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The Most Recent Attempt to Dislodge the ACA

by Colin RhodesJune 18, 2018 8:00 AM

Even if you only follow on the fringes of healthcare reform, the inception of the ACA in 2010 may have shed light on the lack of bipartisan effort surrounding reform policies. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit, the ACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is widely regarded as the most impactful healthcare policy since the rollout of Medicare & Medicaid by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Irrespective of the clout this policy holds in the eyes of leaders within our domestic healthcare system, it has not operated within its short eight-year tenure without controversy.  

The debate surrounding the longevity of this policy continued last Thursday (June 7, 2018) in unprecedented manner as the Justice Department filed a briefing recommending that the U.S. District Court of Texas (Fort Worth Division) rule the insurance reform provisions of the ACA unconstitutional.

Book of recent updates in healthcare reform.

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Small Business Health Insurance Requirements

by Tim AustinMay 31, 2018 8:00 AM

It’s not uncommon for small business owners to wonder exactly what their responsibilities are when it comes to health insurance. With all the uncertainty that can surround healthcare, it’s understandable that owners may be unsure of what the future holds, or what they need to do to make sure their business isn’t violating any legal requirements. Those requirements can depend on the size of your business and if you offer healthcare coverage.

To start, small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are not required to offer health coverage. However, these businesses are still required to provide a report about healthcare information to employees. This reporting should cover certain information about the marketplace, such as what it is and how employees can contact the marketplace

Despite it not being mandatory, many small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees still make the choice to provide workers with health insurance because quality healthcare coverage can help businesses attract and retain top talent. This decision can be very beneficial, but it does mean that small business owners will need to take on a few new responsibilities.

A doctor helping an employee with small business health insurance coverage.

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Do I Need Payroll Software for My Small Business?

by Tim AustinMay 24, 2018 8:00 AM

Let’s be honest; what business owner looks forward to managing payroll? While payday may be exciting for your employees, it’s likely that you’re not thrilled about having to put together payroll reports, track deductions, and oversee every other critical aspect of payroll administration, especially if you do everything by paper. 

For some small business owners, payroll administration is just a necessary part of business life and the business isn’t big enough to justify its own HR department. While payroll administration is necessary, it doesn’t have to be a big burden. Online payroll software can give you the tools to take some of the pain out of payday preparation. Here are a few questions you should consider when evaluating your payroll management process.

Small business owner using online payroll software. 

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Three Myths About Payroll Software

by Tim AustinMay 11, 2018 8:00 AM

Let’s face it, you didn’t decide to run a business because you were excited to manage payroll. Ongoing payroll management can clog your schedule, forcing you to run reports and handle tricky calculations instead of taking the time to find other ways to grow your business. Fortunately, payroll software can help you free up your schedule while improving your payroll process. 

While a good online payroll system can benefit business owners, some may be skeptical about making the move to payroll software. Here are three myths about online payroll software that you shouldn’t always believe.

Payroll software on a business owner’s computer. 

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What are the Different Functions of Payroll Management?

by Tim AustinMay 4, 2018 8:00 AM

Whether you have a single paid employee or run a small business with many employees, you need to pay attention to payroll. However, payroll involves more than cutting a few checks. Good payroll management is comprised of several different functions that help you properly pay your employees and keep your business compliant with government regulations.

Payroll documents for a business handling payroll management. 

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Does a Small Business Need HR?

by Tim AustinApril 25, 2018 8:00 AM

As a small business owner, you’ve likely thought of ways that you can cut business expenses to save money. One of these ideas may involve whether you should invest in outsourcing HR or hiring in-house HR professionals.

HR just isn’t that important when you don’t have many employees, right?

Wrong. Every business needs to deal with critical HR functions, whether it’s a major corporation or a five-person business. Here’s what you need to consider the next time you think about whether your business needs HR management.

Employees at a small business thEmployees at a small business that outsources HR management.at outsources HR management.

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How to Motivate Employees

by Tim AustinApril 17, 2018 8:00 AM

A lack of motivation can really cost your business. Entrepreneur reports that disengaged, disinterested employees have led to a loss of up to $550 billion per year for U.S. businesses. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help motivate your employees so that they’re ready to give it their all every day. Here are three steps that you can take to engage your employees.

A motivated employee. 

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Human Resources

What is Employee Management?

by Tim AustinApril 2, 2018 8:00 AM

A small business’ success can depend heavily on its employees. The National Federation of Independent Businesses notes that “employees at small businesses carry more of the company’s weight on their shoulders than those working at larger companies.” As a result, the failure of an individual employee can make a greater impact at a small business than at a larger organization.

Employee management is one way to help turn an underperforming employee around or prevent high-performing employees from becoming a weak performer. The concept of employee management is more than just making sure that people are doing their jobs; it’s a variety of procedures and strategies that can help you measure, monitor, and interact with the workforce that plays a huge role in your company.

An owner practing employee management strategies.

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How the Ongoing Evolution of the Fiduciary Rule Affects Small Business Owners

by Tom SmithMarch 28, 2018 8:00 AM

The fiduciary rule has had a bumpy ride in the past few years. After initially going into partial effect in June of 2017 and targeting Jan. 1, 2018 for a full rollout, the move to have all financial professionals who work with retirement plans follow the same fiduciary ethics and standards was postponed until July 1, 2019. Now MarketWatch reports that the Fifth Circuit Court “struck down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule” in a split decision Thursday, March 15, 2018.

This may not be the end of the fiduciary rule, however. According to Forbes Contributor David Trainer, the fiduciary rule may still make an impact even after being struck down. Trainer writes “While the ruling could end the Fiduciary Rule as law, it cannot erase the awareness the DOL [Department of Labor] raised, nor can it stop market forces leading the business towards a more ethical place.”  

So, what does this mean for business owners? The fiduciary rule wasn’t designed to directly impact you as an owner, but it does affect the financial advisors connected to your business. Here’s a quick rundown of how the fiduciary rule can still make an impression on financial advisors and what that may mean for your business.

Financial advisors for a small business 401(k) plan.

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Do Wellness Programs Really Work?

by Tim AustinMarch 14, 2018 8:00 AM

Wellness programs have become very popular in recent years. In its 2017 Employee Benefits Survey, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 24 percent of organizations added to their wellness benefits, which was the biggest increase for any benefit during the year. 

While more businesses are investing in wellness initiatives, some owners may ask how effective workplace wellness programs really are. The answer to that can depend on your goals.

Employees using a workplace wellness program.

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