Being audited to see if your Workers’ Compensation payments were enough or too much is an annual event that, well like death and taxes, just comes with the territory. However there are ways to prepare for your audit and make sure that you don’t accidentally lead yourself into hot water. One potential pitfall that is frequently overlooked is your company’s web site. A good auditor will go there first to see what you are saying about your business. Here is a quick overview on how your web site can lead to red flags.
1) Do you list services that you rarely provide?
When selling your business to a potential customer it is common practice to list all of the services you can provide but don’t necessarily do all the time. If those services change your employees’ job classification you could be in for a rude shock and a big bill come audit time. For example, if you run a landscaping business and list tree trimming as a service, even though mostly your employees’ cut grass and trim bushes, you could be vulnerable. The workers’ compensation rate is substantially higher for employees that spend time in trees.
2) Is The Picture Of Your Workforce Accurate?
Auditors can count. It’s what they do best. If you state that you have sixteen current employees but your photo has twenty they are going to digging around looking for the other four and once they are interested you never know what else they might find that you weren’t aware you were doing wrong.
3) Photos of equipment not in your job scope.
Do you have a picture of a cherry picker on your site or a band saw in your auto mechanic area or warehouse? It’s great to have these extra machines because they do come in handy but if it’s not part of the work that you have Workers’ Compensation Insurance for and the auditor sees it you are looking at re-classifications.
My advice to you is, give your web site a thorough going over. Try to do it with the eyes of an auditor. If there are things you should be declaring than do so – it’s the law. But, if there are representations on it that don’t really tell the whole story — take them out.