HR & Payroll Year End Readiness

By Lisa Calick, Carolyn Hall, Floriana Allen, and Laura Melville

The end of the year can be busy for many companies.  While December brings holiday parties and end-of-year celebrations, business owners should be mindful to make sure their HR and payroll departments are on top of timely actions in order to ensure a smooth transition into the New Year.  This checklist will help you get a jumpstart on your year-end planning.

Human Resources

  • Review your employees’ data to make sure you have accurate and updated information, including contact information, marital status and banking information for direct deposit.
  • Prepare for ACA reporting (1095-C should be provided to employees by January 31, 1095-C and 1094-C filed to IRS by April 2), if applicable.
  • If relevant, finalize open enrollment details and process any renewal plan changes.
  • Ensure proper carryover and/or pay out of accrued time off balances, as per company policy (Note:  NJ employers are now subject to required paid sick leave regulations).
  • For NY employers, be sure you are in compliance with the new sexual harassment regulations.
  • Review IRS limits for flexible spending accounts and 401k plans.  If your company has a flexible spending account, remind your employees to spend any balances they may lose at the end of 2018.
  • Establish your 2019 holiday calendar for office closings.
  • This is a great time to review all of your policies and handbooks to ensure compliance with practices and updated laws.  Update your workplace posters.


  • Update employee contact information such as Social Security number, employee name and address to avoid errors and penalties.
  • Review your employees’ salary information, particularly if changes are made effective January 1.
  • Update your payroll for any state minimum wage changes.
  • Prepare for the first payroll of New Year – be aware of any employee and/or employer federal or state rate changes effective January 1.
  • Prepare W-2s and 1099 forms (distribute to employees and file to IRS by January 31).  It is important to make sure your employees are properly classified, and that you have a W-9 form for your independent contractors.
  • In addition to federal and state quarterly filings, prepare annual federal form 940 and if applicable federal Form 944 (file to IRS by January 31).
  • Include in W-2s any third-party sick pay and any other applicable adjustments to W-2s.

While different companies may have their own individualized policies and practices, being proactive with these tasks provides a good place to start in order to have a more manageable year end process.

To learn more about how Wiss can prepare your business for year end, visit our Advisory Services page.

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