Video Blog: 5 HR/Payroll Tips to Start Fast in a New Calendar Year
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Don Carnevale: Hello, and welcome to our latest NeoSystems video blog, focusing on UKG Pro and payroll.
Today we’re joined by Gregory Giancola, Product Director of HCM and Payroll Solutions at NeoSystems, as well as Jessica Helton, Senior Consultant with HCM and Payroll Solutions here at NeoSystems.
Gregory, I know we have several important items to cover today, so I’ll hand it off to you.
Gregory Giancola: Perfect. Thank you so much, Don.
So today, we want to talk to you about how to kick off your new year on a very successful note within the UKG Pro product.
So I have Jessica joining me here who is my right-hand woman from a payroll perspective, here to talk to you about some of her favorite tips and tricks on kicking off the new year on a proper note.
Jessica, what would be your number one tip and trick for launching into a new year on a successful note?
Jessica Helton: So first, it’s nice to be back Don and Gregory. I always like chatting with you guys.
So starting a new year, we always want to end the previous year as cleanly as possible. But starting the new year really gives you the opportunity to take stock of what happened last year that possibly went wrong, what you can do to fine-tune and add value to your process, think about the deadlines that you missed, the issues that arose when you were, you know, processing payroll errors that went unnoticed, and really go through those processes, and decide how can you actually make them better. Go through what you’re doing, the reports that you’re running historically, things that are no longer applicable, or add reports that you found have been more beneficial. Now is the time to really think, take stock, clean up, refine and make your next year better than the one before.
Gregory: That’s a really important part. And so I’m assuming also liaising with not only your payroll team, but also your HR counterparts from either the benefits perspective or your core HR, would be very meaningful because there could be items that they’re putting into the system that could have caused erroneous data or errors. So I’m assuming you would be in agreement with partnering with HR and having very candid conversations as part of your kickoff, correct?
Jessica: Oh, definitely. You know, we like to say teamwork makes the dream work. And if you have multiple departments, multiple players, those people are going to be essential in refining your processes. If there’s no communication going on between your payroll and HR teams, that’s where the breakdown is going to happen, that’s where things are going to go wrong. So part of your refinement should be everyone getting on the same accord, bringing in all of your players and making sure everyone is lockstep in the process together.
Gregory: Very good to know, very good to know.
Okay, so that’s, that’s your first tip and trick, what would be another one?
Jessica: So the next one is one of those really important ones that sometimes goes overlooked. In the tax world, we see a lot of discrepancies when people are reconciling seeing a lot of erroneous credits and debits hit their account throughout the year with quarter-end and year-end reconciliations. One of the best ways to alleviate that is towards the end of Q4, you’re going to start receiving your SUI rate notices for the next year, you want to make sure that you are going into core, updating those rates and then passing those along to payment services as quickly as possible so that things are starting to calculate the correct way as quickly as possible so that you don’t have any of those variances fall out.
Gregory: So it’s important to stay on top of those notices as soon as they come in. Don’t let them sit and linger, and fester.
Jessica: Right, because it’s a Q1, you have all Q1, but you don’t realize you have six to eight payrolls processing during Q1 that all of those variances are calculating for. And then as we know, in the payment services world, you have your credits and debits hit throughout Q2, Q3 to reconcile a previous quarter and you don’t know what those are pertaining to. Again, keep things as clean as possible, update things as quickly as possible.
Gregory: Good to know, good to know. That’s very important, especially since its tax impacts not only the employee, but also the employer. And so staying up to date on that is very, very critical.
Gregory: Okay, any other tips and tricks you would recommend?
Jessica: Also in line with the updating your benefit goal amounts, those cannot be updated until the first of the year. But for 2022, we had an increase in our 401k amounts, our FSAs and our HSAs. We have to make sure that systematically those are updated for our employees and the payroll utility tool does that in mass for everyone by code. Of course, you know, you have a year to hit your gap but again, sooner is better than later because you do have highly compensated employees that could be hitting those bowl amounts quicker than others. So that’s something that you want to take care of. I usually recommend it before the first payroll of the year is processed., but definitely before Q1 is closed.
Gregory: So since it’s now almost mid-February – time flies when we’re having fun, right? – it’s mission-critical to get those updated as soon as possible, if action has not already been taken.
Jessica: Yes, now’s the time to do it.
Gregory: Good. Good.
Now, what about from an open enrollment standpoint, any tips and trip tips and tricks from that perspective?
Jessica: Oh, definitely. So with open enrollment, you come into the instance where we’re having new plans be built, we’re offering new benefits. And then some of our older plans are being retired, some of our codes are no longer in use. You’re going to want to make sure that you’re deactivating your earning codes and putting in hard stop dates for your deduction code so that those codes are no longer in conflict. You can also go so far as to remove them from your various earning and deduction groups so that they’re not even accessible by your administrators to be able to be used anymore.
Gregory: And that’s not going to remove them from the history of the employer record, it’s only going to remove it from the group?
Jessica: Exactly, not at all, the history will always be there. But removing it from the group will allow it to no longer be selected to be used at all. Putting in those firm inactive and stop dates, we’ll make sure that it no longer calculates at the employee level.
Gregory: Good. Good.
That’s important, especially since now, again, we’ve crossed into the calendar year and we want to make sure that nothing else is pulling.
So I know that we’re kind of short on time, but are there any other last-minute tips that you would recommend? What about accruals?
Jessica: So that my last trick really does pertain to accruals because accruals are such a finicky thing sometimes. You want to make sure that all of your accrual period over balances have happened the way that they were supposed to, that anyone who had a length of service age up that they are now in that next clickable tier, if you have any grandfathered plans that you’re either adding their additional maxes, subtracting things, just make sure that when your term of your pool happens, that everything happened the way that it was supposed to because you don’t want your employees going into the new year with too much or too little.
Gregory: Perfect, perfect.
Well, those are really exciting and very useful tips and tricks for kicking off your year on the proper note. So I thank you for taking the time to, not only speak with me, but to speak to everybody else that will be watching us, so very much appreciated.
Don: Thank you, Jessica. And thank you Gregory. Great information that I think everyone can use here as we start out the new year.
So please be ready for our next video blog, which will be coming soon. We’ll post it here on the NeoSystems website.
For now, thank you again to Gregory and to Jessica, and we’ll see you next time.