“Top Risk Factors – Accounting, Insurance and Legal” in the commercial and government arena.
The commercial sector panel of experts included Suzanne Rotbert, Miles & Stockbridge, P.C., Jeremy Welsh, The Insurance Exchange, JoAnn Platt and Kate Fisher, E. Cohen and Company, CPAs
Suzanne presented the top four areas of vulnerability in legal matters: 1) Lack of Knowledge of Employment Laws; 2) Failure to Review Contracts, 3) Lack of Knowledge of Multi-Jurisdictional Compliance regulations, and 4) Failure to protect IP.
Jeremy noted that the impact of catastrophic events (hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.) has directly impacted insurance rate increases and the need for coverage. He presented three areas of prominence in insurance liabilities: 1) Cyber; 2) Employment Practice and 3) Business Interrupter Insurance. Of the three, cyber policies currently have no standardization of coverage or rates.
JoAnn and Kate offered the importance of workplace guidelines. Workers must be classified correctly as employees or independent contractors. They provided caution about IRS scams: the IRS never communicates via email, fax, text or social media. Employment policies/handbook, strong internal controls and the right team (i.e. bookkeeper, payroll provider, accountant and attorney) are critical to run and grow a successful business.
The government sector panel of experts included Nichole Atallah, PilieroMazza, PLLC, Jeremy Welsh, The Insurance Exchange and Jeff Shapiro, CohnReznick LLC.
Nichole provided guidance on labor and employment law. This included the importance of having accurate timekeeping and accounting procedures, maintaining records and documenting processes. Employers must understand how to classify workers and prevailing wage employees as a government contractor and be sure review periodically. Know that employee growth may trigger new compliance requirements.
Jeremy cautioned that multi-year contracts must take into account rates for out years. Cyber certification is being mandated by government agencies for primes and sub-contractors. Employment practice liability must be in place. Coverage must be offered wherever your employees work.
Jeff advised that businesses should understand the differences between the Federal Government’s requirements for compliant business systems and the software packages that support them. These systems should be “right sized” for your company with an on ramp for growth. Investing time in documenting FAR-compliant financial and accounting policies and procedures that are practical to the business is critical. In particular, processes for billing, insurance and time-keeping are key, as are employee compensation plans.