Business Best Practices Report Executive SummaryRespondent DemographicsSurveys were collected from executives, managers and staffacross a wide range of industries throughout the US. Thedata for this report was collected during the first half ofQ4 2007. Respondents were asked their views regardingbusiness management and workforce practices.Respondent by RoleRespondent by CompanySize (# of Employees)14%10%76%Owner, President,C-Level ExecutiveManagerNon-PayrollVP/Director23%14%10%14%10%19%10%250+1-45-910-1920-4950-99100-249Respondents By Industry3% Business Services3% Construction6% Consulting3% Customer Services3% Distribution/Transportation3% Energy6% Financial Services12.5% Healthcare/Life Sciences3% HR Technology and Services3% Legal15.8% Manufacturing3% Media/Advertising12.5% Other6% Outsourced Services Provider9.5% Retail/Wholesale6% Telecommunications
  6. 6. Perquest 62008 Small Business Best Practices Report Executive SummaryAbout PerquestPerquest is an innovative provider of online payroll and employer services to small and medium sizebusinesses in the United States. It delivers high quality, easy-to-use comprehensive services marketedthrough a network of professional agents focused on helping companies in their community growand prosper. For more information, visit www.perquest.com.Company History2001Perquest founded2002–05Pioneered Internet-based payroll services forsmall business2003Launched QuickBooks interface2004Launched client accountant access functionality2004Passed the IRS Assurance Testing System(ATS) and Business Acceptance Testing(BATS) requirements for software developers2005Became the exclusive payroll partner forNet Suite, the worlds largest on-demandaccounting service2006Tom Sinton named CEO (renowned payroll expert& innovator, founded ProBusiness, 4th largestpayroll provider in the US)2006Assembled the best senior management teamin the industry2007Raised $25 million from venture capital andprivate equity firms2007Launched next generation on-demand payrollservice2007Launched the industry’s first ever payroll analyticsfor small business2007Launched the new Perquest Portal and websitewww.perquest.com
  7. 7. Perquest 72008 Small Business Best Practices Report Executive SummaryAbout the ResearchWith the intention to better understand and serve small to medium sized businesses (SMBs),Perquest launched a multiyear research initiative at the end of 2007. The research gatheredinformation about the needs, practices, and benchmarks of SMBs and sought to discover howSMBs can be better served with our unique payroll service.By sharing the results of this research, Perquest offers business owners and managers some of thelatest information about the trends, tools, and techniques available for improving SMB operations.SMBs often struggle with financial, employee, customer and time related issues. Some of the keyfindings detailed in the research identify ways for SMBs to effectively adopt best practices tocompete with larger enterprises for customers and employees.If you want to make your business more competitive with an easy and service-oriented payrollsolution designed specifically for SMBs, contact Perquest.About the AuthorCharles Bedard is a partner in the Houston office of Ephor Group and heads the firm’s SMBOutsourcing and Marketing Practices. Bedard specializes in market research and SMB growthstrategies. At Ephor Group, Bedard shepherds client’s growth strategies and leads corporatedevelopment initiatives. He has served as the VP of Marketing and Sales for multiple HRO,HR Technology, CRM and Marketing Service, Workforce Management, and BPO companies.He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern University and his Masters of BusinessAdministration from Texas Christian University.About Ephor GroupEphor Group is well recognized as an industry thought-leader for outsourcing and B2B technologyand service-based businesses including BPO/HRO/HCM/FAO/CRM and healthcare services.Ephor Group has been researching and analyzing the needs and trends of small business since 2001by conducting multiple quarterly surveys of founders, executives, finance, accountants, payroll andHR managers, and front-line staff.Perquest, Inc.PO Box 701301333 Broadway, Suite 1015Oakland, CA 946121.866.576.5340www.perquest.com© 2007 Perquest, Inc. All rights reserved. Perquest, the Perquest logo, and Perquestpayroll are trademarks of Perquest, Inc. All other company or product names are trade-marks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. 000v1_0208
  8. 8. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.comPerquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportWhat is a Best Practice?Best practices are defined as the most efficient (leastamount of resources) and effective (best results) way ofaccomplishing an activity, based on proven, repeatableprocedures.Leading companies utilize best practices - aphilosophical approach based around continuouslearning – to find ideas and strategies to improveperformance.A best practice can be a method, process, activity,incentive, or reward that is more effective at delivering aparticular outcome than any other technique or process.Why Best Practices?Improve Performance: Continual focus on raising the barand setting new standards of excellence is arequirement for leading firms.Remain Competitive: Given today’s legal and talentlandscape large enterprises have an inherent advantageof more resources which can only be overcome withbetter processes and ideas.Reduce Costs: SMBs do not have the financial pocketsof big business to "re-invent the wheel".Avoid Mistakes: Learn from others – save time, money,and headache.Find New Ideas: Given advancements in every facet ofbusiness, innovation is a requirement and key driver ofAmerican business success.2008 Benchmark Best PracticesEXECUTIVE SUMMARYEmployers have entered an era of unprecedentedchallenge when it comes to managing a business:rising customer expectations, talent shortages,generational change, legal risks, outsourcing needs,and technology advancements to name a few factorssignificantly impacting the success or failure of anybusiness. Today, running a company requires theability to look outside the business for solutions,ideas, and best practices. Escalating this challengethe Internet, globalization, and competition fromlarger enterprises (think SAP in software, Wal-Mart inretail, or H&R Block in tax accounting) in all productand service lines.Best practices are new standards that must beembraced by small business such as:1. Focus all employees on revenue producingactivities (eliminate internal non-coreactivities)2. Make planning and daily decisions usingmetrics and business analytics at both theexecutive and front-line levels3. Utilize outsourcing partners to learn and instillbest practices (processes, technology,systems) and reduce costs4. Proactively mitigate employee, environment, competitors, and legal risksWhile small businesses face a multitude of daily challenges, they have the advantages of being agile, flexible,customer centric, and are more apt to develop and respond to innovation. Small businesses can also more
  9. 9. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com2Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices Reportreadily adopt best practices which is why Perquest, a leading provider of small business outsourced solutions,conducted this survey.This report summarizes the survey results and illustrates our insights from working with thousands of smallbusinesses. The key findings detailed in this report discuss how small businesses that struggle with financial,employee, customer and time related issues can effectively adopt best practices to compete with largerenterprises for customers and employees.Other findings include:► Time distractions (84%) and people management issues (47%) have increased► Finding talent remains a top concern; subsequently, retention programs are still an opportunity forimprovement and competitive differentiation► Companies who rely solely on financial compensation to attract and retain employees are missing out► The majority of SMBs are not using business or operational metrics or analytics► Outsourcing to instill best practices in terms of business process and systems is a mustThis report provides a snapshot regarding the state of small business and includes the following tables andgraphs:1. Business Change…………………….………………………………………….…………………………..……32. Management Time…………………..………………………………………….…………………………..….…43. Top Business Challenges……………………………..………………………..…………………………..……54. Major Workforce Challenges…………………………….……………………..……………………………..…55. Tools to Improve Performance………………………………………………...………………………….…….66. Employee Motivational Tools….………………….……………………………………………………….….…87. Outsourcing Best Practices………………………………………………………………………………….…...98. Payroll Solutions………………………………………………………………………………..…………….….119. Survey Respondent Demographics……………………………………………………………………………12
  10. 10. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com3Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportBUSINESS TRENDS2008 Economic Outlook:While industry specific forecasts should be examined for each business, numerous economists forecast theoverall economy to have moderate growth with a 2-4 percent GDP increase in 2008 after a near-termslowdown in Q4 20071. Slow to moderate growth should keep inflation and interest rates under control aseconomists expect consumer prices to rise less than 2.5 percent next year and interest rates to stay within .25-.5% of current levels. This forecast should allow the market to move directionally upward.OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, WHAT HAS CHANGED IN SMALL BUSINESS:Business Change5%0%0%0%5%11%0%5%0%37%0%21%0%26%32%21%58%11%16%11%53%37%37%26%21%32%63%37%32%0%11%21%0%11%21%26%5%CostsNumber of employeesLegal and compliance issuesPeople management issuesPerformance relative to competitorsProfitsTime distractionsTotal revenuesDecreased by More than 25 Percent DecreasedNo Change IncreasedIncreased by More than 25 PercentBusiness is getting more complex and demanding and profits are struggling to keep pace with rising costs.Illustrated by the green bars in the chart above, costs and revenues are rising but profits are not in proportionas indicated by the lack of green. Also, in regards to “Performance relative to competitors,” only 1 in 5 firmsillustrated improvement over the last two years highlighting the need for new ideas and business processes.1Courtesy of CNN.com via The National Retail Federation, Sales expected to rise 4% in December which is the lowest increase since2002 of 1.3%. Also of note: ShopperTrak RCT Corp reports that sales on Black Friday rose 8.3% - sales on Black Friday are usuallyabout 5% of all holiday sales.
  11. 11. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com4Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices Report2008 TOP TEN WORKFORCE TIPS10. BENCHMARKING DATA – Benchmarking brings new methods, ideas and tools to improve effectiveness. It helps“crack through resistance” by demonstrating better methods of solving problems used by others.9. BUSINESS ANALYTICS – Analytics is the process of turning data into useful information for decision making. Toolsand visuals to analyze key performance indicators, such as Paid Time Off (PTO) Liabilities, Overtime Analysis, orEmployee Turnover are readily available.8. OUTSOURCING – Use external providers to focus managers and employees on revenue activities and at the sametime improve business processes while spending proportionally less than competitors.7. PAY FOR PERFORMANCE – Align all employee activities with business goals though compensation, incentive, andaward programs. Transparency between employee and manager on performance is key.6. MITIGATE RISKS – Legal, employee issues, competitor suits - don’t wait for a landmine!5. PLAN FOR SUCCESSION – Whether for knowledge transfer, promotion, or growth, emphasizing cross-training anddiverse experiences increases retention of younger and older workers, plus delivers a more capable, profitable team.Top Ten Workforce Tips is Continued on Page 7Activity PreferenceAdministrative HR Less time (40%)Day-to-day people management Less time (30%)Strategic people management More time (20%)Payroll Outsource (20%)Recruiting Less time (30%)Strategic HR More time (20%)How Would You Prefer to Spend Your Time?MANAGEMENT TIME:Time distractions have clearly increased for the vast majority of employers (84%); it is noteworthy that 0percent had time distractions decrease. Employers will face more and more paperwork as the push for moredisclosure, either regulatory or market driven, continues.Today there are many time saving options to consider. More than 80 percent of small businesses outsourcesome component of their business to save time, reducecosts, and improve performance - from IT to payroll totax accounting etc. How to best spend time is open fordebate, but choosing how to best allocate executives’,managers’, and employees’ time on revenue producingactivities is critical.In summary: costs, challenges and time requirementsare increasing; the small business that learns how to cope (spend less on a percentage basis than rivals) willthrive while those that ignore rising issues will lag behind and potentially fail.
  12. 12. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com5Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportBUSINESS CHALLENGES FOR Q1 2008:Small businesses face a multitude ofdaily challenges ranging from financialconsiderations such as payroll and cashflow, to people issues, yet many SMBsdo not have the economies of scale orresources of larger firms. However,SMBs must compete with corporationsfor employees and customers.According to research, a major issuefacing small business is ensuringadequate cash flow for operations. Thatis no real surprise as most small business owners say cash flow is the issue that keeps them awake at night.TOP 3 WORKFORCE HEADACHES:Each of the challenges in the graph tothe right is a cost, time, or strategic issuethat must be dealt with for any businessto succeed. Nothing makes employeesmore uneasy than an unsatisfactoryworking environment – whether it is abad boss, misaligned work activities, orfear of not being paid. Companies mustmeet the basic needs of employees suchas timely and accurate payment ofcompensation and provide a motivatingorganization environment.
  13. 13. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com6Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportBusiness MetricsWhat is not known will potentially destroy a small business. Operating on "gut instinct" means assumptions,confusion, and emotions rule decision making. By monitoring key business metrics, (most consultants wouldrecommend 8-10 indicators), the probability of success is increased as firms that use hard data and facts gainvisibility and a decision making tool. However, the majority of small businesses are not leveragingbusiness metrics to make better management decisions for their companies2. Driving this issue is thefact that 50 percent of firms do not use budgets or forecasts to help manage their business and 32 percent donot have specific metrics in place to monitor performance on a daily or weekly basis.BUSINESS PERFORMANCE NEEDS:Only 1 in 5 participants agreed that metrics are as important to them as their financial statements thusillustrating the need. Another finding indicated only 21 percent of participants measure their return oninvestment of marketingand sales dollars, andonly 11 percent statedthat they regularlymonitor non-financialindicators, like customerretention or employeeturnover to furtherevaluate businessperformance.What is the point ofmetrics and benchmarking? Bottom-line: it is a means of empowering employees, mitigating risks, creatingresults, and capturing market opportunity.22007 CPA2Biz survey of 500 small businesses with less than $2M revenues: subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs.Tools to Improve Performance31%22%22%22%16%9%0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%Benchmarking data (industry / competitor trends)Business analytics (metrics)Performance and compensation alignmentMore time to focus on your core businessTactical day-to-day people helpStrategic help
  14. 14. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com7Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportImplementing Metrics is as Simple as 1,2,3:1. Define the Metrics. For each business goal or objective, create a ratio to track progress towards success on a time(weekly, monthly, etc.) and group (by location, division, group, etc.) basis.2. Benchmark and Monitor. Monitor the firm’s top 8-10 metrics on a weekly basis against last week, last month, lastyear and against competitors as applicable.3. Communicate Metrics with Employees. Metrics are only as important as their affect on employee actions andactivities. Collaborate with key employees, align employee compensation and rewards as needed to ensure thatemployees are focused on activities that match the business’ goals. Then everyone will make decisions that improvethe business.Example metrics:Professional Services: average hours worked per project, number of proposals in the pipeline, number of prospectappointments set per monthRestaurants: number of seats filled per dining time and day of week, average total ticket per table, total daily salesbroken down by food or beverage categoryRetailers: daily sales against last month and last year’s sales, average total sales receipt per customer, repeat visits(use of store coupon or card)Keep in mind metrics are indicators – they will be the yellow flag if something is off and needs improvement.2008 TOP TEN WORKFORCE TIPS – Continued from page 44. METRICS – Monitor 8-10 top metrics to stay on track – both financial and non-financial signposts are needed to reflectperformance and make decisions – remember what is measured is completed.3. AUTOMATE WORKFLOW – Go paperless: streamline processes to improve efficiency and provide better visibility forreporting.2. FOCUS ON RETENTION – Re-recruit top performers before they receive better offers. Replacement costs per employeeare an average of $10k for nonsalaried and $50k per salaried worker. Remind top performers they are valued anddiscuss career opportunities and development on a quarterly basis.1. OPTIMIZE WORKFORCE EFFECTIVENESS – Has the business optimized talent such that it is generating the highest returnon the investments in the workforce? Step two: How effective and sustainable is leadership across the business?Because business dynamics can change like stocks – knowing when to respond to trends, like buying andselling at the right time, can be the difference between a poor and profitable year. Since “Hope is not astrategy,” a key management responsibility taking advantage of simple tools to better manage profitability andperformance. Common sense tells us that businesses that utilize metrics sleep better.
  15. 15. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com8Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportEmployee Motivation Tools48%45%42%39%30%27%21%9%3%0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%Cash rew ardsPerformance review sVacationSpot rew ardsPaid-time-off (PTO)FlextimeTeam rew ardsWork from home timeNoneCOMPENSATION BENCHMARKSBenchmarking compensation on an annual basis is a standard operating practice. Aligning employee’s dailyactivities with the business’s goals and using a pay-for-performance and/or incentive reward program is asalient best practice. Annual compensation data can be readily found online using websites such asSalary.com and searching by job title and zip code.EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION:Firms that over rely on cash compensation miss the boat on attracting and retaining employees as all shipsrise in rising water, but during tumulustimes are exposed.Wondering how to motivate employees?Incentive programs inspire andrecognize employees for a job well done.Realize that a misaligned, non-communicated, or poorly plannedprogram can be counter-productive orworse yet, downright devastating for abusiness (think overcompensating ordisenchanting key employees). All of thefollowing should be weighed: individual vs. group, cash vs. non-cash, and incentives vs. base pay.COMPENSATION LANDMINES:Legal, regulatory, and compliance issues have increased for almost half of the respondents. Common issuesin 2008 for most small businesses include:1. Deferred compensation and non unilateral agreements and/or practices2. Liability management: Discrimination, substance abuse, harassment and violence3. Recruitment – Standard selection, screening, testing, and hiring process4. Payroll - Federal and state tax requirements, PTO liabilities, minimum wages, overtime pay, hoursworked, equal pay, and responsibility in maintaining records5. Independent contractors – The IRS looks at two issues: first, should the contractor really be anemployee and second, is the company providing 1099s to all legal contractorsBusiness can decrease liability by periodically reviewing operations and policies, comparingcurrent with projected results, and charting a path to proactively mitigate risks.
  16. 16. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com9Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportOUTSOURCING BEST PRACTICESThe concept of outsourcing non-core activities may never reach full market acceptance, yet it continues toreceive significant market attention. The three most common reasons SMBs outsource3are:1. Cost savings2. Time-saving for strategic activities3. Improved performance / Service quality improvementsOutsourcing by Function38%29%21%21%8%8%4%1%0%30%0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%PayrollAccountingBenefitsLegal / ComplianceFinanceRecruitingInformation technology (IT)TrainingPerformance managementNoneThe majority of firms with more than nine employees outsource two of the following:Payroll: This is the most commonly outsourced function. It includes paycheck processing, tax filings, directdeposit, wage garnishments, and year-end tax forms.Benefits administration: Providers help procure competitive rates for comprehensive benefits packagesincluding health and dental insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, 401(k) plans, COBRA,and unemployment insurance.Recruiting: A provider will manage the hiring process from job postings to testing applicants, and runningbackground checks while ensuring compliance with non-discriminatory labor laws. They can handle hiring andfiring, review compensation packages, and help structure programs to retain employees.Regulatory compliance: The primary goal is here is to ensure 100 percent compliance with all federal & statelaws. This includes audits and reporting for all tax filings and corporate regulations, such as FMLA, HIPAA, andSarbanes-Oxley.3Towers Perrin Research Report reports: #1 cost savings (37percent), time-saving for strategic activities (23 percent), improvedperformance / Service quality improvements (14 percent). Aberdeen Group 2006 Benchmark report reports: #1 cost reduction(69%), focus (63%), and improved end-user service (33%).
  17. 17. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com10Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportRisk management: Providers help determine policies for workplace safety, develop training programs andsafety meetings for employees and ensure workplace follows OSHA regulations.Technology: This includes various online applications for accounting, marketing and sales i.e. customerrelationship management (CRM), and human resource solutions including payroll and benefits solutions.HR management: HR outsourcing providers manage compliance and HR policies, direct recruiting, andprovide training.Choosing an Outsourced Provider Scorecard:1 2 3 4 5Experience in similar industry sectorOrganizational and cultural fitDefined goals and objectives for relationshipSharing of best-in-class processes and technologyCustomer support and communicationProduct / service quality (accessibility, features, reporting)Additional FeaturesCost-benefit ROI (price vs. value comparison)SCORECARD TOTALSCOREFactorRelevance(PercentageWeight ofTotal Score)
  18. 18. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com11Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportPAYROLL SOLUTIONS:Payroll SolutionIn-house -Payroll manager23%In-house -Bookkeeper,controller, officemanager, admin30%OutsourcedCPA /Accounting firm8%OutsourcedPayroll Provider31%Unsure8%More than half of companies with more than nine employees outsource payroll. Many companies utilizeoutsourced payroll services to realize:1. Smoother workflow;2. Most effective way to do payroll;3. Fewer mistakes and errors; and4. Comprehensive services – provider takes care of everything.CONCLUSIONAs this report details, firms must find methods to effectively compete against stiffer competition and escalatingcosts as business performance is closely linked to workforce effectiveness.Best practices are a method for continuous improvement and can be delegated so that it is each employee’sdaily responsibility. Small businesses have many options for reducing costs, streamlining work and savingtime; where to focus effort and resources depends on analyzing the cost-benefit as well as benchmarkingagainst competitors and/or industry standards. Small businesses that develop business models with lowercosts and more efficient operations on a percentage basis versus the competition are building wealth creationenterprises.
  19. 19. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.com12Perquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportRESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICSSurveys were collected from executives, managers and staff across a wide range of industries throughout theUS. The data for this report was collected during the first half of Q4 2007. Respondents were asked theirviews regarding business management and workforce practices.RESPONDENTS BY:INDUSTRY:Respondents by Industry0%2%4%6%8%10%12%14%16%18%BusinessServicesConstructionConsultingCustomerServicesDistribution/TransportationEnergyFinancialServicesHealthcare/LifeSciencesHRTechnologyandServicesLegalManufacturingMedia/AdvertisingOtherOutsourcedServicesProviderRetail/WholesaleTelecommunicationsROLE:Respondents by RoleVP/ Director10%Manager Non-Payroll14%Ow ner,President, C-level Executive76%COMPANY SIZE BY EMPLOYEE COUNT:Respondents by Company Size (# of employees)1 – 423%5 – 914%10 – 1910%20 – 4914%50 – 9910%100 – 24919%250+10%
  20. 20. 1333 Broadway | Suite 1015 | Oakland CA 94612Ph 510.740.6300 Fax 510.238.8835www.perquest.comPerquest 2008 Benchmark Best Practices ReportAbout Perquest www.perquest.comPerquest has created the easiest payroll service ever! We do this by offering a 100% web based real timepayroll service. It was designed by users to make payroll quick, easy, and error free. We’ve taken old stylepaper reports and transformed them into useful charts and graphs to help you make better decisions.Perquest, Inc.PO Box 701301333 Broadway, Suite 1015Oakland, CA 946121.866.576.5340www.perquest.comCompany History2001 Perquest founded2002–05 Pioneered Internet-based payroll services for small business2003 Launched QuickBooks interface2004 Launched client accountant access functionality2004 Passed the IRS Assurance Testing System (ATS) and Business Acceptance Testing (BATS)requirements for software developers2005 Became the exclusive payroll partner for NetSuite, the worlds largest on-demand accountingservice2006 Tom Sinton named CEO (renowned payroll expert & innovator, founded ProBusiness, 4th largestpayroll provider in the US)2006 Moved headquarters near the technology capital the world2006 Assembled the best senior management team in the industry2007 Raised $25 million from venture capital and private equity firms2007 Launched next generation on-demand payroll service2007 Launched the industry’s first ever payroll analytics for small business2007 Launched the new Perquest Portal and website www.perquest.com