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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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17–26. Outsource Employment Verifications

Companies with a large number of employees will find that their payroll departments are constantly burdened with employment verification requests for both current and previous employees. This can be a considerable chore, and one that cannot wait, since employees need these verifications in order to qualify for car loans, mortgages, apartment leases, and so on.

A solution to this labor-intensive activity is to have a third party handle all employment verifications with both automated voice response and Internet access. The largest provider of this service is The Work Number, which is a service of the TALX Corporation. Using this service, employers send employee information to The Work Number’s central database in either flat file or XML format. Then, when an outside party wants to verify employment information, they enter the employee’s social security number and the five-digit employer code (which is accessible on The Work Number’s Web site at www.theworknumber.com). If they also want salary information, then the employee must use their PIN number to create a salary key code (either through the Web site or over the phone), which is good for a one-time access of their salary information.

If the outside party is a low-volume user of The Work Number, they will pay $13 for each employment verification and $16 for each salary verification, while a higher-volume user will pay $11 and $14, respectively.

Fees to the employer are remarkably inexpensive. ...

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