One Important Way To Tell If Your HR Partner Is Trustworthy Every time you get behind the wheel, you’re putting your life at risk. You can’t control what decisions the drivers around you are going to make, and there’s always the risk of getting into an accident. You have to pay attention all the time, because there's no way to tell who is trained, who has proper insurance, and which drivers take their responsibility seriously. The same is true when choosing what organizations to partner with. You need to pick a partner that will make good decisions, always pays attention to the tasks at hand and what’s going on around them, and won’t steer you wrong. They don't wear a "trust me" sign in big, bold flashing letters, unless they're accredited by a trusted third-party organization. Accreditation is a practical way to confirm an organization's financial reliability, regulatory compliance, and history of following industry best practices. What is ESAC Accreditation? For Professional Employment Organizations, accreditation by Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) verifies financial stability and regulatory compliance. ESAC also verifies that the PEO follows key industry standards and demonstrates ethical conduct. PEOs act as your human resources and payroll department, performing the non-revenue generating functions of HR. In order to receive accreditation, PEOs must provide ESAC with financial statements, quarterly CPA-verified tax payments, benefit contributions, insurance premiums, proof of employer insurance coverages, and other evidence of responsible business practices. Needless to say, obtaining ESAC accreditation is no easy accomplishment. In 2014, only 16.5 percent of PEOs were ESAC accredited. PEOs without this type of accreditation may go unchecked, which makes them hard to trust. Why Does it Matter? “The ESAC ensures that accredited PEOs' performance of key employer responsibilities to their clients, employees, insurers and regulatory authorities is backed by over $15 million of surety bonds held in trust at a national bank,” says the ESAC website. ESAC accreditation can be trusted, and it’s backed by money in the bank. For PEOs that don’t receive accreditation, there can be disastrous consequences for them and their client companies. Organizations have been fined millions of dollars for illegally selling insurance in certain states, because they didn’t have a license. Partnering with an accredited PEO means there’s no risk of liens or judgments threatening your business. It means that you’re doing business with an organization that you can rely on day-to-day. It means you’re better able to see who’s wearing a “trust me” sign, and have peace of mind. Are the organizations that you do business with trustworthy and accredited? Frank Accurso Frank has been with Aureon HR, an Iowa-based HR services provider for 14 years, currently as Vice President, Business Development - Senior Living. Prior to joining Aureon, Frank was in various leadership positions in the insurance and manufacturing sectors.