Insider Exclusive: Payroll Is Not an Expense

Insider Exclusive: Payroll Is Not an Expense

The benefits of investing in your employees

By Randi Busse

I know where most of you have “payroll” listed on your balance sheet/financial statement.

Your accountant won’t tell you this, but I will: Payroll is not an expense; payroll is an investment.

But don’t worry—you won’t get audited or penalized for having payroll listed on the wrong side of the balance sheet. However, the sooner you start looking at payroll as an investment, the sooner you’ll start seeing an ROI from it.

You see, payroll—your employees—is an extension of your business. Your employees are ambassadors of your brand. They have the ability to add money to the bottom line every time your bus drivers interact with your passengers, your tour guides lead a group tour, or your desk clerk checks in a customer.

Of course, the flip side to this is that they also have the ability to subtract money from the bottom line when poor performance or negative interaction occurs.

Do your employees feel as if they are on the other side of your balance sheet—the one called assets?

Do they feel like they are expendable and could be let go at a moment’s notice?

How you treat your employees will determine how they see themselves.

And where they see themselves will have a tremendous impact on their performance day in and day out, especially when it comes to how they treat your customers.

Perhaps this is a good time to consider if you are doing and saying things that make your employees feel valued and appreciated, for they have the ability to help you grow your business beyond your wildest dreams. And they can just as easily help you hang the “Going Out of Business” sign in your window.

Still think payroll is an expense?

Randi Busse is president of Workforce Development Group, Inc., a customer service and employee development training, coaching, and consulting organization. She will be a speaker at the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting & Marketplace in Charlotte, N.C. 

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
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