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Kinside wants families to make the most of their dependent care flexible spending accounts

Kinside founders Rob Bircher, Shadiah Sigala and Abe Han The cost of childcare is one of the biggest financial burdens American families face. Even dependent care flexible spending accounts, pre-tax benefit accounts meant to reduce caregiving costs, can be an extra stressor because they involve filling out many forms. Kinside, a startup in Y Combinator’s current batch, wants to help by automating the claims process. It also serves as a childcare management tool, letting parents pay their care providers with a Venmo-like feature while making it simpler for companies to offer childcare benefits, like matching costs, that can help attract talented employees. Kinside is still in beta, but it’s already been adopted by several tech companies, including Le Tote. Kinside’s three founders—CEO Shadiah Sigala, COO Rob Bircher and CTO Abe Han—were motivated to launch the startup after realizing that dependent care FSAs (which can also be used for other caregiving-related costs, like elder care) are vastly underutilized. “Even though upwards of 70% of companies offer this FSA, we found in our conversations with numerous companies that maybe 10% of eligible parents are using this benefit,” Sigala says. “From an employee experience perspective, we are really taking on a very onerous, traditional FSA product and streamlining the payments process, not only for employers to offer this benefit very seamlessly, but also streamlining the process for parents to take advantage of this benefit.” One reason eligible employees forgo their dependent care FSA benefits is the claims process, which can take weeks to process and involves collecting receipts and uploading them onto a website (snail mail and fax are other options). As parents, Kinside’s founders have experienced firsthand the headache of dealing with dependent care FSA forms at previous jobs. “Some of the products we’ve seen already look a decade old, with multiple screens of input. They are really clumsy, so from a modern Web app and UX experience, Kinside brings it up to speed,” says Han. Kinside also takes advantage of the trio’s past experience in the payments and benefits space. Before launching Kinside, Sigala co-founded HoneyBook, a CRM for entrepreneurs in creative…

Can’t afford a pay rise? 9 alternative ways to reward your staff

If you have an employee who is doing a sterling job and you’d like to thank them in some way, but are lacking the resources to offer a pay rise, then there are many other ways you can reward them. Yes – many of us would probably prefer money, but for some companies this just The post Can’t afford a pay rise? 9 alternative ways to reward your staff appeared first on Small Business.

Virtual Currency & Payroll: What HR Pros Need to Know

As most HR and payroll professionals will attest, people are very particular about their pay as are the companies that pay them. Believe it or not, some US companies still pay people exclusively in cash—presumably to get around paying taxes or to avoid having to document paying people who are unauthorized to work in the country. Other companies refuse to even cut paper checks, instead requiring all employees to be paid by direct deposit. This is perfectly legal as long as the employer does not control which bank or account employees use. Other employers, particularly startup companies, pay their employees exclusively in equity. Others pay mostly in stock or in a combination of salary, stock, “cafeteria plan” benefits and fringe benefits. Freelancers may be paid ACH deposit to their bank accounts through sites like UpWork, Freelancer or even PayPal. The newest form of payment to emerge isn’t even “real” currency—that is, it isn’t tied to a country’s official currency. It’s called virtual currency, and its use as a payment method has important implications for payroll. What Is Virtual Currency? Virtual currency or cryptocurrency is “the digital representation of value that is issued and controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific (virtual) community.” Unlike traditional currency, which has more of a stable value, virtual currencies are a hybrid that is best described as part stock, part cash. Because you can spend virtual currency online the same way you can spend pounds or dollars, it is like traditional money. And because transactions occur independently from formal banking systems and are untraceable, they are more like physical cash. The speculative nature of cryptocurrency, however, makes it more like stock. The number of people willing to use and accept the currency plays a large role in its value. How many people use virtual currency? Since the appearance of bitcoin in 2008, cryptocurrency has slowly grown in popularity. Coinbase, a digital wallet used to hold, buy or sell your bitcoins, ethereums or litecoins, currently claims to have served more than 10 million users worldwide. Yet, many people don’t know what a bitcoin is. As of 2014, “76 percent…

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