Celebrating 20 Years in Business • 2004 - 2024

Creating Good Vacation Policies

Start with the idea that 30 days of leave are the bare minimum for staff. These days of leave include vacation days, sick days, holidays and other personal days.

Typically, U.S. employers grant 10 days of paid vacation time — two full weeks — per year to each full-time employee. Holidays, roughly 10 per year, are defined as national or state holidays that everyone takes off.

For private industry workers, paid vacation time is allocated by experience — the more time someone spends with a company, the more vacation days they’re given. On average, a person who has been with a company for one to five years receives 10 days. Employees who have been with the business for five to 10 years receive an average of 15 days for vacation. Employees who have worked at a business between 10 and 20 years receive, on average, 17 days, while a tenure of 20 or more years comes with an average of 20 vacation days.

When creating your vacation policy, you may want to establish rules based on answers to the following questions:

  • Should employees give you a certain number of days of notice before taking paid vacation?
  • Should employees be limited to a specific number of days off at one time?
  • Should there be a limit to how many employees can take the same day off?
  • Should employees be allowed to “cash in” a specific number of unused vacation days for money at the end of the year?
  • Should employees be restricted in the number of days they can carry over from year to year?

Holidays are treated differently than vacation days. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 79% of all private industry workers have paid holidays; 83% of workers in service occupations receive paid holidays; and 96% of management, business and financial occupations receive paid holidays.

Rethink PTO policy

Instead of giving separate allocations for vacation, sick and personal days, you may instead choose a paid time off policy. With a PTO policy, your employees have a fixed number of days that they can use for any personal reason.

Under a PTO policy, an employee might accrue four hours of PTO for every 40 hours worked (meaning one day is accrued every two weeks worked). The accrual rate may change the longer the employee is with the company. This policy motivates employees to work to earn their PTO and results in a sense of accomplishment when they do. But it also can encourage workers to come into the office when they are sick because they don’t want to “waste” their hard-earned PTO on illness but would prefer to save it for vacation. Similarly, the policy can feel discouraging to new employees, who start with zero days.

An alternative to this traditional PTO is an open or unlimited PTO policy. It allows employees to take as much PTO as they want; there’s no cap on PTO as long as work gets done and the policy isn’t abused. Unless the employee is taking several days off in a row, an open PTO policy doesn’t require that the employee provide a reason for taking the days. Such a policy shows that work–life balance is a priority for your company. Still, many employers worry that the policy will be taken advantage of.

One difference between PTO and traditional vacation/sick/holiday plans is how unused PTO is paid. When an employee quits or is laid off, you’re not required to pay out any unused PTO; this is different from the requirement under traditional plans to pay unused vacation days. If an employee doesn’t use all their PTO by the end of the year, you have to consider state law. Most states have a use-it-or-lose-it policy in place saying that employees need to take PTO days or forfeit them.

On average, paid leave accounts for $2.59 of the average cost of an employee per hour or 7% of a business’s total employee costs. It’s important to consider what you can afford when deciding which type of time-off policy is right for your business. Still, when a time-off policy is comprehensive, generous and flexible, employees feel valued and cared for, which increases their loyalty to your company and can increase productivity.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.