AZ USA: Thursday, January 31 - 2008
2008 Tax Figures have been released – This year, it took until January 18th for Congress to pass the 2008 payroll tax code and have the IRS print it in Publication 15. The new figures and calculations have been placed in the software as well as updating the Explanation of Benefits document. It is recommended you update your system to utilize these modified documents.
To update your system, select the “Update Software Via Internet” option found under the File Menu. The system is going to want to update the Plan documents as well as the Explanation of Benefits. If you have modified/edited these documents and do not want the system to copy over them, do not update them.
2008 Cafeteria Plan Manager Changes – In 2008, the Cafeteria Plan Manager has been upgraded in numerous ways. First (and most noticeably), the Things-to-do list is now part of the Navigator and has been redesigned for speed. Second, we have implemented the ability to enter Third Party Administrator (TPA) information and two methods for collecting TPA fees. Third, for employer groups in Massachusetts, you will now have the ability to use the state-created documents for the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law. Forth, we have replaced the notes section of member and company forms so the user may enter as many notes as they like and even categorize them. Lastly, we took recommendations from our users and incorporated them into this new edition.
The Navigator shown below is virtually the same using the same pictures as the previous version. But you will notice the Things-to-do list is on the right side of the Navigator. To increase the speed, a separate database has been incorporated to track the events of all companies. In the past, the system would have to open every company’s database which slowed the software down, especially over a network.
New Navigator with Things-To-Do List
On the Company Information form, you have the ability to make a group “Inactive.” TPAs may now maintain information on groups that they no longer provide services for but wish to keep the database in the system for future retrieval. To make an account inactive, click on the associated checkbox in the upper left corner followed by the Ok command button. Once an account is inactive, the system will no longer search for things-to-do in the group. You may also notice a new tab was added called “Administrator.” The Administrator tab asks who is responsible for the administration of this group’s cafeteria plan. If you are a TPA, you will need to change the default setting from a company representative to TPA. Once this is done, the Things-to-do list will ask you to enter information on the TPA.
Company Information with TPA and Other Tabs
You would then enter general information on your TPA. On the Fee Schedule tab, you will need to select one of the methods for billing your client; either a cost per employee per month or a percentage of contributions made on a monthly basis. (If you use another method for billing your client, just select the cost per employee per month option and continue to produce your client invoices in the manner you have been.) After entering TPA information in your first group, you will be asked if you want to incorporate this information in all of your groups. It is recommend you select “Yes.” You may go in and edit the information but if you do not answer “Yes,” you will have to go into each group individually and enter TPA information.
The 2008 version will allow the TPA to create a monthly invoice for their client and charge them based upon the elected billing method. You must enter a minimum of one month (for the billing time frame) because the system will not pro-rate the fees. If you print the invoice, it will keep a digital copy of the document for your records and can be viewed under the following screen.
TPA Invoice Tracking
Under the newly-created TPA menu, you will be able to enter a client check and make adjustments to a client’s account. The above form displays invoices, adjustments and payments – keeping track of a TPA’s revenues. You may edit these amounts as well as delete them to maintain consistency with other accounting software being used.
If you entered TPA information, you will also have a new report section called “Third Party Administrator Reports” found under the Reports menu. These reports will provide information on your client’s accounting status as well as project annual revenues.
Another feature that we have borrowed from our COBRA Administration program is the Notes tab.
The system will automatically enter notes in certain situations such as a change in Address (shown above). It will also track note entries by administrator (shown under the “Written By” column). You are no longer limited to the 1000 characters as before and may enter as many notes as you wish. Keep in mind, notes are Plan Year specific. In other words, notes from a previous Plan Year will not show in the current year.
The manual has been updated with the 2008 changes. To view the Manual, simply go under the Help Menu and click the “Software Manual” option. The manual will show on your screen and may be printed out. We hope you like the changes we made for 2008 and we will continue to consider other changes in the future. As always, thank you for your input and let us know what you think of our 2008 version.
Final Regulations on Cafeteria Plans – Over
the past twenty years, employers have been operating cafeteria
plans on proposed regulations with numerous changes throughout
the years. To simplify and provide a location to find cafeteria
plan rules, the IRS issued rulings on August 6, 2007 that impact
both medical and dependent care Flexible Spending Arrangements
(or FSAs). On the surface, the rules simply explain these
programs without many changes. Although you may begin to
administer your plan with these new regulations, its true
effective date is not until January 1, 2009. In an effort to
sift through the material, we will not be making changes to the
software’s documents until later in 2008.