When you’re in an industry like ours, there’s never a lack of material to cover on a weekly blog, and that was even truer this year. From navigating new federal programs to managing remote workers to implementing accounting controls for work-at-home teams, we covered a lot of ground. And that doesn’t even include all the other HR and accounting topics and issues that arise for businesses in a typical year. Here’s a look at some of the most popular XMI Insights from this past year.

Well, we were definitely onto something when we posted about labor laws for remote workers—in January. That’s right, less than six weeks before the pandemic closed our office and had everyone working from home, we recognized the importance of the growing trend of workers not needing to work in an office in order to be a valuable and productive member of your workforce. Even though it was published pre-pandemic, the information is still relevant, so add Labor Laws for Remote Workers: What You Need to Know to your must-read list.

Given the fact that more than 650,000 businesses participated in the Treasury Department’s Payroll Protection Program, there should be no surprise that A Practical Guide to Tracking PPP Expenses, which we published in April, was among the most-read blog posts of the year. If your company received a PPP loan, it’s definitely still worth a read, since PPP loan forgiveness will require good recordkeeping of these expenses.

As companies settled into the realities of the remote office—and maybe watched productivity drop off a touch—some of them turned to digital surveillance tools to help them make sure their workers were actually, well, working. But there’s a right way to monitor employees and a wrong way to do it, which we explained in June’s The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Monitoring.

In August, when it looked like the pandemic might be allowing workers to return to the office, we checked in with our VP of HR Michelle Thompson to get some tips on employee discipline, specifically related to following (or not following) COVID guidelines. Our crystal ball apparently wasn’t working very well that month, since it’s now December and many companies still are operating remotely. But in our experience, whenever we ask Michelle to chime in on any HR topic, she always has such great insights. As you make your return-to-work plans, don’t skip Employee Discipline During a Pandemic.

Of course, the pandemic wasn’t the only topic of interest to readers this year. So was balance sheet reconciliation, which is an often overlooked but very valuable accounting tool that we learned all about from Brad Shaver, XMI’s director of accounting. Read Balance Sheet Reconciliation: Don’t Make These Mistakes for a straightforward primer on how and why to do this important business accounting task.

COVID-19 was barely on our radar by the time we wrote 5 Ways an Outsourced CFO Can Benefit Your Business Every Day, but re-reading it through the lens of the financial challenges brought on by the pandemic makes us glad we published it when we did. Especially now, as companies are planning for a new year that is poised to be as uncertain as the last, a fractional CFO can provide much-needed strategic insights without your having to break the bank of an in-house position.

Speaking of strategic insights that don’t require a full stack of in-house skills, working with a professional employer organization can provide all the benefits of having an entire HR department minus without having to actually hire one. As 2020 posed both new and old challenges for companies, it’s clear that many of our readers were interested in learning about the benefits of working with a PEO. Interestingly, PEO 101: Understanding Co-Employment also appeared on our most-read list for 2019.

We hope you enjoy revisiting these popular topics from 2020. But, more importantly, we hope you enjoy the holidays. From all of us at XMI to you and yours, we wish you joy and peace this holiday season. See you in the new year!

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