On-Time, On Point, Coast to Coast: How myHR Partner Perfected Payroll for a Leading Cannabis Law Firm

Vicente LLP is the nation’s premier cannabis law and corporate services firm. Looking for a solution to complex payroll hurdles, they reached out to myHR Partner in 2019. Since then, we’ve done more than get employees paid. myHR Partner’s expertise has ushered in airtight compliance, set the stage for efficiency and savings, and — above all — allowed Vicente to expand its multi-state presence.

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The Story of Vicente

Founded in Colorado in 2010, Vicente helps clients navigate laws and regulations, build and grow businesses, and shape public policy to advance the legal marijuana, hemp, and psychedelics industries worldwide.

When myHR Partner met Vicente in 2019, Vicente was outsourcing its payroll to a third-party, cannabis-specific HRIS startup. However, that company was young and inefficient — and Vicente was paying the price. Payroll hours were often missing or incomplete, leading to inaccurate paychecks. Taxes routinely included errors.

Vicente needed to find a new payroll partner. It was a tall order for several reasons. Read on.

The Challenge

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Vicente handles all HR in-house with the exception of their payroll, which is uniquely complex on three fronts:

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Vicente pays all employees (including non-exempt employees) current, a methodology that lets employees access wages as they earn them, no later than the last day of the pay period. This requires projection and reconciliation each pay period — that is, predicting how many hours employees will work, then a lookback reconciliation to adjust projections that were high or low due to absences and other variables.

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Vicente has locations and employees in a wide swath of U.S. states including high-regulation states (namely, California and New York) whose specific wage and hour laws are the nation’s most nuanced and rigid.

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Because no federal banking legislation surrounds cannabis, many payroll software providers won’t work with Vicente. Paylocity cloud-based payroll and human capital management software is among the few that will. Vicente therefore needs an outsourced payroll provider trained on/experienced with Paylocity software.

myHR Partner's Process

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As promised, myHR Partner led the delicate task of taking payroll off of the previous vendor’s plate and onto its own — a transition Kimberly describes as “beautifully organized.” 

myHR Partner immediately saw room for payroll improvement. Several high-stakes gaps in compliance and data integrity were also observed. myHR Partner presented Vicente with a detailed document identifying these gaps and proposing action items. 

Together, the two companies reviewed each area and prioritized these tasks — then dove in. 

“myHR Partner was a savior. We needed their caliber of expertise and focus, fast, and they were there,” Kimberly remembers.

myHR Partner’s Solution

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myHR Partner began working with Paylocity to improve Vicente’s payroll processing. Systems were updated; processes were automated.

Data and compliance issues were simultaneously corrected. Paylocity was customized to calculate wage and hour laws for each state where Vicente employees lived and worked. These widely varying laws touch on critical matters ranging from overtime to missed meal premiums to time off accrual and final pay rules. 

In the window of a few short months, Vicente’s payroll was transformed. Employee pay was on-time, compliant, accurate, and efficient. With acute problems solved and confidence earned, Vicente trusted myHR Partner to stay one step ahead of compliance and processing moving forward — and not a moment too soon.

Weeks later, COVID hit. With it came the shift to remote work. Suddenly, Vicente had employees working in even more U.S. states. 

In the early days of the pandemic, U.S. businesses weren’t required to register in states where remote employees were based. Then federal requirements shifted. Businesses like Vicente that chose to let employees continue working remotely had to begin the process of registering in all applicable states.  

myHR Partner helped Vicente understand the implications of this expansion from a payroll perspective. myHR Partner also reviewed Vicente’s existing employee policies to ensure compliance: Did Vicente’s time off policies meet specific family leave laws where applicable? Policies were updated as needed to meet respective states’ wage and hours laws. 

From there, myHR Partner handled the process of registering Vicente for payroll taxes in each state. Seeing the need to arm Vicente further, myHR Partner also provided Vicente’s own internal HR team with the details of multi-state compliance requirements so that they can make informed decisions with regard to remote workers and related matters moving forward.

“Thanks to myHR Partner, we now, for example, understand how to set up accounts with unemployment insurance in particular states,” says Taji Jordan, Director of HR at Vicente. 

When Vicente underwent significant staffing changes about 18 months into the engagement, the recent improvements to payroll safeguarded paychecks against impact. All Vicente employees were paid on time and accurately amidst the seismic change. 

Today, there’s a clear methodology and flow to the ongoing partnership, not to mention a rapport.

“Working with myHR Partner is always a pleasure,” Kimberly says. “There’s a joviality and a mutual respect even when we’re up against challenges and working hard to get things done. They’re true partners in Vicente’s operations.”

“I look at myHR Partner as an extension of our staff. It doesn’t feel like we’re engaging with a vendor,” Taji says.

myHR Partner’s responsiveness and “realness” are specifically appreciated. 

“myHR Partner’s response time is swift,” Taji says. “Even more, they bring a transparency that’s rare in professional services. Timeliness and accuracy are important in outsourced partners, of course, but myHR Partner’s accountability and humanity are equally rare and valued.” 

myHR Partner’s Results

Today, Vicente has employees in nine states and a payroll that’s efficient, accurate, on-time, and compliant from coast to coast — a win for many things, including Vicente’s bottom line.

“Working with myHR Partner saves us tremendously, financially speaking. It’s much more efficient than taking payroll administration in-house,” Taji says. “As a company that likes to operate lean, outsourcing helps our quest to remain nimble and efficient.”

“We know we’re in the right hands with myHR Partner,” Kimberly adds.

myHR Partner is more than a well-oiled payroll management department at our fingertips. They're a tremendous knowledge bank whose payroll expertise far exceeds ours. They've been key to Vicente LLP's expansion into multiple states and are a reason we're primed for growth.
Taji Jordan Director of Human Resources Vicente LLP

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Tina Hamilton, PHR, SHRM-CP

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