At the beginning of May, I was fortunate enough to make the trip down to Orlando, Florida to represent Willory at the APA 30th Annual Congress. The event took place May 6th– 10th and consisted of workshops, a payroll industry expo, and numerous networking events.
First off, the venue where Congress took place, Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, was phenomenal! It was truly the perfect place for an event of this size and the resort was top-notch in their preparation and accommodations for the thousands of payroll and accounts payable professionals in attendance. During breaks, one could wander through any one of the three massive atriums. Each atrium had their own theme with restaurants and shops intertwined into the setting. My favorite was the Everglades Atrium which hosted many alligators and turtles in its interpretation of the wetlands unique to Florida.
The workshops were led by individuals that are truly passionate about payroll, the evolution of the industry, and the issues that payroll professionals face in the workplace. With over 170 workshops taking place during the week, there was definitely no shortage of knowledge to be obtained. My favorite workshop was “Payroll & Human Resources as Partners” led by Dennis Danilewicz, CPP and Ronald Moser, CPP. This was an interesting workshop because it applied to Willory’s niche of HR & Payroll. The workshop identified the similarities and differences between the two departments. Dennis and Ronald spoke about how HR designs policy and payroll administers policy. Although the directions of these two departments are different, they have many similarities such as strategy, compliance, and confidentiality. I came out of this workshop with the knowledge that although Payroll and HR take different approaches and prioritize things differently, we all have to work together and find ways to empathize with the other departments in order to fulfill the needs of the organization as a whole.
The Expo was a time to see the latest state-of-the-art payroll technology and interact with individuals that wanted you to know about their product. Vendors such as ADP, Ultimate Software, Kronos and Paychex were all in attendance. Product demonstrations were happening at every turn, as well as information and trinkets being handed out to help attendees remember all of the vendors in attendance. What interested me most about the Expo was seeing ADP’s products. I say this because part of my job is staying up-to-date on the payroll profession and being aware of what’s next in terms of payroll technology. These demonstrations really helped me stay on the cutting edge of this profession and gave me the opportunity to inform my network of professionals the direction of the software and its impact on payroll services.
Overall, attending the APA 30th Annual Congress was a terrific experience. Meeting people with such dedication to the profession and hearing industry leaders impart payroll wisdom on myself and the other attendees was very rewarding. I was excited to be a part of such a great event and I am ready to see everyone again next year in Texas!