ACA Penalty Relief

For this year only the IRS is granting penalty relief for employers who comply with the reporting deadlines and must later correct errors, providing the employer can demonstrate they made a good faith effort to comply with the reporting requirements for 2015.  Applicable large employers were required to give their employees forms 1095-C by March 31, 2016.  They are also required to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS by May 31, 2016 for paper submissions or June 30, 2016 if filing electronically.

This makes it particularly important to meet all deadlines for filing, even if you must make corrections later.  Further, this relief is for reporting year 2015 only so now is a good time to review the issues that caused problems this year and make changes.  For Employers who have Sage HRMS and either Sage HRMS Payroll or Sage 300 Payroll keeping on top of this information throughout the year is much easier with My Workforce Analyzer.  This module helps track employee eligibility throughout the year and discover issues  that may cause problems at year end.  The module uses information from the HRMS benefits and actual payroll information to generate the 1094-C and 1095-C forms.  It  integrates with Aatrix to provide an additional layer of error checking and electronic filing.  They will also mail the employee copies if you prefer.  This year they offered a package price for employers who were ready to process their W-2’s and 1095-C’s at the same time.  It is anticipated that next year all forms will be due to employees by January 31, 2017 so a package price may be worth considering.

We will continue to monitor any changes in the Affordable Care Act and how HR and Payroll information is affected.



Sage Employer Resources

Do you know about Sage Employer Resources?  If you are a Gold Business Care customer for Abra Suite or Sage HRMS you may have this benefit and not even know it.  Sage Employer Resources in a website powered by HR360.  In it you will find everything you need to deal with your employer compliance issues.  Main topics include Employee Benefits, Healthcare Reform, Human Resources, Recruitment & Hiring, Discipline & Termination, State Laws, Forms & Policies, HR Apps & Tools, Resource Center, Safety & Wellness, and HR Training.  When you sign up for your user ID and password you can login and setup your account to customize it for yourself.  For example, you can identify the states that you are most concerned about.  Then you can set up the topics for which you would like to receive Alerts.  You will receive email alerts on changes and legislation that affect the states that you work in without getting an avalanche of information that does not affect you.

In the HR Apps and Tools there are a number of interactive tools to help you analyze your company’s compliance.  For example, there is a great tool that helps you analyze your Federal Poster compliance.  Here is an excerpt:

Federal Poster Advisor

Whether your company is small or large, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires that you display a number of different posters in your workplace where employees can easily observe them. The Poster Advisor can help you identify the required posters for your company, including:

  • Fair Labor Standards and Minimum Wage
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • OSHA Job Safety and Health Protection
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

Based on the information you provide in response to various questions, the Poster Advisor generates a list of federal laws administered by the DOL which have poster requirements that likely apply to your business, along with links to download printable posters at no charge.


Need help with setting up this benefit?  Let us know.

ACA – What to tell Employees

Employees are starting to receive their 1095-C forms.  Many have questions and they are  looking to you for answers.  Here are the most important questions and answers from an employee point of view.

Q.  What is this for?

  •  IRS Form 109-C provides information about your employer-provided health insurance, or offers of coverage if you chose not to accept it.

Q.  What should I do with it?

  •  You should keep it with the forms you give to your tax preparer.  If you prepare your own taxes you should refer to it as necessary to answer new questions this year about your health insurance coverage.

Q.  Do I have to wait for this form before I file my taxes?

  • Maybe.  It does not need to be submitted with your tax forms but your tax  preparer may want to review it to make sure the questions on your return are answered properly.  If you were covered by your employer all year you should be able to answer those questions without waiting for the form.  You do not need to include a copy of the form with your return.

Q. Why might I need to wait for the information?

  • If you received an advance premium tax credit or if you had a gap in coverage or more than three consecutive months you may need to refer to the 1095-C to prepare your return.

Q.  Why don’t I have it yet?  I got my W-2 already.

  • Since this is the first year the IRS extended the deadline for your employer to send out the 1095-C forms to March 31, 2016.

Q.  What if I didn’t get one?

  • Not every employer is required to send 1095-C forms to their employees.  If your employer has less than 50 full time employees you will not receive one.  You will need to rely on your own records to answer the coverage questions on your return.



My Workforce Analyzer

The end of the year is fast approaching and if you have not yet figured out how you are going to handle the forms required by the Affordable Care Act you have no time to lose.  These requirements are somewhat tricky because they depend on information regarding your health benefit enrollments and payroll information.  If you have a self funded health plan they require information about your employees’ enrolled dependents as well.  If you have Sage HRMS or Sage Abra Suite you are fortunate because all of the information you need resides in your current systems.  Then the Sage My Workforce Analyzer module gathers it together in easily understood dashboards to help you manage your employee eligibility information throughout the year.  At year end it produces the forms you need for your employees and the government.  It even connects to the Aatrix tax filing service to handle all the paper pushing at year end.


If you are stuggling to deal with employee compliance issues this may be your answer.  For more information see My Workforce Analyzer.

All About EEO

September is here and that means that EEO reports are due this month, September 30 as a matter of fact.  Most large employers are used to the idea that they need to file these annual reports, but if you are a smaller employer that is growing this may be new to you.


You need to file an EEO-1 report if you fit in one of the following categories:

  1. Your company employs 100 or more employees.
  2. Your company has over 50 employees and has a federal contract or subcontract amounting to $50,000 or more.
  3. Your company has over 50 employees and serves as an issuing and paying agent for U.S. Savings Bonds.

If you have been filing the EEO-1 report for years, you have probably received information from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with information and instructions.  However, if you have just recently added employee number 100, you may need to be proactive in starting the filing process, and it is always better to start filing rather than wait for the government to ask why you haven’t been filing.  So if this is your first year to file, go to  In the upper right-hand corner you will see a link for First Time Filers just under the LOGIN button.  Follow the link to answer a few questions and set up a user id and login.

Fortunately, if you use Sage Abra Suite or Sage HRMS you will have all the information you need to file your EEO report.  To make sure that your information is accurate you will want to review the Ethnic Origin field for each employee.  Then take a look at the Job Code table and review the EEO Class.  If you need assistance you can take a look at  It will show each classification and the jobs titles that belong to that classification.

Once you have filed your first report you will receive notices each year letting you know when it is time to file again.  With the information in Sage Abra Suite or Sage HRMS you should have everything you need to complete the filing quickly and easily.

Written by Arlie Skory

WAC Solution Partners- Employer Solutions


Overtime in the news

Just as we have all been busy trying to figure out how to deal with reporting for the Affordable Care Act, another major project for Human Resources and top management is looming.  The Obama Administration has proposed updated overtime rules that could become law as early as January 2016.  Under the current overtime rules employees making under $455 per week ($23,660/year) are automatically considered non-exempt and eligible for overtime.  For employees above this pay level the overtime classification is based on what is called the “duties test.”  The duties test is designed to determine whether a job is exempt from the overtime requirement due to classification as Executive, Administrative, Professional or Outside Sales.

Under the proposed rules changes, the compensation test would be based on a salary level equal to the 40th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers.  That works out to $970 per week or $50,440 annually or thereabouts for 2016.

What should you be doing?

  • Now is definitely time to review your current job classifications, especially those jobs that are paid between $23,660 and $50,000 per year.
  • Take a look at your other policies – Do you have benefits that are different for Salaried and Hourly employees?  How many employees will be affected?
  • Consider what time keeping policies will need to be changed.
  • Decide whether some salaries will need to change to maintain and exempt status.

Above all, you should pay attention to the news about the proposed overtime rule changes.  We are now in the comment period and changes could still be made.  No matter what, however, you can expect increased attention as to who should be getting overtime pay in your company.



Ask Yourself Why

Many times we get into a rut and we do the same things the same way because that is what we have been doing for as long as we can remember.  Moving to a new software platform is a great time to take a look at many of your long standing “traditions” to see if they still serve a purpose.  Ask yourself “WHY” are you doing those routine parts of your job that your new system is affecting.  Here are some of the reasons you may come up with.

  • “It was easier to do things this way when we were manual.”
    • Many times trying to emulate an old manual system is more cumbersome and less accurate than letting your new system calculate for you more often.  For example, in a manual system we might accrue vacation on a quarterly basis because it is time consuming or cumbersome.  Then we develop “work arounds” to try to be more fair to employees who lose out based on their hire date.  Allowing your system to accrue every pay period can be  automated and much fairer to employees.
  • “So-and-so in accounting needed this report for their system.”
    • Have you asked if they still need the report?  Are they still using the same system?  Are they doing things to the data you give them that you can automate in a custom report?  Does “So-an-so” still work there?  Take the time to find out what other people are doing with the information you are giving them.
  • ” I don’t know how to do it any other way.”
    • Implementing a new system is a good time to review and get trained to thoroughly understand the capabilities you now have.  That new, strange looking report might actually be better than the one it is replacing.  This is a time to take advantage of all the training that is offered to you – you are likely to find new ways of doing things that are more efficient.

You system consultant has many years of experience in a variety of past implementations.  They can be a source of information on best practices and improving work flow, as long as you are open to the new possibilities.

Written by Arlie Skory

Partner, WAC Solution Partners- Employer Solutions

Understanding Payroll Tables

If you are a former Abra Suite user you have probably found that writing Crystal Reports using HR data is not all that much different in Sage HRMS.  The transition is so easy that most reports will simply convert by choosing a new data source.  Payroll, on the other hand, is a completely different story.  Table and file names are completely different.  For example:

Table:  UPEMPL

This is the payroll version of the HRPERSNL table in HRMS.  This is where you find information like the employee name, SSN, hire date and other demographic information.  For the most part, if you are writing a payroll report you will start with this file rather than HRPERSNL.  Here are some of the important fields:

  • EMPLOYEE – Employee Number
  • FIRSTNAME – Employee First Name
  • LASTNAME – Employee Last Name
  • FULLNAME – Employee name in Last, First Middle format

Table:  UPCHKH

This is the check header file.  This is where you find information that relates to the entire check like the check date, the net pay amount, bank account information, etc.  Here are some of the important fields:

  • EMPLOYEE – Employee Number
  • PEREND – Period End Date
  • ENTRYSEQ – This is similar to a payroll batch number.  If you process more than one payroll on the same day they will have different values in the ENTRYSEQ field even though they may have all the same dates.
  • TRANSDATE – This is the check date, stored as either YYYMMDD or MM/DD/YYYY depending on your version of Sage HRMS.
  • TRANSAMT – This is the net cash pay amount

NOTE:  EMPLOYEE, PEREND, and ENTRSEQ are all keys that need to be used to link the UPCHKH (Check Header) and UPCHKD (Check Detail) tables.  Also, once you have three tables rather than two tables in the report you will need to be very careful about trying to create totals using  fields from the Header.  It will be easier to create totals using the Detail fields.


Table:  UPCHKD

This is where the check details are stored.  This table gives you the complete detail of every single posting; whether it was an earning, deduction, or tax;  and where it was charged for General Ledger.  For tax records or percentage deductions it will also show the wagebase.  Here are some of the important fields:

  • Employee – Employee Number
  • PEREND – Period End Date
  • ENTRYSEQ – Entry sequence (payroll batch number)
  • EARNDED – The code for the earning, deduction, tax, accrual, or benefit.
  • HOURS – The hours associated with an earning or accrual record.
  • EEXTEND – The dollar amount of the earning, deduction, or tax.
  • REXTEND – The employer match for items such as 401(k) deductions or the employee portion of benefits.
  • TAXEARNS – The taxable wages for items that don’t have a ceiling.
  • TAXEARNCEIL – The taxable wages for items that do have a ceiling.
  • PCATEGORY – Flag to determine if the record is an earning, deduction, tax, benefit, or accrual.
    • 1 = Earning
    • 2 = Deduction
    • 3 = Tax
    • 4 = Accrual
    • 5 = Benefit







Upgrading to Sage HRMS 2015

There are lots of excellent reasons to upgrade to Sage HRMS 2015.  The most talked about reason is the addition of My Workforce Analyzer to help companies deal with their obligations under the Affordable Care Act.  But there are some other features that are pretty notable.  I find the new structure to help create better custom reports to be the most exciting.  When upgrading to Sage HRMS 2015 there are a series of procedures that run to create unified payroll tables as a function of a view under the SageHRMS_Live database.  It merges information from your various payroll companies and inserts a PR_company field at the end of the view.  If you have more than one payroll company this means it is far easier to use Crystal Reports to write consolidated reports.  If you want to make use of this new functionality there are some things you must know.

  1. You will need to know the name of the SQL server (servername/instancename).
  2. You will need a valid SQL users account and password for that account.
  3. The name of the database being used as live in Sage HRMS.  This is normally SageHRMS_Live.

To create a new report you will launch Crystal Reports and choose Report Wizard. You will need to create a new connection type, so click on the ‘+’ next to ‘Create New Connection’. Then click on the ‘+’ next to ‘OLEDB(ADO)’.  Instead going to a listing  of the tables or files as you have been used to seeing in your HR reports you will click on the ‘+’ next to ‘DBO’ then ‘Views’.  Now you will be able to see a list of the tables in Sage Payroll so you can select the ones you want to use.  You are ready to write your report!

My Workforce Analyzer Webcast Registration

Need help with the Affordable Care Act?  Sign up for a webcast on My Workforce Analyzer from Sage.

My Workforce Analyzer Webcast Registration


Learn more about your responsibilities as they relate to ACA compliance and find out how Sage can help.

Track the information needed for 1094-C and 1095-C reporting and monitor your employees’ hours of service so you can make informed decisions about healthcare and the requirements of the ACA. Join this webcast to learn more about the newest version of My Workforce Analyzer.

In this webcast you’ll learn:

• Address 1094-C and 1095-C reporting for January, 2016.
• Handle ACA requirements if you are self-insured.
• Use the available Sage tools to meet your ACA demands.
• Create Online Dashboards of your workforce to view ACA related information, make decisions, and more.
Date: 4/23/2015

2:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Registration Ends: 4/23/2015 11:59 PM