Company is only Tennessee-based PEO to receive designation in first round of IRS certifications.

LBMC Employment Partners, a member of the LBMC Family of Companies, is pleased to be among the first Professional Employment Organization (PEO) providers in the nation and the only Tennessee-based PEO to be awarded certification by the IRS.

The IRS established the voluntary Certified Professional Employment Organization (CPEO) program in late 2014 and issued notices on May 31, 2017, to the first of only 84 PEOs in the nation who have met the background, experience, financial reporting and other numerous application requirements.

LBMC Employment Partners is one of those 84 PEOs to earn this certification.

“We were very excited to be included in the first group to be awarded the CPEO designation by the IRS,” said Sharon Powlus, Partner of Employment Partners. The application process was quite complex and rigorous, and only those who submitted a thorough application and met the financial and operational requirements were certified by the IRS on May 31, 2017. The ongoing compliance measures required to maintain the status of a CPEO are also significant.

Under this program, regulations formally specify who assumes liability for federal taxes in the relationship between CPEO service providers and their clients. LBMC Employment Partners meets the strict auditing and reporting standards of the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA) and will assume financial responsibility for federal employment tax payments for its eligible clients’ worksite employees.  Additionally, federal payroll tax liability payments will also be guaranteed under LBMC Employment Partners’ posted surety bond as added protection.

Although the certification is voluntary, LBMC Employment Partners wanted to pursue the CPEO designation to prove its commitment to operate at the highest standard. “We want our clients to be confident that they have an entrusted and dedicated business partner with the financial backbone to act as their co-employer,” added Powlus.

As a CPEO co-employer, LBMC Employment Partners’ clients can maintain their day-to-day business operations and management of their employees while LBMC Employment Partners will manage their HR, payroll, worker’s compensation and benefits administration functions. Additionally, the new regulations mean it is no longer necessary to restart the payroll tax wage base when clients join a CPEO in mid-year. “This eliminates double taxation on FICA and FUTA, and this alone is a victory for our industry and our clients,” confirms Powlus. The certification also provides access to additional tax credits for business owners such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

The CPEO statute should provide more consumer confidence for any business owner or officer considering a co-employment relationship and permit CPEO service providers to perform as the industry leaders that they have proven to be.

The IRS does not endorse any particular certified professional employer organization. For more information on certified professional employer organizations go to

Learn about LBMC Employment Partners PEO services.

LBMC Employment Partners, LLC, a member of the LBMC Family of Companies, is a world-class professional services firm. LBMC Employment Partners provides a comprehensive suite of human resource related services to businesses including Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services, HR Outsourcing (HRO), Payroll, Human Resource Consulting, Employee Benefits, and ACA Compliance Consulting. For more information visit

LBMC is a Solutions Leader in financial services, human resources, and technology solutions. Founded in 1984 as a traditional accounting firm, LBMC has solidified its standing as the #1 Accounting firm in its market, top 5 regional Accounting firm and a top 50 national Accounting firm, concurrently expanding its breadth of capabilities to comprehensively meet client needs. Today, LBMC serves clients in a wide range of industries with specialized services, including audit, tax and advisory services; business, personal and specialty tax consulting; investment advisory services; professional staffing; human resource outsourcing; payroll services; technology solutions; IT security and risk management; healthcare consulting; physician compensation; litigation support; transaction advisory services, business valuations; and mergers and acquisitions. LBMC and the LBMC Family of Companies has more than 500 employees, with offices in Chattanooga, Nashville (Brentwood), and Knoxville, TN. For more information on LBMC, visit its web site at