Post-Consolidation Activity in Unemployment Service Industry Reveals New Leader

Over the last several years, Human Resource professionals have witnessed significant changes in their unemployment tax management service programs, namely the result of industry sweeping consolidation activity. Most privately held regional and local service providers have been rolled up in to a large, publicly traded corporation whose primary focus has been market share in payroll and timekeeping systems and more recently, data management. Employers that had engaged in multi-year contracts with their former service providers now find they are the “unintended customers” of the single largest service provider in the industry, offering little in terms of real cost management or service. This situation was particularly difficult for those employers in need of a competent national service provider that could handle high volume claim activity. Consequently, employers accustomed to dealing with client-focused service providers are now out in the market seeking vendors who can provide more customized and effective solutions, designed to actually reduce unemployment costs. 

Unemployment Tax Control Associates, Inc. (UTCA) founded in 1990, has emerged as the industry leader, uniquely positioned to service employers who do not want a “big box” approach to managing their unemployment costs. Human Resource professionals who have searched for viable national service providers, have discovered the market offers a limited number of established vendors who can provide effective service to multi-state or multi-site employers. Unlike, the industry’s largest service provider (acquired by another publicly traded corporation in 2007) or some recent post-consolidation “start ups”, UTCA is a well-established, privately held, successful service company that pioneered a highly customized, pro-active service model launched in 1990. “Our program was designed to target and address the factors commonly resulting in claim payment. We realized from the outset, that in order to be truly successful, our program had to be implemented by partnering with the client and their human resource staff. We studied patterns and practices associated with separations resulting in claim payment and developed a unique program that utilized proactive strategies and tools. The results have been dramatic and have earned our company a reputation as the industry leader” says Suzanne Murphy, President of UTCA. UTCA currently maintains two office locations, one in Springfield, MA and a branch in Boston’s Financial District, with associates throughout the US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Many companies have experienced dramatic savings after utilizing UTCA services. Allison McGinn, former Director of HR Services for Corporate US Airways, Inc., recalled “Frustrated with our UI vendor, we embarked on a nation-wide search for a service that could truly help us reduce our unemployment costs. That search ended in Massachusetts with the firm of UTCA. There is no comparing the inferior service we previously received from the other vendor, to that of UTCA. In only one year’s time, UTCA had exceeded our savings projections.”

UTCA, which utilizes a client-focused business philosophy, offers tax management expertise with proven and valuable tax strategies to also assist the financial manager in maximizing organizational opportunities to reduce UI costs. Their services include management education (often referred to as the “cornerstone” of UTCA’s program), pre/post separation consultation, claims management, hearing representation, auditing, reporting and analysis. UTCA offers immediate online access to all claims activity on a company-wide, claimant specific basis. Their system summarizes individual client account activity including claim, hearing, audit and savings results. In addition, UTCA publishes a monthly management newsletter and quarterly legislative updates, detailing pending and new legislation covering all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands; aimed to keep clients informed and effective in their lobbying efforts.

“Our service was developed to actually generate savings through the aggressive and effective management of our client’s unemployment program. We do not provide an automated, clerical service, designed to push paper as a complement to a payroll or tax filing service. We are all about ROI, in this very cost-intensive area. This is a program that has received kudos from both human resource and finance professionals within our client organizations” says Murphy.