June 24, 2024

Level Up 2024 National Conference Recap

National Payroll Institute branded their Level Up 2024 National Conference as “the payroll event of 2024,” and it did not disappoint!

Hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia from June 19 – 21, this year’s event featured two keynotes, 47 education sessions, and a variety of networking opportunities for the more than 800 attendees from across Canada and beyond.

Whether you attended and want a recap to share with your team or are trying to decide if you should come out to the next event, this blog is a great place to start! Read on to get an inside look at the largest payroll conference in Canada.

Level Up keynotes

Arlene Dickinson kicked off the conference on Wednesday morning with a motivational session on how to get more fulfillment from your life through reinvention.

Long-time star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, Arlene Dickinson is a pioneering entrepreneur and distinguished leader with a notable history of accomplishments. Her extensive resume includes being the founder and general partner of District Ventures Capital and the co-managing partner of Believeco:Partners on top of being recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women.

In her keynote, Arlene provided advice on what to do when you begin to feel stuck, unfulfilled, or unrewarded in your personal or professional life. Through a process of reinvention, she explores how it’s possible to break free from stagnation and start living a life of purpose again.

On Friday morning, Jennifer Moss took on the question: Can you really be both “happy” and “at work”?

Jennifer Moss is an award-winning journalist and author whose latest book The Burnout Epidemic earned a spot on Thinkers50 “10 Best New Management Books” list. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, TIME, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She’s been recognized as a “Canadian Innovator of the Year” and an “International Female Entrepreneur of the Year.”

We spend nearly half our waking lives at work, yet only 13% of the global workforce describe themselves as happy and engaged. Jennifer’s illuminating, data-packed keynote presented an argument for how we can solve this well-being crisis. Attendees walked away with practical advice on how to achieve more at work in a happier and healthier way.

Level Up education sessions

With 47 sessions from 43 speakers across the three days of the conference, there was no lack of insights at Level Up. The hardest part is narrowing down that list to choose which to attend.

The sessions were divided into seven timeslots spanning Wednesday to Friday, with many timeslots offering eight different sessions to choose from. A wide array of topics was covered, including how to effectively and ethically leverage AI, how to level up payroll’s influence, how a four-day workweek could impact payroll, and how to adapt to the latest regulations.

Here are some of the sessions we found insightful:

Canada Revenue Agency Update: General Information

With compliance being a cornerstone of payroll operations, it was great to hear directly from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In this session, representatives from the CRA outlined new changes, current trends, and persistent issues they see organizations struggling with.

Level Up Your Influence

It always seems that people only turn to payroll when something goes wrong. This session, delivered by Suzanne F. Stevens of YouMeWe Social Impact Group Inc, is focused on how payroll can amplify its impact and secure a seat at the table. She offered advice on how payroll professionals can communicate strategically, assert their expertise, and confidently insert themselves into crucial discussions.

Examining the Multigenerational Workforce

Michael O’Leary, SVP at Robert Half International, explored the challenges and opportunities posed by today’s multigenerational workforce. He examined how social and economic disruption have influenced the expectations and priorities of these groups and what that means for businesses today. We recently covered a similar topic on our blog.

OneSource Virtual at Level Up

We were thrilled to join the conference as a Gold Sponsor this year and participated in several events on and off-site.

As a Workday exclusive partner, OneSource Virtual (OSV) provides expert services for payroll, payroll tax, and garnishments for Workday customers. We help hundreds of payroll teams around the world improve efficiency, increase accuracy, and focus more on the strategic work that drives business forward.

Panel discussion

On Wednesday, Lauren Lund, SVP of marketing at OSV, and Chris Pellerin, account executive at OSV, joined an NPI panel and roundtable discussion titled “Facilitating the Future of Payroll — Coming Innovations that Will Elevate the Payroll Function.”

Topics of discussion included:

  • What payroll professionals should ask when procuring technology to ensure their investments are future proof
  • The short-term investments payroll professionals can make to improve business health
  • How the relationship between payroll professionals and payroll systems is evolving with the growth of AI and machine learning
  • The functionality and features of payroll solutions that are often underutilized

The OSV Lobster Lounge

We couldn’t come to an event in Halifax without some lobster fun. Attendees stopped by the OSV Lobster Lounge to learn about our payroll services and try their hand at lobster toss for a chance to win an Ooni Pizza Oven.

OSV at NPI level up

Reception with Workday

We also held a reception with Workday on Wednesday night across from the Halifax Convention Centre, allowing attendees to network in a more casual setting. We had many great conversations about the challenges Canadian payroll professionals are facing and the innovative ways they are going about solving them.

Want to learn more about OneSource Virtual? Explore our scalable payroll services and reach out to chat with us directly.


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