With the start of the 4th quarter of 2021 right around the corner, a popular conversation among HR professionals, business owners, and legal counsel often involves year-end preparations. Planing for the new year is always an exciting task, but first the current year needs to be closed out and reviewed properly (daunting and less exciting, no doubt). Closing out the current year is the only way to ensure success in the new year. What does year-end prep & review look like? What does it involve? As always, we’ve got you covered.
PAYROLL & ACCOUNTING
- Review employee files for updated contact information. Ensure you have complete mailing addresses and e-mail addresses for all current employees and employees who left the company since January 1st. We always recommend you send a reminder e-mail to employees, letting them know that if they have any personnel changes to make, now is the time.
- Review employee W-4 forms. Ensure you have complete W-4 forms, looking for full SSN and FEINs, dates and signatures.
- Meet with your payroll processor to ensure taxable cash or non-cash benefits are properly reported on W-2s.
- Meet with your tax preparer to ensure necessary documents are completed, especially as they may relate to the FFCRA extension, or ACA. Other important forms may relate to contractors who are W-9 workers needing a 1099-NEC in the new year.
- Consider year-end bonuses. Will your company issue discretionary bonuses? What will the criteria be for determining and issuing them? How will they be issued - via a separate check, cash, or gift card?
- Do you have employees making minimum wage? Confirm updates to the FLSA / minimum wage laws.
- Consult with your group health plan representative. Confirm your renewal date and inquire as to whether there are any changes to the plan policy or pricing. Are you approaching open enrollment? If so, notify employees of deadlines and distribute information so they can be informed when deciding changes.
- Review job descriptions. Are changes needed based on staffing needs? Do you have signed copies for all employees - including management?
- Review policies relating to benefits and time-off. Do you need to notify employees of their balances? Does the ownership wish to modify the benefits and time-off limits?
- Review the employee handbook. Likewise see if any changes are needed, paying particular attention to sick leave and remote work policies that might have shifted in the past year.