Client Success Stories
You Can Relate To

Clients engage our firm to achieve individual and business goals through effective implementation of tax, human resource, and leadership strategies and practices.

We enjoy sharing case studies to enhance your ability to understand how we can support your success by identifying with similar challenges our clients have faced and how we implemented customized solutions to achieve sustainable success.


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Received an IRS Notice

Challenge

  • Client received a letter from the IRS.
  • Client did not understand why they received the notice or what it meant.
  • Client became anxious, stressed, and extremely worried about what was going to happen to them.

Solution

  • Reviewed the IRS notice.
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of the taxpayer filing history, financials, and compliance status.
  • Advised and educated client on appropriate next steps to resolution of the matter.

Collection Actions and Garnishment

Challenge

  • The IRS sent demand letters and assessed penalties and a tax liability for the taxpayer that was going to be impossible for the taxpayer to pay.
  • The IRS sent notice of wage garnishment and levy on client bank accounts.
  • The taxpayer felt lost in what to do next, was dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety and concerned with what the IRS would do to them.

Solution

  • Conducted a comprehensive review of the taxpayer filing history, financials, and compliance status.
  • Became taxpayer representative with the IRS to engage and advocate on the taxpayer’s behalf.
  • Contacted the IRS and successfully stopped the collections actions including the garnishment and levy procedures.
  • Successfully negotiated an installment payment agreement for the client.

Client Wants to Save Money

Challenge

  • Client worked with an accountant who took their financial records and prepared a tax return.
  • Client was not aware there are strategies and opportunities to lower their tax liability and was not receiving guidance or advice on how to do so.
  • Client wished to save money by lowering their tax liability.

Solution

  • Implemented our customized tax advisory solution for the client.
  • Established quarterly meetings to address progress, evaluate financials, and provide tax guidance to manage tax liabilities most effectively.
  • Provided strategic advice on options available to client throughout the year to ensure there is time to execute the strategy.
  • Reduced the client’s overall tax liability.

HR Infrastructure Development

Challenge

  • Employer was in business for over a decade and had grown to over 25 employees.
  • The business did not have any internal human resource professional.
  • The Office Manager was responsible for wearing many hats, including HR activities.
  • The business owners were concerned about the risk and liability of their current practices as they continue to grow and understood they do not know what they do not know.
  • Client had received a complaint from an employee about their wage practices that they were able to resolve, however they realized they were unprepared, exposed, and could be at tremendous risk if left unchecked.

Solution

  • Conducted a comprehensive Risk Management Assessment of their Employment Practices.
  • Provided an assessment report that advised the client of what practice were illegal or legal, and what practices were a business risk or a best practice.  Report also provided a summary and recommendations for each aspect of the HR Infrastructure evaluated.
  • Final deliverable was a Strategic Roadmap that outlined a clear path to achieve business goals for the workforce while achieving compliance of their employment practices.

We Don’t Know how to Recruit

Challenge

  • Small business was embarking on adding their first new hire.
  • They recognized they lacked the expertise to execute an effective recruitment process.
  • The owners were unclear how to establish appropriate compensation and benefit model for the pending new hire.

Solution

  • Owners did not recognize several aspects of hiring an employee that impacted their business, cash flow, and liabilities.
  • Delivered customized training to owner on recruitment strategies, best practices, and regulatory compliance.
  • Developed position job description, the job posting, a compliant employment application, interview documentation, and interview questions.
  • Reviewed applicant pool resumes, screened and performed first-round behavioral interviews, and then coordinated and facilitated final round of face to face interview with three finalists alongside the owners.
  • Guided the decision making process, coached the owners through the offer and negotiation process, prepared compliant offer letter documentation, and provided support through the acceptance of the offer.
  • Client then requested our support to prepare onboarding and orientation activities, which we did to enhance engagement and retention.

No Handbook or HR Policies

Challenge

  • Owner recognized that as their small business grew, he had failed to establish any consistent company policies to effectively set workforce expectations or communicate to the workforce what they can expect from him.
  • Because of how the business experienced growth, different employees were operating different sets of rules and expectations, and there was a need to achieve consistency to prevent or mitigate employee complaints and concerns that might lead to litigation.
  • The absence of formalized policies or an employee handbook limited the owner’s ability to defend their employment practices, and this was a significant risk both financially and in reputation to the community.

Solution

  • Engaged the leadership team to learn about their organization, vision, mission, and business goals.
  • Observed the workforce, analyzed practices and procedures, reviewed communications and documentation, and captured the current state of the workforce.
  • Designed a custom employee handbook that achieved regulatory compliance and specifically addressed the nuances of the type of culture, communication, performance, and activities the company was proud to have developed over time.
  • The new employee handbook set mutual expectations for the employer and employee and established one consistent voice and message.
  • Once the owner approved the new employee handbook, we partnered with him to provide training to the workforce and designed a new orientation program for all future new hires.

Who Should be Paid Overtime?

Challenge

  • The employees of the business had been classified as Exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Business owners were concerned about being sued for misclassification and for lack of paying overtime, unacceptable recordkeeping practices, and potential minimum wage violations.
  • No job analysis was ever performed on the workforce. Job descriptions did not exist, and there was minimal clarity in what the duty expectations were for each employee.
  • No time records were maintained, and no overtime was being paid although most employees worked 50+ hours per week.

Solution

  • Trained owners and management team on FLSA regulations and their compliance obligations to manage the employment practice risk that was prevalent in the business.
  • Performed a comprehensive job analysis, developed job descriptions, reclassified employees, prepared and delivered communication strategy, trained employees on their FLSA rights, established new expectations, and implemented an OT policy to ensure accountability.
  • Performed a financial analysis at the beginning of the engagement to understand business model impact on revenue and cash flow.  Redesigned organization, work schedules, and process flow to all but eliminate overtime for the organization.

Benefits for Workforce

Challenge

  • Client employed an all-female workforce of 16 employees in Delaware.
  • Client wanted to implement FMLA and a paid time off benefit to workers who experienced pregnancy.
  • Owner’s real goal was to improve engagement, retention, and differentiate from similar companies by providing an enhanced benefits program.

Solution

  • Immediately educated the owner of the legal obligations related to FMLA and informed her that her firm was not large enough to be mandated to comply with FMLA.
  • Discussed the Pregnancy Fairness Act in DE that applies to all employers with 4 or more employees, to guide the owner on implementing required postings and practices.
  • Educated the owner on executing the required interactive process covered under the Americans with Disability Act, As Amended, an obligation for businesses with more than 15 employees.
  • Based on the desired goals of the business owner, we designed and implemented a Paid Leave Policy to specifically address eligibility, benefits, request procedures, management and employee obligations, approval process, and effective communication.  This also included the delivery of training to the workforce.
  • This solution ultimately saved the client financial resources.  Prior to the policy, employees were planning to quit when they became pregnant, causing a resource shortage for the owner and lost productivity.  The new policy engaged the workforce, provided desired benefits, allowed for various accommodations to enable the employee to remain working further into the pregnancy, and to return to work sooner after the delivery.  The client’s bottom line benefited positively by providing a paid leave program in her firm.

I Need to Improve my Cashflow

Challenge

  • Our client utilized an external temporary staffing firm for two positions in the firm.  These two positions were significant roles for the practice, one being an attorney and the other a paralegal.
  • Owner wanted to reduce this external cost, however believed based on limited experience using a staffing firm, that it would be impossible to hire these individuals full time, and that it would cost her practice far too much to do so.
  • This client was using a large payroll provider and was unclear if the costs were appropriate for the services she needed.  The client was unclear if there was appropriate insurance coverage in place for the workforce.

Solution

  • Educated the client on payroll liabilities and cost options available from other possible payroll vendors.  Ultimately, the client used SymbianceHR for payroll services.
  • Researched and analyzed current financial obligations connected with the staffing firm and the payroll provider.  This included review of invoices, timesheets, contracts, etc.
  • Prepared and presented a comprehensive analysis to the client which included vendor analysis, payroll costs and liabilities, unemployment and workers’ compensation impact, business liability insurance impact, and the advantages and disadvantages related to migrating the external temporary employees onto the client’s payroll as employees.
  • Our analysis demonstrate the client will experience an annual savings of $78,000, in addition to the increased morale and employee engagement.  We also uncovered duplication of insurance coverage eliminating the duplicate policy and obtaining a complete premium refund.
  • We successfully facilitated the hiring process, communication, migration of payroll, and implementation of a new employee handbook.  The greatest win for this client was the ability to consistently pay herself while providing a more comprehensive compensation package to these two valued individuals.

Performance Management

Challenge

  • Employee morale was diminishing, employee relations issues were prevalent, and employees often complained about their work and fairness in the workplace.
  • Management was struggling with getting a handle on policy compliance, attendance, professional development, and corrective action.
  • Leadership wanted to improve morale while establishing improved accountability, reduce employee complaints, and enhance consistency.

Solution

  • Manager and the Law Risk Management Training to all people leaders.
  • Redesign the performance management program into a more manageable and effective Performance Development Program.
  • Train people leaders on effective communication, performance management, constructive feedback, documentation, and strategies for developing trust and engagement with the workforce.
  • Developed process and delivered training on effective corrective action program, including the development of documentation, templates, and policies to support company goals.

Incentive Programs

Challenge

  • Employer desired to provide additional income potential for their workforce while managing their cash flow effectively.
  • There was a desire to drive certain workplace job performance behaviors related to new client acquisition and retention.
  • The employer recognized that as a small business it is challenging to attract and retain good talent without a competitive compensation program.

Solution

  • Providing consultation to the business leadership on the various compensation strategies and impact of implementation on the workforce and financials of the business.
  • We modeled the incentive compensation program to effectively define the base and variable pay in alignment with the short and long term vision and goals of the organization.
  • We provided both a visual tool that was shared with the workforce and an incentive compensation policy to be implemented and communicated to the eligible employees.

Succession Planning

Challenge

  • Company had grown over several decades and the original ownership was prepared to exit from the business and recognized they did not have any resources who could effectively take over the successful management of the company.
  • The owners were set in their ways and struggled with releasing control of practices and processes.
  • The timeline desired in their exit strategy was no longer realistic and required immediate change to succeed.

Solution

  • Provided mentoring and coaching related to effective leadership and transformational management.
  • Advised the client on effective strategies to identified the competency and capability gaps in the current workforce and the needs of the business.
  • Facilitated meetings and discussions to prepare for the development of a strategic succession plan.
  • Identified a talent acquisition strategy and implemented a succession plan to achieve the goals of the leadership.

Organizational Development

Challenge

  • Client understood that their current organizational structure was outdated and failed to effectively remain competitive with competitors.
  • Existing workforce lacked the flexibility and competencies to maximize job performance, productivity, and efficiency.
  • There was a clear resistance to change across functions, departments, and levels of management.

Solution

  • Provided leadership mentoring, coaching, and training on transformational change management.
  • Created project charters, project plans, and advised leadership on effective strategies to design their initiatives.
  • Provided advisory services to guide leadership on effective communication strategies and in the development of constructive and influential business cases to socialize their initiatives, gain stakeholder support, and obtain the funding approval necessary to reach their long term goals.