Concerned about Compliance? Avoid these Five Phrases

With another year-end in the books, payroll tax professionals can finally see the end in sight. While resolutions abound in January, payroll professionals often have to put those goals on hold until W-2s have been mailed out and amendments have been made. Now that tax specialists have had a chance to take a deep breath, however, they can think about New Year’s resolutions, and traditionally, a big goal for payroll and tax teams often revolves around compliance.

Angela Ciminnisi, director of Product Management at Ceridian, says, “Compliance is always a top concern for payroll and tax professionals, and it makes sense given the complex laws and regulations surrounding businesses and their tax practices. Tax teams need to stay on top of their game if they want to mitigate risk and avoid penalties in today’s business environment.”

In the spirit of New Year’s, we propose making an “anti-resolution” this year and suggest statements that you should cut from your vocabulary. As a payroll tax professional concerned about compliance, you definitely don’t want to be caught saying things like this: 

  1. “Let’s forgo training from here on out. Our staff already knows their stuff.”
  2. “Our current processes have always worked well for us. As they say, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’”
  3. “Who has time to perform frequent audit checks? Someone else will catch the mistakes if we have any.”
  4. “December is a great time to verify employee information!”
  5. “We don’t have to worry about checking in on how our sick pay is handled. Our third-party vendor takes care of it all…I think...”

In the world of strict compliance regulations, payroll and tax teams know that uttering any of these statements may put them on a more arduous path when it comes to next year’s year-end processes. Not to mention, speaking phrases like this can make even the day-to-day payroll and tax processes cumbersome and error-prone.

Rather than succumb to such thinking, below are some positive resolutions you can add to your plan for 2014:

  • Attend training throughout the year
  • Schedule bonuses early and document them well
  • Consider where automation can help you streamline cumbersome processes
  • Test and re-test your payroll infrastructures and always look for improvements

According to Ciminnisi, “One of the biggest keys to compliance success is being proactive all year round when it comes to payroll and tax. This includes being on the forefront of process automation, engaging frequently in audit checks and attending training sessions to stay up to date on compliance issues.”

As you refine your resolutions for 2014, don’t forget to not only strike these five phrases from your vocabulary, but also to get a jump start on compliance by proactively seeking out ways to make process improvements in your day-to-day tasks.

 For more information:

  • Learn about Ceridian Payroll Tax Filing
  • View our Tax Compliance infographic
  • Read our eBook on making compliance your priority in 2014