That is my point.
Over 80% of our clients never reconcile their monthly carrier bills for benefit insurances. The reason is that the client is using a system that is much like the gravel track above. It takes forever to do and with the interruptions of e-mails and urgent phone calls, it just gets put off for another month. Then it is three times harder to do. The next month it becomes a project that feels like it will take days to complete.
We have one client that has 7 voided carrier invoices over two months and now they have overpaid their carrier bill by more than $2,000 and have no clue how to claim the credit. Another client over paid their bill by over $8,000 because three people were not termed off the carrier bill until nearly 5 months after the last date of employment. What messes these are!
So, how can these folks move from a gravel road to a smooth paved track that will allow reconciliation to be done in 15 minutes each month.
First, acknowledge that it takes three items to reconcile. The payroll deductions report, the carrier bill and the COBRA activity report. Make a spreadsheet that has the carrier bill on it ... listed by last name of the participants. Then a column that shows the payroll deductions, the employer share of the premium and one more column for COBRA. Move the information for the same month around until it just makes sense to you. When you get it on there and formatted correctly, it is magic. It will be plain to see any errors.
The spreadsheet also gives you a Note capability so you can flag pending items and credits or debits. The carrier bills are always two months behind. That is why they need to be the first item entered. The carrier bill has to be paid as presented so tracking the pending credits and debits will be easy month to month.
Last thing. Only touch this once each month. Get all the info together, update the spreadsheet by copying last month's into a new worksheet and get the entries updated. You will soon feel like Staples ... "That was easy!"