I always look forward to the start of summer knowing it’s time for the American Payroll Association’s annual meeting, APA Congress, and this year’s was no exception. The theme was “Banish Your Payroll Nightmares,” and included sessions on the latest trends and solutions in payroll, as well as some fun activities.
In keeping with the theme, payroll nightmare zombies were seen walking the halls and visiting with attendees, including one ghoul dressed up in a suit with nine giant eyeballs as the ”I-9 Form” and another frightening pregnant zombie as the “Department of Labor.” The APA Congress is also our best-attended show, as we give out more than 500 prizes, and it’s not unusual to have attendees 20 deep at our booth, lined up to spin our Prize Wheel. If you were there, you might have seen us out front of the booth, throwing Frisbees and playing around.
But, while this show is always a lot of fun, it’s serious business, too. For us, it’s a great way to meet the payroll professionals that tirelessly deliver on-time payroll to millions of employees across thousands of companies every week. When you talk to them, you know you’re going to get unfiltered, real-world feedback on the challenges they’re facing every day. That’s important, because while we are often hired by HR, Payroll or HRIS department heads, the consulting services we provide in HCM and WFM project management, change management and software implementation are meant to make the job easier for those payroll professionals.
It wasn’t much of a surprise to find major topics of discussion around the Affordable Care Act and the move to SaaS HCM software solutions, but I was also happy to see breakout sessions dedicated to the need for effective Project Management and Change Management during payroll software implementations. More and more, clients are recognizing that those skills can make all the difference between a smooth or painful deployment and planning for that need in advance is half the battle.
In many ways, Sability feels at home attending the APA Congress because the APA and Sability have similar corporate cultures. We are both service-oriented, wanting to help people with difficult tasks, but also having fun in the process.
We look forward to next year’s meeting, “The Payroll Games,” 2015 #paycon, and seeing all the creativity they’ll cook up.