Across the nation, businesses are preparing for the end of the year and accompanying tasks and events. One of the top tasks for businesses is preparing to send out the necessary W-2 and 1099 forms next year. This is also the time where businesses will evaluate their current payroll solutions and providers. Practitioners wanting to retain customers, as well as gain new ones, will be working to prove their services and solutions are top of the line. But before they can do that, they need to do their own internal assessment of their clients, by updating current client information.
“When you get close to year-end, there’s this pressure on practitioners to make sure they don’t lose existing customers by marketing to them. The first, and very important, step to this is to collect updated clIt pays to collect the right information at the right time. For payroll practitioners, this payout comes in the form of being able to provide quality service to their clients.ient information,” said Scott Schreier, Senior Director, Accountant Channel Marketing, Small Business Services, ADP.
There is more to collecting client information than simply ensuring you have the right company contact. Practitioners want to be thorough in the data they collect. Not only will this provide you with the information you need to send relevant and accurate information to clients later in the year, but it also lets your clients know that you are providing them with in-depth services.
Practitioners want to make sure they are receiving and updating the following information from each of their clients:
- Active employees vs. contractors – Check your current client files to ensure you have the accurate number of active employees and contractors hired by your clients. When it’s time to send out Forms W-2 and 1099, you need to ensure that each individual gets the correct form.
- Verified addresses, contact information and I-9’s – Remind your clients to have employees and contractors verify their contact information on file. Your clients should have the most current mailing address, telephone number and email address for each worker. If you are sending out Forms W-2 and 1099 as a service to your client, you want to ensure they are going to the right place, whether they are being sent electronically or through the mail.
- Employees eligible for retirement plans – Obtain an updated list of each of the employees that are eligible for retirement plans. Does the list line up with the employees that are receiving retirement benefits? This is a good time to audit your clients’ files for compliance.
- Employees eligible for year-end bonuses – Sometimes companies payout bonuses at the end of the year and sometimes they wait until the following year. Find out when your clients plan to payout bonuses and who is eligible.
- Pay rate changes – Companies usually offer pay increases for particular circumstances. Find out if the company is planning to make any changes in their wages, as well as what those changes will be, the conditions, if any surrounding them, and when they will go into effect.
- Insurance information – What insurance benefits do your clients offer? Get detailed information for the various insurances, such as worker’s compensation, health insurance, short-term and long-term disability, etc. Also, check if the Affordable Care Act applies to your clients. Then get a list of employees eligible for each overage, as well as registered employees.
Updating client information can seem like such a small task in comparison to the other payroll services practitioners provide to their clients. However, ensuring you have the most up-to-date information about the various areas of your clients’ business can ensure that you are in a position to provide efficient, quality service to them. Showing the value of this service can prove beneficial at time when businesses are evaluating their current options.
See inside October 2014
2014 Review of Professional Tax Planning Systems
By Bill Kennedy, CPA, CA The Affordable Care Act changes had the biggest impact on tax software across the country this year, as developers scrambled to incorporate the new Net Investment regulations into their packages, particularly for high net worth individuals. All of the packages reviewed have been updated for the impact of this legislation. […]