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About the Mobile Chamber

The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

December Small Business of the Month: Payroll Vault

Mobile Chamber December 2022 Small Business of the Month - Payroll Vault

Payroll Vault employees from left to right: Karen Simmons, Cadie Gaut, Noel Shulman and Kaitlyn Johnson.


The mother/daughter team of Karen Simmons and Cadie Gaut have built their company Payroll Vault on a very straightforward directive to their clients: “Go do more billing, more production, more collecting. Go make your company more money, instead of adding up hours on a time sheet.”

Simmons’s words are an effective mantra considering the company uses technology and financial acumen to free up everyone from CEOs and HR managers to frontline employees, so all necessary paperwork is handled efficiently. With about 250 clients, Payroll Vault is the Mobile Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for December.

A CPA for 25 years, Simmons has long been an entrepreneur looking for growth opportunities, and Gaut has been by her side for years. The two were at a tax conference nearly a decade ago and heard about Payroll Vault, which was seeking franchisees. So they flew to its headquarters in Colorado to vet the company and discovered it was a perfect fit.

“Having been in the business for 25 years, I knew payroll is not very efficient in CPA firms, and I knew we could open up a payroll company, but why reinvent the wheel?” Simmons said. She and Gaut opened the franchise in Mobile in 2015, and have been amassing clients ever since.

“I may have helped create it, but Cadie really built it,” she said. “She rocks it.”

Payroll Vault has always included an electronic company interface, but Simmons said it just rolled out new software that really ups the game, including an app that facilitates everything from onboarding to end-of-year financial documents, and everything in-between. No more hounding new hires due to incomplete documentation, freeing up human resources, bookkeeping and other departments to focus on more important matters.

The software is constantly updated with changing laws and other financial specifics that could tie up such departments for untold hours, including health insurance details and retirement.

“Pretty much anything you can imagine with payroll, we can do now,” Simmons said.

The co-owners have four full-time employees, and Payroll Vault operates out of the ProHQ Workspace in west Mobile. It’s a co-working space owned by Simmons which houses several different companies and offers full office amenities and hourly rental rates. Her newest endeavor — Runner for Hire — is housed there, as well.

The crossroads of personal and professional doesn’t always bode well for entrepreneurs, but since Gaut and Simmons have been working together for years, they seem to have an equilibrium both can enjoy and grow from. It also helps fuel their philanthropic endeavors, supporting numerous nonprofits in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

“Everything we do stems from a trust in each other, and trusting what circles each of us are most talented in,” Simmons said. “And our whole team meets once a week to make sure our clients are happy and to identify any struggles.

“It works well for us.”