Sole ownership has Brownsburg’s Teresa Ray of The Payroll Department singing a happy tune.

By Mike Beas

TeresaRay-CoverThere are occasions and circumstances within business where less qualifies as more. Fewer employees, less hassle, simplified overhead. ­ Thus, the generations-old business theory that addition can be accomplished only by addition and not subtraction is being tested like never before.

Teresa Ray, owner of ­ e Payroll Department in Brownsburg and part of the town’s business landscape for nearly two decades, thrives in large part because of this. In numbers there is strength, and right now that number is three – Ray, resident accountant Grace Walker and payroll specialist Denise Ferrell.

“Denise and I kid all the time about bringing someone else in, but we would rather work harder,” laughs Ray. “So far, working harder always wins out. Trust is definitely an issue because you’re dealing with other people’s money.”

Founded in 1990, ­ The Payroll Department centers its reputation on providing for clients the best in services by facilitating IRS filings, processing and changes with one’s payroll activities. It’s a numbers industry, to be sure, and the numbers are in Ray’s favor. Four years ago ­ e Payroll Department worked with 95 clients, a total that has since swelled to 175. Ray feels her company could handle perhaps as many as 30 more new clients.

“We’re a payroll processing company. I tell people we’re people who print money all day long, but we’re not the government,” says Ray. “I love helping people. When I see them happy and then they refer me, that’s a huge success.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, new clientele began coming on board around the time Ray took on sole ownership of the company in 2006. Previously she had a male business partner for the first 12 years (1990-2002) and a female business partner the ensuing four years. Flying solo has made a significant difference in altitude, she says.

“I’ve always wanted to do it alone. I enjoy the creativity. Ideas I come up with, if they aren’t successful I only have myself to blame. When I have great ideas, I don’t want to wait or analyze too long. I want to act,” says Ray.

“Sometimes with partners you have to vote on things. Wait on things. ­ There’s a process, and I’m not patient when there’s a process.”

Being the only owner enables Ray to carry the business banner by herself in terms of getting the word out. “I love networking. Meeting new people. Sticking my hand out and finding out what they do,” she says. “And the bottom line is, it generates business.” ­

The one-time stay-at-home mom for sons Jason Gibson, now 30, and Corey Gibson, 29, when they were much younger has come a long way and is now a respected member of the business community who also volunteers her time to various organizations.

Two-thirds of Ray’s immediate family are close by at all times. After all, they conduct business in the same building. Shane, her husband of five years, is founder/owner of XRB 1610 Radio Brownsburg, while Jason runs his business, Jason T. Gibson, CPA LLC, from across the hall.

So if one senses a family feel when entering the doors of 701 N. Green St., it’s no accident. ­ That coupled with Teresa’s desire to eliminate payroll-related headaches from area business owners make The Payroll Department money in the bank.

“Any business is going to be successful doing great customer service. I just know when you make your payroll on Friday you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong,” says Mike Trammel, owner-operator of Big O Tires in Brownsburg, a client of Ray’s the past 12 years. “­ That allows me to concentrate on what I need to be concentrating on, and that’s my business.