LCMS ministries eligible for payroll-services discount

All LCMS ministries — including congregations, schools, Recognized Service Organizations, district offices and others — are eligible for payroll services at discounted prices with Paychex (a national company with expertise in clergy payroll and taxes), thanks to an arrangement negotiated with Concordia Plan Services (CPS).

Paychex, a national company with expertise in clergy payroll and taxes, is based in Rochester, N.Y. (©2014 Paychex, Inc.)

Paychex, a national company with expertise in clergy payroll and taxes, is based in Rochester, N.Y. (©2014 Paychex, Inc.)

As the CPS “preferred payroll provider,” Paychex offers special pricing of up to 35 percent off to LCMS employers.

In addition, for those LCMS employers who also are enrolled in CPS, Concordia Plans will reimburse payroll-service costs for up to 15 employees to the first 250 of those employers enrolling with Paychex for the first time. For this offer, employers must commit by Dec. 31, 2014, to a 12-month service agreement with Paychex and must begin processing payroll by Jan. 31. Also, the $50 setup fee will be waived for LCMS employers enrolled in the Concordia Plans and who sign up as new payroll clients by Dec. 31.

And, LCMS employers who are already Paychex clients can earn a $100 credit for referring another LCMS employer as a new Paychex client.

“Trusted nationwide, Paychex is a leading provider of payroll outsourcing solutions for more than half a million businesses,” according to Vicki Helling, payroll program consultant with CPS.

“Paychex aligns with CPS values,” Helling said, “and was chosen for its outstanding customer service, experience with the unique needs of church payroll, commitment to business continuity and backup systems, and willingness to provide a dedicated payroll specialist for LCMS organizations.

“Concordia Plan Services knows that many LCMS employers struggle with payroll — paying employees on time, accurately reporting hours of service and staying compliant with filing taxes and paying benefits. Important issues can fall through the cracks and may not be discovered until much later, when penalties may apply,” Helling added.

She continued that “while many large employers have more resources and expertise, smaller employers have the same need, and may not have the size or time to negotiate an affordable price for these types of services that include electronic payroll processing, tax filing and reporting, and compliance with IRS regulations.”

Helling told Reporter that Paychex payroll services also are integrated with ministry products such as Concordia Technology Solutions’ Shepherds Staff®, “which is used by thousands of LCMS churches.

“CPS is happy to offer this resource that best fits the needs of the LCMS ministry, to further our mission across the globe.”

For more information or to sign up for any of these offers, call 877-758-0036 (cite reference code 6105) or visit concordiaplans.org/paychex.

Posted July 31, 2014 / Updated August 11, 2014

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10 Responses to LCMS ministries eligible for payroll-services discount

  1. Jan Foss August 6, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I would find it very interesting to hear from churches who have been using Paychex for several years. The reason why I would love to hear from them is because, while I am a member of an LCMS church in the St. Louis area, I work for a non-denominational church in the West County and they have used them for several years for our payroll and just this past year began to use them as our HR as well. Unfortunately, we have found that they do not seem to understand fully the minister’s end of the payroll. Every pay period I have to double check to be sure that they have recorded it correctly before processing. We only have three ministers and myself in the office and I wouldn’t think it would be that complicated. Then in using them with HR, they messed up the printing of our handbook and have never fixed it and when we have asked them to verify policies, they haven’t had answers. We are considering looking elsewhere. I just wonder if it is just this church or if others have had problems with them as well.

  2. Steve Bradfield August 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    I am the Congregational President of a small LCMS church with three folks on our payroll. We have a Pastor, Church Secretary, and a Pianist. We began using Paychex a year and a half ago to alleviate the Treasurer’s burden of keeping abreast of tax law as well as computing/witholding payroll taxes and being responsible for quarterly and annual Federal filings.
    We have experienced nothing but headaches from the very beginning. Our initial setup was bungled by the Rep they sent to get our account (who no longer works there and therefore was not available to answer for his part in this). We also experienced many monthly mess-ups from our regular “Senior Payroll Specialist”. After many monthly issues, we were extremely disappointed by multiple errors in our Pastor’s incorrect W-2. It took many long and frustrating discussions and TWO Corrected W-2’s (3 total) to get it straightened out. Pastor had to request an extension for the filing deadline.
    Our Paychex Senior Payroll Specialist simply could not understand that our pastor was not having taxes taken out of his paycheck (because he pays his own quarterly Self Employment Tax) and yet still wanted a W-2 versus a 1099. She also said the Paychex system was not compatible with this way of doing business (which is derived from the LCMS Congregational Treasurer’s Manual).
    We were sooooo ready to end our relationship with Paychex until I called the folks who coordinated this arrangement. They assured me our account would be shifted to their St. Louis office where they have knowledgeable Reps who understand our needs. They also assured me the Paychex system is compatible with our needs. I pray this ends our frustrations.

    • Vicki Helling August 11, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      Hello Steve, Thank you for taking time to share your story and frustations, and making the call to our CPS office. I hope your conversations with our National Paychex representative have brought an end to your frustrations and gotten you back on track with ease of processing your payroll. Blessings, Vicki Helling

  3. Vicki Helling August 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Hello Jan, Thank you for your feedback. We take your comments very seriously and I am currently working with our Paychex to help resolve ths issue for you. We will be back in touch with you shortly. Thank you for your time. Blessings, Vicki Helling

  4. Ron Bleke August 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I have been a supporter of the Concordia Plan and Paychex team solution for several reasons, cost being one of them.
    But more importantly, because of the complexity of payroll and Payroll taxes, the turnover and potential lack of accounting and tax expertise in volunteer church treasurers and the future connectivity and information sharing between Paychex and Concordia Plans, I see this as a solution to removing a lot of work and frustration from the church treasurer while adding security in the knowledge that there will be no problems in that area for the church to worry about. And as a result, it may even make it easier to get people to volunteer for the treasurer position and it won’t be a lifetime position. 
    Thanks again and Blessings
    Ron

    • Vicki Helling August 11, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Hello Ron, Thank you for your time and your endorsement of CPS and Paychex partnership. It was our intention to ease the responsiblity and burden of those serving our church either as a staff person or volunteer when we signed our agreement with Paychex. Blessings, Vicki

  5. Karen Smith August 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    We started using Paychex this spring and absolutely love it. We have eighteen employees between our early childhood center and church. The customer service is over the top. The technical support team always respond in a timely fashion and are extremely patient.
    This system has taken a huge burden off of our treasurer. We appreciate the direct deposit option as well. We are THANKFUL for PAYCHEX!

    • Vicki Helling August 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      Hello Karen, Thank you for taking time to share your positive experience with Paychex. At CPS we strive to find ways to free-up more time and money for ministry to happen and we are happy to hear that is happening. Blessings, Vicki Helling

  6. Mike Mueller August 9, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    I really don’t understand some of the negative comments above . I am the treasurer of a small New England church. As an engineer by profession, and have found paying the monthly tax payments to the IRS and state DOR, issuing the quarterly 941s and annual W-2s, an extremely frustrating part of the job; with MANY hours spent trying to decipher the bureaurocratic tax lingo. if you make a mistake, it takes 6 months to correct with the IRS or SSA! This arrangement w/PAYCHEX has been a GODSEND to me, eliminating the most frustrating part of my job. The people I have been dealing with (initial sales call, dedicated account representative and trainer) are thoroughly competent in their jobs (the highest compliment I can pay someone). They have a complete understanding of every aspect of the tax issues w/r/t ordained ministers tax & SS/Medicare implications vs. regular employee differences. I was pleasantly surprised by the PAINLESS transition process! Having a dedicated account representative is a real plus, and the training for online access was very thorough and timely.
    Another, but almost more important reason for employing PAYCHEX than making my life easier, was continuity of the payroll process and tax submissions and reporting. If something were to happen to me, our employee payroll and tax filings now continues unabated! A backup person is identified who can continue the process with a phone call. So, from all points of view, unless you have a professional finance person who will never transfer, resign or die, the continuity alone is worth the cost. Just do it!

    • Vicki Helling August 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

      Hello Mike, Thank your for taking time to share your comments…I don’t know what else I can say, you have said it all. Blessings, Vicki Helling

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