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New SSA publications aim to increase W-2 accuracy.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is offering two free booklets targeted to employers as part of an initiative to increase the accuracy of form W-2 wage reports.

Software Standards and Edits for Annual Wage Reporting (SSA pub. no. 31-011) concerns paper W-2s produced by automated programs, and Magnetic Media Reporting (SSA pub. no. 42-007) is for W-2s filed on magnetic media.

Both booklets contain the editing criteria used by SSA software to process and post wage information to employee records. The SSA hopes employers will replicate these edits in their own payroll software packages, thereby decreasing the number of items rejected because they do not pass the SSA's edit routines.

Title tribulations. The publications also contain the automatic data processing standards used by the SSA, such as those affecting state abbreviations and postal codes, record sequencing, character sets and so forth. For example, information is provided for formatting names that are followed by abbreviated professional titles--a practice that apparently produces major processing problems. (Hint: if titles must be used, don't punctuate them!)

Copies of both booklets are now available by contacting the SSA regional magnetic media coordinator in any state. For the address, contact a local Social Security office.
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Title Annotation:Social Security Administration
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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