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Payroll Audit Notice Received In The Mail – What Do We Do Now?


Workers Comp Payroll Audit Notice Very Important

My company has received a Payroll Audit notice.  This is one of the most popular questions that we receive about the Workers Compensation premium process. A workers comp payroll auditor contacting a company can make for a stressful situation. From what I have seen, the word audit tends to make someone feel they have done something wrong.

graphic of man hand calculating Payroll Audit on tab

A payroll audit is just what it is – an audit of your company’s payroll to make sure that your company has paid the correct premium. I think the word “correct” should be changed to “more.” Unless there is a reduction in payroll, almost all audits we have seen either leave the premium “as is” or increase the premium owed.

There are a few things your company can do to make the audit process easier:

  • Have concise and complete records available. The auditor may ask for “everything.” Request a list of what is needed for the auditor. Provide no more or no less than the requested amount of records. Spreadsheets are an invaluable aid.
  • An audit is a contentious situation. Try to be as congenial as possible.
  • Do not be intimidated. This seems to be a pattern of when we are called in at the end of a worker’s comp audit. We have seen the auditors try to intimidate the employers more now than in the past.
  • While the audit has to fit into the auditor’s schedule, the audit also has to fit into your company’s schedule. As indicated in the last post, do not refuse the insurance company’s auditor access to the records. As with any type of audit (tax, insurance, etc), the refusal may send a red flag that there is something amiss.

    Graphic Chalkboard Company Payroll Audit Notice Microphone
  • Ask the auditor at the end of the audit to provide all workpapers that had to do with the audit. You have a right to have a copy of them, as they are the basis of your audit.
  • Make sure that the auditor knows who is a sub-contractor, temp, volunteer, or any other type of worker besides the normal positions.

The first time that someone has to go through a worker’s comp payroll audit can be a very tense situation. Good luck with the audit. If you feel uncomfortable, it may be good to call in an expert.


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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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