Finance departments across the country recently notched a couple of regulatory wins.
The arena: unclaimed property (UP).
Earlier this year, manufacturer Temple-Inland had been gouged more than $2 million by Delaware auditors for not having thorough UP records.
But a court recently called foul, saying the auditors were way out of line.
That was win No. 1.
Win No. 2 impacts much of the country, and it came from the Uniform Law Commission – the folks in charge of recommending guidance for state UP laws.
They voted on revisions to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, which many states use as a guide.
That means you could soon see new UP leniency, depending on how states respond.
What’s coming for A/P
Assuming states comply with the recommendations, here are the changes on the horizon:
- States can’t come after you to enforce reporting, payment or delivery of UP five years after a non-fraudulent report.
- States can’t bring an action against or examine companies for a UP-related duty more than 10 years after that duty arose.
- Organizations should keep UP records for at least 10 years.
There was also a change that’ll mean a little extra work on Finance’s part.
In addition to sending mail notifications for due diligence, you’ll also need to send emails to notify vendors they have UP – if they have consented to receiving notifications that way.
What to do now
Here’s something to keep in mind: Many state legislatures open in late winter and early spring, so it may be a few months until they consider implementing these guidelines.
That means when the next big UP season rolls around – late October and early November – you should consider it business as usual.
Still, you’ll want to mark your calendar to check for your state’s updates to UP law in the spring.