Industry Report Blog Series: Top Challenges to ACA Reporting

March 7, 2017 Jeff Cronin

Sovos recently partnered with Aberdeen Group to survey 179 compliance decision makers across a number of industries to find out how they have handled Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting.

This is the first in a series of four blogs that detail some of the survey’s more notable results and findings. This installment will address challenges the respondents have encountered in tackling ACA reporting.

Frequent Regulatory Changes

One of the foremost issues organizations faced in attempting to remain compliant with ACA regulations was frequently updated regulatory mandates. Because legislation changed so often, employees found it hard to keep up with and understand requirements and act accordingly. A sizable 40 percent of respondents indicated this was an issue for their businesses.

In addition, 44 percent lamented the difficult data aggregation process. Since regulations changed so frequently, many organizations struggled to determine which data they needed for the ACA reporting process and where to find it based on whichever set of rules were current at any given time.

More than half of respondents felt that ACA compliance was a burden on their companies. Exactly 50 percent agreed the effort they exerted in the reporting process was “significant,” while 10 percent went as far as to say their effort was “overwhelming.”

Time-Consuming Processes

Another big challenge respondents faced was the time-consuming nature of ACA reporting. Not only do reporting organizations have strict deadlines to meet, but compliance also require substantial allotments of employee time. Some of the duties human resources, benefits and tax personnel have to perform to achieve compliance are:

  • Researching rules
  • Creating forms
  • Communicating with both internal staff and the government
  • Generating filings
  • Correcting errors

Each of these activities can be arduous depending on the size of the organization in question and bandwidth each of its employees has to complete the process. Overall, survey respondents spent 315 hours on average last year on compliance.

In terms of the most time-consuming processes, 53 percent of respondents indicated finding and aggregating necessary data was their primary challenge. They also identified addressing errors as a substantial time-consumer, at 40 percent. An additional 36 percent of respondents found form generation and distribution to take of large amounts of time.

While personnel from numerous departments throughout the responding organizations worked to achieve ACA compliance, several departments were most adversely impacted. HR and benefits staff accounted for 67 percent of the workload, while tax employees were responsible for 16 percent and finance staffers accounted for 12 percent.

Take Action

Download the full report from Aberdeen Group here to learn how to reconcile the biggest challenges to ACA reporting.

The post Industry Report Blog Series: Top Challenges to ACA Reporting appeared first on Sovos Compliance.

About the Author

Jeff Cronin

As the VP of Product Management, Jeff works with a team that finds innovative product solutions to tax reporting challenges.Jeff has over 25 years of experience in building great software for businesses of all types. Prior to joining Sovos, Jeff was the VP of Operations and then Product Marketing at Gelco Information Network, which was acquired by Concur. Under Jeff’s leadership, his team introduced the first SaaS expense reporting offering to the marketplace and launched the leading software solution for ACA compliance reporting.Jeff earned a BA in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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