Traditionally, HR teams have needed an enormous amount of people-power to accomplish detailed and complex compliance tasks. Even before the pandemic made remote and hybrid workforces commonplace – and in some cases added new regulatory demands – keeping up to date with ever-changing tax regulations alone could overwhelm HR teams.
Now, managing the influx of pandemic-fueled requirements adds additional challenges to overtaxed workforces. From handling security concerns to mobile workforce tax needs and even to new laws requiring payroll adjustments, HR teams may be asking themselves if there’s an easier way.
Automating compliance tasks works to resolve these challenges, benefiting not just HR departments, but the entire company.
Remote and Hybrid Workforces Increase Non-Compliance Risks
Compliance tasks have required additional management from HR teams for years, but remote workforces add an additional layer of complexity. Now there are new tasks and steps when it comes to communicating effectively and clearly, providing equipment, ensuring security and handling the array of temporary and lasting regulations.
An excellent example of new HR duties are the guidelines and requirements for the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that offers businesses reimbursements, addresses paid leave and even adds additional tax credits to some employees. This is one of many shifting compliance standards that HR teams have to keep track of.
The long list of requirements that your HR team is managing begins with:
- Managing a mobile workforce and ensuring all tax documents are correct for the states a worker may live or work in – or both.
- Keeping all tax and employee forms current and updated for every worker in the organization.
- Handling cyber risks and privacy concerns that come from work-from-home situations.
- Onboarding new hires consistently and maintaining job operations with complete oversight.
- Disseminating information in a clear, consistent and thorough manner.
Overtasked HR employees make mistakes. It is a natural consequence of juggling so many requirements while keeping themselves and their companies up to date on the latest compliance regulations. However, there is a more convenient way forward: the automation of compliance processes.
Benefits of Automation
Imagine the freedom your HR team would feel if you were able to alleviate these additional tasks from responsibilities. HR teams benefit from process automation that helps eliminate errors and time-consuming manual work. By simplifying these tasks, you are protecting your company from external threats and from internal mistakes while creating a streamlined and faster process for HR practices.
Instead of becoming an expert on every new law and regulation, adjusting to compliance changes is as easy as updating your compliance system. Rather than individually collecting information from each employee, an automated system sends reminders until the entire workforce has completed the forms tailored to their working experience. Remote workers are supported with automated onboarding and job tasks, eliminating inconsistent experiences and inefficiencies.
Automation is the key to unlocking your business potential and benefiting every worker, from your HR team to your newest hire.
Optimizing Compliance Practices With Automation
Let’s explore the areas where automation can make a difference.
Managing State and Local Tax Withholding
Every year more than 60% of the 120+ tax forms are updated, and Payroll teams must monitor and implement the changes for their companies – sapping valuable time and resources. Automating state and local tax withholding saves both the need to vigilantly monitor these changes and from making mistakes when they inevitably change.
There are a number of states that make managing state and local tax withholding difficult, including Pennsylvania and Ohio. Navigating through the state and local tax requirements can be treacherous for Payroll teams. Whether your company is located within one of these states or if you’ve recently had a remote employee move there, reducing the administrative burden on your Payroll team by using an automated process to update and administer new tax forms saves time and helps to ensure compliance.
Employee Forms & Notices
New employees are often presented with numerous compliance-related acknowledgement forms and notices as they join the organization. Each state will also have its own required compliance forms. Your HR team may still be using paper-based employee forms that are inefficient and have been made impractical with the newly remote workforce. Digitizing and automating this process improves the employee onboarding experience, while also keeping you compliant.
I-9 Employee Verification
Employee verification and Form I-9 is yet another complicated onboarding process with tight deadlines for new employees. Non-compliance can lead to costly penalties and closer audit scrutiny. Given the number of steps involved, including E-Verify verification in a growing number of situations, it behooves employers to automate their employee verification process to ensure I-9 completion and timeliness. Using an automated process for I-9 verification also provides administrators with added visibility into the progress of any open I-9s, which is important in today’s remote work environment.
Historical Records Management
One compliance process that oftentimes is overlooked is what employers should do with employees’ historical records. When the shift to new HR systems occurs, existing employee records are frequently left on the sidelines. The issue gets raised when former employees come looking for old tax or pay information. A growing number of companies are considering automated services like CIC Plus’ Cloud Transition Service to help store and manage these historical records.
Mobile Workforce Management
With the advent of the remote and border-hopping workforce, HR teams need as much oversight as possible into the different areas workforces exist in. Automation can fill this knowledge gap, providing relevant and cutting-edge information as it becomes available. This ensures a consistent, reliable working experience and tax system for each employee.
Automating compliance processes, quite simply, reduces pressures on your team. At every level employees benefit from systems that handle the minute details, saving them time and resources and your company money and value.
CIC Plus can help you automate these and many other areas of compliance, reducing remote worker risk and saving your company resources and valuable time. Check out our Compliance Library and tax withholding forms to learn more.