Steve Bell, Partner at Employers Edge, has been elevated to the position of Vice President for the Association of Unemployment Tax Organizations (AUTO). This organization is made up of individuals who provide unemployment compensation management services to employers throughout the United States. These individuals develop and implement standards that serve U.S. employers and employees by protecting and improving the U.S. Unemployment Insurance system.

AUTO has outlined 3 principal objectives:
1. To promote, protect and improve the integrity, administration and operation of the unemployment compensation system for employers, who finance the UI system.
2. To promote, protect and improve the ability of AUTO members to represent employers in unemployment compensation matters.
3. To provide a forum to discuss, consider and deal with Industry issues and problems, and the unemployment compensation system, and to pursue activities that will enable members to achieve improved results and efficiencies.

AUTO also outlines business and ethical standards of practice to which their member subscribe:
1. Conduct business affairs with integrity and lawful purpose.
2. Serve the best interests of each client with fidelity.
3. Accept engagements only for matters in which the member is competent and able to perform services that will substantially benefit the client.
4. Respect all information relating to the business affairs of its clients as confidential.
5. Present its qualifications to the public by communications which are not false or misleading.
6. Uphold the dignity of the industry and broaden public understanding, acceptance and regard for the industry
7. Constantly promote the best interests of all stakeholders in the Unemployment Insurance System.

Employers Edge is thankful for Steve’s contributions to moving the industry forward and proud to adhere to these standards to provide high-quality unemployment cost management. We asked Steve the following questions about his participation and experience within AUTO:

Why do you feel professional associations like AUTO are important for this industry?
Groups like AUTO serve a vital role for a number of reasons. First and foremost, states, employers, claimants and TPA’s all benefit from a well-run unemployment claims process. Through AUTO the TPA community can speak with a common voice, and work with states to improve the overall process. In fact, our group is meeting this fall with representatives from the states of Michigan, Connecticut, and Florida in an effort to improve the unemployment claims process.

How has AUTO made an impact on the industry, companies, individuals, and you?
The companies in AUTO include all of the largest TPA’s in our industry, and, as a result, our members combined represent a large percentage of the overall unemployment claims processed nationwide. By having an organization like AUTO in place, the industry in general will function more effectively.

Goals for the future?
We want to continue to reach out to state workforce agencies in an effort to make the claims process more effective for all parties. We want to ensure that our relationship with the state workforce agencies is one of cooperation for a common goal, one where they know our industry will listen to them and work with them.