Are You Ready For Year-End? By Sana

Year-End…these two simple words can cause many of us to feel a wide breadth of emotions—happiness, excitement, and an opportunity to shop!

While the above might be the more positive emotions, there is also, what the global payroll industry considers the downside:  year to date reconciliations, employee and employer year-end forms, and managing multiple deadlines for statutory filings and payments.

For many companies with a global presence, it is difficult juggling so many parallel tasks.  The holiday season adds an additional layer of stress, as most companies are functioning with a skeleton team!

There are a number of ways to make year-end less hectic and more manageable.  It might be too late for 2013, but here are a couple of suggestions for 2014:

  1. Get started early!  Rather than leaving payroll reconciliations for the end of the year it is best to set-up a more frequent process throughout the year.  Depending on the volume of the payroll, you can schedule reconciliations quarterly or semi-annually.  This allows you an opportunity to catch any discrepancies and take the appropriate action for adjustments well before crunch time.
  2. Gather the necessary information regarding the countries you have employees. Being informed is important as it enables you to manage the different employee and employer requirements per country.  Many countries have certain employee documents, which need to be submitted to their employer to facilitate accurate year-end statements.  For example, in India employees must submit Investment Declarations so they can be reconciled against the estimated declarations made at the beginning of the year.  So make sure you know what you need.
  3. Make a timeline, utilizing a format that works for you—it could be a customized calendar or an excel list capturing countries, dates, and deliverables.  Choose a format that will allow you to manage the multiple payments and deadlines across countries.  It sounds simple, but this will go a long way in ensuring your organization is mitigating any risk of late payments and any application of potential fines and interest.  Here are a couple of factors to consider while creating your year-end timeline…
    1. How are the filings submitted to the authorities:  on-line—electronically, via post, or in person (yes, this is still the case for some countries).  In person and mailed in filings, might have a specific sign-off processes.  When gathering the country specific requirements mentioned above, remember to make note of the approval process.  For example, many APAC countries have a company stamp/seal/chop that must be applied for the year-end statements to be considered valid.
    2. How are annual statements provided to employees?
    3. How are payments to the authorities made?  Are there any special processes for year-end?

Hopefully these steps will help relieve some of the tension the end of the year brings and allows you to enjoy the holiday season! Happy Holidays All!  For more information on how to make Year-End less stressful, contact us at info@celerg.com.

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