At MarketSphere, when we work with our clients to complete abandoned and unclaimed property due diligence, prepare reports and advise them in audits, we always include one aspect of advice that can substantially change a company’s overall unclaimed property liabilities: exposure assessment. It’s not enough to take action—you can’t do justice to your unclaimed property management program without first getting a clear and realistic picture of your situation and formulating appropriate remediation. Another way to put it: forewarned is forearmed.
What happens if a company doesn’t assess the situation before acting? Any number of complications could ensue:
Your unclaimed property specialists can draw on experience with hundreds of clients to help you find problems, drafting a document that records your potential exposure in a very concrete way and advising on ways to remediate the problems. You can use this exposure assessment to support requests for work hours, materials, technology and other resources to minimize the negative impact of unclaimed property on your operation.
In essence, an exposure assessment consists of documenting your current situation and calculating your potential liabilities related to unclaimed property. To assist in this process, we usually recommend that we meet with individuals within each business unit who are knowledgeable about the types of transactions carried out in their part of the organization.
For each business unit, the types of property documented will vary. Depending on the department and functions within the department, required documentation might include:
Once we’ve received documentation of your processes, we will help you:
Finally, to guide your next steps, we prepare an assessment report with remediation recommendations, including:
The key to maximizing the effectiveness of your exposure assessment is communication with your unclaimed property specialist. This ensures that you will find as much property and as many issues as possible, so you and your advisors can remediate the issues BEFORE reporting more than you have to—or underreporting and exposing your company to penalties and interest that can add up to many times the original assessment.
Ask about MarketSphere’s collaborative style of unclaimed property service. Also, visit our website to download the JustRight Compliance—and get a feel for whether you have been reporting more or less than you should.
If you received a letter or an email, please check out our FAQ section to learn more about next steps.
We offer a customized approach to fit your specific needs.