The Affordable Care Act has sweeping components with a varied array of requirements. It has many provisions that will impact employers in the near future and additional components that will continue to evolve.
It is essential for every employer to continue to have a current understanding of the shifting landscape, to develop a vibrant and thoughtful plan to address these complex components and to ensure that they are making every effort to maintain the most advantageous position for their organization and employees as possible.
We asked Sync Stream’s Principal and Chief Innovation Officer Arthur Tacchino, J.D. to tell us a little more about Sync Stream in advance of the conference:
Q. How does your product help HR navigate and comply with ACA and EEOC reporting requirements?
SyncStream’s products help HR navigate and comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reporting requirements by applying detailed business logic, built from our intimate understanding of these complex regulations.
For example, our ACA Tracking and Reporting product applies logic related to the look-back measurement method, including logic for controlled groups that need to track employees across multiple locations, special rules for educational organizations, and complex rules related to how FMLA unpaid leave needs to be counted for tracking purposes. By pulling all these rules and specifications together, our solution helps employers accurately report data and comply with the reporting requirements.
One of the biggest benefits of our ACA solution is that it runs an employer’s data through business logic and populates the entire 1095-C form, including the employee health insurance offer and coverage section (Lines 14, 15, and 16)–the part of the form that generally stumps most people responsible for ACA filings.
Our product, EEO-1 Comply, applies the same methodology. It gives employers multiple, easy options to assist employees in self-reporting their ethnicity and gender, aggregates hours worked and pay data, and populates a “ready to upload” CSV file, required for employers to complete the filing process with the EEOC.
Overall, our products help HR cut down on the time it takes to comply, and remove a lot of the confusion and heavy lifting.
Q. How does/will your product facilitate the effective and accurate reporting in compliance with the ACA and EEOC requirements?
Our products pull together large, complicated sets of data from disparate sources and use business logic to marry this employer data with ACA and EEO-1 analytics, ensuring full auditability and accurate filing of all forms required by the IRS and EEOC. These forms include the 1094 and 1095 B and C series on the ACA side of things and the newly updated EEO-1 form for 2017.
After the 2015 filing year, one of our largest partners conducted an audit for accuracy of the forms and found them to be over 98 percent accurate, with the remaining 2 percent related to bad data or specific areas of the law that were still open to interpretation.
Q. What safeguards does your product/organization have in place to protect employers against penalties for inaccuracies during the ACA and EEOC reporting process?
One of the major benefits of our products is that everything is built to be entirely auditable.
In terms of the ACA, this means that all supporting data used to populate a 1095-C form is readily available in the case of an IRS penalty or audit. The employer can rely on historical data and the auditability of the solution to help produce responses to an IRS inquiry.
Our EEO-1 Comply product also boasts that same level of auditability. We track employee communications related to self-identification and leverage the employer’s pay data to determine hours worked and wages to ensure an employer can show good faith and full compliance efforts in the event of an EEOC inquiry.
Q. How does your product identify missing data elements necessary for compliance with ACA and EEOC reporting requirements?
This is a great question and an incredibly important aspect of the entire compliance process. We have intelligent data imports that deploy hundreds of business rules to various pieces of key information. This means that when users upload their data into the solution, it identifies any inaccuracies and any critical data that appears to be missing. It’s then easy for employers to go in and apply changes or update their data in order to ensure its accuracy. This process eases the stress of filing at the end of the reporting year when other employers are scrambling to meet deadlines.
Q. How will organizations’ and employees’ personal data be protected against any security breach of your product? Will my organization’s data be kept in a central repository? How will data be protected against fraudulent uses?
SyncStream provides the highest-level industry security standards and protections to all data entered into our system. This includes high-level encryption of sensitive data points within the database, as well as encrypted and secure transfer of all data. SyncStream is also an approved e-filer with the IRS and has passed all security and validation requirements to achieve this status. Furthermore, data entered into our solutions remains the property of the user and will not be used for any unauthorized purpose, protecting it from any potential fraudulent use.
Q. What type of training, customer service and technical support does your company provide during the reporting season and throughout the year?
Customer service and technical support are key foundations to the success of our company and are held in the highest regard. We provide ongoing customer service throughout the year through educational webinars, recorded trainings, and a world-class searchable knowledge base within every solution.
Our solutions also have a ticketing system that allows our highly trained customer support staff to communicate with users directly and resolve any issues in a timely manner. We understand that ACA and EEOC compliance and reporting requirements are extremely complex, so we provide our customers with ongoing updated education related to the ever-changing environment.
Q. Can you share a customer success story – or perhaps a compliance disaster averted thanks to your product?
One of our customers previously worked with another filing company for ACA tracking and reporting. However, this filing company didn’t have a full end-to-end ACA reporting solution and was requiring the customer to provide the data for lines 14, 15, and 16 of the 1095-C form, placing an additional administrative and management burden on the employer. Recognizing the compliance risk, as well as the time and resources required for staff to determine the mandatory 1095-C form data, the employer turned to SyncStream to fully manage the ACA reporting and compliance process.
Our solutions helped the employer streamline the filing process. Leveraging business logic rules, our proprietary software was able to turn the employer’s payroll and benefits data into ACA-compliant language and automatically generate the 1095-C forms, including lines 14, 15, and 16. Our solution not only saved the employer a lot of time and energy but provided them with a highly auditable ACA reporting record.
Visit SyncStream at Booth #1556 in the SHRM17 Expo Hall.