Kim Beauchamp, PLP
Senior Manager of Payroll, Bison Transport, Woodlands, MB
Payroll has always been part of Kim Beauchamp’s life. As a child, she would spend her days saddled up beside her mom at the kitchen table, watching her complete the bookkeeping for the small company she worked for — equipped with little more than paper and a pencil.
A country girl through and through, Kim has always felt the most peace outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. She currently calls Woodlands, Manitoba home, just far enough from Winnipeg to enjoy the peace and serenity, but close enough to make the commute to the office when necessary. She and her husband make the most of the winter months exploring their property by snowmobile or on snowshoes, or by going ice fishing together. Once things warm up a bit and the ice starts to melt, they hit the road to their cabin on Lake of the Woods in Northern Ontario.
As a senior manager of payroll for Bison Transport, Kim has spent 29 years growing personally and professionally with the company, leading her team with a mix of expertise and warmth.
Kim originally attended Red River College for Business Accountancy. After being out of school for about a year, she applied and was hired at Bison Transport. When she joined, the small family-owned business had 60 trucks. It now has over 800, making it one of the largest transport companies in North America.
In her nearly three decades with the company, advancing from payroll administrator to supervisor, to manager, and now senior manager, Kim has seen a lot of change and growth within payroll. The most obvious and striking change, being in the technology used.
“It’s only getting more advanced. Which is exciting, but also scares me in a way,” she admits. “I don’t want it to take away my job. But I do think payroll is always going to require that interaction with employees a computer can never replace.”
And that’s another area where Kim has seen significant growth within payroll. She has personally experienced the shift throughout her career of payroll moving from a perceived back-office function, to being recognized as an integral part of the operational team. One that is looked to for advice and strategic insights to keep business plans targeted and on track.
“When I started my career, I was basically given the information to process and I processed it. But as I gained more education and experience, I also gained more confidence. I started speaking up, voicing concerns, and making suggestions and that really opened my manager’s eyes to just how much of an impact payroll can have,” Kim says. “The more I spoke up, the more I noticed I was being invited to meetings and my advice was being sought out. When the leadership was making big decisions, they started asking ‘how will this work on the payroll side of things?’”
As Kim looks to the future, she’s anticipating a big emphasis and increased importance on employee satisfaction from a payroll perspective. It’s not just about handing someone a paycheque, but being able to have conversations with them about their deductions, providing them support and access to resources to help them manage their money.
“People want answers, and they don’t always want to talk to a computer screen,” she insists. She feels this is important to remember, especially in the industry she supports. “Our drivers are on the road, missing birthdays, missing holidays with their families in many cases, so you want to be that personal connection for them when they really need it.”
This empathy is something she tries to instill in her team as well, and it’s something she looks for when hiring payroll professionals of tomorrow.
“You can teach someone how to use Excel, or how to use a payroll program. You can’t always teach someone how to be compassionate or how to be a good listener.”