Better Payroll Management for Canadian Post-Secondaries

Better Payroll Management for Canadian Post-Secondaries

Meet Mark Betcher, Manager of Payroll Services for the University of Winnipeg. Mark began his payroll career over 20 years ago. Since then he has worked in Payroll for a number of organizations and accepted his current position at the University of Winnipeg in 2009. Here's his story.

Mark Betcher, Payroll Manager at University of Winnipeg

About Mark

I am an active volunteer with the Canadian Payroll Association holding numerous roles since 2003. I am currently the Vice-Chair – Prairie Regional Council and the Chair – Provincial Government Relations Advisory Council (PGRAC). In addition, I am also a Professional Development Seminar (PDS) instructor for the CPA instructing many of their PDS' on a regular basis.In my spare time outside of my ‘payroll’ life, I enjoy cooking, baking and travelling with my wife.

Q: What makes you a People Management Superhero?

I believe it is my experience and attention to detail. I take a great deal of pride in what I do. I always strive to do the ‘right thing’ and stand up for what I believe in.

Q: How does Avanti help you take care of your employees?

With Avanti, I find I have more control. Having that control with my Payroll software gives me the confidence that we are paying our employees accurately.

Avanti has given me flexibility in the way we process our payroll. I also appreciate the T4 and Year-End functionality Avanti provides. I am able to reconcile in a much better format and way than I used to. I like that I am able to ensure the T4s are correct before they are processed through the system rather than being told I have to run my T4s on a certain date - even if I am not ready. This way I know our T4s are correct and that our employees can feel confident they have the right information showing.

Q: Is there something you can now provide to your managers or employees that you couldn't before implementing Avanti?

The reporting capabilities in Avanti are much greater than what we have had in the past.  I really like the ability to drill down to get the details wanted.  I am able to provide a greater level of detail to our managers/employees and executives without having to go to a great deal of extra work in terms of having to clean up the data.  I am also able to extract only the data I want.

Q: As you look ahead to the next year, do you have any new initiatives that involve Avanti?

One of my objectives for this coming year is to develop a Payroll Continuity plan in the event of a disaster that would require payroll to be processed off-site. While we are using Avanti’s hosted product I will still need to ensure that everything needed to carry on our payroll obligations will be able to be met outside of our establishment.

Q: What is the single most important thing that you do to make a difference to your employees?

I believe I am customer-service focused and take the time to listen to our employees’ concerns. I am able to respond in an effective way that helps to resolve their concerns. I also take pride in having built a strong team who are very knowledgeable in the payroll profession.

Q: What tip would you give to other professionals who struggle with employee management?

Be confident in your skill-set and knowledge and be proud of what you do. Make sure you do your due diligence before answering any questions you are not sure you have the answer to.

Q: How does the University of Winnipeg set itself apart from other employers?

It has a culture all its own compared to the other organizations I have worked for over the span of my payroll career. There is no black and white here, only millions of shades of gray.  No two situations are the same and that is what makes this place so interesting and challenging. There are so many different types of employees on our payroll as well - from office staff to faculty to trades – we have a very diverse workforce.

Q: What is at the heart of making the University of Winnipeg a great place to work?

I love the challenges my role presents to me. In the past when I have not been challenged, I have moved on to another organization. There is also more flexibility at the University of Winnipeg in terms of being involved in other work-related activities (i.e. my involvement with the CPA). I also have the ability to take ownership of my role which is not always the case in other organizations.

Q: How do you make your people feel engaged, appreciated and help them thrive at the University of Winnipeg?

I would like to think I empower my team and allow them to take ownership of their roles. I try and let them figure out the solutions and then work through them together as a team. I also try to keep them involved and informed with what is going on in our office, on campus and in the world of payroll.

Look at Mark's super transformation in The Little Book of People Management Superheroes: Volume 2.

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