Top Resolutions in Employer Compliance

 

Now that we have flipped our calendars to 2016 and started our personal New Year resolutions in earnest (you have, right?), those of us responsible for managing compliance within our organizations should make resolutions of our own. Employer compliance has never been more important with increasing regulatory pressures and requirements. Today, HR has broader responsibility for collecting and managing tax and HR data throughout the employee life cycle to meet a growing number of regulations and policies, yet resources are oftentimes limited. Currently in the spotlight, the new Affordable Care Act has changed what once was an annual enrollment process into a monthly exercise of tracking and reporting benefit eligibility.

To help ensure you effectively manage your employer compliance activities, we’ve prepared a list of resolutions to focus on this year:   

1. Assign a dedicated team to manage employer compliance

Tax and HR compliance is far too important in today’s business climate to leave unmanaged. As the inaugural ACA reporting season highlighted, many organizations lost valuable time determining who should be responsible for collecting, organizing and reporting on employee health care eligibility. To help navigate through the sea of compliance-related requirements, assign a leader who has visibility across your organization and build a cross-functional team with representatives from HR, Payroll, Benefits, Legal, Finance and IT to help manage activities throughout the year.

2. Consolidate employer compliance into one system & process

Many large companies find themselves challenged to maintain a consistent compliance program when faced with geographically-dispersed employee populations and various unique office environments. Siloed HR systems also don’t help in collecting and managing all of the required employee information. If you haven’t already done so, consider employing one system to unite all of your tax and HR compliance efforts using one process to collect, manage and deliver compliance-related employee information. You’ll experience significant efficiency gains, while also simplifying the employee experience.

3. Be prepared: Maintain proper historical archives of employee information

One of the fastest growing trends in the HR technology space is the shift to the Cloud—and with good reason. Cloud-based applications offer increased flexibility, greater innovation with more frequent software updates and decreases in overall operational costs. Yet, one challenge with transitioning your HR applications is what to do with your historical employee information. Oftentimes, only current employee data will be brought over into your new system, leaving you to manage your historical information. This can be problematic when audits require you to have quick access to employee data from previous years. Make sure your compliance program includes proper maintenance of your historical employee information.

4. Eliminate the use of paper forms to manage your employer compliance requirements

It might be a digital world, but the vast majority of company information still resides in documents. Too many organizations still rely on paper-based forms to manage their employee compliance needs—from collecting necessary tax information using W-4 forms to confirming acceptance of corporate policies. Quite possibly the biggest step forward you can take to improve your employer compliance program is to eliminate costly and inefficient paper forms. Transitioning your employee forms online will improve information accuracy through the use of intelligent decision support tools, give you important visibility for reporting and analytics and also ensure the security of your employees’ information. As guidelines change, you can also update forms quickly to capture the necessary information.

5. Meet employee demands for easily-accessible online and mobile information

To take our last resolution one step further, it’s quickly becoming insufficient to simply move your compliance practices online. A growing percentage of your new hires are digital natives, where all they know is managing their lives online from their smartphones. They want access to view and change their information at any time and from anywhere. To ensure that you are delivering an engaging experience for your employees, make sure your compliance-related applications are mobile friendly.

6. Be prepared for 2016 employer regulatory changes

The one constant when it comes to employer tax compliance is change. Last year, nearly half of all federal, state and local tax withholding forms in the U.S. required updates. And the introduction of the Affordable Care Act further complicates the monitoring demands for corporate employers. Be diligent about identifying the annual regulatory changes or be sure to work with a provider who will monitor and make the necessary changes for you.

Just like any good resolution, these suggestions will take some effort, but the results will be long lasting for your organization. Good luck!

Now that we have flipped our calendars to 2016 and started our personal New Year resolutions in earnest (you have, right?), those of us responsible for managing compliance within our organizations should make resolutions of our own. Employer compliance has never been more important with increasing regulatory pressures and requirements. Today, HR has broader responsibility for collecting and managing tax and HR data throughout the employee life cycle to meet a growing number of regulations and policies, yet resources are oftentimes limited. Currently in the spotlight, the new Affordable Care Act has changed what once was an annual enrollment process into a monthly exercise of tracking and reporting benefit eligibility.

To help ensure you effectively manage your employer compliance activities, we’ve prepared a list of resolutions to focus on this year:   

1. Assign a dedicated team to manage employer compliance

Tax and HR compliance is far too important in today’s business climate to leave unmanaged. As the inaugural ACA reporting season highlighted, many organizations lost valuable time determining who should be responsible for collecting, organizing and reporting on employee health care eligibility. To help navigate through the sea of compliance-related requirements, assign a leader who has visibility across your organization and build a cross-functional team with representatives from HR, Payroll, Benefits, Legal, Finance and IT to help manage activities throughout the year.

2. Consolidate employer compliance into one system & process

Many large companies find themselves challenged to maintain a consistent compliance program when faced with geographically-dispersed employee populations and various unique office environments. Siloed HR systems also don’t help in collecting and managing all of the required employee information. If you haven’t already done so, consider employing one system to unite all of your tax and HR compliance efforts using one process to collect, manage and deliver compliance-related employee information. You’ll experience significant efficiency gains, while also simplifying the employee experience.

3. Be prepared: Maintain proper historical archives of employee information

One of the fastest growing trends in the HR technology space is the shift to the Cloud—and with good reason. Cloud-based applications offer increased flexibility, greater innovation with more frequent software updates and decreases in overall operational costs. Yet, one challenge with transitioning your HR applications is what to do with your historical employee information. Oftentimes, only current employee data will be brought over into your new system, leaving you to manage your historical information. This can be problematic when audits require you to have quick access to employee data from previous years. Make sure your compliance program includes proper maintenance of your historical employee information.

4. Eliminate the use of paper forms to manage your employer compliance requirements

It might be a digital world, but the vast majority of company information still resides in documents. Too many organizations still rely on paper-based forms to manage their employee compliance needs—from collecting necessary tax information using W-4 forms to confirming acceptance of corporate policies. Quite possibly the biggest step forward you can take to improve your employer compliance program is to eliminate costly and inefficient paper forms. Transitioning your employee forms online will improve information accuracy through the use of intelligent decision support tools, give you important visibility for reporting and analytics and also ensure the security of your employees’ information. As guidelines change, you can also update forms quickly to capture the necessary information.

5. Meet employee demands for easily-accessible online and mobile information

To take our last resolution one step further, it’s quickly becoming insufficient to simply move your compliance practices online. A growing percentage of your new hires are digital natives, where all they know is managing their lives online from their smartphones. They want access to view and change their information at any time and from anywhere. To ensure that you are delivering an engaging experience for your employees, make sure your compliance-related applications are mobile friendly.

6. Be prepared for 2016 employer regulatory changes

The one constant when it comes to employer tax compliance is change. Last year, nearly half of all federal, state and local tax withholding forms in the U.S. required updates. And the introduction of the Affordable Care Act further complicates the monitoring demands for corporate employers. Be diligent about identifying the annual regulatory changes or be sure to work with a provider who will monitor and make the necessary changes for you.

Just like any good resolution, these suggestions will take some effort, but the results will be long lasting for your organization. Good luck!

Share This Post: