Real Work, Real Life

Certified Public Accountant, Payroll Company CEO

January 03, 2024 Episode 44
Real Work, Real Life
Certified Public Accountant, Payroll Company CEO
Show Notes Transcript

On this week's episode of Real Work, Real Life, I’m talking with Charles Read. Charles is a CPA and the CEO of Get Payroll, which provides payroll services for companies across the country. Becoming a certified public accountant today requires a master’s degree and an incredibly challenging three day exam, but it’s a field that is in high demand with tons of potential if you’re well-suited to the work. We cover so much much in this interview, from good business practice advice for any entrepreneur, to the joys and challenges of running a business with your spouse, to knowing when to delegate aspects of your business, to how your role changes as you progress in your career. 

 Also, if you’re considering a career in accounting, you might go back and listen to my very first interview, with Steph, a tax CPA that worked for a major firm. You can find it here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/certified-public-accountant-tax/id1673653251?i=1000602280682

Links to find out more about Charles’s work:

If you like the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify  (linked below) and please share with a friend! You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Tiktok. And if you’d like to be interviewed here, or there is a particular job you’d like to learn about, please reach out at realworkreallife@gmail.com.

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/real-work-real-life/id1673653251
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Transcripts are now available here: www.realworkreallife.com 

Charles Payroll CPA

[00:00:00] Welcome to real work, real life, where I talk to real people about what they do for work and what that means for their lives. Today, I'm talking with Charles Reed. Charles Is a CPA and the CEO of get payroll. Which provides payroll services for companies across the country. Becoming a certified public accountant today requires a master's degree and an incredibly challenging exam. But it's a field that is in high demand with tons of potential. 

If you're well suited to the work. We cover so much in this interview from good business practice advice for any entrepreneur to the joys and challenges of running a business with your spouse. To knowing when to delegate aspects of your business and how your role changes as you progress in your career. All of the links that Charles mentioned are in the show notes. 

If you want to find out more about what he does. Also, if you're considering your career and accounting, you might go back and listen to my very first interview with Steph a tax CPA that [00:01:00] worked for a major firm. So let's get into it.

Emily: Thank you so much for being here, Charles.

Charles: Emily, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Emily: So what do you do for work?

Charles: Well, I run a payroll company, which means we provide payroll services for small and medium sized businesses around the United States.

Emily: that's wonderful. So what interested you about it initially? How did you get into this field?

Charles: Well, I'm a CPA by trade and I had set up an accounting practice back in the early nineties and payroll was a part of it and payroll was a good way to sell accounting services. So we grew that and continue to grow. And I sold off the accounting portion to my partner. that I'd taken on, oh, probably a dozen years ago, and kept the payroll company, which I really enjoy.

It's all business to business, which I prefer. So we're dealing only with businesses that have, either they're an employee of their own operation, we have a lot of those, or they [00:02:00] have employees and or contractors. But our real Unique selling proposition is compliance. We keep them out of trouble with the IRS, and when the IRS makes a mistake, we solve the problem.

Emily: Oh my goodness. So what are some of the big mistakes that people make or what are some of the challenges that people run into?

Charles: Oh, there's a number of things. The biggest mistake people make is, frankly, arithmetic. They don't fill out the forms right. They don't multiply your head right. That's the biggest source of errors. That one is easily corrected, but you may have to pay money. A lot of companies, particularly when they start out, don't know what they need to file, when they need to file it, what they need to pay, and when they need to pay it.

And that's what we do for our clients. We handle all of that, so they don't have to think about it. They tell us. the hours or the salaries and, and we handle the rest of it and pay the people, file all the tax forms, make all the deposits and answer all [00:03:00] the IRS inquiries. As a CPA, I take a form 2848, which is a limited power of attorney from every client.

And that allows me to advocate to the IRS for my clients. It's something that most of my competitors Don't or can't do.

Emily: so interesting. So they don't do it presumably because it's a lot of work, I would imagine.

Charles: Well, there's professional liability. I'm a professional and obviously anytime a professional does work, there's potential liabilities. Okay? So that's something that major corporations in this industry don't want to take on. One of my major competitors, I won't use their name, but their initials are ADP, has a whole room, a whole floor of accountants up in New Jersey, but no client can talk to them.

They're all internal for the corporation handling all the corporation's accounting. If you have a problem and you're an ADP client, they [00:04:00] will tell you to call your own CPA. Well, if your CPA really understood payroll tax. accounting, he'd be doing who is not competent to h they refuse to.

Emily: Wow. Okay. So let's go back a little bit. Can you talk a little bit about the process of becoming a CPA? 

Charles: fir day and age you have to h It didn't used to be that the educational requirement 136 hours of college, at least 30 hours of college accounting. And then you have to sit for the CPA exam, which is three days. It is probably the hardest. professional exam in the country to pass. About four percent of the people passed the entire exam on the first sitting.

Emily: 4%?

Charles: Four percent.

Emily: Whoa. Oh my gosh. That's so much lower than I would have [00:05:00] expected.

Charles: Well, yeah, it is.

then if you pass part of it, then you only have to take the parts you didn't pass and so on. A lot of CPAs take three times to get all the way through it. After they take it the first time, they realize they weren't prepared. What I did is I was in graduate school and I sat down with all my professors.

And said, what do I need to do this was just before the Christmas break to pass the exam when I sit for it in May, this is back in the 70s, and I ended up with a stack of book about waist high, so I spent four hours every day in the evening and eight hours every Saturday and every Sunday. For the next five months reviewing everything I could and I sat for the CPA exam in May of 1976 and in August of 1976 I got my results and I passed all four parts of my first sitting.

Emily: Way to go.

Charles: So I was, I [00:06:00] was very pleased because the other thing CPA stands for is can't pass again.

Emily: So does a CPA license cover the entire country? And I'm thinking like the bar exam, you, there's some reciprocity between states, but you sort of need to take it for each state.

Charles: No, the, the. The exam is uniform throughout the entire U. S. system states and or territories. So once you have it passed, then all you have to do to practice in another state is to ask for reciprocity. And there, there used to be some niddly things about education requirements and so on, but that's basically all gone away.

And once you've got your CPA in one state, you just tell the other state you wanna practice and, and pay the fee

Emily: Yeah.

Charles: there's always a fee.

So that, that 

Emily: any, do you have to do any continuing education? Oh,

Charles: 40 [00:07:00] hours a year.

Emily: wow. Have you done anything really fun and interesting with your 40 hours?

Charles: I've done all kinds of things over the last 45 years. So I take things because, you know I'm pretty good at what I do, so I take things I don't know. to expand my knowledge base and have fun with it. Yeah,

Emily: 40 hours a year. I mean, yeah, a full work week of continuing education. I think that's great. It also, I bet can be hard to fit in sometimes. 

Charles: it is, but the, profession, if you go to the conferences the speakers are all CPE and this kind of thing. So, you know, we work at making it easy. For instance, my most recent book which the payroll book available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other places is set up as a CPE course.

with several CPE providers. So you can go to them, get a book, read the book, take the exam, and pick up[00:08:00] 10 hours of CPE for reading the book and answering the questions.

Emily: Oh, nice. That's slick.

Charles: So I've read a lot of books that are set up as CPE courses. And since I'm a fast reader, I may end up with 30 hours of actual work as opposed to the 40, but I get credit for the 40 hours.

Emily: Yes. Yes. So what kind of personality do you think does well in this field?

Charles: They need to be an analytical personality. Okay. Obviously CPAs, we're, we're professional nitpickers. Okay. I'm sorry to be a good CPA. You have to be detail oriented. You have to not mind the monotony of doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over, but on the same token, you're dealing with clients.

So you have to be personable in the payroll field. Particularly we, we deal with. All kinds of businesses. I've had dog groomers, engineers, lawyers, [00:09:00] doctors. I had a prophet for a client, a prophetic center over here in, in Flower Mound. And they were a client for years all kinds of things. So you have to be, you have to be able to deal with all kinds of people.

You have to be able to deal with the guy that has the tire shop, and you have to be able to deal with the surgeon. So you have to, you have to like people and that's really not the wheelhouse for most CPAs. They're not people people. Okay. They're analytical people. They're numbers people. Okay. So in the payroll industry or any industry where you're dealing with clients, you have to have some people skills.

If you don't go to work for a CPA firm or a payroll company in the back office where you're not dealing with clients. Okay. And where the front guy like me deals with the clients.

Emily: I can absolutely see that being the case. So[00:10:00] What do you make today? And maybe if you can provide sort of a range of what someone in this field might expect to make at different levels of their career.

Charles: I make a very good living, but I have a company and I have a number of people that work for me. If you're an independent, an independent CPA, even if they're in the payroll industry should gross. 125, 000 to 150, 000 a year. That's gross. Out of that comes your office expense travel, machinery, equipment, internet, all those other things.

But you should be able to, as a practicing CPA, make at least six figures. 

Emily: That makes a lot of sense. you know, it sounds like you've been an entrepreneur for most of your career. What have you done for things like healthcare and benefits and has that all been basically self funded,

Charles: Yes, I was in corporate for 15 years after college, and Ruth and I, my wife started this firm [00:11:00] in 91. So we've been at it for 30 some odd years, but having a company, we set up group insurance, even for the two of us. we have funded through through the corporation, of course. It makes a tax deductible.

So everything is done within the company.

We set up a corporation immediately which is for liability protection. If nothing else is the, to have an LLC or a corporation, LLCs were not near as robust 30 years ago as they are now,

the law had to come into effect. So we chose a corporate status and we're an S corporation for tax purposes. And if your listeners aren't understanding about the tax advantages of an S corp, they need to talk to their CPA they're, they're huge. 

Emily: find a good CPA.

Charles: CPA yet. You know, you need a CPA. You need a banker, you need a lawyer, and you need an insurance agent. Those are the four [00:12:00] people that you need in starting a business, but they're advisors.

They don't run your business, and particularly lawyers will run your business. Some accountants will, too. Lawyers will tell you all these things you shouldn't do because there's risk. Well, there's risk in everything. There's risk in getting out of bed in the morning. There's risk in driving to work. So, you know, you have to, as the business owner, assess the risk yourself and determine what your level of risk is.

If you can't handle the risk, you probably shouldn't be an entrepreneur. 

Emily: That is the truth right there. And that's great advice about kind of making sure you have a really solid team, but also ultimately you have to be the decision maker or, you know, you're probably not maybe cut out to be the entrepreneur in that case.

Charles: And there's nothing wrong 

with that. go to work for the federal government 40 hours a week, huge amount of vacation, great retirement. Yeah, you won't make the max you [00:13:00] could. But you also won't work Saturdays and Sundays. So, and if, if they do, it'll be an overtime. you know, I've worked getting started.

I worked lots of nights, lots of weekends. We didn't take a vacation for, for probably 10 years. The first 10 years we were in business. So it's not an easy life, but At this point in my, in my life, I couldn't work for anybody else.

Emily: Yeah.

Charles: I'm too cantankerous.

Emily: I think it is easy to look at really, really successful entrepreneurs and kind of say like, Oh my gosh, they have it, made. And it is, like you said, you know, it's the perfect role for some people, but it's easy to also forget about all those years of nights and weekends and skipped vacations and things.

And you really need to think about whether that's something, a sacrifice that you're willing to make. Over the long term. And for many people, the answer is yes. And for many people, it's like that's so much. Yeah.

Charles: I was lucky. I grew up in a family business. My father was an entrepreneur, so it [00:14:00] seemed to be a good choice and something that was logical for me. And what was strange is my parents worked together, so I thought it was natural. So I went into business with my wife. And working with your wife is an unnatural act. 

Emily: Do you have any advice for people thinking about working with a spouse? 

Charles: I've threatened to write a book on it, but yeah, you've, got to redefine your roles. I'm a great believer in happy wife, happy life. Okay. and my father's favorite proverb is an old Chinese proverb, and it goes, man who say he master in own house also lie about other things.

Emily: That's amazing.

Charles: So when we started the business, My wife was, we've been married 20 years at the time, was used to running things with my input. Well, she was not an accountant. She took one accounting course, went two classes and said no, 

Emily: [00:15:00] Not

for everyone.

Charles: but she was a great people person, wonderful people person. Everybody loved Ruth. So it was a good fit for us because she was the front person.

Everybody loved her and would put up with me because of her. but I had to make the decisions in the firm. I'm the professional. I know how things have to go. And so it was, it took us about a year to redefine the work role versus the home role. And one of her bad habits was we'd get home, have dinner, have the evening, get into bed, and she'd have one last thing she needed to talk about. She'd tell me about something that she'd roll over and go to sleep because it was off her chest. And I would sit there not being able to sleep for hours worrying about it. So we came to a agreement that no more work after dinner. That led to some very late dinners. But it, [00:16:00] it, it allowed me to sleep at night,

Emily: I love that rule. And I do sometimes, you know, thinking about all the pairs that I know, I think there is something odd about people who like to talk about heavy topics right before bed and people who don't marrying one another. It's like, it's such a profound difference. And I love that she was like, I'm good now I can sleep. I feel

Charles: got it off her Yeah, she felt great. And I'm going, Oh, Jesus, damn, I'm going, Oh, no,

Emily: About to drive into the office, fix it.

Charles: yeah, exactly. So

Emily: Oh my gosh. I love that.

Charles: the other thing I do for clients, and this is what a payroll company should do, is we fight the IRS on a, literally a daily basis. I've been on the IRS advisory council, working with the IRS in DC for three years. I've been off for a couple of years now and I learned a great deal and it's been very useful, but it's dealing with the IRS.

[00:17:00] It's kind of like playing high stakes poker with somebody else's money. A client should not talk to the IRS.

They will get upset. And this was brought home to me very dramatically here in the middle of COVID. The IRS had screwed up. On my taxes and said, we owed all this money. So being the professional I was, I called up the revenue officer and explained to him where he was wrong.

And he said, no. And I said, no, you need to look at this, this, and this. He said, no. And I'm finding my voice rising.

Emily: Mm hmm.

Charles: And starting to get louder and a little more aggressive with this guy. In the back of my mind, I'm going, Charles, don't do that. Don't do that. And I find myself yelling at this Yahoo.

And he was incompetent and he didn't know his own procedures.

I know what the regs are. I know what the internal revenue procedures are. They're all published. You can look them up. I know what they are. [00:18:00] And I was quoting them to him and he was going, no, really upset him. And he filed a lien against my company.

Emily: Oh no.

Charles: It took two weeks to get a hold of his boss because it was during COVID,

Emily: Right.

Charles: and I got a hold of his boss and explained the situation.

He says, no, Mr. Reed, no, no. We'll take care of that. I'll get rid of the lien immediately. He should not have done that. I will talk to him.

Emily: Huh. 

Charles: That's why you don't talk to the IRS unless you're a professional, because you get emotionally involved in it.

Well, it's your money. I mean, it's so emotional.

Exactly. Let your CPA do it.

Emily: Yes. Oh my gosh. Well, I'm glad you got through that. But yeah, that's excellent advice. I mean, same, same advice that I think an attorney would give you to call an attorney if you get caught by the police, even if you think you have nothing to hide,

Charles: Exactly. Absolutely. Do that. And the IRS is, when they make a mistake or there's an error, it's a whole series of no's followed by a single yes. So you [00:19:00] always keep appealing. We had a case that took nine years to solve. There was a mistake made on how some 1099s were filed. And it was corrected, and the IRS wanted 100 for every misfiled 1099, and there were hundreds of them. So the fine plus penalties had risen to 95, and I'd taken it through all the levels of appeals for my client. And we finally got to the director of field operations, which is above the appeals office, and there's several of them in the country, and he wouldn't return my calls, and I called and called every week for a year. So, at the end of the year I'd given I gave up on him, and I called the deputy chief of appeals in DC who I'd met on the advisory council, and I said to her, this guy [00:20:00] won't return my phone calls. said, I haven't caught you. He called me that afternoon

Emily: gotta get the end. Mm

Charles: and he said, Oh, it must be a problem with, with the switchboard and the change of numbers or whatever.

Cause I haven't gotten any of the messages. Yeah. Right.

So we talked about it and we took the case and sent it to a new appeals office and they reworked it. And 90 days later, my client got a refund for 400. 

Emily: Great. 

Charles: As opposed to a 95, 000 penalty,

Emily: Oh my gosh. All that time.

Charles: but it took nine years and the attorney for the client said, you know, Charles, if I ever run into another one of these, I'm calling you because he didn't believe I got it done

Emily: Maybe add perseverance to the list of things that a CPA needs. 

Charles: years ago. I did up a demo tape for survivor. Okay. Well, I'm an old boy. I'm a boy scout, a Marine veteran and [00:21:00] all kinds of things. I didn't get selected, but one of the things they want is what people. One word that people use to describe you. So I went to my staff and said, what's that word? And they all came back with tenacious.

Emily: It's good to have a defining word like that. I 

Charles: Yes.

So I am tenacious. I sink my teeth into it and don't let go

Emily: I love it. I love it. So, can you kind of walk me through your average day, if there is one? Yeah. Yeah.

Charles: There's not an average day, but Now, my job as CEO is to make my employees life easier, more efficient, simpler, and solve their problems. That's my job as the CPA, as the, as the CEO of my company. I don't do a lot of the work. They don't let me do payroll anymore. Okay, we've changed systems and they're the experts at it.

They know the ins and outs of it. I just say, Hey, I need this to happen and they make [00:22:00] it happen. So, but we've got better systems, better equipment better operations. Everything is better than it used to be faster, more efficient. And so my job is to remove roadblocks that make difficult. So that's, that's what I do.

And then on top of that, I'm the the IRS. Yes. in person. I've got people that write letters under my name and that know exactly what to do and follow up on it and track these things. But at some point in time, on some of these cases, somebody has to talk to the IRS. That's me.

Emily: I,

Charles: I get to fight the IRS basically on a daily basis.

Emily: well, you know, I'm glad you highlighted that because I think in a lot of both more corporate jobs and more entrepreneurial jobs, if you're successful, the actual tasks you're doing will change so much over the course of your career. And you want to sort of be sure that you're suited to each.

individual step that you [00:23:00] go up. I mean, it's most often sort of moving away from the actual tasks that you were trained to do toward more managerial, strategic decision making, you know, fighting with the IRS daily. So it's interesting to hear about that progression.

Charles: It is. And sometimes you go back to the Peter principle. People get promoted till they become incompetent at their job.

And then they, and then they don't get promoted anymore, but they don't step back.

Emily: Right.

Charles: One of the things as an entrepreneur in a growing business is you have to know what you're good at and what you're not.

Now, in the beginning, you were all the hats and that's just part of being an entrepreneur. But you can start to move those off as you grow. You need to know which ones to move off, and who to move them to. Not only give them the responsibility for the task, but the authority to handle the [00:24:00] task. And you have to make sure they can do that.

And you have to know What you're good at and what you're not. Your job is not to be the smartest person in the room. Your job is to hire the smartest person in the room. So one of the mistakes I made is I thought I could market. And our company grew and grew okay. And then we finally got busy enough that I said, okay, now I'm going to have to take off the marketing hat.

I don't have time to do it and everything else. So I hired a marketing manager. And it took less than two weeks to realize that I couldn't market my way out of a paper bank. She was so much better at it,

Emily: Mm hmm.

Charles: and so much more successful, that my biggest regret in my business career, in my own business, is not hiring a marketing manager a lot sooner. 

Emily: Ah, that's a good piece of advice.

Charles: Because I didn't, I did not have the skill [00:25:00] set to do that, and I didn't realize it. I had not analyzed myself. about that skill set. And Well,

Emily: My goodness. Yeah, so you know, is there anything she kind of did right away that was really successful?

Charles: she immediately got which I thought was a far to grandma. Anything other time. Right now. It's a h And we get a lot of clients through that. And I had no concept. So yeah, that was a huge thing. Now our social media work is, is huge constantly. I've got two people that do it all the time. it's a huge portion of the world today.

I still don't understand it, 

but I've 

got very. I don't need to. I've got very smart people that understand it and are very successful at bringing in clients using it. So great. 

Emily: Ah, that's [00:26:00] wonderful. That is wonderful. So for someone thinking about sort of becoming a CPA today, maybe pursuing the entrepreneurial path, what are the prospects look like for them? Are there any, you know, is there plenty of work? Are there any big sort of threats on the horizon to the industry? Or is it just, you know, great field to get into still today?

Charles: Well, it's a great field to get into. It's growing. There's a shortage of good CPAs. You can do it in industry. You can do it in government. You can do it as an entrepreneur. The, the field is wide open. It pays well. It's an established profession. It has a lot of credibility. The, one of the downsides though is if you're a CPA.

Any social organization you join, you're going to be the next treasurer. 

Emily: Yes, that's true.

Charles: I joined the Rotary Club of Dallas and I was treasurer for 11 years. 

Emily: Just prepare yourself. You are definitely going to do that.

Charles: Yeah, then, another younger CPA joined, so he got the treasurer's 

Emily: Oh my gosh, that is good to know. [00:27:00] So what are some things you love about your job, especially if you think people might find it surprising?

Charles: I love to fight the IRS.

Emily: Yes, I do find that surprising. Amazing.

Charles: because with my experience now, in many cases, I know more about the law and the regulations. A few years ago, I became a U. S. tax court practitioner. There's about 200 of us in the country. It allows me to represent my clients in U. S. tax court without being an attorney. I have a bar card from the U.

S. tax court. Okay, I'm a licensed practitioner. So when we have a case that's not solvable with the IRS, we file a petition with the tax court. And that's a whole nother bite of the apple. It immediately goes to docket appeals, and we get very, very sharp people on the case. And if we have any case at all, it's normally settled before we ever go to court.

I have yet to lose a tax court case. I know [00:28:00] for your listeners, I will lose one someday. Absolutely guaranteed. 

Emily: Right. 

Charles: But at the moment, so far, so good, but it's that kind of thing I can do for my clients. We can fight the IRS. We can step them through appeals. We can call the chief of appeals in DC if necessary.

I've met at one point in time, all the deputy commissioners, all of all the various groups in the IRS. And I know how to find them so we can do things our competitors can't and it's fun to do that and be successful for our clients. One tip for your listeners, the IRS cannot penalize you for a simple mistake. They can only penalize you for gross negligence. Now of course they can collect any taxes that are due and interest, but they can't penalize you and assess penalties for a simple mistake. The law is written that way, only for gross [00:29:00] negligence. Now, the problem, of course, is Who defines gross negligence and the IRS does, except it's never written anywhere what gross negligence really is.

It's all in the eye of the beholder. The guy who makes the decision in the end, what's gross negligence or not is the judge. 

Emily: Right. 

Charles: So as I said earlier, it's a whole series of no's followed by a single yes. So this guy says no, his boss, his boss, his boss, his boss. And if you're lucky. And you're good.

You'll find somebody along the way that says, Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Okay. say thank you and go away. Don't argue anymore. 

Emily: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. That's amazing. And that, that is a good tip. I guess I didn't really realize that, but it's nice to know there is some, lenience toward the taxpayer, essentially, if it's just a mistake and an oversight and not, not purposeful.

Charles: Remember, Congress writes the laws

Emily: Right.

Charles: and they are very, very [00:30:00] sensitive to voters.

Emily: Mm hmm.

Charles: Okay. The IRS writes the regulations to enforce the laws and they don't care what you think. So that's why it's important to be able to go back to the law. and say, hey, the law says this. You know, lawyers have been doing this in their profession for ever, and so we do it in the accounting profession as a U. S. tax court practitioner. One of the most effective things I have in my arsenal is when I'm arguing with an appeals officer is to write a dummy petition that I would file with the U.

S. tax court, listing all the laws and all the case law and send that to the appeals officer and say, Hey, This is what we're going to file with the U. S. Tax court. If we don't get a positive response, 

Emily: Right. 

Charles: he does not want to be overruled by the tax court. [00:31:00] Because if I file that the tax court and the tax court says you're right, his boss is going to know what I want to know why he didn't settle that in the beginning, why he wasted the time and send it to tax court and wasted everybody's time, energy, effort, money when he was wrong to start with.

And why was that? So they don't want to be overruled.

Emily: Right. Yeah. Powerful incentive. 

Charles: It's a very effective tactic.

Emily: Yeah. So, on the other hand, is there anything that is tough about this work, especially if it was something that you didn't anticipate or you just didn't anticipate how hard it would be?

Charles: Oh, you know, business is great except for three things. Okay. Employees, vendors, and clients. 

Emily: So, things.

Charles: There's always problems. There's always, there's clients you have to fire. There's employees you have to fire. There's vendors. You say, I'm not going to deal with you. There's all that kind of variation.[00:32:00] So our retention of employees is fabulous, but they all interview new candidates.

We haven't replaced anybody. The last person left here. Probably almost three years ago and because of increased efficiencies, we didn't have to replace her. We're doing more business with less people because of, computerization and better software and better techniques and so on. I don't think we've had to hire anybody in years and we're still growing. So you know, that's, that's good. We've got a good group of vendors and partners we deal with. We've got them very carefully. But you know, our, our forms guy called us here a couple of years ago and said, what do we need to do to get your business back? And we said, what do you mean? He said, well, you haven't ordered anything in 18 months. And we hadn't because he sold us our check stock. Well, we've moved everything to direct deposit. Okay. And we've moved for, [00:33:00] we used to order paper by the pallet,

Emily: Oh

Charles: cases of paper at a time.

Emily: Yeah.

Charles: Now we order two boxes from Amazon, maybe three times a year 

because it's all gotten electronic. Things have changed.

And that's one thing. that every entrepreneur has to understand and be on top of is change. When we first started, all the payroll was, was called in. Then fax machines came in and became big things. Now we seldom take a payroll other than electronically. 

We have a few, a client will call us from Timbuktu and say, Hey, I need to pay the staff this week and I'm out of town.

Just pay them what we paid them last time.

Emily: Yeah.

Charles: We've got a guy that he does it electronically and sometimes he does it from a Wi Fi down at Waikiki Beach. 

There's a Wi Fi at the Starbucks or something that he taps [00:34:00] into and does his payroll from the beach. About twice a year he does that. So, the world's changed.

Emily: Yeah.

Charles: And if you aren't willing to change with it, you're going to be left behind.

Emily: Oh my gosh. Yeah. So true. So this is the last question I have for you and then I want to leave time at the end so people know where they can best find you, but what is one piece of advice generally about work that you would give your younger self? 

Charles: There is no traffic jam on the extra mile. Go the extra mile for your clients. Go the extra mile for your employees. They will appreciate it because you are basically unique. Your competitors don't do it. Other companies don't do it. You're going to stand out. Because you're willing to go the extra mile.

Emily: Oh, I love that. Yeah, that is amazing advice. I think that can apply in so many different situations. So where's the best place that people can find you and [00:35:00] more about your business?

Charles: We're all over the web as getpayroll. com. My personal email is CJR at GetPayroll. And if they just need a quick answer, 972 0000. Ask for Charles.

Emily: That's great. Oh my gosh. Well, thank you so much for your time, Charles. I really enjoyed this discussion.

Charles: Emily, been my pleasure. Thank you for having me. 

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