Microsoft Dynamics GP is a flexible software solution, which is perfect for small businesses that have to respond to the government regulation changes 2016 will throw at them.
During an election year, the past administration tries to make drastic changes with any time left while new candidates promise citizens and small businesses regulations will shift to benefit them. Whether the adjustments to employee compensation and tax laws come from the new guard or old, businesses have to do what they can to facilitate smooth changes. Smart technology can help companies stay in compliance with limited disruption, and possibly take advantage of new policies.
Companies that implement Microsoft Dynamics GP can benefit from a centralized system for data collection, management and analysis. Here’s how organizations can use the business software‘s features to respond to government changes in 2016:
The Affordable Care Act
President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act has been one of the most controversial policies of his administration. As lawmakers respond to criticisms and recognize individual needs, they change the terms of the act, particularly as they apply to employers. Forbes said there have been 56 major changes to ACA since its introduction and businesses should expect more in the future.
For example, President Obama signed the Protect Affordable Coverage for Employees Act into law so smaller companies wouldn’t have to match the premium increases of larger organizations. Congress passed this additional act so businesses with 51 to 100 employees can provide fair health coverage for their workers without overextending their resources.
The Microsoft Dynamics GP Community highlighted the most recent version’s electronic filing capabilities and how it includes ACA forms. If an organization uses a legacy system that doesn’t have features accommodating new healthcare rules, it should look into new ERP solutions for financial reporting and overall visibility of how providing coverage affects the entire company infrastructure.
Research and development tax break extenders
Companies need to ensure research and development expenses get the credits they deserve, and organizations have the necessary information to prove spending to regulators. Microsoft Dynamics GP can help track costs easily with project tracking, analytical codes, or within the chart of accounts structure which makes it easier to track, manage, and deduct these expenses.
In 2014, the research and development tax credit was set to expire, but regulators reinstated it and extended it indefinitely, according to CBIZ financial advisors. Beginning in 2016, companies just starting out with thin profits can claim this credit against payroll tax liabilities. This may be especially exciting for startups working on new products, which could include original patents, new production techniques or pilot models.
If an organization has to pay for research, design, testing and corrections, the R&D tax credit can help them control costs and compensate for the obstacles of launching new companies or products. Using Microsoft Dynamics GP mobile features to capture data about processes as they happen on shop floors or in manufacturing plants can help compare actions to finances.
New overtime pay rules
There has been a lot of talk about changes to overtime pay rules, but the Department of Labor may pass the new regulations sooner than expected. HR Morning, an information resource for HR management, said the DOL currently plans to pass the rules in late 2016, but the election could cause schedules to shift.
Regulators want to change OT pay to apply to workers making $50,000 or less annually, this is about $17,000 more than the current threshold. The first obstacle to law changes is critics that feel this number is too high and $40,000 would be a better compromise. Secondly, the DOL wants to pass other changes simultaneously including automatic threshold increases due to inflation and alterations to duties tests for certain positions.
If a democratic president takes office in 2016, there shouldn’t be any problem passing these changes. A conservative White House, on the other hand, may try to reduce or stop the new OT laws. Due to this, the DOL may rush to get the changes approved.
Managers can use convenient tools to stay ahead of shifting regulations. Microsoft Dynamics GP offers features for employee self service. Not only can users print out their own tax and payment forms, the streamlined communication facilitated by the centralized system allows managers and employees to plan for overtime and approve expenditures much faster. Companies can prioritize overall financial oversight, when employees take responsibility for payroll duties themselves.