Maybe you can imagine how my heart sank when I opened my post office box this morning and pulled out an envelope that read, ďAudit Information Enclosed.Ē I guess I knew it was coming, sooner or later, but itís about the last thing I need in an already crowded January. I ripped the envelope open and was cheered slightly to learn that I have almost three weeks, as the audit date is January 30.
Some of the paperwork I have to get ready for the workersí comp auditor dovetails with the work Iím already preparing for the accountant, so that he can do our taxes and our financial statements. In a way, itís a good thing, in that it forces me to focus on getting things done. In another way, itís work that I could ordinarily put off until after Iíve done the W-2s and 1099s, which in my mind have a higher priority because they affect other peopleís taxes, not just ours.
It wonít be hard to get ready for the audit, if I just take the time to do it. Or rather, it wouldnít have been hard under the system thatís been in place since I started doing it about twenty years ago. But guess what. This is California, so thereís a new law. Starting this year the auditor is required to ask for time cards that show the actual times the employees worked under each workersí comp category.
Well, this doesnít dovetail with anything. I canít ask the employees to write their own times on their own time cards, because most of them can barely write their own names in a way that a neutral party could figure out what to call them. So someone has to go through all the time cards during a twelve-month period and write start and stop times for each employee on each day. And if youíre wondering who that someone is, you havenít been paying attention.
Hereís how it works. I assume a lot. I assume that they start at 7:00 each morning, because thatís what Iíve been told. I assume they take half an hour for lunch any day they work more than four or five hours. And I assume the auditor will take my word for it when I tell him these are the times that were reported to me. This is the same auditor Iíve been working with for the last few years, so Iím pretty confident on the last point, unless heís being leaned on by higher-ups to nail down the details more carefully. If thatís the case, I assume Iím screwed.