While most people are happily preparing for the holidays, you’re scrambling through the year-end reconciliation of all of your relocation expenses. Well, even though it’s only November, here is a gift that will help you not only navigate this year, but help you with your year-end process for years to come.
Though many relocation managers might prefer battling crazed Black Friday crowds to year-end reporting, the process tends to go more smoothly when run by the relocation department. To maximize efficiency, be sure to utilize these five steps:
- Create a year-end checklist. A detailed checklist will help identify all of the information you need to accurately report year-end compensation. Your checklist should include due dates, responsible individuals and departments. Establishing the responsibility for reporting all of the relevant compensation data is an important component, and can include wages, imputed income, benefits, equity, taxes, and more. This year-end checklist will help you identify all the resources you will need to create a complete and accurate report. Your itemized checklist needs to include items such as early cutoff dates and all employees who will receive the tax filing services (employees on the tax eligibility list), as well as provide for the time needed for verification, approval and processing. A well-developed checklist will also set firm deadlines for the reporting and tax filings.
- Set up a year-end preparation call. When setting due dates, be cognizant of the vacation times made mandatory by some countries around the end of December. During the call, review your year-end checklist with all involved parties to ensure that they are aware of their role and due dates. Use this call as an opportunity to build understanding and develop relationships that will make year-end reporting easier in the future. If you have not already held a year-end preparation call, schedule one as soon as you finish reading the rest of this article!
- Verify all of your data! Accuracy is vital, especially when it comes to compensation reporting. Data such as addresses and tax ID numbers/Social Security numbers should be confirmed, as well as wages, benefits, sick and vacation time. Double-checking data prevents backtracking and costly errors down the line.
- Finalize your data. Make sure that the final payroll reports of the year have been included, plus any end-of-the-year benefits. Be sure to back up the program data again and be sure to save it in a secure location should it need to be referenced in the future.
- Get ready to submit your report. Double-check the deadlines for all the countries on your list and be prepared to provide specific data for each. Tax providers may ask for data for different assignee/transferee populations. Be sure to adhere to your year-end deadlines and, whenever possible, send the data ahead of time. Some international locations may have very tight turnaround times to make that final tax payment of the year.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. The more you follow these five steps, the easier year-end reporting will become for you.