05/28/16 By Jennifer Brown

Prepare for an HR Audit with These 3 Easy StepsConducting a proactive internal HR audit of your HR files, documents, and processes is a smart idea to help button up your HR function. But where do you start? The word “audit” strikes fear into some; however, a proactive audit is the best way to be prepared for a formal one down the road. Below are some key places to start:

The Employee Handbook

Your Employee Handbook is a great place to start when conducting an internal HR audit. A thorough review of your existing policies helps ensure you are up-to-date on any new legal changes.

• Employment laws are constantly changing – what the rule was a few years ago, may not be so today.
• If you have offices in multiple states, you need to ensure you are adhering to each state’s employment laws.
• A refreshed handbook can also serve as your “go to” manual throughout the audit.

Employee Personnel Files

Are your employee personnel files complete? Reviewing the contents of each employee’s file to ensure documents are present and signed/dated accordingly is a first step.

• Employee personnel files should include documents such as the employment application, resume, job description, offer letter, performance evaluations, employee handbook acknowledgement, direct deposit information, federal and state tax forms, background check release form, emergency contacts, non-compete, NDA, and other policy statements specific to your organization.
• Ensure medical records and I-9 forms are kept separate from the employee’s personnel file to keep this information private.

I-9 Forms

A common place for employers to receive a formal audit notice (and most likely a penalty if not compliant) is the I-9 Form. Completing the I-9 form is not a science, but there are certain rules to follow when filling it out, verifying identification documents, and correcting mistakes.

• Filling out the form completely, knowing when your employee’s work authorization documents expire, and keeping I-9 forms separated from your employee personnel files are all steps that could save you a penalty down the road.
• Download the Employer Handbook for all things I-9 to get you started.

Conducting an internal HR file audit now can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration down the road. Be proactive and take this step to get yourself organized. Need help getting started? Email us now! We assist our clients through the internal HR audit process to ensure compliance standards are met and they have solid processes in place going forward.


photo credit Stuart Miles via Free Digital Photos