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How to Streamline Your Year-End Tax Adjustments (Nenmatsu Chosei) in Japan

Save yourself time and headaches during the year-end tax adjustment period!

Let’s start with a story about Ami, a payroll specialist in Japan. 

One day, Ami made a mistake.

She was double-checking her colleague’s work on year-end tax adjustments and accidentally sent the data to the wrong client. Needless to say, the client who received the data was confused, called her manager, and questioned their professionalism. 

When Ami sat down with her manager to discuss what went wrong, she admitted that she’s been overwhelmed with work. She spends most of her time chasing employees for data, sifting through mountains of paperwork to fix and approve, and answering questions from employees. By the time she has all of the info she needs, she’s short on time to meet her fast-approaching deadlines which makes it harder for her to focus.

Her manager empathizes, but can’t let another mistake like this happen.

So, he decides that all procedures need to be triple checked! The last thing Ami and her colleagues want is more work during this high-pressure time, but no one could think of any other way to ensure their work would be perfect.

Moral of the story? No matter how good their intentions, people make mistakes

But when it comes to payroll – especially the year-end tax adjustment period –  mistakes are a no-no. So how can you make this process error-free, without adding more work?

You digitize it!

If you think about it, ninety percent of payroll is data collection. The rest is using your expertise to approve and handle exceptions. 

Introducing SmartHR: the digital tool we implement for year-end tax adjustments that’ll save you a ton of time (and hair). 

It’s a dynamic self-serve platform that guides employees and collects all the data you need. Here are 6 ways that digitizing your year-end tax adjustment process will make your life easier:

1. You don’t need to prep a crazy amount of paper-based packets

Traditionally, payroll specialists send all employees a thick packet of documents that employees need to fill out to update their information for year-end tax adjustments. This is a labor-intensive process for the payroll specialists who have to prepare all of the packets and check all of the employee’s submissions, and for the employees who have to complete so many forms. When your company uses a digital platform, all payroll specialists have to do is send a link to employees!

2. You don’t need to chase employees for responses (for two whole months!)

Payroll specialists typically spend all of October and November gathering data from employees. Employees procrastinate, there are delays in receiving forms, issues with communications, and other obstacles that get in the way of data collection. 

With our system, it’s easy to ping employees with reminder notifications and our team at weConnect can follow up with them to make sure that everything is taken care of. 

3. You don’t need to answer endless amounts of questions about how to fill out the forms (even though you’ve already briefed everyone thoroughly)

Let’s be real. Traditional Japanese forms are confusing. There are questions and checkboxes cluttering each page, and it’s hard for employees with no HR knowledge to understand what needs or doesn’t need to be filled out. It’s no wonder why people have so many questions!

Our digital application process has a dynamic workflow that guides employees through the information they need to submit based on how they’ve answered previous questions. Because the platform guides each individual, it helps cut down on the volume of questions people typically ask. 

The process for each employee to complete the forms? Start to finish, 5-10 minutes. 

4. Here’s the big one: you can dramatically reduce your margin of error

Data migration – the process of each payroll specialist inputting information from each employee’s form –  is where errors happen. To make matters worse, most forms are handwritten and payroll specialists are under a lot of pressure with deadlines, which makes it even harder to work without cutting corners. When you use a digital platform, all of the information has directly been inputted into the system by the employee so there’s no need for data migration.

5. You can store all of your data in one spot (and we mean ALL)

This same platform is also our electronic payslip platform and My Number platform. It’s how we collect data for social and labor insurance filings. So when you work with us, not only will you gain support with year-end tax adjustments but also with these other features.

6. You don’t have to worry at all about security

Our system enables a secure way to disclose private information for each employee. Employees get links to answer questions and can securely provide information like their My Number, so this whole process is safe and worry-free. The platform is fully compliant with Japan labor and privacy law requirements. 

We make year-end tax adjustment a DREAM

You can try to come up with your own system (like many HR teams have), but the odds of it matching the capabilities that have been produced by technology companies are slim. Our value is using the latest and greatest technology to help make your work processes easier, and we’re the masters of administering all-things SmartHR.

Ready to stop pushing those paper packets around? Contact us here and we’re happy to talk with you about how to implement this system for your company.

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