Erin Buell, PCP
Rocky Mountain Soap – Banff, AB
Erin Buell collects skills the way some people collect stamps. She can lead you on a white-water rafting adventure or teach you to canoe or snowboard. Should you need to take the largest boat in Banff National Park around the park’s largest lake, she is certified to pilot that boat.
She has also collected her share of professional accomplishments along the way; Erin is a Payroll Compliance Practitioner with a certificate in Human Resources.
Erin now works as the Pay and Recruitment Coordinator for Rocky Mountain Soap in Canmore, AB. But her career path wound through provincial parks, mountains, rivers and several provinces.
She grew up in Ontario and studied outdoor adventure and tourism at college. She loved working with children, so in 2009, she started at the Tim Horton Children’s Ranch in Kananaskis, AB.
Next, she found a job as a pay coordinator at Pursuit, a tourism company based in Jasper, AB. To further her career, in 2011 she got a one-year HR certificate. “I was highest in my class on payroll and compensation,” Erin remembers. “That was a moment in time that told me where I was headed.”
Three years ago, she took the position with Rocky Mountain Soap, having previously done seasonal work with the company making soap. “It was such a fun job!” she recalls, noting that she loved the physicality of lifting large barrels.
She still loves the company, but for different reasons now. “The opportunity to grow HR and Payroll has been marvelous,” she says. To harness the power of payroll, Erin earned her PCP and has just completed the first course towards her CPM. Recognizing this, the company made plans to hire a full-time HR representative so that Erin can specialize in payroll.
During the summer of 2020, she oversaw the amalgamation of the company’s multiple payroll accounts into one system.
“Because of the pandemic, we implemented the system at the toughest time,” she says. “We had to talk to everyone – the store owners, the plant folks – to ensure a feasible system analysis.”
And she notes that implementing a new system doesn’t end the day the system goes live. “Before you launch, you plan and have an expectation of how things will perform, but with mass data transfers, reality is different.” And of course, ensuring people were paid accurately and on time was job number one.
“Ultimately, the amalgamation unified our teams and with the company’s growth, unity is so important,” she says, adding that the savings realized from the project helped the company’s bottom line.
It has also made it easier to run reports, which Erin loves, because these days, data analysis is the latest skill she’s collecting. “The digital piece is the driving factor,” she says. “We have the information – we’re all sitting in front of our computers. Think of the ways we can use that data to support the financial wellness of the company. Data and digital – it’s a beautiful pair.”