Payroll Worker Wins Top Honor

Roger Smith, innovative business planning consultant for EDS, has been awarded the American Payroll Association's Payroll Man of the Year award. The award goes to someone "who epitomizes the best of the profession," according to Matt Fleeger, a spokesman for the association.

Smith has spearheaded payroll changes that take advantage of technology and the Internet. For example, employees at his company can log on to a company site and change their exemptions and the accounts for direct deposit.

Future plans in Mr. Smith's crystal ball include opportunities for employees to arrange for automatic deductions from their paycheck for lunches in the company cafeteria, parking fees, and automatic bill payment through the company payroll system.

In addition, Mr. Smith envisions a time in the near future where W-2 forms will be made available on-line instead of being sent in the mail. Before a program like this is adopted, companies will have to pay to set up the system. The initial up-front cost may be a deterrant in the short run, but W-2 forms that cost approximately 75 cents per form to print and mail can be disseminated for less than a penny if done electronically.

"Percentage-wise, it's a huge savings, but you need a huge adoption rate," said Mr. Smith.

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