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APP2P 2018 Fall Conference Recap by Jim Sadik

By: Jim Sadik |

Cathleen Bucholtz, Steven Swaigenbaum, Bob Maryan and I recently exhibited and conducted a three hour pre-conference workshop at The Institute of Finance & Management’s (IOFM) 2018 AP & P2P Fall Conference & Expo at The Mirage Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  APP2P connects accounts payable executives, leadership and their teams, to focus on issues impacting their departments daily, including procurement, payment automation, fraud, and compliance. In recent years, IOFM has increased the conference content pertaining to unclaimed property issues, and True Partners was proud to connect with numerous accounts payable professionals via our exhibit booth and interactive workshop session: Unclaimed Property Survival Training Program.

The Core Presentation Topics included:

  • A comprehensive introduction into unclaimed property issues, focused on ten primary areas that financial professionals should know about this important regulatory requirement.
  • The multi-year distraction and potential financial risks associated with unclaimed property audits, focused on auditor tactics, quantification and estimation methods, and how the availability of records may help or harm a company in their efforts to combat audit assessments.
  • Unclaimed property compliance best practices, focused on the “Twelve Critical Factors” for what is required to develop an effective process for annual reporting, regardless of the size of an organization.

We received quite a few questions from workshop attendees and wanted to share a few with you, in case you have some of the same questions:

Q: How long should a company maintain supporting documentation, in case a company is ever audited for unclaimed property?

A: While every jurisdiction has its own record retention provision, a general rule of thumb is to maintain accounting, banking, treasury, due diligence and reporting documentation for fifteen (15) years to cover a reporting period of ten (10) years for jurisdictions with a five (5) year dormancy period.  This meets the provisions of both Delaware and the guidelines in the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA) of 2016.

Incidentally, this question was featured as one of approximately 20 trivia questions that were included in a conference-wide raffle/contest, and the lucky recipient of True Partners’ prize, a GoPro HERO5 4K Action Camera, was Bruce Swift of Mercy Health!

Q: What parameters are auditors utilizing to schedule accounts payable transactions as unclaimed property?

A: Generally, all outstanding checks may be deemed unclaimed after reaching a certain age (typically 3 or 5 years after the issuance date).  In additional, auditors will likely schedule all voided checks that were voided more than 30 days from the original issuance date.  While this is an aggressive tactic, without proper supporting documentation, the initial presumption is that these transactions represent unclaimed property.

Q: When undergoing an unclaimed property internal review or audit, should a company focus on researching and resolving largest dollar transactions first?

A: On their face, the largest dollar items will lend themselves to the largest liability.  Keep in mind however, if your company does not maintain records for the entire review scope, a portion of your liability may be estimated, and the liability reported to your state of corporate domicile.  If statistical sampling is utilized, the largest dollar transactions may not necessarily have the greatest impact on a company’s overall unclaimed property exposure.

Connect with True Partners at future IOFM AP & P2P events, including the 2019 AP & P2P Spring Conference & Expo at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort® at the Walt Disney World® Resort (FL) from May 19-21, 2019.  We highly recommend this event to financial professionals who are interested in learning more about operations, automation, fraud, risk, tax and unclaimed property compliance issues impacting the accounts payable functions in organizations.  For more information please see the conference website at https://www.iofm.com/conference-spring/.

We had a great time at AP & P2P Fall 2018 and want to thank the IOFM team for putting on another great conference. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at jim.sadik@tpctax.com.