Customer Stories 8 min

Abacus Hive hires its first international employee with Gusto Global, powered by Remote

Written by Marie Nayaka
December 20, 2023
Marie Nayaka


share to linkedInshare to Twittershare to Facebook
Link copied
to clipboard

When it comes to making the world a better place, nonprofits face plenty of challenges — but accounting shouldn’t be one of them.

This is the reasoning behind Abacus Hive, a full-service accounting firm that allows nonprofits to focus on their missions instead of the complex financial bureaucracy of charitable work. 

But to operate effectively, the company needs access to talent in other countries — and that comes with a whole host of payroll and compliance obstacles. To remove these headaches and barriers to growth, here’s why Abacus Hive works with Gusto Global, powered by Remote. 

Abacus Hive at a glance

  • Headquarters: Tennessee, USA

  • Founded: 2018

  • Industry: Accounting

Abacus Hive serves three segments of the nonprofit sector, helping organizations who are focused on news democracy, health and human services, and youth development in underfunded areas. For Colin Williams, the company’s director of client development and operations, this positive mission is a huge draw.

“It provides that sense of purpose I was looking for,” he says. “Our services give clarity to the numbers, and we believe that can help accomplish a lot of good.” 

As part of his day-to-day responsibilities, Williams works closely with Gusto, which helps him process expense reports and run payroll for the Abacus Hive team. He believes efficiency is a key part of this workflow.

“As a small business, having things streamlined and transparent is so important for time management, versus having different functions on multiple platforms,” he says. “Gusto is a big asset to us in that regard.”

In fact, the relationship has proved so beneficial, Abacus Hive often recommends it to clients looking for a payroll provider. 

“If they're on the fence, we always recommend Gusto,” Williams says. “It’s very easy and transparent for the employer, and for our clients to know what their fees are. And it seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online, which we love.”

Crossing borders for the first time

Although the company is based in Knoxville, only three Abacus Hive employees are actually based there; the remainder — who are paid and managed through Gusto — are spread across the US.

After collaborating with several international contractors, Williams began to consider the prospect of hiring from abroad.

“We’d always been interested in hiring international team members full time, but it was too complex,” he says. “We needed to be compliant and ensure we were offering the right pay and benefits. We looked at setting up entities and various other options, but there was no easy way to do it.”

However, that all changed when one of Abacus Hive’s key employees announced she was moving to Canada. 

“This person was — and is — extremely valuable to the business, and we wanted to be able to keep her as a full-time, permanent employee,” says Williams. “Suddenly, we really needed a solution. So when Gusto Global, powered by Remote, became available, the timing was perfect.”

How Gusto Global, powered by Remote opens up a world of possibilities

Gusto Global, powered by Remote, allows Gusto customers in the US to hire, manage, and pay international talent from within the Gusto platform. And for Abacus Hive, it was the answer to a very tricky problem: it could keep its employee without having to navigate the complexities of cross-border hiring.

Gusto Global, powered by Remote, removed all the guesswork. It was so easy to onboard our first international hire within our existing Gusto platform.

Being able to work with a trusted vendor was also a bonus, with the Abacus Hive team already deeply familiar with the Gusto platform.

“Onboarding our first international hire was seamless through our Gusto interface. Everything was clear and we progressed through the steps easily,” says Williams. “We could see the total cost of employment, the currency conversions, and everything else we needed to hire compliantly.

“Onboarding was quick and now, within the platform, there is no difference between our employees and our international hires.”

According to Williams, the simplicity of the process has significantly altered the company’s stance on international hiring. With several 1099 contractors in Europe, the potential to onboard those contractors as full-time employees is an intriguing possibility for the future.

“As we continue to scale as a business and expand our international operations, the time savings of hiring globally through this partnership will snowball and multiply,” he says.

Securing peace of mind

As an accountancy firm in the nonprofit sector, compliance is, unsurprisingly, a key concern for Abacus Hive. And with the array of compliance issues that international hiring brings — such as taxes, labor law, benefits, health insurance and local regulations — it can be a pretty significant headache. Gusto Global, powered by Remote, removes that anxiety.

“Knowing that compliance is taken care of by Gusto and Remote gives us peace of mind,” says Williams. “All the research has been done for us. We know we’re paying the right taxes, benefits, holidays, and insurance. Everything is being done correctly, so we're not worried about missing something down the line.”

This is not only helpful for Abacus Hive, but for its clients — many of whom hire internationally. 

“We can now recommend Gusto Global, powered by Remote, and there’s authority behind what we're saying,” Williams adds. “It gives us comfort that we’re recommending something we use and trust ourselves.”

Gusto Global, powered by Remote gives us a lot of confidence. We are experts in our own arena, so we’ll gladly let Remote and Gusto be the experts in theirs.

The importance of cost transparency

Nonprofits often operate on a shoestring, putting most of their funds toward their mission rather than their own operating expenses. They also rely on contributions from donors, which can be unpredictable. As a result, Williams understands the importance of being open about pricing.

“Hidden fees are a hit to your bottom line,” he explains. “The fact that Gusto Global, powered by Remote, has full fee transparency gives us peace of mind and allows us to plan as a business, budget effectively, and predict our growth.

“For example, we know that we can actually afford to bring on that full time international employee for the long-term, versus worrying that something might pop up.”

As well as helping Abacus Hive to plan ahead, the partnership also stops unexpected costs being passed on to the nonprofits they serve.

“The worst thing to do is hit these organizations with unknown costs and fees,” he adds. “We’re dealing with board members and executive directors that are reviewing financials, and so they need a really clear picture to work with. The Gusto platform really helps with that and that transparency is now extended to international hiring as well. It’s a huge benefit.”

What’s next for Abacus Hive?

For Williams, hiring internationally has been a transformative experience.. 

“Being able to bring on our first international employee was very rewarding to everyone on our team,” he says. “That person is an integral part of our team, and it means so much to her and to us that we could employ her compliantly in the way that we have. It’s fantastic.”

Our advice to other companies looking to hire internationally though Gusto Global, powered by Remote is: absolutely go for it!

As Abacus Hive looks to the future, it remains committed to its mission of helping nonprofits navigate their finances, so that those nonprofits can focus on their own missions. And now, it can do so without having to worry about borders.

“Gusto Global, powered by Remote brings everything together for us,” said Williams. “We’re still growing, still learning and still evolving. This partnership is exciting for our future.”

See how Gusto Global, powered by Remote, can help transform your business — and get started today.

Subscribe to receive the latest
Remote blog posts and updates in your inbox.