Abandoned Property – What Is It? How Do We Account For It?

            How many times have you written a check to someone, who either loses it or forgets to cash the check? After a certain amount of time, that check is considered stale and can no longer be presented to be cashed. It sits in your QuickBooks file uncleared on the bank statement reconciliation, now what?

            You call the person, ask them to cash it. You may even re-issue the check so they have another chance to get paid, but then you find out they moved away and you don’t have their address, now what?

Uncashed checks to vendors, payroll checks to employees, contractors, dividends, and distributions to stockholders all are potential unclaimed or abandoned property. Every state has their own escheatment laws that require businesses and organizations to hand over to the state, the abandoned property that has been in their possession for a certain period of time. If a check goes uncashed, that does not mean the property no longer belongs to that individual and the obligation that the employer has to compensate the employee does not go away.

            In the state of New Hampshire, you are required to notify the owner of the abandoned property. No more than 120 days prior to filing, all holders must send a written notice to the owner of the property having a value of $50.00 or more. In this notice you must verify the nature of the property and how to retrieve it and avoid abandonment to the state. If this attempt at notifying the owner is unsuccessful, you will then move forward to reporting the abandoned property to the state.

How to Report Abandoned Property in New Hampshire

            To begin the process of reporting abandoned property, you must fill out the State of New Hampshire form for abandoned property which is Form T-1. Below is a link for your convenience to click on and review this form and/or print it.

https://www.nh.gov/treasury/documents/abandonded-propert-t1-form.pdf

            For detailed instructions on how to fill out this form, we have also provided you the necessary link that will walk you through, step-by-step for filling out NH Form T-1.

https://www.nh.gov/treasury/documents/abandonded-property-t1-instructions.pdf

            The first column on the form asks for the correct code for the property type. Here is a link that will show you which code is appropriate for your abandoned property.

https://www.nh.gov/treasury/documents/property-type-codes-t1-a.pdf

 

How to handle Abandoned Property in QuickBooks

            It is important to remember that abandoned property does not belong to the company. That property is either owed to the state or owner. Uncashed checks should never be voided. Making sure your bank accounts are reconciled on a monthly basis will help you monitor uncashed checks. Once that property amount is sent to the state or given to the property owner, it can then be cleared from your bank reconciliation.

For business owners with employers, payroll is a necessary task that can slow your day and tie you down if you let it.  If you’re looking for a way to make payroll less time-consuming, here are five ideas you can put to good use:

  1. Employee Onboarding

If you hire a lot, empower your new hires by letting them do their paperwork for you.  A good payroll system allows employees to “onboard” themselves, completing the I-9, W-4, and direct deposit authorizations electronically, even before they show up for their first day. You’ll still need to ask for ID on their first working day, but at least you won’t have to do their paperwork for them.

  1. Integrate Employee Benefits

Rather than hire several separate companies to handle benefits, some payroll systems allow you to integrate benefits solutions right in their dashboard.  That way, you won’t have to re-enter employee data in multiple systems, which often gets out of sync.  Deductions and payments can also be integrated to save accounting time.

  1. Delegate Timesheet Entry

Require non-exempt employees to enter their own time; all you should have to do is approve it.  The right timesheet application can take care of that, and a great timesheet application will allow employees to enter time from multiple options, including timecard, cell phone, and others.

  1. Eliminate the Annual Worker’s Compensation Audit

Tie your worker’s compensation vendor to your accounting system, and you’ll be able to avoid that time-consuming annual reconciliation report required by your worker’s compensation insurance company.  You can also avoid the large annual payment because the insurance will be taken out each payroll cycle.

  1. Reduce the Frequency of Payroll

It’s not always possible, but if you can pay employees less frequently, you might be able to cut your payroll time in half.  Pay weekly employees every two weeks or pay bi-weekly employees monthly.  Reducing payroll frequency boosts cash flow as well.

Try one of these five ideas to streamline your payroll time and costs in your business.  And as always, let us know if we can help.

Effective December 1, 2016, federal overtime regulations will change and may affect how you are paying your employees.  These overtime updates will affect 4.2 million workers across the country.

The new rules will raise the salary overtime-eligibility threshold from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year).  This new threshold will increase every three years.  Salaried workers already entitled to overtime will get increased protection.

Employers have a choice of three actions they can take to employees who become eligible for overtime that weren’t before.

  1. Pay time-and-a-half for overtime work.
  2. Raise worker’s salaries above the new threshold.
  3. Limit worker’s hours to 40 per week.

Let’s say you have an employee that earns $500 per week and works 50 hours a week.  Previously, you didn’t pay overtime, but beginning December 1, 2016, you will need to.  At $12.50 per hour, you would owe them the regular $500 plus 10 hours of overtime at $187.50.

Let’s say you have an employee earning $800 per week and they work 50 hours.  Previously, you didn’t pay overtime, but now you will need to consider it.  You could pay them overtime, which works out to a weekly pay of $1100.  Or you can choose to give them a raise to $913 per week – the new threshold – and continue to exempt them from overtime.  The latter is the lowest cost alternative.

In both cases above, it may be cheaper to hire an additional part-time worker to work the 10 extra hours per week.

You can find more about the new overtime law here:
https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime/

And if you have any questions about your payroll, feel free to reach out anytime.

TSheets Pros
The New Business Directions Team is bringing the #1 employee-rated and requested Time Tracking Software to you. Sondra Love, Wayne Kukuruza, and Rhonda Rosand, CPA have recently joined the 6000+ TSheets PRO community by participating in an exclusive TSheets PRO certification course accredited by CPAacademy.org.

So what exactly is TSheets? TSheets is a time tracking and scheduling software designed for businesses that track, manage, and report time. TSheets provides the alternative to paper timesheets and/or punch cards to simplify human resource and data processing roles for companies of all sizes.

But here’s the best part, TSheets fully integrates with QuickBooks by syncing accurate timesheets to your QuickBooks file and eliminating manual, duplicate time entries. Tracked and approved time can now be easily exported to either QuickBooks® Online or Desktop with just one click. Management can then use their favorite tools within QuickBooks to process payroll, calculate job costing, and create invoices in a more simplified work flow.

TSheets is also a scheduling software making it faster and easier to build and share schedules with employees, assign jobs, and alert shifts while increasing profitability and improving communication. In other words, we want to keep your workforce running like a well-oiled machine.

Oh, and have I mentioned their amazing customer service department? The TSheets team who’s behind the product is just as amazing as the software itself. Customer service team is passionate about their customers and provides exceptional support in times of need. They make your entire TSheets experience FUN and might even give you a smile or two.

Are you ready to sign up? To find out more about TSheets, email sondra@newbusinessdirections.com or give us a call at (603) 356-2914.