Fellow NIDIA Members, I share an article with you on one of our NIDIA members, XcelHR. They were recently named the best PEO for Small Businesses by Business News Daily.

By Ashley Smith, Business News Daily Contributor July 7, 2015 09:45 am EDT

After much research and analysis, we recommend XcelHR as the best overall PEO for small businesses. We chose XcelHR from a pool of 16 we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of PEOs, visit our best picks page.

Best Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) of 2015

By Ashley Smith, Business News Daily Contributor July 7, 2015 09:36 am EDT
Choosing a professional employer organization (PEO) is an important decision. More than just a vendor, a PEO is an extension of your company because they’re responsible for critical business functions such as payroll, benefits administration and tax filing. Finding a service that is reputable, experienced and professional is crucial. Our staff researched and reviewed the most popular PEOs to decide which we think are best for a variety of business types. Here is a roundup of our best picks and an explanation of how we chose them.

Best Overall PEO: XcelHR

XcelHR was the clear leader for several reasons: customer service, flexibility and transparency. This was one of the only PEOs we came across that was willing to discuss price in the initial call. The company customizes its service for every customer – there are no generic bundle packages – and it offers clients a clear breakdown of all fees and services. The customer service was outstanding. The representative was friendly, informative and enthusiastic without being pushy.

Why XcelHR?

Hands down, no company offered better customer service, greater flexibility or better transparency than XcelHR. While many PEOs offered a great balance of experience, reputation, flexibility and helpful customer service, XcelHR stood out. XcelHR offers both PEO and ASO services. One of our favorite aspects of the company is that services are completely a la carte; the company does not offer bundle packages. Clients pay for only the services they need and will use. Customers are never sold generic packages with confusing terms and fees. While it’s well-known in the industry that some PEOs try to hide their administrative fees in these bundle packages — in addition to selling services that some businesses won’t need or use — XcelHR doesn’t operate that way.

Along with that customization comes transparency in pricing. The company breaks down its fees by individual service and tells clients what they’re paying per each employee. Many other PEOs simply charge a lump sum without breaking down fees this way. XcelHR was also one of the few PEOs willing to give us a rough estimate of what the service might cost: $15,000 per year or less for a company with 12 employees.

We liked that XcelHR assigns a specific employee to oversee a company’s PEO service and work with that company directly. If there’s a problem or question, clients call that person directly, rather than dialing a general customer-service number. For potential clients, the PEO will send a representative to visit the company and meet face to face. Beyond customer service, XcelHR’s website was the best we found. It is full of valuable information, including clear descriptions of how PEOs work, a video explanation, and links to outside articles that provide information about tax laws, health care and more. The site is mobile friendly and, like many other PEOs, it offers both client and employee login for access to information.

Congratulations XcelHR – well deserved!


David Augustine, Col (ret)
Senior Vice President for Business Development, Stryke Industries
Chairman of the Board, Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association