Wage Audit: Payroll Transcription Required as State Agencies Enforce Response Formats

April 3, 2017 Sheldon Jackson

State agencies have a vested interest in deploying  wage audits, which attempt to identify claimants who simultaneously collect both paycheck and unemployment benefits. According to the United States Department of Labor, nearly $11 of every $100 in unemployment benefits is improperly paid annually; which translates to nearly $3 billion of improperly paid unemployment benefits every year. Wage audit helps to reduce those overpayments, contributing to state unemployment fund solvency, which ultimately benefits all employers.

Although employers ultimately benefit from wage audits, the work required to provide the required response to a wage audit request can be overwhelming and labor-intensive.  As shown in this letter from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, state agencies typically require data to be submitted in a Sunday to Saturday format – which is different from the format most employers use for payroll. Notice the request in the first paragraph that asks for transcription of payroll information into their Affidavit format. It’s reinforced in the BOLD type that denies employers the ability to change their form and restated in the letter below.

It’s a not so subtle notification that varying payroll formats, like Monday- Sunday, will not be accepted.

This is not uncommon. There are currently 11 states that are similarly enforcing the requirement to submit wage audit responses in a Sunday to Saturday format.
The need to submit earnings information in the strict Sunday to Saturday format suggests employers routinely have to manually re-format payroll date for every, single, wage audit.

It adds up quickly. Equifax Workforce Solutions data suggest that wage audit requests reflect 12 to 15 percent of the total unemployment claims volume for any given employer. The required recalculations can become overwhelming for employers in high-turnover industries like retail and restaurant and those that operate in multiple states.

Technology can help. In fact, Equifax has developed a new solution that can help ease the burden of wage audit response. Fusing data, technology and state requirements, the new wage audit solution is designed to help quickly transfer payroll output into the formats required by state agencies in all 54 US jurisdictions. To learn more about this new service, or to find out how Equifax can help your organization with unemployment cost management, contact Pete Krieshok at pete.krieshok@equifax.com.

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