Question: Is there a shortcut in the process of collecting the payroll transaction data? More specifically, if the company has offered affordable coverage and they have a stable workforce, how much payroll data is needed in the system?
Answer: ACA requires employers to accurately track employee hours by pay period. At the very least an employer can bring in summary data on a month by month basis. This information would come from the company’s payroll system. It is important to know how many hours each employee worked in that month as it will affect the calculation on a standard and initial measurement period. Yearly totals will not work in the measurement periods.
Ok, if you have a stable work force, meaning mostly FT employees and maybe a few that are PT but never work 130 hours in a month, I would use the Monthly Measurement. If this is the case, then you only need transactional data for the year you will be filing. If you are using the Lookback Measurement, then you need transactional data for those that worked anytime in the filing year back to the beginning of the Standard Measurement Period that ends closest to the filing year. For example; if you are working on year 2017 and you have setup a SMP from 10/1/2015 to 9/30/2016, then data for the 2017 employees would need to begin at 10/1/2015. Again, all data must be either by the month or pay period.
Benefit records are important as they tell who accepted coverage. These also must be either by pay period or by the month and you will only need data for those who took the health insurance in the filing year. Some companies wait until the end of the year to bring in Benefit (Deduction) Health records. Others find it easier to do the export when other transactional data is ready.
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Last Review: 5/10/2017 – Revision: 2.0
Applies To: ACA Compliance Solution