Now that the New Year has started, it’s a great time to perform an audit of your clients’ payroll system to ensure everything is in order. The past few months were spent preparing clients for the upcoming year and making changes to employees’ withholdings. Before the year gets ahead of you and it’s business as usual, take the time to make sure that any changes were implemented correctly.
If you or your clients switched payroll software, make sure that all the data transferred over correctly. Check employees’ names, addresses, employment status, etc. Verify that there are no typos or spelling errors and that the information is matched to the correct employee. This is especially important for employees with similar or common names. You want to make sure Mike D. Smith’s address isn’t listed for Mike T. Smith.
In line with verifying information transferred over from the old system to the new system, you’ll also want to ensure any changes to employee information from the previous year carried over as well. Changes to pay and withholdings should all be accounted for. Make sure that the open enrollment elections employees selected the previous year went into effect. If your clients offer any discounts or incentives, such as a non-smoker medical insurance discount, double-check that they have been applied. Make sure the proper surcharges have been applied as well. Verify that the correct vacation changes have been populated for eligible employees. The same applies to sick time and other time off, if applicable.
Identify any errors or glitches that occurred in the first payroll of the year and determine the root cause. Were they due to technical or human error? Work with the necessary personnel to create an action plan to solve them.
This is also a good time to review the current process for filing quarterly forms. Identify any areas of improvement within the current process and brainstorm solutions to increase efficiency. Make sure your clients are aware of the required information and deadlines.
Lastly, make sure that your clients have all the necessary tools and information needed to ensure compliance. Update all payroll systems with the most current tax withholding rates. Inform your clients of any new laws or amendments that affect their business. Make sure their systems are set up to capture and file the necessary information.
Keep track of any issues or glitches that you and your clients run into. You’ll want to ensure they are properly resolved in a timely fashion. Having a detailed log will also prove helpful if you or your clients need to follow up with individual employees regarding their withholdings or any other issues.
Whether you and your clients made small changes or big changes to their payroll process last year, it’s always important to ensure that everything is working as it should. A simple New Year checkup will make sure that all systems and processes are running efficiently and without problems. It will also make you aware of any issues before they snowball into bigger problems.
See inside February 2015
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