Here are this week’s links to a few good stories that we found and selected because we feel they might add valuable insights and perspectives for small to medium size businesses.

• Are CFOs getting more involved in Human Resource (HR) issues? According to Robert Half Management Resources they are. Their report shows that when the economy first started to recover in 2011, CFOs delved more into the operations side of businesses, with HR the #2 priority. In the 2014 survey, HR topped the list. John Zappe, writing for TLNT in Survey Shows CFOs Are Increasing Their Involvement With HR quotes a senior executive who said “CFOs are becoming more involved in all areas of the company and the blurring of functional areas is better than ever…everyone is in a collaborative mode.” While that might be the case for some, our Business Development team tells a different story. Oftentimes, as businesses emerge from a recession, one of the first things to fix internally is the HR department that might have been trimmed during the downturn. Many CFOs are involved with HR not because they want to, but because they have to. This trend that is one of the leading drivers companies consider when contemplating partnering with a Professional Employer Organization during an economic recovery. We have seen this as an emerging trend that is not likely to cool down anytime soon.

• So what are the best states for small business? According to a new survey, Massachusetts is not one of them. The Bay State tallied a disappointing D+ grade, which was due to an environment generally considered unfavorable to small business. In a comprehensive survey conducted by Thumbtack, the results show that most states in the central part of the country appear to be the best climate for the small business community. In The 10 Best States For Small Business, Richard Feloni, writing for Business Insider gives a good summary and includes an interactive map that shows how the all states were graded. Will a change in the governor’s office make a difference? Only time will tell. Perhaps the 2015 Thumbtack report will show better trends. We can only hope.

• Lastly, now that Republicans have gained control of the US. House and Senate, expect Congress to offer amendments to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of the first might be to amend the definition of full time employee under the ACA. Currently employers must extend coverage to all employees working 30 hours per week or more. Many members of Congress would like to raise the bar to 40 hours. Angus Loten and Louise Radnofsky writing for the Wall Street Journal explain in Why a 40-Hour Worker Means More to Small Businesses.

For more information, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.