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Friday, December 29, 2017

Latest Developments: The Affordable Care Act

What can business owners expect during the 2018 tax season as a result of new federal regulation from Washington.

Many businesses preparing to meet ACA regulations and standards are confused over their filing requirements as a result of recent developments. Here’s how the recent news will affect your business. 

Latest Developments: The Affordable Care Act


GOP’s New Tax Bill

On December 22 President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act after the House passed the tax bill with a historic party line vote. This tax reform bill reduces the federal budget deficit by approximately $318 billion by eliminating costs associated with the individual mandate.

Although the individual mandate has been repealed, individuals must comply with the previous obligation for the 2018 tax season. Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators are still required to track ACA compliance and provide ACA reporting for the 2017 fiscal tax year. Those who fail to file will face ACA filing penalties.

For more information on your ACA reporting and filing, obligations click here.

The current administration claims that this will make the end of the ACA, but applicable businesses must prepare and file all required healthcare information forms.

Deadline Extended For ACA Forms


When to Report

President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs ActEXTENSION OF 2017 DUE DATES: On November 18, 2016, the IRS extended the 2017 due date for providing 2016 health coverage information forms to individuals. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2017 to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31.

Notice 2016-70, also extends transition relief from certain penalties (IRC Sections 6721 and 6722) to providers and employers that can show that they have made good-faith efforts to comply with the information-reporting requirements for 2016 for incorrect or incomplete information reported on the return or statement.

The due dates for filing 2016 information returns with the IRS remain unchanged for 2017. The 2017 due dates are February 28 for paper filers and March 31 for electronic filers. This chart can help you understand the upcoming deadlines.

2018 ACA Reporting and Compliance Solution

Despite the continued efforts to “repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act, your business will still be required by law to report and file required information returns. Those who ignore this responsibility will face severe penalties.

While the road ahead might be rocky ACAwise will continue to provide full-service ACA reporting and compliance. Getting started is easy, and, with volume-based pricing, you will get the best deal available! Explore all ACAwise has to offer with a free demo. Get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you smoothly file your 1094 and 1095 Forms.

Sign-up Today!



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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What You Need to E-File ACA Forms This Year

Does the repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate have you confused? Many employers are confused over their filing requirements and what they need to e-file ACA forms this year. The GOP’s new tax bill does not entirely repeal the ACA/Obamacare. Currently, all obligations are still in effect for the 2018 tax filing season. Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators are still required to track ACA compliance and provide ACA reporting for the 2017 fiscal tax year; anyone who fails to file will face ACA filing penalties. Here is what you will need to e-file ACA forms this year.

What You Need to E-File ACA Forms This Year


Preparing for ACA Reporting

Since the Affordable Care Act remains in place, Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators must still provide and report their employees’ health insurance coverage for the 2017 fiscal year. The IRS has stated that all tax returns filed by individuals, not including the ACA required health care coverage information will be rejected.

All Applicable Large Employers must file Form 1095-C with the IRS and provide copies to employees by the deadline.

On December 22nd, the IRS has extended the deadline for providing 1095-C or 1095-B Forms to employees by 30 days.


The new 2018 deadline for supplying recipients with the correct ACA forms is March 2nd, 2018. However, the IRS has not extended the deadline for filing 2017 ACA information returns to the IRS. Employers who choose to e-file are required to submit information returns to the IRS by April 2nd.

Form 1095-C

Employees need the Affordable Care Act Form 1095-C, the Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, to help them complete their tax returns.

What is reported on Form 1095-C?
  • Employee ID Numbers
  • Social Security Number Of Employee and Dependents
  • Proof of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

Form 1094-C

If this is your first year filing ACA Forms, you may be asking yourself what ACA Form 1094-C does… Form 1094-C serves as proof that Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators were compliant according to IRS regulation and the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate. As an Applicable Large Employer or Third Party Administrator, you must report information about whether you offered the affordable minimum essential health coverage and enrollment to all eligible employees. 

Are you required to file ACA forms electronically?

By law, any Applicable Large Employers or Third Party Administrators fling more than 250 forms must file Affordable Care Act information returns electronically. If your business files less 250 forms, you can paper file, although the IRS highly encourages e-filing. Keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act reporting deadline for those paper filing is February 28th, 2018.

ACAWise Your Reporting and Compliance Solution

Don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Despite the ongoing efforts to “repeal and replace” the controversial Affordable Care Act, it is still required by law and those who ignore their responsibilities will face severe consequences.

Choose ACAwise to handle your company’s ACA reporting and compliance. Getting started is easy, and, with volume-based pricing, you will get the best deal available! Explore all ACAwise has to offer with a free demo. Get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you smoothly file your 1094 and 1095 Forms.

Schedule Your Free Demo



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Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Today gives us all a chance to step back and review our accompaniments over the past year. We have achieved a lot in 2017, and we look forward to the growth 2018 will bring.

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to thank all of our clients and partners that have worked with us this year. Thank you for your continued trust and support. We are proud to assist with all your ACA reporting and compliance needs, now and in the future. We rejoice in the fact we are a part of your future success.

-  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year  -
ACAWise

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What is a Qualifying Life Event and Special Enrollment?


The Affordable Care Act required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a hefty tax penalty. For most the open enrollment period has already passed meaning, you will need to wait until next year to sign up. However, if there is a drastic life changing event in your life, you will be able to sign up. So what is a qualifying life event and special enrollment?

What is a Qualifying Life Event and Special Enrollment?


Restricted Enrollment

The Affordable Care Act offers limited enrollment periods to prevent people from signing for insurance only when sick or injured. This is why there is typically a specific open enrollment period usually November to January depending on the state.

If you failed to purchase an individual health insurance policy with your employer or on your own you must wait until the next open enrollment period. However, if you experience a qualifying life event you will enter a special enrollment period so you can purchase health insurance immediately.

Qualifying Life Event

qualifying life event is fairly self-explanatory- it is an event in your life that make you eligible for a special enrollment period. This period generally lasts 60 days before or after the event. There are four basics types of events that can qualify you: Loss of coverage, household changes, residence changes, and other.

For the full list of qualifying life events: Click Here


Apply for Special Enrollment Period

If you have earned a qualifying life event and would like to apply for a special enrollment period you will need to do so through your state exchange or Healthcare.gov. Once your eligible has been determined you can start a 2018 application for insurance coverage.

ACA Compliance

Share this with your clients today to help educate them on ACA qualifying life events. Your job is to help them with their coverage, our job is to help you with your ACA reporting and compliance. Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrator can trust ACAwise with volume-based pricing and full-service features ensuring you get the best deal available!


Request Demo Today!


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Monday, December 18, 2017

The Applicable Large Employers Guide to the Affordable Care Act


While the future of the Affordable Care Act continues to be shrouded in uncertainty, ACA reporting for the 2017 tax year is still alive and well. Applicable Large Employers are still required to track ACA compliance and provide ACA reporting for the 2017 fiscal tax year. January 31st will be here before you know it so here is the applicable large employers guide to the Affordable Care Act.

The Applicable Large Employers Guide to the Affordable Care Act


Determining ALE Status

ALE status is determined each year based on the number of employees within your business. The Affordable Care Act classifies an ALE as 50 or more full-time employees defined as an individual who works 30 or more hours per week.

Your part-time employee hours are combined to equal full-time employees. For example, two employees working 15 hours per week count as a single full-time employee. Additionally, if your company has 50 or more employees for more than 120 days, you are considered an ALE.

Your status as an ALE status is determined by the number of employees for the previous tax year. If you had 50 full-time equivalent employees during 2017, you will be classified as an ALE for the 2018 tax year.

Employer Shared Responsibility

As an applicable small business employer, you are required by the ACA to offer health insurance to your employees and their dependents. The health insurance provided must meet the minimum standard defined by the Affordable Care Act. Any company or organization that does not provide coverage to 95% or more of its employees will incur substantial penalties.

The employer shared responsibility provision states that an employer must offer health insurance at an affordable price or make an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS. This is also as referred to as the employer mandate or the pay or play provisions. 

Offering Affordable Coverage

Affordable health insurance is defined as 9.5% of your employee's annual household income. Because you are unable to know this information the IRS provides a guideline called safe harbors. If the health insurance you offer to your employees offer one or more of these safe harbors you are meeting the standards for employer shared responsibility.

Affordability Safe Harbors:
  • W-2 Form Safe Harbor: Employee wages reported in Box 1
  • Rate of Pay Safe Harbor: Employees wages at the start of health insurance coverage period.
  • Federal Poverty Safe Harbor: Based on employee’s health insurance contribution for the given year.

ACA Reporting and Compliance

ACAwise is a full-service ACA reporting and compliance solution for all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs)and Third Party Administrator (TPAs). Getting started with ACAwise is simple, and with volume-based pricing, you will be sure to get the best deal available!



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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tomorrow is the Last Day to Sign-Up For Open Enrollment


Tomorrow is the last day to sign-up for open enrollment healthcare. If your employees need to sign-up for individual or employee health insurance plan now is the time. This is a vital time for those searching for coverage because those who miss the deadline must wait for until next year to enroll or experience a qualifying life event.

Tomorrow is the Last Day to Sign-Up For Open Enrollment


Open Enrollment Dates

For all states using HealthCare.gov and states using their own exchanges, the 2018 open enrollment dates are November 1st through December 15th. If your employees enroll by tomorrow, their coverage will begin January 1st, 2018 and they will qualify as insured.

Extended Enrollment Dates

These select states have extended the enrollment deadlines:
  • California: January 31, 2018
  • Colorado: January 12, 2018
  • Connecticut: December 22, 2017
  • Massachusetts: January 23, 2018
  • Minnesota: January 14, 2018
  • New York: January 31, 2018
  • Rhode Island: December 31, 2017
  • Washington: January 14, 2018
  • Washington, DC: January 31, 2018

If your employees reside in these state, their coverage will begin on different dates.
  • California: 
    • December 15th -- January 1, 2018
    • January 15th -- February 1, 2018
    • January 31st -- March 1, 2018
  • Colorado: February 1, 2018
  • Connecticut: December 22, 2017
  • Massachusetts: February 1, 2018
  • Minnesota: February 1, 2018
  • New York: 
    • December 15th -- January 1, 2018
    • January 15th -- February 1, 2018
    • January 31st -- March 1, 2018
  • Rhode Island: December 31, 2017
  • Washington: February 1, 2018
  • Washington, DC:
    • December 15th -- January 1, 2018
    • January 15th -- February 1, 2018
    • January 31st -- March 1, 2018

If individuals or employees miss the 2018 open enrollment period must wait until the 2019 open enrollment period to enroll in individual healthcare.

Open Enrollment for ALEs

Applicable large employers who do not offer healthcare insurance during the annual open enrollment period will be subject to hefty penalties under the employer shared responsibility requirements. The healthcare coverage provided by your business must meet minimum essential coverage at a set minimum value. This coverage must be offered to all full-time employees as well as full-time equivalent employees.

ACAwise Compliance You Can Trust

ACAwise is a full-service ACA reporting and compliance solution for all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrator (TPAs). Getting started with ACAwise is simple, and with volume-based pricing, you will be sure to get the best deal available! 

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Brief History of The Affordable Care Act

If your business has recently grown, you might find yourself preparing to meet ACA regulations and standards. Despite the efforts of current legislators the Affordable Care Act still stands intact. Since open enrollment ends on Friday, we wanted to take a look back at the brief history of ACA.

A Brief History of The Affordable Care Act


Inception of the ACA

The Affordable Care Act, or commonly referred to as ObamaCare, was first proposed by former President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. While this was far from a new concept, the past Democratic administrations were unable to pass a mandated national insurance regulation.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March of 2010. Although the majority of provisions went into effect January 1st, 2014 many significant changes went into effect before this date.

Concept of the ACA

Most of the political action taken in 2009 was centered around the ACA. On July 14th the House Democrats first introduced a 1000-page plan for overhauling the past health care system. Many will remember the outrage and debates that insured as a result of this document.

In June of 2012, the last hurdle was cleared after the Supreme Court upheld the major of prisons set down by the health care law. This, however, leads to a suit filed by twenty-six state and the National Federation of Independent business who claimed disagreement with the mandate that individuals must carry insurance or pay penalties. The expansion of Medicaid was also among the list of reasons for the suit.

While the Supreme Court ruled in favor the most provisions of the ACA, they could not force cooperation with the Medicare expansion.

Execution of the ACA

Despite all debate, the United States House approved the ACA with a 220-215 vote on November 7th, 2009. The Senate later passed its version later that same year on December 24th with a 60-39 vote. The Senate bill was then amended and approved by the House in a 219-212 vote on March 21st, 2010. During this vote, all Republican representative voted against the law.

Then President Obama signed the bill into law in March with the core of the Affordable Care Act being “everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Full-Service E-Filing Solution for Business Owners



Our parent company SPAN Enterprises announces the launch of its latest tax filing solution, TaxBandits. This e-filing solution is a comprehensive tax filing software designed to fit the needs of your business and nonprofit organizations.

Full-Service E-Filing Solution for Business Owners

Available Forms:

Our sister product TaxBandits offers a wide selection of IRS forms including the 94x Series, W-2, 990 Forms, ACA filing, 1099 series, and extension forms. Their innovative platform is the simplest e-filing software solution on the market today, keeping our business moving forward.


E-Filing Features:

  • Multi-User Access
  • Real-Time Updates
  • Built-In Error Check
  • Activity Log
  • Printing/Postal Mailing
  • US-Based Support
  • Interview Style E-Filing
  • Bulk Upload
  • State Filings
  • Tax Extensions
  • And so much more!

Stay Tax Compliant!

Join the TaxBandits team this afternoon at 2 pm for an exclusive webinar titled, Vendor Payment & How to Stay Compliant. Here you will learn how to stay compliant with the IRS and how to report from the vendors who help you with your business.

Register For Free Tax Webinar

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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Best Full-Service ACA Compliance Solution for Your Business

business owners using ACAWise as ACA compliance solution

This year is quickly coming to a close, which means that it is time to prepare your businesses Affordable Care Act Forms 1094 and 1095. Choose the best full-service ACA compliance solution for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs). Getting started is easy and with volume-based pricing, you’ll be sure to get the best deal available!

ACAwise, The Best Full-Service ACA Compliance Solution for Your Business
Getting Started

Explore all ACAwise has to offer with a free demo; you’ll get to know one of our knowledgeable product managers and learn how we can help you easily file your 1094 and 1095 forms. One-on-one demos give you the opportunity to ask questions about e-filing and our full-service, volume-based pricing, so you are confident moving forward with the process.

ACAwise Account Setup

Once you have completed your free demo, you are ready to setup your account. You will start by entering your employer(s) necessary information. Whether you are an ALE, TPA, or merely filing yourself, you can complete your ACA e-filing with ACAwise.

E-File Directly to the IRS

ALE choosing ACAWise as their full-service ACA compliance solutionOnce you have entered your employer information upload their/your employee data using any format type. After the upload is complete ACAwise will start generating your ACA Forms 1094 and 1095. Once your forms are completed, review and securely send them to the IRS.

However, if you have already completed the process of completing ACA Forms 1094 and 1095, you can use ACAwise to upload your finished ACA Form 1094 and 1095 PDFs to directly e-file to the IRS. 

Postal Mailing

Before e-filing, you have the option to add postal mail to your ACAwise order. With our postal mailing feature, we will take care of your employee/recipient copies on your behalf. Once the IRS approves your forms, our trained staff members will print and mail your forms the next business day. Your employee/recipient copies will be sent through the US Postal Service form out Headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Sign-Up Today

If you have any question about getting started or signing up for your free demo, please contact us! We are available by phone (704)954-8420, live chat Monday through Friday, and email at support@acawise.com.



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Monday, December 4, 2017

What You Need to Know About Hiring Seasonal Employees



Seasonal employee working during the holiday season

Business owners and HR professionals can use seasonal and temporary employees to their advantage this holiday season. By hiring short-term employees this holiday season, you can avoid hiring full or part-time staff members which your company may not need year round. Here is what you need to know about hiring seasonal employees.

What You Need to Know About Hiring Seasonal Employees

Labor Laws Apply to Seasonal Employees

It should go without saying that harassment, discrimination, and workplace health and safety laws still apply to short-term staff members. Seasonal employees are also protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act concerning minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor.

Required Benefits For Seasonal Employees

Whether an employee is seasonal, part-time or full-time, you must provide specific benefits required by law. Employers must withhold the appropriate amount of Social Security and Medicare taxes from employee wages. Although unemployment benefits vary depending on the state, typically employers are still obligated for temporary and seasonal employees. However, there are select exceptions because of the nature of the positions and apply to those employed ten weeks or less.

Independent Contractors Vs. Seasonal Employees


Season employee hired by HR on the computer Independent contractors are especially useful during the holiday season. It is important to note that independent contractors are not employed by you, only hired by you. This can be a major benefit to your company; because they are primarily self-employed, you are not required to provide benefit, withhold tax or pay unemployment taxes. While you can not dictate the hour's independent contractors work, you are required to report compensation of $600 or more.

ACA Compliance For Employers

While we can not manage your holiday stress, we can help with your ACA reporting and compliance, which is kind of the same thing! ACAWise is your one-stop destination for all ACA requirements. Our software features real-time monitoring, excel data import, postal mailing, and so much more.

Comment, like, and share this blog with colleagues and fellow business owners this holiday season!

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

5 Common HR Mistakes You Can Avoid

Business and human resources department avoiding an audit by avoiding common HR mistakes

Human resources is a complex and multifaceted position. Mistakes can easily happen, however, some human resource mistakes are more common than others. To help your business run smoothly here are five common HR mistake you can avoid.

5 Common HR Mistakes You Can Avoid

1. Not Keeping Documents and Contracts

One error that results in wasted time and money is missing records and/or contracts from your business’s human resources system. Auditors will commonly find appraisal notes, contracts of employment, disciplinary warnings, employment authorizations, and visas missing within human resources systems. To avoid this mistake, check all records to ensure that all required documents are present.

2. Failing to On-Board New Staff Members

When your business gains a new staff member, it is imperative that you issue an employment contract immediately. Employment contracts are how necessary details are obtained by your employee. Without an agreement, your new employee is not informed of company policy, and this can lead to disputes. The contract is a signed document that lists the terms of the employment relationship. 

3. Not Training Employees

Failing to train your employees properly is a short-sighted and negligent way businesses fail their staff members as well as themselves. Proper training includes everything from initialing harassment guidelines to managerial training. Failing to train your employees will open the door to potential lawsuits for not providing essential training.

4. Not Document Conversations

HR discussing how to avoid common HR mistakes with coworker Often human resource personnel and managers fail to follow the appropriate processes. This includes failing to document important conversations requiring disciplinary action. Businesses are legally obligated to adhere to legislative frameworks. If these are not followed your business is at risk of legal action. Documentation often stops issues from going further, but without the proper document, claims are usually awarded in the employee’s favor.

5. Not Resolving Long-Standing Issues

Probably the biggest mistake human resources or business owner can make is failing to solve long-standing performance issues. The impact of inadequate staff performance is significant in a business and will affect the performance of diligent staff members.

Speak with the individual or group one-on-one and apply sound reasoning along with a solution. If you are unaware of the performance of your staff check your businesses performance review process and be sure to assign regular follow-ups.

Correctly File ACA Reports to Ensure Compliance

In addition to the mistake listed above businesses continue to struggle with ACA compliance. While we can’t help you with your daily HR tasks, we can help you with your ACA reporting and compliance. ACAWise is your one-stop destination for ACA reporting and compliance. Our real-time tracking feature allows you to track employee benefits data to ensure your employees are eligible for coverage and keep your business compliant with ACA regulations.

Please comment, like, and share this blog with colleagues working in human resources and help them avoid these common HR mistakes.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

4 Major Ways the GDPR Will Affect American Businesses


In less than six months Europe will undergo the biggest change in data protection rules and regulations ever. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced starting May 2018. So how will the GDPR affect American businesses?

What is the GDPR?

This new legislation will ensure that the personal data of EU citizens is protected. This will include how the data is collected, stored, processed and disposed of. 

How Will the GDPR Affect American Businesses?

The GDPR will apply to companies within the EU and all companies worldwide that market goods and services to EU citizens. This new regulation will apply to businesses no matter their size.

Additionally, companies that control or process personal data relating to any EU citizen or monitors EU citizen must also comply with GDPR. Which is why it is imperative for all companies to prepare for the implementation of the GDPR. For certain companies, it will be mandatory to employ a data protection officer or DPRo to oversee compliance.

4 Ways the GDPR Matters to American Companies

1. Consent:
Consent must be made clear, and inactivity does not constitute consent under Article 4. “Consent is defined as “any freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous indication of his or her wishes by which the data subject, either by statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to personal data relating to them being processed.”

2. Territorial Reach:
Companies outside of the EU what offer goods and services to EU citizens or monitor behaviors must remain compliant with GDPR rules.

3. Privacy Design:
Companies within the US must prove that they protect the data of EU citizens from sign-up to delivery.

4. Data Protection:
Be sure to fully understand the GDPR before deciding if your business does or does not need to employ a data protection officer.

While you prepare your business for GDPR ACAWise will continue to be your one-stop destination for keeping your business ACA compliant. Please comment, like, and share this informative blog with those who will be affected by GDPR.


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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving is Not a Day But a Frame of Mind

                     

Thanksgiving is Not a Day But a Frame of Mind


Happy Thanksgiving from ACAWise! You might be on your way to spend the day feasting with your friends and family. Before you start chowing down take a moment to say ‘thank you’ to all of those who have helped you along your journey this year. Thanksgiving is not a day but a frame of mind!

Remember to say thank you to your team, staff, and all of those people who work hard year round making your business successful. Show gratitude to your friends and family this holiday season; surprise them by taking extra time off work to spend more quality time together.

Appreciation is recognizing the qualities and/or actions of a person and being grateful for all that they do. Share gratitude to all of the supportive people in your life!

We are thankful for each of you this year! ACAWise would like to say thank you for choosing us for your ACA compliance and reporting needs! We look forward to working together again this year!



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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Encourage Employee Relations and Boost Team Spirit


In the past, HR professionals handled more of the administrative duties, but today most of these functions are performed by computers and technology. Most employers place a greater importance on diplomacy, relationship building, and teamwork. To encourage these things, here are five tips to encourage employee relations and boost team spirit.

Encourage Employee Relations and Boost Team Spirit

Team Player

If your staff lacks team spirit it can lead to conflicts, pull your staffs focus in different directions, and undermine your business's efforts. When you are hiring a new staff member look for those who will work as a team player. Especially look for individuals who acknowledge the value of teamwork and have experience being a contributing team member.

Defining Teamwork

Your staff members may have a different interpretation of what it means to work as a team or being a team player. So explain what teamwork means for your specific company and describe what kind of behavior you are expected from them. This needs to be understood by everyone, and you should remind them frequently.

Reward Teamwork

Encourage employee relations and boost team spirit by giving awards and prizes to those working as a team. Try appraising your team's work and attitudes each month. Explain why the team or individual deserves the award and explain team behavior. This will help to reinforce the value of teamwork.

Staff Members Unite

Assigning teams for a company competition is a great way to build camaraderie among your staff. Include as many people as possible and encourage everyone to participate. Football, fun quizzes, bowling, and softball, are great team building activities to consider.

Find the Bad Egg

There is always that one guy. For those experienced HR professionals they know exactly whom I am talking about. The person that does not work as a team player and is becoming increasingly disruptive and spreads negative vibes. They are dragging the team down, and you must make an effort to identify these elements quickly. Either get them to perform as a team member or move them. If you must do that later do it fast, so they do not spread their negativity and influence your team.

When your team is working and supporting each other, you can achieve greatness, boost profits, and place your company ahead of your competition. It is the holidays so tensions are extra high which is why you must not lose focus and let your team fall apart.

One way to remain focus on your employee is to take advantage of ACAWise and it compliance advantages. We offer an all-inclusive full-service ACA generation and e-filing software. Now instead of worrying about your ACA compliance, you can focus on your team!

Sign-Up Today!



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Monday, November 20, 2017

Human Resources Skills You Will Need For The Future

The role of human resources personnel is expanding beyond its traditional focus faster than ever before. To understand the human resources skills you will need for the future you must understand HR’s traditional focus.

Human Resources Skills You Will Need For The Future

Traditional Focus on Human Resources

In the past HR personnel handled more of the transactional administrative duties; today most of these are performed by computers and technology. Administrative skills are still listed in job descriptions as skills employers desire in an HR professional. However, employers currently place a greater importance on commercial awareness, diplomacy, and relationship building.

In the past, human resources were more focused on technical elements such as hiring and firing. Today the role is seen more as a strategic partner in business with significant influence over the growth of the company. They must also have the ability to support and understand relations between colleagues and different departments.

The Future of Human Resources

Technology is continuing to automate so many different aspects of our daily lives, especially in the workplace. In the future, one critical human resources skill will be data collection and analysis. They must master collecting relevant employee data and employing it in the workplace. To create better employee training, find more suitable applicants, retaining employees, and gaining better management insights.

Also as computers progress, it will be increasingly more important for HR personnel to stay tech-savvy and up to date with the latest technology. Thankfully most modern systems are designed explicitly for more user-friendly.

One significant advantage of these software programs is the ease of use and capabilities. ACAWise which offers all-inclusive full-service ACA generation and e-filing. Now instead of worrying about your ACA compliance, you can focus on your team and what is truly important.

Sign-Up Today!


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How to Solve Multiple Holiday Request for the Same Date

Probably the most challenging aspects of holiday management at least for HR professionals are employees wanting the same day off. However, this situation can be prevented by having a clear holiday request policy. Learn how to solve multiple holiday request for the same date.

How to Solve Multiple Holiday Request for the Same Date

Holiday Request Policy

To not offend your employees you must be consistent and approach the situation with fairness with a policy and process for communicating requests. Additionally, this method and system must be well known and understood by your staff before the holiday season. However, even with all of this preparation, your managers must be brave enough to turn down holiday requests when the date requested disrupts daily business functionality.


With tax time just around the corner, it is important to monitor your employee's’ working hours despite the holiday season. Use ACAWise to track hours, project penalty estimations, forecasts insights, employee state and easily generate ACA reports.

Negotiate Peace

Even with clear holiday policies and the confidence to refuse unreasonable requests you are not out of the woods yet. You will find employees up in arms against each other in personal disputes especially as the days get closer to Christmas.


To help encourage camaraderie among your employees, you will want to spend some time working on employee relations and company culture. Team building exercises are a great way to help employees understand each other, especially those who are very different from themselves.


While you are working to negotiate peace between your employee it is important to remain compliant with federal ACA regulations. ACAWise uses state-of-the-art flexible data capture to interpret your ACA information. Find your employee's eligibility and affordability quickly and save yourself time and money.

Keep Everyone in the Loop

Avoid holiday disputes by keeping everyone involved and in the loop. Confusion and misinformation can happen when requests were declined unfairly, or manager disagrees on the approval of another manager. One way to avoid this kind of disputes is by assigning a holiday approver that is first submitted to a manager the department before receiving final approval.


Tread carefully, because this suggestion can turn ugly rather quickly. If holiday requests are not passed along and immediately addressed they can be missed place or worst causing miserable employers.

It is a Wonderful Time of the Year

Just being honest this time of year can be a significant thorn in an HR professional's side. However, when you prepare in advance and keep everyone informed it can be made a little more comfortable. Try using these helpful tips and suggestions to avoid disruption within your workforce.


ACAWise is your one-stop destination for keeping up with hours in order to determine your employee's eligibility for benefits. It is important to not lose focus during the holiday season because year-end reporting is right around the corner. Please comment, like, and share this informative blog with those who understand the pain of HR holiday management.


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Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Handle Employee Holiday Requests in Style

Human resources tries to manage holiday requests

Let’s be honest managing holiday requests can be a thorn in HR’s side. However, with a little preparation, you will be rewarded with happier employees and fewer disruptions to your team. Learn how to handle employee holiday requests in style before it is too late.

How to Handle Employee Holiday Requests in Style

Communicating Annual Leave

One of the most common problems with annual leave is finding out how many days your employees are entitled to. This luckily is easy enough. If an employee is salary or works full time, they are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid leave.

However, this is not the biggest issue with annual leave. HR will find in many cases that their employees feel their annual leave is unfair.

Some of these reasons may include:


Tips and Advice for HR Entitlements:

1. Attractive Holiday Plans
Company-wise your entitlement plans need to be attractive to your employees. For a bare minimum the company must comply with laws and regulations but by offering extras will go a long way with the happiness of your employees. Consider offering public or bank holidays as extras instead of including them with employee entitlements.

2. Fair Treatment of All
Another way to avoid disgruntled employees is to award entitlement fairly. Everyone should be treated the same, and there should be no favoritism involved when it comes to annual leave. Granting additional benefits to a select group of employees will only lead to disruptions within your team.

Consider increasing entitlement across the board as an alternative that will encourage loyalty among your employees.

3. Increase Understanding
This point can not be stressed enough. Make sure your holiday pay and entitlement program is clearly understood by all of your employees and easily accessed. The worst thing you can do is appear to be hiding something.

The holiday season can be hectic for everyone especially those in human resources, but when you prepare you can keep your employees focused and productive. Try using this helpful tips and suggestions to help avoid any disruptions within your workforce. Please comment, like, and share this informative blog for those who understand the pains of HR holiday management.




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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Your October ACA Update

Stay ACA compliant with ACAwise
Despite recent attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it remains intact. Currently, you are still required to e-file by the March 31st deadline, so it’s a great time to go ahead and prepare to file now.

However, as tax season approaches new changes to the regulations could take place any day, so please keep checking back for ACA updates. For example, the IRS recently announced that they will reject e-filed tax returns to fail to mention ACA information. Also, paper filed forms that neglect to mention ACA info will be delayed.

To have your return accepted on time taxpayers will have to disclose whether they had coverage, an exemption, or if they will make a shared responsibility payment. The shared responsibility payment is actually the penalty for not offering health coverage as an ALE (Applicable Large Employer) or for not offering health coverage that meets the minimum ACA requirements.

In order to meet the minimum requirements, your health plan must be designed to pay at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population. It must also offer benefits that include substantial coverage for physician and inpatient hospital services.
 

E-Filing With ACAwise


We understand that ACA reporting is relatively new and can be confusing, but that’s why we’re here to make it easy. Stick with us, because we are the market leading, IRS authorized full-service ACA e-file provider.

By full-service we mean that we do all of the complicated tasks for you and even offer year-round support. Our built-in analysis and reporting helps you determine eligibility and affordability to ensure that your ACA data is compliant all year.
 
ACAwise offers year-round ACA support
We will also automatically generate code and reports based on your year-round ACA compliance tracking to make sure that your ACA e-filing process is quick and simple. With ACAwise, you can bulk upload information for all of your employees at once and use our print center to have us print and mail copies of your forms to any of your recipients.


Best of all, our amazing, US-based support team is here to help. We will answer all of your questions, and even give you a full demo to show you exactly everything ACAwise can do. Give us a call Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.954.8420. You can also reach us via live chat and take advantage of our 24/7 email support at support@ACAwise.com.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Big Data's Powerful Applications in HR


Big data, along with its three key features of volume, velocity, and variety, is considered the foundation of modern analytical systems. As of 2013, 91% of America’s top executives have been planning big data initiatives. And finance and marketing industries have already acknowledged (and leveraged) the power of machine learning algorithms to identify profitable stocks and customize catering to clients.

As far as HR purposes go, Google (a data-driven company) has developed a model that can predict promotions with 90% accuracy. Other managers, however, have not been able to use the big data/HR equation because people aren’t ready to hand over control to the computer.

So just how is big data affecting HR and how will it in the future? Let’s explore that!

Big Data for HR
If HR teams were to use a statistical model based on big data, that would mean “replacing presumptions with validation, hunches with data, and intuition with success ratio.” Talent scouts often face a significant challenge when structuring large quantities of different data that needs to be evaluated against a unitary scorecard. Big data offers a solution to that by employing methods specially designed for variety.

Potential Benefits
Taking it a few steps further, big data could provide some serious benefits in the HR sector. These benefits include
  • Decreasing the cost of bad hires
    • -Big data can help cut down on bad hires.
    • -Wrongfully chosen employees can cost much more than just their salary and benefits:
      • -Recruitment costs
      • -Training expenditures
      • -Productivity loss
      • -Negative client reviews
    • -A primary challenge of HR analytics is using big data to predict a match between candidate skills and personal beliefs against company needs and values.
  • Increasing retention rates
    • -Big data algorithms nominate individuals by studying employees’ online activity, profile updates, employment history, job performance, and payroll data
    • -Employees that are red-flagged by the algorithm could be given a raise, a more challenging role, or more training in order to prevent resignations
    • -Companies that already do this, including Xerox, Walmart, and Credit Suisse, have seen retention increase as much as 20% with these algorithms.
  • Performance prediction
    • -When you’re hiring, big data HR analytics models can help you find the best candidate profiles based on the job’s requirements and existing top performers.
    • -They do this by using existing records of successful candidates to create high performer profiles which you can use as to create a targeted head-hunting tool to send personalized messages to the right talent.
    • -Predictions are necessary to evaluate future job openings, promotions, and even layoffs, and aligning models to your business strategy can help you use big data to save time and money on recruitment.
  • Improving benefits packages
    • -Using big data similar to insurance companies, employers can gather health related data of their staff and candidates to create more attractive and useful packages.
    • -Keep in mind that you should be transparent about collecting such data, stating your final goals, to avoid legal issues related to discrimination practices.

Legal and Ethical Issues
Although there aren’t any legal statements against using big data for HR analyses and evaluations, ethical concerns are still a factor to consider. Privacy is an important concern and many people are afraid that the numbers could work against them and even encourage discrimination.

Of course, stereotyping and unfair treatment of an individual outlier based on the general performance of a group is not acceptable in the business sector and is an unsolved problem that could result from using big data with HR. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that algorithms do not have intuition and are unable to assess undocumented progress, which is where HR representatives come in.

Just make sure to keep everything as transparent as possible and continue to work within employer/employee laws and guidelines when utilizing big data for HR purposes.



So what do you think? Will you begin using big data to improve your HR department and the reliability and productivity of your employees? Do you use it already? We’d love to hear all about it - just leave us a comment below!

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Why Cloud-Based HR is Set to Make Rapid Gains


Folks, we’re experiencing a trend shift in the way Human Resources are handled. The cross from traditional on-premise HR software to cloud-based alternatives is happening in droves and the Information Services Group (ISG) has the market research to confirm it.

The Switch to Cloud-Based
ISG’s study is based on data collected from over 200 “senior leaders” in the HR management, business operations, and IT fields. Each respondent represented a large company with at least 1000 employees. Because companies of this size tend to play a role in industry trends, researchers were able to gain insight of where the market is headed, especially in terms of new technologies and other wide-reaching changes.

What they found was that HR automation services are the big ticket items on the agenda.

Crunching the Numbers
According to their study, ISG learned that 12% of their participants represent companies that handle HR activities exclusively in the cloud. An additional 10% rely on a combination of on- and off- premise software. Based on information provided about the participants’ technology roadmaps and growth projection, ISG believes this will double to 44% of firms using at least one cloud-based system in 2018 and should reach 54% by 2020.

And we could even see a bigger growth given that the tally increases to more than 75% of organizations when we include those that use internally-developed HR systems hosted on cloud infrastructure and other off-premise deployment models. In other words: cloud-based is on the fast track to becoming the norm for HR departments.

Why Cloud-Based Works Better
During the study, representatives provided answers for what they hope to achieve by switching to the cloud, which provided some insight into the increase in its use. 41% of respondents listed cutting costs among their top priority when switching to cloud-based. 30% of respondents utilize cloud-based as a way to make HR staff less dependent on the IT department and to provide a better experience for employees overall. And just over 25% of respondents cited “access to ongoing innovation” as a benefit of cloud-based programs.



To read ISG’s full report, click here. And to learn more about ACAwise, a cloud-based program that helps you with everything health care benefits- and Affordable Care Act compliance-related, sign up for a free demo here!

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