Christa DeOliveira, CIA, CCEP
Hopefully, your fall unclaimed property reporting cycle went well and you were done before there could be any possible impacts from Hurricane Sandy. (If your reporting process has been disrupted by Hurricane Sandy, then please refer to the information about NAUPA’s Extension Matrix at http://unclaimed.org/reporting/super-storm-sandy-state-reporting-extension-matrix/)
Undoubtedly to get to this point, you went through many steps including: identifying unclaimed property liabilities, importing them into your unclaimed property system, aging them, sending out due diligence for properties that were due, generating reports and remittances, creating report packets, sending out reports, and filing retained copies. To accomplish all of this is most assuredly a lot of work and you and your team are to be commended.
You are probably thinking that you are finished, and you certainly could be. However, you could take your unclaimed property reporting processes to the next level by investing some time in assessing how the process went this cycle and how it can be improved for the future.
Internal assessment can take different forms. For example, a structured approach such as a questionnaire could be developed and distributed to the different parties involved. Your team could have a debriefing/brainstorming meeting, discussing what went well and what could be improved. Regardless, of which direction you choose to go, it is recommended to give the opportunity to the other groups in your organization that you need to interact with in the process as it pertains to them.
Conducting communication efforts, information gathering, and evaluating process improvements in a timely manner will allow for identifying process improvements while things are fresh in peoples’ minds. This information can be used to develop better processes, policies, procedures, etc. for the next time reporting cycle and help your team take its performance to the next level.