Getting Ready for Year-End – Winter is Coming

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Ginger Galloway, SPHR | October 18, 2018

Part One of a Two-Part Series

We may be in the middle of autumn with cooler temperatures and Halloween decorations going up but in the HR world, this time of the year also means preparing for year-end activities.  Year-end activities can mean planning for performance reviews, calculating pay increases, bonus processing, open enrollment, and office parties.

Also, now is the time to prepare a project plan that can be used to manage these activities and identify who a task is assigned to and its due date.  Also make sure to build in a secondary review process to make sure nothing is missed.

HR manages so many things at year-end.  Therefore, this information is being brought to you in two articles.  The main areas we will cover will be planning, payroll, benefits, compensation, and compliance.

Below is a list of important year-end activities for planning and payroll that everyone should know.  All items may not pertain to you so use the ones that apply to your business.  Next week, we will cover benefits, compensation, and other compliance issues.

Year-End Activities

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  • Develop a strategy to address business needs such as retention, recruiting, and training.
  • Review HR expenses for the year and develop a budget for the new year.
  • Review all complaints made during the year to identify trends, training needs, and what policies may need clarification.
  • Review metrics for the year such as recruiting successes, turnover trends, and overtime.
  • Review policies and compare them to new laws and update the employee handbook as necessary.
  • Plan, schedule, and conduct performance reviews ensuring all employees have an in-person discussion.
  • Update job descriptions after performance reviews are completed.
  • Move prior year and 2018 records to storage making space for 2019 records.
  • Audit all terminated employee information to ensure it is separated from active employee information including I-9 and medical information.

Credit: iStock/Michail_Petrov-96

  • Obtain or develop a 2019 payroll calendar from your payroll processing vendor (or in-house payroll administrator) and make sure to include your company’s holidays.
  • Identify year-end processing dates and deadlines with your payroll processing vendor (or in-house payroll administrator) and communicate this necessary information to employees and supervisors.
  • Ask employees to verify their social security number, mailing addresses and dependent and emergency contact information.
  • Encourage employees to receive their W-2s electronically, if offered.
  • Remind employees they may want to submit new W-4s for 2019 before the first payroll. Provide deadline.
  • Process any deductions, expense reimbursement, group term life over $50K, and any other payouts or taxes owed as necessary before end of December.
  • Review and update ACA 1095 forms.
  • Compare and review with your accounting department how many 1099s will be filed.

The earlier you begin planning, the better your holiday season will be for you, your family and friends.  Once you get these administrative tasks under control, you won’t be as overwhelmed since the day-to-day HR work must still get done.  December will be here before you know it.  If you do fall behind, give us a call and we can support you in any way you want.