Unclaimed property is a complex area and developing guidelines to ensure compliance is the key to identifying small challenges before they become substantial problems. Too often, companies only consider developing formal policies and procedures (or dusting off older, outdated versions) when faced with the prospect of an unclaimed property audit. Becoming proactive about developing your unclaimed property policies and procedures offers the following benefits:
At risk for an unclaimed property audit? One of the first items an auditor will ask for is a copy of your policies and procedures. By having yours ready to present, you can be prepared to show the auditors your efforts to maintain compliance, and achieve better results.
Detailed procedures provide consistency in how you handle the complexities of unclaimed property and how the work gets done.
Clear responsibility of duties
Assigning clear responsibility is the key to getting things done; on time, efficiently and correctly.
Documenting your procedures will ultimately provide an annual blueprint for your staff, saving time and money and allowing seamless continuity in the event of staff turnover.
Conversely, a lack of a formal policy and detailed procedures can almost guarantee problems down the road, and significantly raise the risk of:
- Late reporting which could result in interest and penalty fees
- Reporting errors and/or inconsistent reporting
- Potential loss of indemnity
- Greater risk of audit
Georgeson offers an Unclaimed Property Policy and Procedures template that you can put to use right away. It addresses the reporting process and provides reporting timeframes including differing property types, dormancy periods and contains a full glossary. It also includes helpful websites and best practices, offering guidelines on how to limit the property sent to the state, minimize risk and exposure to fines or penalties.
Unclaimed Property Policy and Procedures Template for the banking industry