What’s the first thing you think about when you hear, “New Year”? Is it resolutions? The ball dropping in NYC? For all the recruiting and staffing professionals out there, it just might be thoughts of finishing up W-2s, Affordable Care Act reporting and year-end-tax filings.
If you’re one of those individuals, have no fear. With these tips and methods, you’ll be well on your way to having the most successful year-end ever.
1.Know the Timeline
Having a clear, visual representation of your timeline can really help boost your chances of success. Start by writing down deadlines for tax filings such as W-2s, 1095-Cs, 940, T4, and other important required documents. Create a calendar of important dates and make it available to your team via Google Calendars, an actual calendar, Microsoft Outlook or any other calendar that visually shows these important dates. Keep in mind that in some cases, there is a deadline to get the form to the employee and a different date to file with the government agency – be sure to map these out on your calendar.
2.Make a Plan
Having a plan is never a bad idea. Reflect on year-end experiences from prior years, what went horribly wrong? What worked well? What processes are you and your team unsure about? What do you need more information on? What has changed since last year? Has anything changed about payroll that will impact tax reporting? The time to discuss and plan is now!
Here’s a few questions to think about as you work on a plan:
How will you audit the forms? Try Selecting a sampling of employees that fit scenarios you want to review. For example, if you’re reviewing 1095-Cs, look for employees that are full time, part time, were enrolled in insurance, declined insurance, started mid-year, worked all year, salaried employees, hourly employees, etc. Reviewing W-2s? Look for employees that worked in only one state, worked in multiple states, worked all year, worked part of the year, paid salary wages, participated in 401K, had pre-tax deductions, employees with new deductions or pay types, etc.Identify and document the list of employees you want to review
How do we plan to print and mail forms to employees? Are we printing in-house or looking to outsource? If mailing in-house, do we have paper, envelopes, etc.?
Do we need to e-File, or can we mail forms to the government agency? What vendor do we plan to use to help e-File?Create a task list and ensure each team member participating in the year-end activities understands the critical role they play.
“Deadlines give us the sense that we are really on our way and that we will achieve the goal – soon!” – John Patrick Hickey
Start reviewing forms early. Once W-2s are available for review; simply generate data in Weekly Process for Q4, then run the available W-2 reports to see your forms.
Know the available resources. Ensure you have the knowledge you need, when you need it!
Bonus: Treat yourself!