Trick Or Treat! How To Be Prepared For An HR Audit

Human Resource departments get audited constantly, but it doesn't have to be a scary experience. Here's how to be prepared in the event of an HR audit.

HR has a tough job. So much paperwork is created in the department that it can be a real challenge to tame it. Worse yet, Human Resources is one section of business that gets audited constantly. This puts an incredible amount of pressure on HR staff. After all, they are responsible for keeping all employee documentation complete, up to date and compliant with federal regulations. Here's how to be prepared for an HR audit.

Slay The Paper Demon
One of the best things you can do for your HR staff is go paperless. The benefits of switching to electronic employee files are just too numerous to list here. The easiest way to take your Human Resources department paperless is to go with a scan-to-cloud solution. These are the Frankensteins of document management solutions - a hybrid system that handles both paper and electronic files. They are basically cloud filing systems that include scanning automation tools to help you digitize your paper files quickly and easily.

When evaluating different vendors, make sure you also go with an indexed filing system. An indexed system categorizes your documents and then files them in the correct location automatically. This makes converting, filing and retrieving documents a breeze - and sets you up for easy HR audit preparation.

Managing Employee Files: No Longer A Monster Of A Job
When filing away a document in an indexed system, you are usually prompted to choose the Document Type. This is simply the kind of document you're adding to the system, like a Performance Review, W-4 Form, PTO Request, etc. Since Document Type is almost always used as a main identifier for your documents, certain controls can be created on a Document Type basis. For example, you can control access to specific types of documents for specific groups of users.

Often times Payroll needs to access specific types of documents in an employee file, but giving them access to the whole folder would not be considered compliant. Simply create a group for your Payroll staff in the system and give them access to only the Document Types that they need. This allows you to combine the 3 - 5 folders you typically see for each and every employee into one single folder per employee. Simply use Document Type control to limit access to specific sections of employee files like protected health information (PHI).

Keep Tabs On Ghost Files
You can also utilize Document Types to run reports in the system. Many times when Human Resources departments get audited, the auditor will notify you and request, say, a dozen employee files at random. They check these employee files to ensure that all required documentation is included and that all information is up to date. To ensure that your department is ready for when this happens, a simple exception report can be created to track this information automatically...

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Article from HR.com.

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