We have finally come to one of the greatest times of the year. This is a time where we can take a step back from our normal, day-to-day distractions and spend time with friends, family, and other loved ones and enjoy the great holiday season. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
It can also, however, be a stressful time as well as we not only make personal preparations for the holiday season, but also as we have to prepare our respective organizations to comply with year-end reporting requirements issued by the federal government along with respective state governments. Taking a step back from our distractions then becomes easier said than done.
Reporting compliance is a necessity.
One of a few issues that many organizations throughout the country have had to face is the excruciating pain of paying fines because they transmitted their respective reports later than the required due date(s). And these fines are increasing with each passing year. With an ever-changing world in which we live, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest updates and changes on what, how, and when various reports should be completed.
You don’t want to face this enduring distraction during the holiday season. This article will assist you by providing key suggestions for your organization to consider in order to stay on top of the latest reporting updates and trends.
Establish a report “due date” calendar:
Conduct some research into what reporting deadlines are applicable to your organization and create a calendar tailored to those deadlines. Additionally, add to it any steps or processes that must be taken into consideration so that nothing is missed as you and your team work toward meeting reporting deadlines. We may, at times, forget about our calendar. I know that I have on more occasions than I can count. Therefore, create notices that will keep you updated with reminders of when reports are due. Believe me, notices and reminders save lives.
Communicate with staff and assign/divvy out tasks/responsibilities: 
Providing reports to both federal and state agencies can be a heavy burden for an individual to bear. Communicate and work with your staff in regards to the reporting deadlines. Establish a sense of urgency among your team to provide accurate and timely reports. Assign and divvy out reporting responsibilities to your team. Train them on the ins and outs of the report(s) that they are assigned. Go as far as to cross-train each of them in the event that an individual is absent from conducting their normal, reporting routine. Building safeguards within the framework of your plan will ensure that when a piece of the process is missing, there is another source to provide support in its absence.
Don’t procrastinate: 
Above all, do not delay in implementing these suggestions and others you can think of from beginning to end. Remember that the longer you wait in submitting accurate and timely reports, the more likely it is that your organization will encounter problems, particularly in producing inaccurate reports, repeated attempts to correct information, and late submissions after the required deadline(s) have passed. Organizations can incur heavy fines and penalties associated with many of these items among others. Therefore, take charge. Start now. Be ready.

Don’t procrastinate. Do something about your reporting process now. Research and establish your “due date” calendar. Assign and divvy out tasks and responsibilities to minimize your workload while establishing safeguards to protect the reporting process from any interruption. Help your organization avoid the unnecessary pitfalls and the heavy costs associated with late and inaccurate submissions of your reports. Don’t let it become your enduring distraction from the holiday season.

By: Mark A. McDonald
Human Resources, VertiSource HR