Celebrating National PEO Week: Helping PEOs Help SMBs Succeed

By Tim Pratte

The first National PEO Week is here, which means it’s a great time to celebrate the contributions of Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) to small businesses and our country’s economy.

The federal recognition of National PEO Week in the Congressional Record signifies how far the PEO industry has come and its influence in job creation and supporting small businesses. This awareness has been further amplified by the efforts of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), which has done an amazing job of showing the value that PEOs bring to small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). National PEO Week serves as a platform to spread awareness about PEOs and their significant contributions to the business landscape.

During this week, I find myself reflecting on the journey and growth of the PEO industry as a whole. 

When I entered this field over 27 years ago, I witnessed firsthand the remarkable impact PEOs have on SMBs, and that impact has just gotten larger and larger over the years. Through payroll management, employee benefits, compliance and HR support, PEOs empower SMBs to focus on their core missions while helping them compete for talent with much larger organizations.

As Guardian reported in its 11th Annual Workplace Benefits Study, the number of employers using PEOs has grown 40% since 2008. So why is that?

Throughout the years, the value proposition of PEOs has remained strong, particularly for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. These businesses need a one-stop solution, a reliable partner who can handle all aspects of employment, from payroll processing to insurance coverage and employment liability management. A small-business owner’s focus should be on the growth and efficient operation of their business, not getting tangled up in administrative tasks.

Read Craig Babigian’s thoughts on the first National PEO Week.

The move to remote and hybrid work environments has made PEOs even more valuable because of the compliance and tax complexities caused by a dispersed workforce. For SMBs, the PEO becomes a huge benefit because they are handling all of that tax filing and benefit changes for employees no matter where they work. This paradigm shift presents unique challenges for small businesses expanding their operations across state lines. Navigating unfamiliar territory in terms of tax filings, compliance and unemployment accounts can be overwhelming. PEOs become an essential partner to simplify the process and allow businesses to focus on their core operations.  

PEOs have been providing the necessary support and scalability for decades, ensuring that all employment-related matters are handled seamlessly while offering Fortune 500-level benefits that small businesses would not typically be able to provide.

And, as you might have guessed, technology plays a key role as well.

Thank you, Pat!

The collaboration between PEOs, PrismHR and NAPEO is a vital aspect of the industry’s success. The strong partnership between PrismHR and NAPEO demonstrates a commitment to addressing industry challenges, and the collective efforts of PrismHR, PEOs and NAPEO helps ensure a favorable regulatory environment for all small businesses.

Pat Cleary
NAPEO President and CEO

One person who helped lead that charge was Pat Cleary, who contributed in so many ways to building the profile and cachet of the PEO industry. With the announcement that Pat is set to retire at the end of the year, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the phenomenal job he has done working on so many initiatives and supporting the membership. During COVID-19, Pat and his team went to work and did a great job at jumping in on the regulatory side to have conversations with members of Congress and the IRS around the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and other important initiatives.

NAPEO has done a phenomenal job under Pat’s leadership, and there are big shoes to fill. We’re excited for the next chapter, and we will be here to support the next leader of NAPEO any way we can.

Embracing the Future

National PEO Week serves as a testament to the invaluable contributions of the PEO industry in empowering small businesses and driving economic growth. 

The growth of the industry is fueled by the increasing adoption of remote work and the evolution of technology, including a future that will include AI. As National PEO Week gains recognition and awareness, the PEO industry’s influence continues to expand, leveling the playing field for small businesses and fostering their success. Through collaboration with NAPEO, the industry remains committed to supporting small businesses and embracing innovation for a brighter future. 

And PrismHR will always be there to support that exciting journey. After all, helping PEOs help SMBs succeed is what we’re here for.

Tim Pratte

Tim Pratte is president, HRO at PrismHR. For the past 27 years, Tim has helped thousands of business owners reduce overall labor costs and provide improved benefit options for their employees through innovative technology, multiple strategies, cost saving techniques, and expert advice to streamline business processes.

He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tampa with a degree in Economics and previously served in executive level leadership positions at leading PEOs.