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Feb 12, 2014

Scottsdale, AZ February 12, 2013 - Symmetry Software, specialists in payroll withholding tax solutions for the internet and corporate intranets, has announced the promotion of Jon Bohnert to President from Executive Vice President.  

Jon Bohnert grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from Ball State University.  After spending several years with CF Airfreight and Iwatsu America in sales management positions, the opportunity to become a Vice President with American Fence brought him to Phoenix.  In 1995 he settled in Arizona along with his wife Jennifer and their two children, Lexie and Daniel.

In 1995 Bohnert met Tom Reahard, CEO of Symmetry Software, when their daughters began first grade together.  Bohnert and Reahard became friends as did their daughters.  Many years later, Reahard asked Bohnert to join him at Symmetry to lead their sales efforts.  “My first thought was that I’m not a big supporter of mixing friends, family, and business and I thought it would be a great way to ruin a friendship,” he states.  So Reahard convinced him to come aboard for a one-month trial run.  If at the end of the month it wasn’t working out, Bohnert would leave Symmetry with a marketing plan and the two could remain friends.

The one-month trial worked and Bohnert having been inspired and excited by the opportunity facing Symmetry Software, has since spent over 13 years with the company.  An early project for him was selling private-label versions of the paycheck calculators available on Symmetry’s flagship website®.  “My first year at Symmetry Software we knew that PaycheckCity® had big possibilities because we kept getting calls from Fortune 500 companies and people from the payroll industry wanting these calculators for their employees and customers.”  From there, Jon started making cold calls and creating a new market for paycheck modeling tools.  He recalls, “It was great fun because we had no competition but no one really understood what the calculators were used for.  Once they did, it was an ‘aha moment’ for them.”  Today,® reaches 4.3 million unique users annually and Bohnert and his team have sold hundreds of private-label calculators over the years.  

The success of the free tools available on PaycheckCity® continues to be a point of pride for Bohnert.  He cites Symmetry’s use of the freemium business model as one element leading to the company’s success.  “We have been leveraging the freemium business model before it had a name by providing excellent free content online with the strategy of selling the premium content. Starting back in 1999, we were pioneers.  We continue to do that with all of our products and it has served us well.”

The success of PaycheckCity® payroll calculators naturally led Symmetry Software into the business of electronic payroll withholding forms.  Bohnert states, “At the time no one had figured out how to make withholding forms more efficient.  It was a huge pain point for large empoyers with thousands of employees.”  Symmetry’s good standing with its customers—many of whom are the largest employers in the United States—led to strong sales of automated withholding forms.  One notable example comes from one of Symmetry’s largest clients who hires about 300,000 people every year.  “When they were first introduced to us, they had a 22% error rate on their payroll withholding settings.  That meant that every payday, almost a quarter of checks disbursed to new employees were wrong and had to be re-run and rushed to the employee,” explains Bohnert.  “We developed for them a completely paperless withholding form system that reduced their error rate on paychecks to almost zero.”

Bohnert states that when he started receiving calls from payroll industry leaders ADP and Paychex, followed by other Fortune 100 customers such as Exxon Mobil, “I knew we were onto something good.”  Symmetry Software had carved a niche for itself amongst large employers and payroll providers by creating tools and products that handled complex payroll taxes in the most elegant and simple way.  Large companies were attracted to Symmetry because the company offered a cheaper and more efficient solution than they could build themselves. 

Symmetry Software continued on to create Payroll Point® using the most current mapping technology to pinpoint taxes based on an employee’s home and work location.  For companies with employees working and living across the country, the complexity of payroll taxes and the thousands of jurisdictions that collect payroll tax is a burdensome challenge.  Now, Symmetry estimates that millions of paychecks are touched each payday by Payroll Point®.

According to Bohnert, the most rewarding part of working at Symmetry Software goes beyond the products and sales.  He describes how at Symmetry’s annual industry tradeshow, people come up to him and his employees hugging them telling them how much they love Symmetry Software and their products.  “It’s very gratifying to know that we make such a difference in the day-to-day lives of our customers and users,” he exclaims.  Another highlight for Bohnert is experiencing the buzz around PaycheckCity® when at speaking engagements.  “Often, I’ll have those familiar with PaycheckCity® explain to those who are unfamiliar with the site.  The excitement and energy in the room is very contagious.”

“We routinely have customers tell us how easy we are to work with, how great our stuff works, and how well we support them.  So many technology companies are working so hard at growing fast; we are working hard at growing well.  We have always focused on doing the right thing, each day, each step of the way, and the company has grown as a result.  It shows in the support we provide our customers and the specialty products we provide.”

The road to President hasn’t always been easy.  Bohnert describes as a significant challenge during his time at Symmetry Software battling the perception that Symmetry is too small a company for major players to do business with.  At 20 employees, Symmetry considers itself a small giant within the payroll industry.  “We’ve overcome this perception. We are the best at what we do and therefore the big companies buy our products time and time again.  When managers transition to new companies, they will call us up.  We have one client who has licensed our products at her past three places of employment.”

“Jon has gained the trust of both our employees and our customers,” states Symmetry Software Founder and CEO Tom Reahard.  “His leadership over the years has been instrumental through the best and worst of times.  I am proud to have him move up to this role which he richly deserves.  I am confident that under his guidance, Symmetry will continue to grow and thrive.” 

In his new role, Bohnert is looking forward to continuing to provide great service to Symmetry’s customers, vendors, and employees by reaching out the old-fashioned way.  “So much gets lost in the digital age,” he says, “I hope our employees and I can continue to build the relationships and make the connections that have sustained our company over the past 30 years.”

Bohnert is a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.  He and his wife Jennifer are also avid supporters of Phoenix Theatre, the Southwest Center for HIV/Aids, and Loyola Academy at Brophy. 

Family: wife Jennifer, married 27 years, 2 adult children Lexie and Daniel
Favorite restaurant:  Wally’s in Scottsdale

Education: Ball State University, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Most exciting prior business experience: Being a part of the American Tube & Pipe Team (a subsidiary of American Fence) when it was sold to Tyco International
Career advice: "Ideas alone are worthless. Execution is what really matters."
First job: Furniture mover for United Van Lines agent
Hobbies: Cross Fit, snow skiing, reading
Favorite cuisine: Spouse’s home cooking

About Symmetry Software
Symmetry Software simplifies the payroll process with our dependable and accurate payroll withholding tax solutions. Recently, Symmetry was honored as a Spirit of Enterprise Finalist by the WP Carey Spirit of Enterprise Center for ethics, energy, and excellence in entrepreneurship.
For 30 years, Symmetry has provided innovative, regulatory compliant payroll software products including the Symmetry Tax Engine®, Symmetry Payroll FormsTM, Payroll Point®, and PaycheckCity® calculators.  Since 1984, Symmetry Software has been helping clients get the right taxes, the first time.


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