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Laura Capparelli, Joshua NewfieldLaura Capparelli, Joshua Newfield

Laura Capparelli
wants business owners to know that ADP (Automatic Data Processing) is in the Ithaca area, and it's about more than payroll.  Capparelli is an Associate District Manager specializing in small business.  While she is based in Syracuse, she spends four or five days a week here, meeting with clients and talking to potential new ones.  Her biggest hurdle is making it known that the company offers its services here, and that ADP is not just about outsourcing payroll.

"Many think that we just do payroll," she says. "20% of our business is payroll.  We handle the whole life cycle of an employee and help businesses grow.  I handle small business risk management, employee engagement, cash flow.  We help with those three aspects."

District Manager Joshua Newfield, who works with mid-sized businesses, says that ADP automates a lot of things for businesses, consolidating data entry.  Many businesses enter data multiple times using different software for various tasks, increasing the danger of errors and using a lot of time.  One of his success stories is a hotel with 400 employees where he was able to help the HR Director save around 20 hours a week by consolidating and automating payroll and hiring processes.

"She was very happy client, just because we had a conversation," he says. "This was all discovered in 45 minutes.  That is the crux of the conversations we have with a lot of businesses -- multiple entries and the potential for wrongly keyed-in data.  Part of that platform is a simple, unified form where you enter data once and it flows across everything.  If somebody is filling out an application and they're going through the recruitment process and it goes to drug screening and background checks and then you want to hire them, you don't have to enter this data 17 times.  It goes all the way to the broker in the health care system -- that information can flow straight through to Excellus or Aetna, whoever it might be."

The first step is a free evaluation.  A district manager sits down with decision makers at the company to learn what they do, what needs improvement, and what they are doing right.  Caparelli says ADP works with all kinds of businesses, and she loves learning about them.

"I'm always down for tours," Capparelli says. "I want to know exactly what the business does. I want to know how you got into business.  We want to know who we're working with, how long you've been in business, what your goals are, because we want to be able to grow with you.  If you're struggling with HR and compliance, our small business platform allows you to put together an employee handbook, and put job descriptions in place.  I have people that come to me about health and benefits who don't really mind doing payroll in-house.  But if you're going to do health and benefits with us you're probably going to transition your payroll over.  It depends on what you're looking for at the time."

An important service is helping companies stay in compliance with changing regulations.  That makes a difference to companies that do business in multiple counties or states that have different regulations.  Capparelli says that is especially important now, because it is difficult for companies to keep up with changing tax laws. 

"I think the biggest thing is the tax liability," she says. "It's the number one reason people outsource their payroll, to have that completely lifted off of them.  A lot of people can process payroll in-house, but is it the most efficient way?  We make it efficient for them, and take off that stress so they don't have to deal with it.  In 2018 with all the new laws and tax changes it may not even be worth it for an employer who has 10 or more employees to process payroll himself.  It's too much of a risk.  It's not even worth it for you to do it.  You want to focus on what you got into business for.  You didn't get into business to run payroll, take care of on-boarding and employee information... that's what we do."

Both Syracuse natives, neither thought they would end up at a company like ADP, but are happy they did.  They say they love interacting with business people, learning about what they do and being able to take time consuming tasks off their desks so they are free to concentrate on what they do best.

Capparelli wanted to be an anesthesiologist when she grew up.  But as she grew through high school and college she wanted to help people.  She has always enjoyed training, something she did in several jobs while she was earning her marketing degree at LeMoyne College.  She joined ADP right out of college even though she wasn't sure she would like it.  She was pleasantly surprised.

"This was not what I thought it would be, but talking to new or existing businesses about how they can work with other companies to be more successful -- I love it.  There is not one thing I don't like about my job," she says. "I love meeting small businesses.  I love meeting people that are passionate about their business.  The number one question I ask is 'how did you get into this and why?'  I met with a company in Ithaca that does phenomenal work for the community -- that's what I love about it, finding out about businesses that I didn't even know could be a business.  Meeting people that are very passionate, understanding that their business is their baby, and helping them with it."

Newfield, also a Syracuse native, wanted to be an astronaut when he was five years old.  But that changed to teacher as he grew older.  He got his Bachelor's degree in anthropology, and a masters degree in Caribbean cultural studies.  He has always been involved in sales, but really enjoys teaching.

"Part of what I did in school was teaching, educating, figuring out how and why, and making the right connections to bring it to the average person," he says. "ADP comes along and gives me the opportunity to teach business owners, HR specialists, and administrators how to more efficiently go about their jobs.  So I feel I am still involved in that teaching realm.  My favorite part of my job is interacting with people on a daily basis.  I see about 10 or 12 people a day, and discover problems and figure out solutions."

Newfield's region includes Syracuse East as to Little Falls, Cooperstown, Oneonta, Cortland and Binghamton, Endicott and Hancock.  Capparelli covers Ithaca, Cortland, Homer, Dryden and the surrounding area.  Once a business signs up they visit regularly, but are backed up by service teams that specialize in the various services the company offers.  Those teams are centrally located across the country including Allentown PA, Maitland, FL, and Rochester, NY with specialists in various industries that can answer specific questions.

"ADP is out here -- I feel like nobody knows that ADP is in the Ithaca market," she says. "Our evaluations are free -- we're always willing to talk.  I'm here four or five days a week.  We have a presence here -- if you have questions just ask us."

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