Franchises in Good Hands When They Work with HKP

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COVER STORY MAY 2016

With a rapidly changing employment law landscape, franchises can find it difficult to keep up with everything they need to comply with under new regulations that seem to pop up each year, but one of the country’s largest certified public accounting firms aims to help them with that.

Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C. has been in business since 1947 and currently ranks as the 65th largest certified public accounting firm in the United States. It employs 450 people in 12 locations throughout the country, but provides services to franchises and other businesses in all 50 states.

Honkamp Krueger has several affiliates, including HKFS, its financial services affiliate and HKP, its workforce management affiliate.

HKP is particularly helpful for franchises, as it offers a complete plate of human capital management solutions at one company, specializing in franchise services.

Human Resource Compliance

One of the biggest pain-points HKP hears from franchise owners relates to keeping up with human resource compliance like the Affordable Care Act or Fair Labor Standards Act regulations. To help with these compliance issues, HKP offers a complimentary HR-Gap analysis for franchise owners. The analysis is meant to uncover gaps in a franchise’s HR compliance and get those gaps filled before the franchise ends up in trouble.

“When we are working with our franchises and other businesses, we help them mitigate their risks by doing a review of their current HR practices, policies and their compliance with state and federal law,” Lori Stewart, director of HR consulting services for HKP said during a recent interview.

The HR-Gap analysis involves analyzing a few specific samples of key documents that franchises should — but often don’t — have within their business. The gap analysis can help franchises identify where their risks would be if they were audited or ever charged with an employment claim, unfair labor practices, or unfair hiring.

And of special interest to franchises at the moment is proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which may affect the way franchise owners treat managers and assistant managers via increased salary requirements. Stewart said HKP is watching these proposed new regulations closely and will be able to help clients with resources in that particular area to make sure all employees are classified and paid correctly.

Added Honkamp Krueger partner, Ryan Hauber; “We developed the opportunity for a complimentary review of a company’s compliance with human resource law because as the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. We can help uncover embedded compliance risk and assist business owners in getting on the right track with their HR strategies.”

HKP can also provide comprehensive workforce management, payroll, HR, benefits, time and attendance, retirement plans and tax credits.

“We can supplement a franchise’s HR department and provide either project-based or ongoing support where we’re actually part of their team,” HKP president Natalie Hoffmann said, adding that the company works with thousands of franchises across various industries like restaurant, home health care and staffing.

Taxes and Consulting

HKP is just one affiliate of the company that is helpful to franchises, but Honkamp Krueger and HKFS can also be of great help.

“All three of our companies can provide services in different ways,” Hoffmann said.

Honkamp Krueger offers accounting and business consulting services, which can be especially insightful for franchises at tax time, while HKFS can provide 401k and wealth management services.

Of particular interest to franchises is Honkamp Krueger’s tax consulting services, where the company will look at a franchise’s tax return and see if there are areas where the franchise could be saving money on taxes.

One particularly big area where franchises can save is tax credits for when they hire certain groups of people like veterans, people who collect food stamps or people who have been unemployed for a significant amount of time.

Honkamp Krueger will ensure a franchise is taking advantage of all the tax credits it is eligible for if it employs certain targeted groups.

“There are groups of people who qualify who can give businesses very lucrative tax credits,” Hoffmann explained.

The company president said most of the services that HKP and its various offshoots provide are services that franchises are looking to outsource and the company’s depth of experience adds even more value to those services for franchises.

For franchises, Honkamp Krueger, HKP and HKFS make that rapidly changing employment law landscape a lot more stable.

www.honkamp.com