So much has changed in the year 2020 that even yearly business processes, like Open Enrollment, have to adapt to meet our team’s needs. With employees working remotely one of the biggest, and often overlooked, changes that companies need to consider is updating (or sometimes creating) their internal communication strategy to fit their workforce. Open Enrollment highlights a challenge that many companies are faced with today, how do you effectively communicate with an entire team who no longer reports to one central location? The short answer to this question is: proactively.

Watch the recording of our webinar covering this topic in more detail:

Click here to download the slides used during this presentation
Click here to read our blog – UKG Pro Open Enrollment: Simplified.

Communicating During Open Enrollment:

Keeping your team well informed on what their options are for Open Enrollment and when your sessions are open is crucial, and although this year it may need to look a little different it does not have to be any less effective.

Start your process by identifying your team and making sure you are all prepared for a smooth UKG Pro Open Enrollment. There are certain aspects of Open Enrollment configuration that are vital and should not be overlooked, see our blogs on Open Enrollment: Simplified and Best Practices for Effectively Managing Open Enrollment for more information around UKG Pro Core Open Enrollment.

Once your team decides on when you will hold your open enrollment session(s) it is time to schedule a presentation to communicate with your broader audience. This presentation is your opportunity to communicate everything open enrollment with your employees, so make sure that your open enrollment team recognizes how important it is. Start by identifying who will be the presenter, and then make sure the whole team supports them in their efforts to deliver a concise and relevant presentation that covers the appropriate content.

When scheduling when your team will deliver the presentation to your whole team, we recommend scheduling multiple presentations at varying times and on different days. Doing this will consider anyone who may be on vacation time or on a different shift. Try to schedule these presentations far in advance and get them on people’s calendars early, but remember, once you put something on a corporate calendar try as hard as you can not to move it. Rescheduling meetings can give the impression that your team is not prepared, even if that’s not the case.

Although the presentation you are preparing is extremely important, there are more supporting documents you should consider preparing to ensure your employees have everything they need to successfully complete their open enrollment sessions. These documents include:

  1. An invitation: A formal invitation letting your team know when the information sessions will be held for open enrollment. The invitations should be clear and include important information such as open enrollment dates as well as who to contact should they have any questions.
  2. Reminders: Remind your team of when the information sessions will take place, make sure they know that they can choose which one to attend and remind them of the type of information you will be going over. Use your existing communication tools to remind your team about this often, use #slack, e-mail, intranet pages and company huddles or meetings to remind your team to make sure every employee knows what to expect.
  3. A Presentation: The actual slides that your presenter will use are important, avoid the temptation of filling each slide with information, that will detract from the actual presentation. Instead, use the slides to communicate important points. Your presentation should begin and end with who your team can contact if they run in to any issues or have any questions about their sessions.
  4. “Benefits at a Glance” Document: This document should review your employee’s benefits and their different options in a concise way. At Mosaic, this document is also used during orientation, it’s a great way for employees to see all the benefits provided by your company in one central location. We also recommend modeling costs of common medical needs across your plans for an example; if you can show your employees what they would pay if they have a baby or break a leg, they will be able to make the best decisions for them and their families.
  5. An FAQ Document: An Frequently Asked Questions document is a great way to stay proactive. Your Open Enrollment team has probably been involved in this process before, ask them to think back to previous years, what questions do they have to answer every year? What information are employees always looking for? Use that data and put together a document to answer their questions before they even ask them!
  6. Follow-up: It is still important to follow-up with your team after your presentations. Make sure your follow-up includes a recording of your presentation as well as the slides you used during your presentation. Your follow-up should be before your open enrollment sessions close, so that your employees have time to review their options and make their elections.
  7. Office Hours: Finally, you should consider holding open office hours, communicate with your team when you are available to answer their questions and keep a line open for them to contact you during that time. This will make sure your team feels supported during this process and although they cannot come by your office to ask questions, they will still have a way to communicate with you in case they need any assistance.

With these assets prepared you will not only be able to keep your open enrollment project team on the same page but also ensure your entire team is prepared to complete their elections and have a smooth open enrollment experience.

Note: UKG Pro was formerly Ultipro.

A Strategic Focus on Payroll

Let’s be honest, the expectation of payroll is that it can be nothing but perfect; every.single.time. Every person expects payroll to be on time and accurate. Often, the perception of the impact of payroll stops there, and we believe that is a missed opportunity.

Payroll can influence and impact a company at every level. For a payee something as simple as speed of pay can impact their entire experience within a company and their families. Implementing methods to give employees more control over that speed, like pay on demand, can have a huge impact on their personal lives. On the other hand, a CEO should consider the cost of getting payroll out the door, as well as how it helps retain and recruit top talent. Leveraging technology, optimization and new strategies can help elevate payroll professionals to the point where they become agents of change, dedicated to their team’s experience and completely aligned with their organization’s strategy and health.

Watch the video recording of our webinar on this topic below:

Click here to download the slides used during our presentation

As simple as paying people on time and accurately sounds, payroll is actually quite complex. People depend on their pay and one negative experience with an employee’s paycheck is difficult to recover from. An error can carry a perception that the organization is disorganized and doesn’t care.

With all this in mind, it is surprising that many organizations still perceive payroll as a back-office or “overhead team” who needs to simply get people paid on time and accurately.

Payroll in and of itself is more than just hours times rate of pay or a per pay period amount. Employers are tax collectors for the state, federal and local governments. Every time one of these agencies (and there are hundreds) makes a change there is a downstream impact on an organization’s team. Many employees don’t even realize that moving, even one street over, can have an effect on their paychecks. Let’s factor in benefits and deductions to pay such as garnishments, philanthropic contributions and commuting expenses! Is it before tax after tax and where do all these deduction monies go?  Who is sending them and when?  Payroll has so many moving pieces that extend well beyond gross to net calculations.

These activities are all heavily scrutinized and require a body of talent focused on accuracy, compliance, risk and most importantly delivering a perfect employee experience by simply… processing pay PERFECTLY EVERY TIME.

Attention and significant importance must be put on payroll within every organization. Payroll is not a set it and forget it function, it must evolve just as any other business activity to ensure your organization remains risk adverse and supports the organization’s overall business strategies. While processing payroll perfectly and timely is key; having a payroll strategy is a differentiator, ensuring you are optimizing your payroll procedure and systems, retaining your talent and influencing organizational success.

Click here to view our payroll optimization case study. Where Mosaic experts helped our client align their payroll processes to the company’s overarching strategy.

How can I start implementing a payroll strategy?

Start by asking simple questions. Look for ways to reduce complexity and increase efficiency. Pay groups and pay frequencies are often areas that once they are established are overlooked; and these can have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line and drivers to greater efficiency. As you think about things like pay groups and pay frequencies consider other things that are unique to your organization. Are there any old processes that need to be revisited?

You can also consider and leverage technology and services that are available to optimize your payroll. In UKG Pro, for example, you could consider:

  • Activating employee self-service and workflows: They are a great way to improve accuracy, efficiency and streamline your environment. Some examples include enabling, adding or changing direct deposits or tax changes.
  • Manager self-service: Is a great way to speed up job changes and pay changes, reducing the need for calculating retroactive payments.
  • Job aids: Depending on what automation you already have established, now might be a good time to create job aids to help new employees that come on board get familiar with your environment.
  • UKG Pro Mobile: Can be another way of giving employees immediate access to their information right from their smartphone virtually anywhere!
  • Automation: Are your payroll deductions being automatically sent to the appropriate vendors or agencies? For example: Retirement plans and garnishments. With Automation, not only do you reduce the risk of timely deposits, you also remove any human omissions, errors and manual effort.
  • GL file optimization: Is your GL File automated? Does it require a lot of manual manipulation? We’ve published a full blog on GL File Optimization that could help you get started.
  • Consider instant pay: Pay on demand, or instant pay, is when an employee can access part of their earned salary on demand. This emerging service, which in many cases has no cost to the organization, is helping companies improve their employee experience. Contact us to learn more.
  • Custom BI Reporting: Mosaic offers custom reports including the Mosaic Payroll Dashboard. This dashboard it allows the strategic payroll team to serve up information to management and executive teams that showcase things like: exceptions to pay, a dynamic earnings trend chart, pay period activity with detailed drill down capabilities, PTO balances, pre-check statistics and payroll process progress monitoring, just to name a few. This type of information is often discussed at the leadership level, but not often served up proactively by payroll. This information can really make a difference and allows for more informed decision making.

Feel free to contact us today with any questions about our services.

Note: UKG Pro was formerly Ultipro.

It’s that time of year again – time to prep for year end. Year End can be a hectic time for you and your team but UKG Pro has the tools you need to stay on track and make this the smoothest year end yet. In the past, we’ve covered The Many Moving Parts of a Successful Year End and we’ve also presented you with tips on how to Simplify Your Year End. This year, we are going to dive in to the 5 Keys to Unlocking Year End.

Watch the recording of our webinar on this topic here:

Click here to download the slides used during the webinar

Key One – Make sure your system is set up for 2019.

It may seem counterintuitive but first, look back, not forward. Make sure your UKG Pro system is set up for the current year. Year End is your last chance to make sure that everything is set up properly.  First, review every location that had payroll in 2019 for an active tax ID – federal, state, local, and unemployment.

Next, ensure all employees have a valid Social Security numberby running a BI query with employee name, number, and Social Security number. Things to monitor:

  1. Social Security numbers do NOT start with a “9”.Taxpayer IDs can start with “9”, but they are not valid SSN numbers for employment.
  2. Social Security numbers will not have sequential zeroes in one section.Of the three sections in a social security number: three digits / two digits / four digits there are no cards where one of those sections is all zeroes.

The next step is to run a report out of BI to check W4s for the year. Check for:

  • Blocked: In UKG Pro, blocked means that an employee marked “Exempt” on the W4 form, and no income tax is being withheld, but their wages are still being reported to the IRS. In this case, the employee will need to submit a new W4 form by February 15, 2020 in order to keep this exemption.
  • Exempt: an employee marked as exempt in this report is earning wages not being reported to the IRS, and taxes are not being withheld. The only employees eligible for this are employees on certain types of work visas.
  • Finally, check employees with Lock In Letters. This is a letter from the IRS that requires you to set the employee’s withholding in a specific way. Review these and ensure they are still in effect.

The last thing to check in this key is is primary location assignment. This is especially important if you implemented UKG Pro this year, or you had an acquisition and brought in openingbBalances for the year. This is something that can be missed and, if you didn’t process any payroll for the employee in 2019, it would not be caught. Until you tried to print W2s, that is.

Key Two – Plan for All the Printing

If you are planning on printing your forms in-house, you must order supplies in advance. These forms are dated, so be sure to order enough forms to print one for every employee who did not opt out of a printed form (including terminations), plus extra for overflow pages, paper jams, and running out of toner (we recommend around +10%).

Key Three – Validate Everything

Your tax reconciliations should be performed after every payroll. For Year End, you will need to rerun them for each quarter and for the quarter to date. Note  any corrections that need to be made (i.e. moving wages from one state to another). The most important thing to look for are FICA taxes that are incorrect and do not offset on the next check.

Next, you must validate your year end tables and run the W2 summary. Compare the W2 summary to the Wage Summary report – these numbers should match, as they pull from the same tables, so if they don’t, there is a problem.

Use the Payroll Balancing Worksheet to doublecheck your numbers. You can find this in the customer support portal of your UKG Pro Instance.

Key Four – Prepare for 2020.

At the opening of your first payroll of 2020, UKG Pro will update some settings automatically — tax rates, annual limits for things like 401(k) and FSA contributions — But there are still a few things to review to ensure the first payroll of 2020 runs smoothly.

First, update the 2020company holidays table. Include any bank holidays that will impact your payroll calendar. Why?  You cannot run payroll on a bank holiday, so putting those in the system will allow UKG Pro to automatically adjust your payroll calendar for 2020 by moving any paydays on holidays to the day before or after.

Next, extend your pay calendar for 2020. This needs to be done before you can open that first 2020 payroll.

At this point, we recommend publishing an internal payroll calendar. Click here to download an example calendar. This is a 2020 calendar with important payroll dates on it, for example, the last day to make changes, the day the time is extracted from the timekeeping system, and the day payroll is posted.

Year End is a good time to clean up your deduction and earning codes. If you have codes you aren’t using, mark them inactive and if you have codes that you know aren’t set up right, or are missing, take this time to fix them or add them to make 2020 as smooth as possible.

Key Five – Relax – you’ve got this.

Lastly, take a deep breath and know that you can do this! Year End can seem daunting, but you have plenty of time. If you get stuck or confused, contact Mosaic today! We are happy to help you make Year End a non-event.

Note: UKG Pro was formerly Ultipro.

UltiPro offers you a variety of tools to help make open enrollment easier for your HR and payroll team. Whether you have an employee population of 30 or 30,000, the basic tenets of open enrollment are the same: develop a good attack plan and start early! Essential steps of your strategic plan for Open Enrollment include:

  • Having the right people to have on your team (and when to involve them)
  • Advance planning and scheduling
  • Tools from Ultimate and how to use them
  • A comprehensive OE checklist to guide the team’s efforts
  • Proper configuration; data management; and reporting

Watch our webinar on this topic here: 

To download the slides used during the webinar on this topic, click here

The Right People at the Right Time

Your Open Enrollment team should include the following roles:

  • System administrator – to configure the business rules and the OE session(s)
  • Benefits administrator – who will confirm benefits start and stop dates
  • Payroll administrator – who will confirm pay period dates.

These roles do not need to be assigned to three separate people, as long as these critical functions are represented on your OE planning team. Also important are testers, to provide a dry run on your OE sessions from the end users’ point of view and identify potential confusion or errors so you can make necessary tweaks in the process.

Advance Planning is Critical

The key to a smooth OE process is to start early! If your OE process is during Q4, as many are, you should be starting the planning process in late Q2 or early Q3, to finalize as many details about the process as possible, and begin advance communication to other departments who will serve as your partners in the process. Let them know what their part is and what you will need from them, and when.

Make the Most of What Ultimate Offers You

Ultimate’s toolkit provides guided tours, checklists and reports that walk you through all critical and post-open enrollment activities, and are vital for a successful open enrollment. Your project team should review the toolkit together. The toolkit covers planning; analysis and configuration; configuration and testing; final preparation; go-live; monitoring; and post-open enrollment.

Reports, Configuration and Data Management

Ultimate offers several standard reports in the web and through business intelligence (BI) that can help your HR team before, during and after Open Enrollment. Standard reports include:

  • Enrollment status
  • Dependents beyond qualifying age
  • Employees with benefit group changes
  • COBRA dropped dependents
  • Summary of elections
  • Employees with pending evidence of insurability

Be sure to review all your open enrollment custom reports from the prior year to make sure all data is complete, both for your internal team and your OE vendor(s). It’s very important to run reports before OE to be proactive with customer reports and vendor file feeds. Running reports for data validation (missing or invalid employee benefit data) can catch date discrepancies that can cause errors in the OE session for employees.

Before configuring your OE session, be sure to review and update all business rules that affect OE: deduction/benefit groups and types; dedication/benefit plans; benefit options, and relationships (spouse or child(ren)).

A critical piece of OE is the pending effective date. Use the Pending Effective Date Estimator to determine rates and when employees will be able to view their elections. Once the pending effective date is configured in your OE session, you may not make changes without deleting the contents of the session – which means you’ll need to reconfigure the entire session.

Decide if you will administer active open enrollment, which requires employees to elect/re-elect (or turn down) coverage, or passive open enrollment, which automatically re-enrolls employees, unless they make changes in their coverage. Mosaic recommends an active OE which requires employees to re-elect benefits, but passive OE is right for some companies, based on the size and type of employee population (with the exception of FSAs, which require employees to re-enroll every year).

New Features

Ultimate now provides the option to copy OE sessions from one year to the next, to save manual rekeying of information and the need to reconfigure information if your OE session has not changed significantly from year to year, and reduce potential data errors during configuration. Other new features include deduction/benefit groups page enhancements, which allows administrators to apply mass updates and change start and stop dates for OE sessions, and the option to delete OE sessions in an incomplete status – such as incorrectly configured or unnecessary sessions.

Want to learn more about how to plan and execute a stress-free, successful OE session?

Contact us today

Employee-related expenses (salaries, benefits, taxes, etc.) comprise up to 70% of a company’s total operating expenses – which makes leveraging HR technology to make informed business decisions imperative. HR, Finance, and Operations leaders’ ability to use data effectively to move the business forward depends on having a reliable central source for company data, and the ability to seamlessly update and ensure data integrity, in concert, across many different technology platforms.

For many companies, UKG Pro serves as the “system of record” for most employee and organizational data, making it the best and most reliable source to feed systems, vendors, and processes. Integrations help maintain data integrity in internal and external sources, using UKG Pro as the source of truth, for improved accuracy, security, efficiency, compliance, and decision-making.

Watch the recording of our webinar on this topic:

Click here to download the slides used during this webinar.

Why Use Integrations?

Integrations help systems to interact, working with consistent, accurate data among the multiple systems to make informed decisions. Integrations have many benefits, such as enhancing the user experience, improving processes by consolidating data to make it more consumable/actionable, and limiting manual work for your payroll, HR, IT and accounting staff. UKG Pro integrations help free your team of mundane and repeatable tasks to focus on more global and meaningful aspects of your business: your people, your strategy, and the bottom line.

Integrations help data flow from UKG Pro to other systems and to vendors who use employee data to support your company, such as:

  • New hire set-up from your recruiting and applicant tracking system to UKG Pro
  • Hardware procurement and set-up and IT access for new hires
  • Keeping time clock and scheduling system up to date
  • Sending 401(k) demographics and contribution information to a vendor
  • Revoking facility access of an employee upon termination

Which Integration(s) Are Right For Me?

There are many types of integrations to import data into UKG Pro from an external source or to push data out of UKG Pro. Determining the type of integration to deploy will depend on many factors, including:

  • Data fields to be sent/received to/from other system(s)
  • Frequency of the data exchange
  • Resources available (IT resources, staff availability, staff experience)
  • Priority, sensitivity, and security of data being exchanged
  • Restrictions/Capabilities of the UKG Pro integration methods
  • Capabilities and data transfer methods available with external system(s)

In addition to these factors, we recommend a quick review of your business processes to help identify opportunities for an integration.

Integrations can also address security or compliance vulnerabilities. Automatically generating and sending general ledger files to the GL system eliminates the opportunity for manual manipulation the GL files. (manual manipulation of GL files has been used to cover up fraudulent payroll activities.)

An Overview of Various UKG Pro Integrations

UKG provides many methods and tools for integrating UKG Pro with other systems and platforms. Most common integrations fall in the following categories:

  • Web Services/Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) – UKG Pro’s Web Services and APIs are commonly used for integrating with recruiting/applicant tracking systems, Active Directory, and global third party pay, or directly to systems with built-in API functionality. An API runs on an application server – which can be hosted and maintained by your internal IT department, or you may choose cloud-hosted API platforms (such as Cloud Connectors, Mulesoft, or Informatica). You can find documentation on UKG Pro APIs at
  • SQL Framework Interfaces – These are custom exports or imports that are built upon UKG’s defined development framework. While these types of interfaces are customized to your (or your vendor’s) specific requirements, they are programmed in a standard method which ensures compatibility with future UKG Pro upgrades. SQL interfaces typically generate text files to send to the system or vendor, and they can be automated to run periodically or run based on triggers (such as payroll close). Common SQL interfaces are 401K Contributions, medical files, HSA/FSA contributions, General Ledger files, and NACHA files.
  • Ultimate Carrier Network (UCN) Interfaces – A UCN interface is an export built and maintained by UKG for a select few large benefits vendors. If the benefit vendor is available as UCN, these interfaces are very cost-effective.
  • Web Import Tool – The web import tool provides a platform for importing data into UKG Pro from third-party systems or files that you develop and controlling the flow of data into UKG Pro Core Web, either manually or automatically.
  • Backoffice Imports/Exports – Backoffice imports and exports are built as templates that allow mapping and logic to create a repeatable process for importing or exporting data into or out of UKG Pro. Common use cases include:  time clock imports, GL exports, and bank NACHA files.

Ultimately, integrations help UKG Pro stay in sync with other applications, vendors, processes and services to improve efficiency, reduce vulnerabilities for fraud and abuse, and help company leaders make more strategic, informed decisions.

Note: UKG was formerly Ultimate Software. UKG Pro was formerly UltiPro.

What is Year End?

Well, it means different things to different people and parts of your organization.

If you’re in Human Resources, Year End means getting ready for a new benefit year with Open Enrollment, reviewing policies to make sure they are in compliance with new laws, and fielding last- minute questions from employees about their existing or new benefits.

In payroll, Year End is the culmination of everything done during the year, as well as a number of processes that you execute only once a year. Year End is your last chance to find and fix issues from the current year before they become complicated. These issues might include: an employee moved without telling anyone; people were overpaid or underpaid; someone just noticed duplicate employee records.

In short, Year End can be hectic, but it’s easier to get all the details right, the first time, instead of having to go back and make adjustments later. UKG Pro gives you tools and resources to manage the process, and, if you are using UKG Pro, Mosaic is here to help! Check out Simplifying Your Year End for more tips and tricks.

UKG and Mosaic Consulting Group experts agree: for a successful Year End, the key is to begin the process as early as possible. Here are some other resources and tools that will help make the process easier for you. At the bottom of this article you will find a recording of a Mosaic Webinar on this topic.

Leverage UKG Pro for a Smooth Year End:

As an UKG-only consulting firm, Mosaic has the knowledge you need to be sure you are using this powerful tool to its fullest capacity during the busy Year End season. It is important to understand the what’s involved in preparing for Year End, know the resources available to you, identify the people to have on your team, make a checklist to keep track of all the moving parts, and get familiar with the new features of UKG Pro that will make the process easier for you! Keep reading for more information on what UKG Pro offers to ensure you have an easy transition in to the new year.

UKG Pro Year End Gateway:

If you are a Mid Market client, and UKG Pro files your payroll taxes for you, you can turn on the Year End Gateway in UKG Pro. This can be found under Administration > Year End, and you can provide access to this tool to everyone on your team.

If you don’t see “Year End Gateway” and you think you should, have your Security Administrator review your access level. If it’s enabled and you still can’t see it; you aren’t eligible. If that’s the case,skip to the UKG Pro Checklist section of this article.

The Year End Gateway is an online checklist for the Year End process as they relate to UKG Pro. Pay close attention to the Due Dates – these will change color if you don’t mark something as completed on time. The Gateway walks you step-by-step through the process, and it not only tells you which reports you need to run or the business rules you should look at; it will also take you directly to the report when you click on the links. As an added bonus, as you complete each task, it is marked “complete,” and people working on different parts of the process can see what has been done and what hasn’t. It is a great tool to keep you – and all members of your Year End team! — organized and informed.

UKG Pro Checklist:

UKG also provides a handy-dandy Year End Checklist. Typically, clients who use UKG Pro but who file their own taxes will have access to the checklist instead of the Gateway. To find the checklist, search for “Year End Checklist” on the Customer Success Portal. While not as interactive as the Year End Gateway, this list does provide the tasks that must be done and the sequence they should be completed in. It also gives you the names of the reports you need to run, and the pathways for accessing tasks within UKG Pro.

If you do not use UKG Pro for your tax filing, you will need to append any Year End tasks from your tax filer to this checklist.

New UKG Pro Features – Right on Time for Year End:

One of the biggest changes that happened to UKG Pro this year was the added ability to do reversals and adjustments on the web. This is a game changer for UKG Pro and Mosaic clients! Previously, if you needed to process a reversal and/or adjustment in order to correct a tax issue, you needed to go through the Back Office or, if you don’t have Back Office, open a ticket. Now you can process these changes on the web.

Another exciting change is the addition of an import tool on the web. With the new web import, you can give more people access to import files. If you’re not familiar with creating imports for UKG Pro, these can be complicated, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help. Here are some links that may help:

UKG Pro Import Tool Instructions:

Is Anything Else New in UKG Pro?

Yes! UKG Pro dropped a batch of new sample reports in BI last month, and these reports will save our clients a great deal of time during year end. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find:

  • New Tax Reports: Combines a few ‘Standard Reports’ and highlights errors. This means you can find problems quickly and address them effectively.
  • Earnings and Deductions Reports: Combine two or more ‘Standard Reports’ to make everything work better.
  • W-2 Box DD Report: This report will filter through your data and show you only those employees and deductions you need to pay attention to.
  • PTO Reports: These focus on the key dates in each plan, so you can avoid problems with accruals and rollovers at year end.

Want to know more about simplifying year end? Check out Mosaic’s tips and tricks to simplify year end.

Whether you’re executing Year End for the first time or looking for ways to make the process more efficient, we can help. Our team has developed best practices from working with a broad range of clients and can help make Year End seamless. Take advantage of the resources, tools and tactical support your Mosaic team can offer.

Contact Mosaic today for help with any and all UKG Pro related projects or questions.

Watch the Mosaic Webinar on The Many Moving Parts of a Successful Year End

It’s been said that the hardest sales job is recruiting – because your product can change its mind. It’s true and it’s a good reminder that recruiting is selling. If you want to recruit the top performers, here are four important things to get right:

  1. Marketing.

The key to great marketing is to know your audience and speak to what matters to them. Audience is just as important in recruiting. Job descriptions that first answer “why work here?” are much more appealing than those that start with a long list of job requirements. You need to capture your audience, in the same way that the best marketing messages focus on how you or your product can help your prospect. The best job descriptions start by answering whats in it for me?

  1. The Sales Pitch.

When you describe your company to a candidate, is your message consistent with the company’s marketing materials? What is your market differentiator? Are you delivering the same message to candidates that the sales team is delivering to prospective customers? A solid understanding of the company’s business model and where it is going is essential for communicating how your opportunity will boost careers. Make sure recruiting is aligned with the sales team in terms of conveying a consistent message about the company.

  1. Get on the phone!

70% of the workforce is comprised of people who aren’t looking for jobs, yet 87% of both active and passive job seekers are open to new opportunities. Like customers, the majority of candidates do not magically appear. This means that you need to find them and proactively engage with them. Despite the heavy usage of technology and social media today: the most effective way to recruit passive candidates is to pick up the phone.

  1. Get the right technology.

The correct technology is crucial in finding and engaging top talent, and once you find the right one for you, it will simplify your process and improve both your team and candidates’ experiences. The right technology allows you to engage and navigate your candidate pool, it also removes barriers for applicants, making it easy for the right candidates to apply to the right jobs, while allowing your team the tools they need to manage their relationships with applicants. In fact, 77% of people think less of companies that don’t respond to job applicants, your recruiting processes are a big part of your brand! How do you track and manage your candidate pipeline? Timely responses to candidates and frequent updates to applicant status is critical in building a positive employer brand.

With all of this in mind we recommend UKG Pro Recruiting. As part of the UKG Pro Talent Acquisition Module, UKG Pro Recruiting offers a full breadth of services that will allow you to manage your candidate experience by personalizing your engagement with them. Candidates will be able to leverage familiar tools and use their mobile devices to search and apply for your open positions. Your team will be able to proactively engage with candidates and plan for future talent needs as well as assess not only skills and experience but also behaviors, motivations and career aspirations to ensure only the best people, with the best fit, join your team.

As a UKG-only consulting group, Mosaic can help you implement or optimize your UKG Pro Talent Acquisition Module as well as the whole UKG Pro suite. Our team of experts can make sure you are getting the most out of your system.

Note: UKG was formerly Ultimate Software. UKG Pro was formerly UltiPro.

Open Enrollment (OE) is a complex journey – one of the most labor-intensive processes for HR teams and one of the most important times of year for your employees. Managing the myriad details of enrolling employees, updating data, and keeping the process smooth and seamless for participants is critical, not only for regulatory compliance but also for employee engagement.

A successful OE session starts with the right technology platform for your business, first and foremost. We recommend UKG Pro because it is a simple and streamlined tool that is easy to use. That being said, technology isn’t the only thing you need. Other key factors in a smooth and seamless open enrollment include a thorough analysis of your OE process, planning ahead, good communication, and bringing on help – like your team at Mosaic Consulting Group — if necessary. Go to the bottom of this article to see the Mosaic Webinar on this topic.

Read on to learn 4 best practices we’ve collected over our years of experience with UKG Pro Open Enrollment.

Always Use Active Enrollment

When deciding between passive and active Open Enrollment: Mosaic recommends all Clients do an active Open Enrollment, every time. Active Open Enrollment is when all eligible employees must re-elect their benefits, even if there are no plan changes or they wish to make changes in their coverage, in order to keep them. On the other hand, passive open enrollment is when employees are automatically re-enrolled by default. In passive open enrollment if  if an employee does not make an election during Open Enrollment, they will be enrolled again, with same benefits they currently have.

There are a few reasons for our active open enrollment recommendation:

  • Active open enrollment allows for a much cleaner process and flow.
  • It also allows serves as a good reminder for all employees to review their current benefits and actively select keeping them.
  • It is a good reminder for all employees to confirm their current dependent and beneficiary information.
  • If any new vendor is included in Open Enrollment, the process MUST be active. This is because during a passive OE, your vendor only receives any changes — meaning that if someone wanted to keep the same selections but with a new vendor, those selections wouldn’t be transferred unless it’s done through active open enrollment


As mentioned earlier, OE is a complex process. Including the right people in the process is an important step to take very early in the planning stages. Make sure to have a conversation with your payroll team to define important dates. Since new benefits usually become effective at the beginning of the year, it is important to understand when the first payroll of the year will take place, not just when it is paid but when it will be processed, as well.

It is also important to keep your entire team informed and be on the same page when you define dates for OE and the dates when benefits and deductions become active. Remember, once open enrollment goes live, you can still change some dates EXCEPT the “pending effective date”. Pending effective date or dates (depending on how many sessions you have) is the date that all benefits become active. This is the cornerstone of the entire open enrollment setup and attempting to change the pending effective date, once open enrollment is live, will erase all other data and configuration.


Included within your session are specific messages that are related only to open enrollment. These messages can be edited and personalized. We recommended you do so to help employees as they proceed through OE. These messages can include forms and links to resources and tools such as vendor websites, so that team members can get more information if necessary. The best way to format these messages is to type them all in to a Word document, format the font and paragraphs there, and copy and paste them in to the messaging field in UKG Pro. The formatting will transfer seamlessly from the Word document and you will be ready to go.

As a benefits administrator, you will also be able to see a dashboard with the progress of your team’s enrollment. On that page, you will be able to message employees based on their status, which allows you to remind employees about due dates based on whether or not they have completed their selections.


Once open enrollment is configured, it’s time to test. The “Employee Elections” tab will show all employees who are eligible for that session. At this point you can review and make sure all employees listed have the correct qualifiers for that session. From there, you can click on the employee’s name and run the process as if you were an employee, and the session will display to you in the same way it would for an employee. NOTE: the very first page, “Verify Beneficiary and Dependent Information,” is not on test form. This is the only screen in this “test-mode” that is live, meaning any change you make on that page will go in to the employee’s permanent information. Every other page following that will not affect the employee’s information.

Thorough testing should include:

  • Decline buttons
  • Plan rates
  • Plan names
  • Plan messaging
  • FSA maximums
  • Age limits
  • Valid dependent relationships
  • Any Open Enrollment customs

Once you completed the testing, make sure to “re-set elections.” This will re-set all of your test elections so that employees can start their own process with a clean slate.

As you prepare for open enrollment, don’t forget about your expert team at Mosaic! We are happy to answer questions, trouble-shoot, or help your team with extra manpower, if needed, to make sure your next open enrollment is a success! Don’t forget to follow us on social media for updates and information.

Watch the Mosaic Webinar on Managing Open Enrollment:

And 9 other questions you didn’t know you had on the topic. 

Considering off-cycle open enrollment but not sure where to start? We have you covered! Check out our list of 10 common questions around off-cycle open enrollment and the benefits this transition may have for your team.

  1. Ok, first things first… What is off-cycle open enrollment?

The definition of off-cycle open enrollment (sometimes known as mid-year open enrollment) is simple: it is when a company decides, for various reasons, to move their benefits open enrollment from the typical fourth quarter to a different (usually less busy) time of year. Once a company decides to move its open enrollment process to an off-cycle schedule,  some of their employees’ benefits become effective off-cycle as well.

  1. Why would a company consider off-cycle enrollment?

For various reasons but mainly, convenience. Certain businesses (particularly B2Bs) have a very busy calendar year-end, the typical time for open enrollment (with an effective date of January 1). This “end-of-year crunch” sometimes leaves employees rushing through their benefits selection process. Companies that are looking for ways to alleviate the stress and workload at the end of the year, or want to ensure their employees prioritize their benefits enrollment would benefit from an off-cycle enrollment.

  1. Are there other benefits of an off-cycle open enrollment? 

Companies with busy year-ends benefit from an off-cycle open enrollment because it allows their team members to focus on their clients’ needs at the end of year. Year-end is stressful, both professionally and personally, and holiday leave time further shortens the time frame for reaching out to employees and completing necessary enrollment steps and paperwork. Off-cycle open enrollment will help relieve some of that year-end stress.

Smaller companies can also benefit from off-cycle open enrollment since fewer companies are “going to market” (searching for benefit packages) for medical plan carriers and other providers, this allows them to be more attentive. The market saturation during year-end can leave small companies in a time crunch to get any information they can into their team members’ hands. Going off-cycle allows for a better experience for the entire team.

  1. Once a company decides to move to an off-cycle open enrollment, will they continue to process open enrollment off-cycle, going forward?

Yes, companies that choose to do off-cycle open enrollment typically stay on the same off-cycle schedule for the foreseeable future.

  1. Is the first off-cycle open enrollment a good time to re-consider carriers?

Yes! A company’s first off-cycle open enrollment is a great time to revisit benefits options. As mentioned previously, moving off-cycle allows for all decisions to be made at a less busy time of year. This is true internally as well as on the vendor side. Medical providers and other carriers have more time to focus on your team and their needs; therefore, you have more time to compare plans and leverage that information to make the best choices for your company.

  1. When do benefits become effective if a company does off-cycle open enrollment?

Part of the luxury of off-cycle open enrollment is that companies have the ability to choose a benefits effective date that makes best sense with their own business cycle. Typically, companies choose the beginning of a financial quarter, just to keep things as simple as possible.

  1. Do all medical plan carriers allow off-cycle enrollment? 

No. It is important to know that not all carriers offer off-cycle enrollment, so you should work closely with your benefits broker or in-house benefits leadership to ensure you are working with a provider that offers this option.

  1. What happens if an employee, who has enrolled in the off-cycle enrollment benefits, decides to change their medical coverage to a plan elsewhere (e.g., their spouse’s on cycle plan)?

If an employee who enrolled in medical coverage during the off-cycle enrollment decides to change their coverage to an outside plan; the open enrollment session for that plan would count as a life event, and they would be able to do so. Note: If any money was applied towards a deductible (also known as deductible credit) this money will not transfer over to the new “on-cycle” plan.

  1. What happens to the money a team member has paid to their current plan toward their deductible and out-of-pocket maximum when the change to off-cycle open enrollment occurs?

With off-cycle open enrollment, deductibles and out-pocket maximums continue to run on the calendar year. Any money that has been paid into the plan before the open enrollment session will be carried forward and applied to the new plan. This is true even if a company decides to change coverage providers. If changing coverage providers, there is a delay from when the previous plan ends to allow for the claims process to occur before the previous vendor can communicate the funding to the new provider. The delay can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.

  1. How do FSAs and HSAs work on off-cycle open enrollment?

FSA changes can be made during an off-cycle open enrollment or at the beginning of the year. HSA changes can be made anytime during the year. So, if a team member elects a plan during the off-cycle open enrollment that includes an FSA, they can start contributing to the FSA, but they will only have the remainder of the calendar year to use those funds. The FSA’s “use it or lose it” policy still revolves around the calendar year, which means all expenses must be incurred by December 31 of the calendar year. (Remember that employees can file for reimbursement on calendar year expenses up until March 31 of the following calendar year (per IRS regulations)

Great! Is there anything else I need to know about off-cycle open enrollment? 

Open enrollment is one of the busiest times of year for HR teams. If moving it to a less busy time of year makes it easier for your entire team, it may be worth considering.

Contact Mosaic Consulting Group to find out more about specifics and how you can optimize UKG Pro for off-cycle and on-cycle open enrollment.

The end of the year is a busy time for most industries, not to mention in our personal lives. Make your Year End easier with the following tips from Mosaic’s very own Year End Subject Matter Expert Aimée Morgan!

Year End Tips and Tricks:

Start By Setting Up Your Rockstar Team
Regardless of the size of your company, a smooth Year End requires the support of several members of your team, as  well as other departments. Make sure your team members know and understand their responsibilities as well as any deadlines that might be approaching. Communicate now with team members in other departments, like Finance and HR, to ensure they are aware that Year End is just around the corner to let them start planning for their piece of the project.

Don’t forget to make extra sure everyone is aware of their role and that you have communicated ownership of each task and accounted for the time required, including: printing W2s, sending W2s, benefits reconciliation, accounting and taxable fringes, communication with employees, and tax setup and reconciliation.

Set Up and Extend Your Calendars
Once you’ve established your team, make sure to set up, extend, and update the following three calendars: Team Calendar, UKG Pro Payroll, and Timekeeping. All three calendars should include Bank Holidays and Company Holidays, as well as the upcoming year’s pay schedule. By establishing the pay schedule and bank holidays within UKG Pro, the system will recognize if a bank holiday falls on a payday and adjust accordingly. By setting up these calendars in your internal team calendar, you will be able to plan in advance if a holiday falls within a processing week and adjust your schedule to allow enough time for you and your team to prepare.

Set up a Supplemental Payroll
Set up a supplemental payroll dated the last banking day of the year (this year, it is December 29th). Even if that day is already a payroll day, set up an additional payroll on that day and use it for any last-minute adjustments or bonuses. Set up this supplemental payroll for all pay groups and prepare yourself for the unexpected. Reach out to your Accounting and HR departments now to get an idea of any taxable fringes that may also need to go in to that supplemental payroll.

W-2 Printing
The easiest thing to simplify this part of Year End is to contact us today! Enterprise customers can completely remove the hassle of printing W-2 tax forms. Once your W-2 files are created, Mosaic can print your team’s W-2 forms and ship them directly to each employee or to the company. It’s that simple! If you do choose to do this internally, remember that you must send a W-2 form to anyone who was paid within the 2017 calendar year. You will also need to be sure to order enough forms (we recommend your employee count + 10%) to account for any special circumstances such as  team members who have moved out of state. If you have more than one component company or have team members in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Kentucky you may need to order more than +10% to account for extra pages. All W-2s must be post marked no later than January 31st, so make sure your postage meter has enough postage before then. Finally, don’t forget to order enough envelopes to ship all of the forms and remember, any extra envelopes can be used next year!

State and Local IDs
You can run a report within UKG Pro Business Intelligence to show if you are missing a state or local ID. If you do this check now you still have time to apply for any missing IDs (this process usually takes a few weeks, with some localities taking even longer). This information may be missing because new locations were added, or employees started working from home. Visit: for information on any state or local taxes you may be missing.

Verify Employee Data
Make sure that the data in your UKG Pro system is clean. Verify employees’ Social Security Numbers by running a report from BI. No employee should have a SSN beginning with the number 9. Also remember to verify SSNs for dependents for your 1095 reporting.

All team members must have an assigned primary location or they will not receive a W-2. Review who is claiming “Exempt” and who is claiming “Block”. If current employees are claiming “exempt”, they will need to re-submit their request for the new year. If an employee is claiming “block,” they are not reporting taxes to the IRS, this may be because they are on a work visa but verifying is always a good practice.

You shoul also take this opportunity to verify and validate all employee’s adresses to make sure all W-2s are delivered to the correct location. Employees move throught the year and often forget to tell their employers.

Tax Recon
Tax Recon should be happening after every payroll or monthly. Year End is a good time to review and verify that everything has been done properly. Compare your Wage Summary Report to your W-2 summary; they should match.

Seize this opportunity
Finally, take this opportunity to change anything you have been unhappy with this is a new year! You have a chance to create or correct new versions of earning and deduction codes to work the way you want them to. Remember that once you set up a code, you cannot change the tax category associated with it, so take your time and plan your new codes appropriately.

We hope these tips and tricks are useful in supporting your work for a successful Year End. For more information, feel free to download our presentation, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for more updates.