Inova Payroll Blog

How to Prevent Payroll Fraud

Posted by Stephanie Rieselman on Jan 21, 2022

Payroll is a prime target for fraud on many levels since it is often an employer’s biggest expense. For that reason, payroll fraud is quite common– affecting about 30% of businesses annually, according to the College Investor. If payroll fraud is left unaddressed, it can grow from a minor inconvenience to more significant payroll fraud consequences that can result in financial drain.

A prime example of this happened in 2021 when a small business of about 20 employees fell victim to a spoofed website scam that was mirroring a banking site the company used to issue payroll direct deposits. The business manager logged in to the fraudulent site, effectively handing over the username and password to the online business bank account. The result? A slew of payments made from the account resulting in overdrawn funds – 68 transactions in total and $249,000 lost.

In 2020, the Boston police department uncovered overtime fraud perpetrated years before by nine police officers. The officers were accused of leaving their overtime shifts two or more hours early but continuing to submit fraudulent overtime slips claiming to have worked the entirety of each shift. The falsified timesheets resulted in over $200,000 in pay for fictitious overtime within the department.

These high-profile cases are just two types of payroll fraud that can affect an employer. Understanding the nuances between each type will help you stay vigilant and stop crimes before they cost your company thousands of dollars.

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Topics: Payroll, Scams

Employee Financial Wellness

Posted by Susy Alfaro on Nov 24, 2021

The term financial wellness has been showing up in conversations about employee acquisition and retention more in the last five years than any other time. But how important is it and what does it mean for employers?

Financial wellness, simply put, is the pleasure of having no financial stress in your life. It’s not a certain amount of money or a certain lifestyle, it’s about maintaining the balance between your income and the life you want to provide for yourself and your loved ones. This may seem like a simple concept, yet it’s much more complex than just spending less than you make.

Essential to financial wellness is the flexibility to adapt to any unexpected circumstance life might throw your way, such as a surprise medical bill or car repair expense. The Federal Reserve indicates nearly 40% of Americans struggle to cover an unforeseen $400 expense. With statistics like this, financial wellness becomes more than just a nice-to-have benefit, it’s a necessity that employees have right now that needs to be met.

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PEO vs HCM Software

Posted by Amanda Ellis on Sep 30, 2021

No matter your role or function in a business, there never seems to be sufficient time and resources to accomplish everything you’d like to while operating at the highest possible level. But there are tools that can help. 

Human resources processes require significant thought, strategy, and time, whether you have five, 50, or 5,000 employees. And in today’s climate of companies competing for limited talent, you want your human resources practices to be smooth and effective, not only for you but for your team members, as well. Fortunately, many options are available for you to get the support you need to manage your workforce.

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Topics: Employer Basics, Human Capital Management, Human Resources

The Job Benefits Candidates Really Want

Posted by Stephanie Rieselman on Jun 17, 2021

During the COVID-19 crisis, employees experienced a major shift in priorities, needs, and wants. Between the transition to remote work, increased reliance on technology, and pressures on employees' mental health and well-being, 2020 was most certainly a roller coaster of crisis management for HR leaders and employees alike.

Few could have predicted how the pandemic would change employees’ expectations of their work experience. Long gone are the days employees require no more than a paycheck and healthcare. Workers are stretching more than dollars to make ends meet. They’re juggling a multitude of challenges brought on by the pandemic, including high levels of stress and anxiety while balancing an increased workload. Now, more than ever, employees want benefits and perks that support their overall wellness, such as mental health resources, financial education, and support for their parental journey.

Many progressive companies have already started taking note (and action) as a result of this shift. A recent study from Willis Tower Watson found that 42% of companies have changed or plan to change their paid leave plans, 66% will elevate mental health solutions, and 73% offer flexible work hours due to the pandemic.

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Employee Development in 2021

Posted by Stephanie Rieselman on May 7, 2021

In 2020, businesses were forced to abandon many of their strategic plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after the virus made headlines worldwide, the focus became preventing the spread of the virus through the workforce, adjusting product and service distribution and delivery methods, and managing customer needs in a new environment of social distancing.

One of the initiatives that received little, if any, attention was employee development. For many organizations, training and development expenses were reduced and eliminated in some cases. Additionally, the demand on HR significantly increased as attention was directed toward safety protocols, COVID sick leave, furloughs, and layoffs. There was little time for traditional training and development in the immediacy of the tragedy unfolding one year ago.

With the vaccine rollout well underway in 2021, leaders are eyeing recovery with the goal of not only reaching 2019 performance levels but exceeding them. According to a LinkedIn Learning Report, one critical strategy to a successful recovery is to reprioritize employee professional development, which 94% of employees believe to be a reason for staying at a company longer.

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Topics: Human Resources

Three Ways to Control the Rising Cost of Benefits

Posted by EverythingBenefits on Apr 2, 2021

Offering employees comprehensive benefits while also managing the related costs remains an ongoing challenge for employers. According to PWC research, in the last five years, benefits costs have increased an average of 5.5 to 7 percent each year. This year will be no different, with benefits costs estimated to rise by 5.3 percent, according to the Business Group on Health (BGH). And, there is a chance the increase may be even greater as employees increase their use of mental health and specialty services, seek COVID-19 vaccination, and resume elective and preventative procedures they put off in 2020.

Though the need to manage rising benefits costs will not go away, there are actions you can take to offer employees a range of cost-effective and competitive benefits options. Here are three ways you can control benefits costs while still meeting the needs of your employees:

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Topics: Benefits

6 Thoughtful Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Posted by Stephanie Rieselman on Mar 3, 2021

If you have employees, there's a good chance that company culture is something you think about often. Positive company culture has the power to impact organizational performance and can mean the difference between surviving and thriving, something that many businesses are focusing on in 2021.

Among the many ways to positively impact company culture, showing your employees appreciation for their hard work is possibly one of the most important. It can boost employee satisfaction at work, thereby increasing performance and retention and creating a more enjoyable workplace for everyone. But how can you show appreciation to your employees when the office is empty?

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Topics: Employer Basics, Employee Communications

Classifying Exempt Employees

Posted by Corie Stark on Feb 11, 2021

When it comes to classifying employees, there are two basic types that workers fall under: exempt or nonexempt. One of the most significant differences between the two categories is eligibility for overtime pay. Employers are required to pay nonexempt workers at least one and a half times the regular rate of pay for work performed over 40 hours in a workweek. Exempt employees are not required to be paid overtime, though certain salary and job duties criteria must be met.

It is crucial to follow the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations governing whether an employee is exempt from overtime because misclassifying a worker has serious repercussions for employers. As with most laws affecting the employer-employee relationship, the FLSA and its classification rules are complex, and the official guidance changes over time.

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Topics: Payroll Mistakes, Payroll, Payroll Basics

COVID-19 Challenges That Will Follow HR Leaders into 2021

Posted by Stephanie Rieselman on Jan 29, 2021

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted many areas of business operations, notably human resources. Between navigating furloughs, keeping up morale, and reconfiguring workflows to accommodate remote work, professionals with HR duties played a pivotal function for organizations. Additionally, COVID-19 magnified pre-existing business challenges with supply chain, competition, and access to capital, forever changing certain industries as a result.

The continuing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic mean HR systems and functions, as well as compliance risk, will continue to be challenging in 2021. Many employers have turned to outside HR resources as a way to alleviate the overload, especially if they’ve reduced staff or are looking to ramp up hiring and onboarding in the coming year.

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Topics: Human Resources

Cybersecurity and COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know

Posted by Katelyn Betts on Oct 16, 2020

The pandemic has caused a lot of businesses to pivot and adjust to a work-from-home arrangement. As employees stay home and refrain from going into the office or workplace, they still need to use technology to do their jobs. We can't get around it - computers, the internet, and wi-fi are crucial and many depend on them to fulfill their job responsibilities. However, having employees work from home exposes employers to a host of cyber risks that they may not have faced when their workers were in the office or at the workplace.

Cybersecurity Checklist [Download]

COVID-19 has opened the door for a variety of scams as merciless hackers target unsuspecting computer users. Employers need to be aware of the risks that the pandemic has created on the cyber front and the scams that their employees could see, and they also need to know how to help their remote employees keep their computers secure. Here's what employers should know.

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Topics: Cybersecurity, Scams

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