A less-than-friendly visit from the Internal Revenue Service was all B.J. Christensen needed to point her down the road to success.
During an audit, Christensen found herself debating an IRS officer about exemptions. When she showed she knew the IRS book of codes better than the auditor, he suggested that she become an enrolled agent for the IRS."I never advertised, but just by word of mouth, I had more work than I could handle," she said. "But my biggest problem was nobody was paying me, so I knew that I had to do something different."
Christensen eventually discovered the concept of "staff leasing," and in 1990 her company, A-Plus Benefits Inc., was incorporated and started running payroll with a personal computer on the floor and four phones.
After she struggled to secure the loan she needed to get started, the business took off and today employs seven agents.
And Christensen, who currently serves as president of A-Plus, does not plan to stop there.
"Currently, A-Plus Benefits Inc. has a strong position within the Utah and Salt Lake County professional employer (PEO) market," she said. "However, it is the company's vision to become a leader in PEO services throughout the western United States."
The company's five-year growth plan will start with the opening of satellite offices targeting new markets within Utah, Christensen said.
"By giving someone your word, you are giving a bond and a guarantee that you will follow through," she said. "I have applied those same principles to A-Plus Benefits Inc. and my employees."
Christensen, 43, is a 1972 graduate of Wasatch High School and attended Stevens-Henager College of Business in 1974. In addition to holding leadership positions in several clubs and organizations, she "adopted" a class at Grovecrest Elementary School in 1996 and 1997, teaching children about budgets, how not to overspend and how to earn what they receive.