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point is especially important for ASCs because they need to comply with a wide range of federal and state regulations that dictate various aspects of their opera- tions, payments and, often, profitability. PEOs are staffed by experienced HR professionals who have key credentials such as the Senior Professional in Hu- man Resources designation from the HR Certification Institute and the Cer- tified Payroll Professional designation awarded by the American Payroll Asso- ciation. They also have employment law attorneys on staff who advise the PEO’s HR professionals.

Seek out Best in Class PEOs ASCs considering outsourcing their HR function to a PEO should seek out those that hold the Employers Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC, www. certification.

A major aspect of the PEO’s role is to assume the administrative burdens associated with employee and HR-related operations.”

—Louis Basso, Alcott HR

Within the PEO industry, it is the equiv- alent of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the banking industry. To achieve certification, a PEO must meet financial, professional and ethical stan- dards. Upon meeting these criteria, the company joins a group of PEOs nation- wide whose clients are covered by an $11 million surety bond. Additionally, there are state certifications that PEOs can secure which further demonstrate the organization’s commitment to the industry’s highest standards. For ex- ample, the Certification Institute (www. issues PEO certifications in such areas as workers’ compensation best practices, timely pay- ment of state and federal payroll taxes and contributions to employee retirement plans and payment of health insurance premiums. NAPEO considers these cer- tification programs and ESAC accredita- tion as another means for establishing a PEO’s commitment to service quality.

Louis Basso is the president and Barry Shorten is the executive vice president of Alcott HR,



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