Becky Harshberger Host and Keynote Speaker at California Payroll Conference
The 2022 California Payroll Conference took place in Oakland, California, from October 19th through the 22nd. EP’s VP & Practice Leader of Payroll Tax, Becky Harshberger, was an attendee of honor. Not only did she MC the event, she also delivered a powerful keynote speech on motivation.
When asked why this event is important to her, Harshberger said, “Being with payroll people outside the entertainment industry gives me perspective and inspiration. I got to hear payroll executives talk about the future of pay, the evolution of our industry, and what they expect to see in the next five years.
Harshberger especially enjoyed connecting with payroll professionals at every level of their careers. She says, "Attending the conference gets you out of the 'payroll fulfillment house' mindset. Those just starting out can see the potential for professional growth in the industry, and those further in their careers are able to evolve because there's always more to learn."
What’s new and what’s next in payroll
Harshberger says, “Attendees had the opportunity to attend either a leadership track, designed for more senior level payroll professionals or a payroll 101 track, specifically for those newer to the field. There were about 200 attendees, which means the classes were small for folks to ask questions, and networking events were really valuable.”
Sessions were hosted by speakers from a wide variety of industries, from entertainment to home improvement. Some notable names include Netflix, the University of California San Francisco, Deloitte Tax, and Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing. Session topics also ran the gamut, covering basic payroll tax, workflow changes, managing remote teams, lessons learned throughout the pandemic, touchless payment, managing payroll for a global team, building diversity partnerships, and more.
Common themes across sessions included a move toward a passwordless future that relies on biometrics to secure data and new ways to manage locality-based employee taxation. Harshberger said, “We talked a lot about implementing employee tracking based on geo codes and IP addresses, which can be used to pinpoint how to tax employees.”
Finding motivation and inspiring others
Harshberger took the stage one more time to deliver a keynote focused on motivation. She encouraged the crowd to find drive by becoming the person others can always count on to produce quality work. She said, "When nothing else motivates and inspires you, just do quality work. Work you can be ultra-proud of. If you focus on quality, it will circle back to you and, without you even realizing it, will inspire you and motivate you and those around you.”
Those just starting out can see the potential for professional growth in the industry, and those further in their careers are able to evolve because there's always more to learn."
To conclude, Harshberger addressed the question everyone was thinking; how do you find time to focus on quality? She said, "Learn to say no, and close with, thank you for understanding,”– a simple sentiment that ends the conversation respectfully and courteously.
About the conference
The California Payroll Conference was established in 1987 as a non-profit organization. By bringing all the top American Payroll Association (APA) experts together in one place, this event provides a diverse educational offering designed to “inspire and equip our members to strive for higher standards of performance in every phase of payroll.” Attendees also have the opportunity to connect with industry-specific sponsors to learn about new technology and support tools.
Last but certainly not least, attendees get to enjoy networking with and learning from their peers. This year had an extra benefit for Harshberger, who has hosted many virtual events for the American Payroll Association. “Many people recognized me from Zoom classes I’ve taught, and it was great to meet in person,” she says.