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The following are commonly made mistakes by companies of all sizes, both public and private, across all industries in the handling of unclaimed property. With the frequency and broad scope of unclaimed property audits at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever for companies to ensure that they are avoiding these common pitfalls.

Unclaimed Property Mistake #1 – Not Understanding the Way Unclaimed Property Impacts Your Company.

The biggest mistake companies make is failing to understand how unclaimed property impacts their organization. If this is an issue your company has struggled with in the past, begin by assessing and analyzing the various areas in your organization that may contribute to a potential unclaimed property liability.

Within many organizations, 80% of your unclaimed property exposure value lies in only 20% of the outstanding obligations, but all areas of liability are important. Try to get to the root cause of why unclaimed property is being generated at your company and why individuals or businesses have failed to take action with regard to the sums you owe them.

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Texas recently announced that they will no longer accept your unclaimed property reports on CD or diskette. Click here to see the full announcement on the state's website. This goes into effect with the report due July 1, 2014. Any reports that are not submitted online will be subject to rejection.

Indiana has had this requirement for some time. I anticipate that many other states will soon join in. It just doesn't make sense for the states to have rooms full of CDs to process when everything can be submitted online so easily.

Submitting your report to Texas online is very simple. I have been through the process many times when reporting on behalf of my outsourcing clients. Generate the NAUPA file using whatever software or method you currently use to do so. When you are ready to submit the file, click here.

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There are many areas that can trip you up when filing your NAIC Annual Statement, but here are some common areas that companies should review or understand before submitting the NAIC filings.

1. Make sure you understand Statutory Accounting Principles (SAP) and how to apply these standards to financial statements.  There are several adjustments that will need to be made to ensure compliance with SAP reporting.  A couple of common areas that are affected by SAP and will require adjustments include the carrying value of investments and certain receivable balances over ninety days old.  Improper valuation of financial statements could materially affect a company’s solvency and Risk Based Capital requirements.

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