While some play catch up after the hectic holiday season, many employers have turned their attention to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how they will prepare themselves for the mandatory reporting requirements. These requirements should necessitate the attention and preparedness of employers sooner rather than later.
Before the end of 2015, employers must make adjustments to how they record employee payroll and health benefits to meet the ACA’s requirements. Luckily for Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) users, Microsoft laid the groundwork for the mandatory reporting by rolling out a two-part process, which will give users the ability to generate the required 1094-C Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns and 1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage (similar to a W2) forms.
Part One – Tracking of Information
Microsoft implemented ACA tracking mechanisms in the 2014 Year-End Tax Update. These tracking measures determined which windows users will enter the required ACA data into Dynamics GP.
Part Two – Reporting on Information
Microsoft will release updated code at the end of March 2015, which allows users to report on the recorded data. With this release, users will also have the ability to review the new ACA forms in advance of their 2015 year-end close.
The 1094-C and 1095-C forms will be essential for any company with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees, to determine whether they are liable for penalties under the employer-shared responsibility requirements of the ACA.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well, there’s a catch―the required tracking and reporting for ACA will only be available in Dynamics GP 2013 and newer. Any user still on Dynamics GP 2010 must update his or her platform before the 2015 year-end in order to produce the ACA-required forms.
How to Rollout ACA Functionality in Dynamics GP
Microsoft is building ACA functionality into the HR module, not the Payroll module. In addition to upgrading to Dynamics GP 2013 or 2015, users will also need to install the HR module, which is free with Dynamics GP 2013 or newer. Below are recommended configuration steps users should take to rollout the ACA functionality in Dynamics GP.
- Install the 2014 Year-End Tax Update.
- Install HR module, if you don’t have it already.
- Install HR and Payroll (HRP) Suite module to utilize Deductions in Arrears (DIA).
- DIA allows users to track uncollected deductions to ensure recovery in future pay runs.
- Confirm Benefits and Deductions exist in the HRP module.
- a. Users must run a reconcile routine in the HR module to update Benefit Setups and Benefit Enrollments.
- Add all employee dependents into the HR module.
- Change user date to January 1, 2015.
- User date is very important and must be done before you save the records to pick up changes from the beginning of the year.
- Consider walking through these steps in a test company first.
While the government has not finalized the format of the 1094-C and 1095-C forms or what data will need to be reported, Microsoft continues to follow ACA news in efforts to adjust their software code accordingly and to support their users in hopes of giving them an idea of what they can expect to see in the upcoming year.