Total Compensation Statements – Best Practices for Data Submission
A frequently asked question is, “how should I send you my data?” Here are some guidelines to assure accuracy and smooth transition.
- Most vendors prefer to receive your data in an Excel or CSV file. To avoid transcription errors, hand enter data only when necessary, then double-check to be sure it was entered correctly. Instead export data directly from your HRIS or payroll system into an Excel or CSV file.
- Don’t use cut & paste to combine columns of data. If your sort happens to be a bit different between the data files, there will be a data mix-up. Using V-Lookup also presents some risk. Choose a benefit statements producer who will receive your data in multiple data files and then use their system to safely combine your data.
- Always include a unique key identifier for each employee in the first column of each data file. For security purposes avoid using Social Security numbers.
- Provide your data in an Excel or CSV file. Avoid PDFs since they do not always readily convert to an importable format.
- If possible, include all of an employee’s data in the same row, rather than in multiple rows of your data file.
- Remove columns of data from your file which are not needed for producing your employee benefit statements.
- Once your data is pulled, use filters and sorts to examine your data for any abnormalities or errors. For instance, look for negative values, review highest and lowest values in each column, and compare columns of data to be sure it is all coherent.
- Your data contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Be sure to use a vendor who offers a method of secure data transmission (secure FTP or secure email), and then password protect your files as a 2nd line of defense.
Making sure that your data is accurate and complete will save lots of time making corrections and contribute to on-time delivery of your total compensation statements!