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Simplified HR records management: records of employment have to be properly maintained. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is now making the process easier.

Each year, Canadian payroll practitioners complete approximately eight million records of employment (ROE). Every time an employee has an interruption of earnings, the employer must complete one of these forms. Some employers must process hundreds of these forms at a time. In addition, the forms can be complex, resulting in numerous enquiries from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) staff.

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To address this issue, and as part of the Federal Government's commitment to modernize service to Canadians and improve federal services through on-line services, HRSDC developed ROE Web and gradually started implementing it nationally in September 2003. ROE Web enables employers, or accountants who complete the forms on their client's behalf, to create and print ROEs using Internet technology. They can also submit them electronically to HRSDC.

Reporting options

ROE Web offers two means of completing ROEs on-line. The Bulk Transfer option is the easiest to use because it allows payroll staff to complete hundreds of ROEs in minutes without having to perform the calculations and other tasks normally associated with filling out the form.

With ROE Web, more than 500 ROEs can be sent at one time at literally the click of a mouse. Bulk Transfer works as a payroll data extract system. It pulls the information required to complete an ROE from a company's payroll system and slots it electronically directly into the fields of an on-line version of the form, creating a bulk file. The system performs all the necessary calculations automatically, thereby reducing the chance that transcription errors would be made. Once all the ROEs in the bulk file are submitted, the system reviews them and informs the staff member within 45 minutes of any errors.

The systems changes required to make this possible are not extensive and can be effectively completed using specifications supplied by HRSDC.

The ROE Web Online Data Entry option allows employers to complete ROE forms on the Web in the same manner as the paper form, and transmit them electronically to HRSDC for validation.

Security support

Faster completion is not the only advantage to ROE Web. HRSDC retains the information on its secure servers, where it is available for future reference. ROE Web automatically distributes the information as required within HRSDC, eliminating the need to mail a paper copy to the institution's data processing office and reducing costs to employers. All that has to be printed are copies for the departing employee and the client's file.

Security is an essential element of ROE Web's success. One of the most interesting security features is the Secure Channel component. With Secure Channel, users register with their nearest Human Resources Centre Canada (HRCC). When registering, the accountant has to show a letter of authorization indicating that he or she has the right to act on behalf of the firm, as well as two pieces of identification, one of which must contain a photo. He also completes a registration form, signs a legal agreement, and has those clients wishing to use ROE Web sign an Annex giving the accountant authority to use ROE Web on their behalf. Once this documentation is forwarded to HRSDC, along with all the Canada Revenue Agency Business Numbers of their clients, they receive a 16-digit activation code that allows them to gain access to the system.

When ready, the accountant begins a straightforward online registration process by obtaining a Government of Canada ePass, then entering the activation code to access the system. The representative can then provide all the employees who will use ROE Web with their own activation codes so that they, too, can register. These employees then obtain their own Government of Canada ePasses to access ROE Web.

ROE Web recently won a Gold Medal at the national GTEC Week Conference in Ottawa in the category of Federal Awards, Innovative Service Delivery to Citizens & Businesses. GTEC WEEK showcases leading edge expertise and technology solutions that are driving government online solutions across Canada, and around the world.

To get more information on ROE Web, you can visit the HRSDC web site at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/ei/employers/roe_web.shtml.

Norm king is project officer, ROE Web, for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Society of Management Accountants of Canada
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Title Annotation:information technology; Human Resource records
Author:King, Norm
Publication:CMA Management
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:701
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