3 min read

How Samyr Solved 'Irritating' Payroll Tax Compliance

We interviewed Samyr Qureshi, Co-Founder and CEO at Knack, to learn what life was like trying to achieve state payroll tax compliance when growing an organization with remote employees.

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State Payroll Tax Compliance Background

Tell us about Knack

Knack is a peer-to-peer student learning platform for colleges and universities to better reach, engage, and retain their students.

We launched the product in 2016, and the model’s been rolled out on over 100 campuses across the country.

We're a venture-backed organization, which means we have a high-growth mandate and with that, comes state payroll tax compliance challenges as we need to register new remote employees across the country.

Describe why you love your role

I started Knack out of a personal experience being an immigrant coming to the states and struggling academically.

I got through these struggles through tutoring, and did pretty well in school before becoming a tutor myself, and then ultimately going on to work at places like Apple and Gartner.

After my time in corporate, I realized I wanted to build something to help students like me.

Institutions today have tutoring centers, but most students won't use those services, and the institutions have a hard time scaling those services for all students.

I launched Knack to help add more tutoring jobs on the campus, through a peer-to-peer sharing economy model.

This creates a more accessible network of tutors that other students on campus can book for free guidance as they need it.

Samyr Qureshi, Co-Founder and CEO at KnackSamyr Qureshi, Co-Founder and CEO at Knack

What words would you use to describe managing state payroll tax compliance manually?

Probably somewhere between confused, uncertain, or perplexed.

Each state compliance body has their own processes requirements and protocols requiring us to kind of work around, and figuring those things out on my own has been incredibly confusing.

It also creates a huge amount of anxiety like, ‘I don't want to miss something or maybe I did miss something, now what do I do?’ Then getting stuck in each individual state system, trying to problem solve and troubleshoot out of those is certainly an irritating and annoying experience as well.

What’s been the impact of using AbstractOps to eliminate those feelings?

First, I would say just knowing that there’s a central home to reference what we need to take action on eliminates a lot of uncertainty.

Second, I’d say having a partner within that space to lean on to say ‘hey this just came in how do we handle it’ and being able to trust your team’s advice, that's brought a lot of peace of mind and clarity.

It’s made us feel more confident and comfortable that there's a path to get through this and a place to be able to reference and collaborate and ultimately have those things taken care of.

A look at centralizing email, physical mail, and critical documents in AbstractOpsA look at centralizing email, physical mail, and critical documents in AbstractOps

Additional notes from the AbstractOps team

When Samyr (who is secretly an incredible musician) originally came to us via Rollfi's integrated payroll platform, our recommendation was that he needed to centralize 3 key components:

  • Email, physical mail, and related action items

  • State information and account numbers

  • Registered agents.

While these items can be centralized into one place manually, it takes a lot of time and coordination, so Samyr elected to use AbstractOps instead.

If you'd like to see how he did it, start the clickable product demo here.

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Kristin Bass

Kristin Bass has helped over 100 companies navigate the confusing world of state compliance. Prior to her role as the CEO of AbstractOps, she worked as an Operations Analyst at FIS Global. She holds an MBA from East Carolina University and has a deep love for animals, especially her two labrador retrievers.

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