Today we’d like to introduce you to Charles Read.
Charles, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in a family business, so the idea of owning a business was ingrained in me from an early age. My parents worked together in the business, so the idea of working with your wife was not foreign to me either. After High School, I joined the Marine Corps for four years. I was trained as a programmer and systems engineer and served as a combat infantryman in Vietnam. While in service, I met and married my wife.
After the service, I worked and then went to college for my BBA and MBA from North Texas State University, now UNT. While in college, I sat for and passed the CPA exam on my first sitting. After graduation, I went to work for Texas Instruments. Over the next few years, I worked for several large and small companies and did a stint of doing turnarounds.
Realizing I did not have the political skills to rise to the top of a publicly held company, I decided to start my own business in 1991. The wife and I started an accounting business that had an integrated payroll function in the industry. We grew the company and were successful. A few years ago, I sold off the accounting portion to my partner and kept the payroll portion for myself. We have been building the payroll company and have expanded nationwide. We continue to grow even through the current pandemic. It has been challenging, but we are getting through and taking on additional clients.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a bumpy ride. Shortly after starting the business, my eldest daughter was diagnosed with and died from ovarian cancer. The wife and I managed to survive that crisis and kept on. There have been all kinds of bumps in the road. Recessions, changes in technology, software companies getting bought, equipment failures, and the like.
For instance, at one point, our operating payroll software company was bought by our biggest national competitor. That created all kinds of problems. But we found other software and moved on. Another time one of the banks handling our ACH requirements, who had courted me for years before I went with them, decided to get out of the ACH business for payroll companies on short notice. We found another ACH facility, and since then, I have never had only one, just in case. My wife semi-retired about fifteen years ago and shortly after that had a severe stroke and was disabled till her death in 2015. That was, without a doubt, my most significant challenge, both personal and in keeping the business going when she passed.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with GetPayroll – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
GetPayroll has provided full-service payroll and payroll tax services since 1991. GetPayroll helps small to medium-sized businesses across the U.S. with direct deposits, debit card loads, printed checks, payroll deposits, reports and tax filings, year-end Forms W-2 and employer-employee website portals.
What sets us apart is our compliance capabilities. Unlike most of our competitors, I am a CPA. I can advocate with the IRS for our clients and do so regularly. I am also a United States Tax Court Practitioner and can file cases and present them in U.S. Tax Court without being an attorney. With the experience, knowledge, credentials, and expertise we have in-house, we can provide a payroll tax compliance level that our competition cannot. This gives our clients more protection against tax authorities: the mistakes they make and incompetence they show. This is all included in our very competitive fees. They may not need it all the time, but they really need them when they need our full capabilities.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are continuing to grow despite the COVID shutdown. We have added HR, Time Keeping, and Employee Onboarding to our offerings to ensure seamless integration with payroll. Our goal is to ensure our clients have the best in class service so that they can continue to focus on growing their business.
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