If your business has employees, it’s only a matter of time before you get audited. It will happen even if you did everything right. We’ve even had it happen to us.
Clients who needed someone to help them interpret their financial wage data to a hearings officer have also brought us in. In one specific instance, an employee brought us in. Great guy, just made a mistake and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) found it when he applied for unemployment.
His mistake had to do with dates. He had put down the incorrect dates for when he had been working, and it didn’t match with the employer’s information. Voila! A hearing happens.
Everything eventually worked out, but it was a hassle for everyone. Here are three ways you can prepare if you find yourself hearing bound.
- Talk to the hearings officer before the hearing to make sure you understand the purpose of the hearing. They really can be very helpful.
- Prepare thoroughly because only employees can appeal an unemployment hearing decision.
- Put processes in place that make reports and wage statements “idiot proof”.
You can prepare better if you know more about whom you are dealing with at the TWC. You can find a listing of them here. Their profile can give you some insight.
The TWC also has some great recommendations for what it calls, “Unemployment Claim Management” that you can find here. For some ideas about avoiding problems dealing with employment contracts, check out this post by Kathy Tremmel, another Business Bank of Texas Resource Center expert.
Don’t shrug off improving your processes. You may think this is the one thing where nothing could go wrong. Reports are pretty standard, right? Yes and no. All it takes is a mistake in a date or rate and TWC will be at your door.
The fix: make sure everything you give an employee, but especially wages, has dates and maybe even hours on it. Make it easy for them to be right instead of having to recollect. If you use a time clock system, this is easy. If you do things on a spreadsheet, date and time mistakes happen.
Finally, always have someone else double check the information you put on the report: dates, times, and rates. It’s easy to miss or transpose something.
It’s much better to be safe than sorry. Spend a little more time setting up your financial systems and not just taking reports for granted. The outcome and even prevention is in your hands.