A new HR System, developed by accountancy specialists IRIS, is set to become a vital tool to aid compliance for accountants looking to demonstrate 'best practice' in relation to the Quality Assurance Schemes run by the ICAEW, ACCA and ICAS.
Ian Fletcher, Managing Director of the 2020 Group, has warned accountants attending their Practice Assurance Seminars that the way in which they store and handle employee information is vital in protecting themselves from litigation and in ensuring full compliance with the latest regulations and professional guidelines.
He said: 'Installing a system such as IRIS HR Manager will provide accountants with the information necessary to ensure confidence that they are fully compliant with the right contracts, policies and procedures in place to protect both their finances and their reputation.'
In the guideline document on Practice Assurance produced by the ICAEW, examples of 'best practice' in the HR department are given as follows:
' A personnel file maintained for each member of staff
' Each applicant required to complete an application form
' Written references obtained and qualifications verified
' Annual 'fit and 'proper' forms signed and on file
' Signed contract of employment and job description retained on file and reviewed annually
' The recording of key development and training activities
IRIS HR Manager tracks key correspondence; especially important during a disciplinary process and provides all the information necessary for the practice to demonstrate compliance with equal employment opportunities. The system is supplied with a set of templates which includes contracts of employment, appraisals and exit interviews. These have been checked by an employment lawyer saving on the possible cost of legal fees.
Sales of HR Manager amongst accountancy practices are strong. Whilst some accountants are buying the system to use solely within the practice, others are looking to offer a value added service to their clients. David Lever of Usher Spiby and Co said: 'We have installed HR Manager initially for our sole use. We believe it will play a key role in ensuring our exposure is minimized to claims against the practice but in the longer term, we will use the system to offer a full HR bureau service to our clients.'
HR Manager has been developed using the latest Microsoft.NET technology. The IRIS business range now allows companies to incorporate all human resource activities ' payroll, personnel, the creation of P11Ds and book-keeping ' into a single integrated system.
The system costs from £375 (plus VAT) for a company with up to 100 employees.