Name: Joni Smith
Getting to Know Fastpay: An Interview with Brittany Bowley
Name: Brittany Bowley
Position: Director of Operations
It kind of varies day-to-day just depending on what the workload is. Mostly keeping all the tasks and processes within the office really organized with the staff, and then also helping them problem solve both internally and externally. Then I would say I troubleshoot new products for future implementation.
I’m originally from Muleshoe, TX, but I moved to Lubbock in 2005 to go to college. I went to Texas Tech and graduated with my undergrad in accounting in 2009 and my MBA in 2011. My work experience began at a produce distributor in Muleshoe. It was a seasonal company and during the harvest season, I would do payroll weekly for about 150 employees. When I started there, I was 16.
So that is when my love for the industry really began. Then, after eight years there, I worked for a CPA here in Lubbock as a tax accountant. I did both individual and corporate tax returns, as well as worked in Quickbooks and processed payroll. I did that for a couple years and then decided to go into industry accounting as a senior accountant for an oil and gas company, again, here in Lubbock. Of course, when oil and gas prices began to fluctuate, I was on the lookout for something new. I luckily heard about FastPay and the great opportunity I could have here. With my passion for accounting and payroll, it seemed like the perfect fit. I have been here over three years now and just love it.
What do you enjoy about working in payroll?
I just think I like the day-to-day challenges that it brings. There’s always something new to learn, especially with doing payroll for multiple clients because everybody has their own specifics that they like. There’s always problems to solve and ways we can do things better for them.
How did your previous jobs set you up for what you’re doing now?
I think learning to be really organized with everything and, of course, working with people. I think that’s a big part of what we do here, having good customer service and relating to people on a personal level. I think that’s really important. I think being really organized in what I do and learning that early on has really set me up to do well here.
In your opinion, what sets FastPay apart from other payroll services?
I definitely think the customer service that we have here. We are always available to solve problems. I know a lot of my coworkers sometimes work way past 5 o'clock to make sure we can always respond to emails and provide support. It’s nice because you always get to know everybody that you’re working with. So it’s not like you’re going to call and get a voice that's 10,000 miles away, or you’re going to be put on a call waiting list for hours at a time. You always get a happy voice on the other end of the phone, and I think that’s something that really sets FastPay apart.
What is a key to providing good support to customers?
I think really getting to know the clients. Having that personal relationship, for one, makes it nice when you're talking on the phone with them and you get to have a relationship both professionally and personally. Then, also listening to a customer’s needs because I feel like the customers are always going to be the ones to tell us what they would like in a software. So in my position, it’s really good for me to hear what they need and then I can research and hopefully come up with a solution that will help not only them, but others.
What makes you a good problem solver for customers?
I think keeping everything organized. And I think research is really important - like going to see if there’s another product - and if there’s not another product, then looking at what we do have available or how we can make it work differently, or a different function than a client may need. Internally, I have to think about keeping everything organized by helping my coworkers prioritize tasks in order to make our day smoother so we can get work done quicker, and get a quicker response time for our clients.
Do you have any tools to help with organization?
Of course, my iPhone. I am inseparable from my iPhone since I keep my calendar and many to do lists in there. Other than that, mainly just a lot of spreadsheets. I do a lot of reports on there, I keep a lot of my tasks in there, such as to-do lists. Then, I also use reminders and calendars to schedule everything together and make sure I make the most of my workday.
What are ways you have grown with the company?
When I actually came on with FastPay, my title was payroll solutions administrator. So I’ve grown from that all the way to being the director of operations. So I’ve seen a little bit of each part of the company, which has been really nice. Right after I came on, I was kind of thrown in to the ACA world. Considering my background was tax, I had to do a lot of research with the IRS and learn those terms. I was kind of the best fit for that position, so it was really nice to see that. Now I get to help my coworkers go through similar challenges. It’s rewarding to not only see my co workers grow, but to see how we have grown as a company and the success we are able to bring to our client base.
What keeps you rooted at FastPay?
For one, there’s so many great clients that we work with and I’ve built relationships with them. It’s always nice to get to talk to them and not only help them professionally, but get to know them on a personal level. Then also the staff here in the office. Everybody is so sweet, so we’ve become like a family and that’s really nice.
What makes you passionate about FastPay?
I think just the potential that we have in the direction that we’re going now. We’re looking at bringing on new software, we’re talking about growing internally and hiring new people. The thought of multiplying that and just making it even better makes me really excited about the future.
Let’s talk more about you. Can you describe yourself in a sentence?
I would say I’m really detail oriented in all aspects of my life, but one of my favorite things to do is just relax and enjoy the little things in life with my family.
Do you have a daily routine?
I do, but my life has been a little upside-down lately. I just had a baby in January, so I used to have a very set routine...but my little boy has kind of put me out of that routine a little bit. I try to daily wake up and get him up, get him fed and put him back in bed so that I can actually get ready for work. I try to have a little bit of quiet time while I’m getting ready, and then get him up and get cuddles with him before I start my day. Then I come to work and after work it’s always different, but usually relaxing with my husband and son.
Do you have any pets?
We have a Boxer. Her name is Paisley, and before we had my son Brody, she was like our baby. If you were ever to look at my Facebook or Instagram, there’s pictures of her wearing sunglasses. She’s very spoiled. We thought she might be really jealous of Brody because of all of the attention she had before, but she is really good with him. We always tell her he’s her little brother. We will put him in his little swing and she will go over there and lay her head next to him, and she’s so calm. She was very hyper before and now, she’s like a completely different dog. It’s the sweetest thing.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
Other than just spending time with the family at home, I love to do anything relaxing. Whether it’s sitting on a patio and having a glass of wine or going to get a massage, turning off my mind for a few minutes is always nice. I love shopping with my mom. We are so much alike it’s always a stress relief to just have some good “mom” time! I’m also really into baking and making fun recipes on Pinterest. My husband is super into golf, so a lot of times I'll go ride in the golf cart with him and relax and just enjoy being outdoors. We also really love to travel any chance we get.
What are your favorite TV shows?
I love This Is Us, it makes me cry every week. It’s the best show. Then I love Grey’s Anatomy and The Voice. But other than just watching TV, I like to look on Pinterest and Instagram and social media and kind of chill out. I probably actually look at Pinterest more than anything. I’ve pinned a lot more than I’ve actually done. I use it mainly for cooking, fashion and kid ideas.
What is your favorite type of music?
Mostly just Country or Texas Country.
How do you juggle work and family life?
Especially since I had my son, I try to make my day from 8 to 5 and really focus on work while I’m here 100 percent. Then after work, I focus on my family. With that being said, and because I am so detail oriented, I always want to mark things off of my to-do list. I find myself checking emails before I go to bed, and trying to organize for the next day. But for the most part, at 5 o'clock I try to cut it off.
What is something not everyone knows about you?
I would say that I’m actually really shy, and then once you get to know me, I’m not shy at all and really never stop talking. So to a bunch of my close friends I would say, “Yeah, I’m really shy.” And they’re like, “No, you never shut up.” But until you get to know me, I’m very quiet.
Who do you admire?
It depends on which aspect of my life I’m looking at. I would say as far as being completely selfless and caring, my mom, Melody. I mean, she would do anything for anybody, and that’s how I hope to be. Especially with my son. I want him to look up to me the way I look up to her. I would also say my husband, Bryce. He’s so career driven and he knows how to really balance his family life with his work life, so that’s something that I really admire about him. He can do so much and have so many career aspirations, but at the same time can make time to do anything for us.
What is your secret to success?
I would say just taking one day at a time and just having faith in what you’re doing. Just putting your heart into everything you're doing, having faith and just really focusing on that one day. Don’t look too far into the future and get lost in that, just enjoy the time in your day and focus on getting the best out of it and doing the best you can.
Putting the “human” back into “human resources” means empowering your team with the tools they need to succeed. Tools lift the burden on the sheer...