As one of Southern California’s premier tree maintenance companies, Great Scott Tree Care services municipal, commercial, homeowner’s association (HOA), and many urban forest projects in Southern California. Since some of these projects are publicly funded in some capacity, Great Scott is often required to pay prevailing wages. And yes – although tree maintenance may not be the first thing people think of when they imagine the typical construction worker, it still fits under the definition of “laborers and mechanics” that are subject to prevailing wage.
As with any contractor familiar with public works projects, Great Scott knew they needed to ensure they were paying the correct rates. This meant applying the correct craft classifications and following the appropriate wage determinations – the latter being one of the bigger challenges for the company. Given that their municipal jobs are state-funded, they had to meet California’s state wage determinations, which are updated twice a year. And then, there were certified payroll reports…
Great Scott’s Human Resources department spent an exorbitant amount of their time doing certified payroll reports (CPRs). First, they had to process the payroll, then manually enter it into a WH-347 form or spreadsheet to create a CPR, and then take all of that info and manually enter it again into the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website – a state mandated requirement. Ultimately, they were performing what often felt like the same work three separate times, in three different ways. And worse yet, each of these processes are very vulnerable to human error and potential violations. The entire process was extremely time-consuming, and the department often found it difficult to meet their CPR deadlines. Furthermore, it prevented them from completing other administrative tasks in a timely manner.
To shorten their lengthy certified payroll process and mitigate risk, Great Scott chose LCPcertified as a solution to help – an electronic certified payroll application specifically for subcontractors. This coincided with their decision to switch to Paychex as their payroll software provider (which was very intentional). Together, LCPtracker and Paychex have partnered to provide seamless integration, allowing the payroll data from Paychex to be imported directly into LCPcertified with a single click of a button.
Great Scott could then easily create CPRs in LCPcertified without having to enter the payroll data manually. The application would auto-populate the appropriate fields and then check the CPRs for accuracy and compliance. This means it would automatically flag many possible violations (such as the appropriate state wage determination not being met) to help Great Scott rectify issues as needed before eventually submitting to the requesting body.
Speaking of requesting bodies… one of the biggest challenges LCPcertified solved for Great Scott was submitting CPRs to the California DIR. Whereas many other contracting agencies might accept them in the physical form or as an emailed attachment, the DIR requires contractors to either 1) manually enter all the data by hand into their website; or 2) upload an XML file format of the CPR to their website. For many contractors, the second choice simply isn’t an option since it requires such a specific file type that is not easily converted. LCPcertified, however, allows contractors to export a CPR in multiple different formats – including this specific XML file. For Great Scott, uploading to the DIR is now as easy as a few simple clicks.
By and large, the biggest benefit to Great Scott Tree Care was time-savings. This convenience was two-fold in that it cut down on the routine and tedious data entry for both the initial CPR creation and then again when submitting to the California DIR. Instead of their HR department spending roughly 75% of their time working on certified payroll, they could now repurpose some of that time to provide better HR management to their staff. They could turn more attention towards implementing and training on policies, programs, and services that contribute to both employer and employee goals.
Additionally, LCPcertified afforded Great Scott much greater confidence that they would remain compliant. The application’s ability to automatically check for potential violations provided the peace of mind that they were much less likely to make mistakes that could ultimately cost them money.
Great Scott Tree Care was founded in 1976 by their President, Scott Griffiths. Scott started by mowing lawns and became inspired to start his own company. It eventually became a full-service tree maintenance company.
Easily upload CPRs to the CA DIR’s website using the XML file export option
Save time by reducing data entry onto CPRs to just a few clicks
Mitigate compliance risk by leveraging automation to review and validate CPRs