Why SeaChange: A Compliance Strategy That Makes Sense

Unclaimed property (UP) is an unusual area of the law. It is not a tax, but an accounting matter. However, to a company targeted for a single- or multi-state audit, unclaimed property definitely feels like a tax. Since the look-back period can be 20 years or more, an audit can have a significant impact on the P&L. As Francis Bacon once said, “The goal of the taxing authority is to so pluck the goose as to obtain the least amount of hissing.” When it comes to unclaimed property, most companies pluck their own goose:

They expose themselves to risk by not developing adequate compliance strategies.

They allow themselves to go through an audit without taking steps to mitigate their liability.

They try to initiate and maintain compliance by spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on outside consultants.

SeaChange offers a new value proposition. SeaChange provides unclaimed property compliance services in a project management oversight role. SeaChange works with your company to establish compliance, then provides your personnel with the training and expertise needed to move forward independently.

Cost-Effective Compliance
Although unclaimed property law is complex, most companies do not need large teams of consultants returning year after year to manage the details. The right processes and some focused knowledge can ensure ongoing compliance.

SeaChange starts with a diagnostic analysis of your company’s operations to identify sources of unclaimed property within your organization and understand your compliance risk. SeaChange then works with your team to develop the in-house competencies to maintain UP compliance. Steps include:

Developing a compliance system that is tailored to your company.

Training staff members throughout your organization on policies and procedures for handling unclaimed property at the transactional level.

Mentoring key financial managers on UP compliance and enabling them to manage the compliance system.

Helping key managers understand UP statutes, state administrative procedures and current local lore and showing them how to monitor and adjust to new developments.

Outsourcing the UP reporting function can be an effective part of compliance strategy. For companies that are interested in outsourcing reporting, SeaChange will help identify reputable outsource partners, evaluate candidates and establish outsource procedures.

SeaChange’s goal is to help your company manage unclaimed property cost-effectively and smartly. SeaChange’s expertise coupled with your personnel talent can help ensure:

You do not under-report unclaimed property and subject your company to significant interest and penalty assessments.

You do not over-report unclaimed property—remitting items that are not due and owing to the state(s).

Your record retention and system documentation procedures are sufficient to withstand an intrusive, multi-state audit.

Strategic Mitigation and Defense
Companies that are not in compliance with unclaimed property laws and regulations are at risk for potentially sizable settlements. If an analysis discovers unreported UP amounts, SeaChange will work with you to resolve your liability.

SeaChange has significant expertise with resolving outstanding UP liabilities through effective mitigation tactics and strategic audit defense:

Voluntary disclosure can reduce the state’s look-back period by 10 years or more and can ensure a more cooperative approach to resolving liabilities. SeaChange can help companies use voluntary disclosure to reduce their UP liability and protect themselves from future action.

Even if a company has been selected for a UP audit, the company can take steps to reduce the ultimate impact of the action. SeaChange can analyze the auditors’ methodology and provide valuable guidance on allocating defense resources and implementing defense strategies.

Full Range of Services
SeaChange works with companies at every point in the compliance stream—from audit defense and mitigation, to compliance program development and training, to refund of overpayments. Learn more about the full range of services available from SeaChange.

Interested in finding out more? Contact SeaChange today.

SeaChange Thinking

Establish and maintain unclaimed property compliance without ongoing consulting costs. SeaChange provides insight, training and support that enables your company to manage its UP risk in a cost-effective way. It’s SeaChange thinking.

SeaChange in terms of how unclaimed property is identified, resolved and mitigated.

SeaChange in terms of developing your ability to move forward without consultants.

SeaChange in terms of containment of compliance costs.

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