June Newsletter

June Newsletter

A Different Type of Audit

Auditing your human resources, whether you have a department devoted to it or not, can help protect you, your employees and your business while identifying solutions that can make your company stronger.

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS An effective human resources audit begins with a thorough look at your company’s personnel policies, written procedures and established steps employees can take when they have a work-related issue.

Do you have comprehensive procedures that employees fully understand to prevent potential harassment and discrimination claims? Are performance reviews conducted according to a process understood by both supervisors and employees? Are complaints documented and investigated? Are your employees properly classified? For example, the federal government has gone back and forth about who qualifies for overtime pay, so whether employees are exempt or non-exempt matters.

Also analyze how your company deals with freelance workers and prospects applying for open positions. Does your company comply with tax, legal and professional requirements governing both hiring and freelancers? Do you have both the procedures and contracts in place to help ensure everyone understands their exact working arrangements?

A COMPETITIVE TOOL Once you develop a comprehensive audit questionnaire and receive your results, you may want to compare your findings with those of your competitors. Who are your biggest or closest competitors? Which peer company follows best practices and how does that compare to your policies and procedures?

Answering these and other questions and applying the right solutions can help your company rise to the next level. Your audit may identify insurance solutions that boost your company’s financial protection in many areas, and it might discover employee benefits that can improve your firm’s ability to attract and retain hard-to-find workers.

If you don’t have the personnel resources to conduct this type of audit, consider looking into tax, legal and consulting professionals who can help.

5 Reasons Why Estate Planning Matters

Ask the average person if estate planning is necessary and you will likely hear this answer: “That’s only for the rich.” This is not true. At some level, estate planning is necessary for almost everyone, regardless of income or amount of assets. Let’s count the areas of your life estate planning affects:

1. YOUR ASSETS – What happens to your assets when you die? If you care, you can dictate how your assets will pass via a will. Without one, your state’s laws will dictate how most of your assets are distributed.

2. YOUR WISHES – Financial powers of attorney name a person to act in your financial interest if you can’t do so yourself. Healthcare powers of attorney do the same in the event you cannot make your own medical decisions.

3. YOUR MINOR CHILDREN – If you unexpectedly died, who would take care of your minor children? It happens. You can name a guardian (or guardians) in a will to ensure your wishes become reality if the unthinkable occurs.

4. YOUR BLENDED FAMILY – Second (and third) marriages often come with additional complications and new family members. These complications can multiply when it comes time to distribute your assets as intended. Again, a will can help.

5. YOUR ADULT FAMILY – When you pass on, who gets the heirloom jewelry? Who gets the china that has been in your family for generations? While these items may not add up to a lot monetarily, they can mean the world to loved ones. Put your intentions in a will.

GET HELP Before drawing up your will, talk it over with family to prevent future misunderstandings. Talk to tax and legal professionals, who can ensure your papers are in order and you transfer as much of your estate as tax laws permit.

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