Many times in my twelve years of providing customer support, I’ve heard “This is my first time reporting and I don’t know what to do. Can you help me?” My heart goes out to those people because I know how daunting it can be to figure out how to get a report to the state.
Large companies often have an entire team dedicated to unclaimed property compliance. They record their standard procedures in manuals that can be shared with new employees. Smaller companies don’t often have their procedures recorded. It seems like each year they draw straws to see who gets the unlucky task of reporting unclaimed property. The person who draws the short straw has to muddle through trying to figure out what unclaimed property is, where they need to get the data to report, which property codes they need to use, how they create the file and coversheet to send to the state, and how they deliver the report package and payment to the states.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Unclaimed property procedures can and should be recorded in a manual for every company, not just the big guys. Creating a manual helps the next person navigate the process and helps to ensure solid compliance from year to year. You can share the manual with upper management so they understand just how much goes into tracking and reporting unclaimed property. Recording your procedures can even help save your company from penalties that could result from improper reporting and will be a lifesaver if you are ever audited.