The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains many provisions of interest to HR managers, but perhaps one of the most challenging is ensuring compliance with complex reporting and tracking requirements. Even not yet fully implemented, the law has resulted in new routines for HR operations and increased scrutiny on administrative details. These changes aren’t going away, which has put a burden on managers to adapt and forecast accordingly.
Employers will be required to track the monthly health insurance coverage status and hours for each employee, report on the cost of coverage and supply a benefits summary. Companies, specifically HR departments, must put a strong foundation into place to handle the burden. Paperwork and hard copies will never meet the challenge.
Human Resource Information Systems
One way to face the stringent compliance requirements is by implementing a human resource information system. These data collection and tracking platforms offer tools that assist HR departments of all sizes in meeting reporting compliance matters.
Main Functions of an HRIS
An HRIS is intended to help HR departments collect, assess, and manage data on payroll and employee benefits. For the payroll division, there are tools to assist in tracking employee hours as they relate to full or part time status; this data is key to compliance with the employer mandate of the ACA. For the benefits department, the HRIS identifies those plans that meet legal affordability and coverage standards required by law.
The best HRIS will include tracking and reporting features that help monitor personnel hours, thereby minimizing overtime burdens and streamlining the scheduling process. HR managers get a bird’s eye view of all relevant information without rifling through employee files.
Reporting & Auditing Functions
A typical HRIS will offer HR managers a deep-dive look at all relevant employee data, in a personalized format. Users can develop customized views and dashboards that present the information they want to see, delivering an accurate account of employee status for ACA purposes.
A consolidated HRIS also provides employee benefits details in one view. In addition, many vendors offer HRIS solutions as a Cloud-based platform that’s constantly updated. This ensures HR managers stay in compliance, even as changes in regulations require new standards. Web-based solutions also give staff the ability to access information remotely, from many different devices.
Other HRIS Advantages
HR departments are tasked with staying on top of all legal requirements and compliance matters, which can create challenges for smaller companies with limited staff. Keeping current with industry trends, regulatory changes and updates to federal, state and local tax codes puts a strain on HR personnel. An HRIS manages many of these functions and provides the necessary audit trail for purposes of the ACA.
An employee-self service model is a wise option for companies with a smaller workforce and limited budget. Individuals are able to manage their own benefits enrollment, personal information, reporting and time tracking.
It’s clear that the ACA will require companies and HR managers to change how they manage data related to employee hours, health insurance coverage and benefits. The time is now to prepare for full implementation over the next few years. Delaying a response is a mistake. Paypro offers an array of HR solutions and tools to assist managers in meeting ACA compliance utilizing existing payroll data.