Alcott HR Celebrates 30 Years of Helping Businesses Succeed
Alcott HR has reached another significant corporate milestone – its 30th year in business. The company, which has helped its clients through major economic and regulatory upheavals, has seen itself evolve considerably, going from a single office with a core team of five serving clients primarily located in the New York-Metropolitan area to three offices in Farmingdale, Manhattan and Buffalo, New York. Those locations have expanded over the years and now employ 80 direct, in-house employees serving hundreds of businesses and thousands of their employees throughout U.S., Canada and South America. Alcott HR also has a European presence. Its co-founders Louis Basso and Barry Shorten are still at the helm in hands-on roles as President and Executive Vice President, respectively.
“Over the past three decades, there have been many major developments on the regulatory front affecting employers, and we’ve been committed to helping our customers stay in compliance, while also providing competitive, Fortune 500 level employee benefits for their staff,” said Basso. “What has remained constant is that great customer service never goes out of style. Delivering great client value, which couldn’t have been achieved without our longstanding, highly qualified staff, along with our ability to adapt, has helped us reach this milestone and achieve a 95% client retention rate.” He added that Alcott HR’s “rock solid financials” has also been major factor.
Since its inception, Alcott HR has been helping its clients navigating through the myriad of increasingly more complex regulations including the landmark healthcare reform legislation and other federal, state and local workplace laws and regulations, governing everything from family medical leaves, to overtime, and workplace safety.
“The amount of information needed to support our clients today has increased so significantly that our staff is undergoing training on an almost constant basis; both relating to the steady rule changes, and the new technologies we are deploying to keep pace with them,” said Shorten.
Both Basso and Shorten pointed to the level of specialization now required in the HR field. “Our staff has become much more specialized in areas of labor law, retirement plans, employee benefits, payroll, etc.,” added Shorten, “Our specialists have deep expertise and assist our clients with best practices to maintain compliance and avoid the costly repercussion of noncompliance.”
Basso noted that, “Alcott HR always has had skin in the game. Everything we offer our clients in terms of best practices and benefits, are also used for our own internal staff. It’s a great way to make sure that our offerings are first class and valued by our clients and their employees, since most of our clients recognize them as their greatest asset. They also know that employee turnover can be very costly on many levels.”
“Given the reality of the increasing burden on employers, regardless of whether there has been a Democrat or a Republican administration, every year for the past few decades, new regulations have come down on employers making it more and more difficult for them,” added Basso. “Having loyal, motivated employees who feel valued by their employers, is one way for businesses to cope with this heavy burden.”
Alcott HR has been at the forefront of the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry from its early years in late-80s. This year, Alcott HR became one of the nation’s first PEOs to earn the voluntary Certified Professional Employer Organization Certification from the Internal Revenue Service; a distinction which follows many others, including being the oldest PEO in New York, and among the first to become licensed and an Employer Services Assurance Corporation (E.S.A.C.) accredited PEO. Both the CPEO and E.S.A.C. credentials are especially significant to businesses relying on Alcott HR as their HR partner. This is because Alcott HR had to satisfy rigorous qualifying criteria to gain both the CPEO and E.S.A.C designations. The IRS and E.S.A.C. require a PEO to demonstrate fiscal stability and responsibility, as well provide the bond protections associated with each. To gain CPEO status, Alcott HR had to post a $1 million bond with respect to employment tax liabilities, and as an E.S.A.C. accredited PEO Alcott HR is backed by over $15 million of financial assurance in the form of a surety bond.
Alcott HR’s growth has been recognized over the years with nine placements on the Crain’s New York Business NY Area’s Largest Privately-Held Companies, most recently in 2016. Basso and Shorten were finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program, and Basso has earned national awards including the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Advocate of the Year and Small Business Champion. Basso has and continues to hold PEO industry leadership roles at the national and state levels, while Shorten has held leadership roles in associations driving manufacturing and technology commercialization. The company is an Alfred P. Sloane Award winner for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility and a finalist in the American Business Ethics Award sponsored by the Society of Financial Service Professionals.
On its 20th anniversary, Alcott HR announced the beginning of an annual scholarship to be awarded to a worthy HR major at Adelphi University, the Alma Mater of Basso. In marking its 30th anniversary this year, Alcott HR awarded a $3,000 scholarship.