Cindy Brown, CPP is the Payroll/HRIS Manager at GN ReSound. She has been a member of the Northstar Chapter for nearly 20 years and is a former Secretary for our chapter.
- How long have you been in payroll?
I have been in payroll for 25 years.
- How did you get your start in payroll?
I started in payroll as a Client Service Consultant for ADP. At the time, I had no payroll experience. That job really helped me learn the nuts and bolts of payroll.
- What do you enjoy most about being in payroll?
Aside from the variety and challenges, the people in payroll are great. Every role and person makes a direct impact on the success of an organization. This thought helped me realize that I make a direct impact by making sure that the rest of the organization receives timely pay. This allows them to focus on their job without any worrying about their paycheck.
- What is the most challenging part of your job?
It is a challenge to support multiple businesses within a single organization. Different divisions, such as manufacturing and retail, have unique requirements. Keeping up with these requirements for each part of the organization can be confusing. Canadian payroll is processed through my department, which adds to the complexity.
- What is the most interesting situation that you have experienced in your payroll career?
There was a time when I had contacted an employee in Pennsylvania regarding their local taxes. When I first called the number I had on file, I was surprised when the employee’s mother answered the phone. She told me how I could reach this employee at that time. When I called the employee, he told me that he was expecting a call about this situation, but not from my company. The person that I called had the same first name of the employee and had a similar local tax issue, but he was not our employee. I must have dialed the incorrect number, but actually spoke to someone in the very same situation.
- How many different types of payroll systems have you worked with?
2 – ADP for the majority of the time in payroll and PeopleSoft
- How many employees do you currently process payroll for?
I currently process for 1,800 employees, but that number is increasing.
- How long have you been a member of the Northstar Chapter? National Chapter? Have you been a member of Northstar’s Board?
I have been a member of both the Northstar and National chapters since leaving ADP 19 years ago. I joined based upon a suggestion from an ADP client just before leaving the organization. I was the chapter Secretary for two years and was also a member of the fall conference committee for five years.
- What is the best part of being a member of the Northstar Chapter?
I really enjoy the networking and education opportunities available through the chapter.
- What is some advice you can give to new payroll professionals?
New payroll professionals really need to get involved with the APA at the local and national levels. The ability to connect and network with others and the educational opportunities are terrific. Also, new payroll professionals need to explore obtaining their FPC and/or CPP certification(s).
- What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
- Name the one person (past or present, famous or not) that you would most like to meet?
In Germany, there is a house that had been in my family for hundreds of years, right outside of Stuttgart. It was sold many years ago, but the new owners have allowed my family members to visit and tour the home. I would love the opportunity to meet them and see the home.
- Black Friday Shopping – “I am the first in line”, “I will shop later in the day, if there is something I really want”, “Friday – No!, Saturday or Sunday – Only if I am desperate”, or “I would rather have an appointment for a root canal”?
I will shop later in the day, if there is something I really want – Most of my shopping is done online anyway, but if I had to go to a store, I try to time it so that it is between rushes.
- What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving – I love the fall and Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite
- If you could have one “superpower,” what would it be and why?
The ability to teleport from one place to another in an instant. From a work perspective, it would be nice to be able to show up immediately to talk to someone in person instead of over the phone. From a pleasure side, the ability to sightsee and travel around the world instantly would be awesome.