Using Professional Services to Maximize Your Efficiency

ACA Services to the Rescue!

As it did with many others, the ACA consumed my life from November 2015 through March of 2016. During that time, I spent HOURS on the phone with PDS Support Services asking questions and trying to get Vista HRMS set up properly. I made many manual corrections to the Line 14 and Line 16 Inputs, just to get the files processed. Much to my great relief we were able to process 1095-Cs in-house through Vista HRMS on March 16th.

Processing 1094-Cs started out as more of a challenge for us. For reasons I won’t get into, we weren’t able to submit the two required company contacts to receive our TCC code. At the Vista HRMS Solutions Center at the 2016 UGA Conference in Tampa we met with Charles P. Jefferies, Technology Consultant & ACA Specialist, to discuss our ACA issues. We found out that, for a nominal fee, PDS could act as our TCC and submit the files for us! We prepared the files, sent them to PDS, and PDS filed them with the IRS. Our file was accepted with errors, we corrected the errors quickly, and PDS sent our file a 2nd time and it was accepted by the IRS. Yippee! Now let’s fast forward to the present. In mid-July I started the process of running and auditing our 2016 1st and 2nd quarter ACA data. I knew I would have issues with some of the data, because I knew that I had made manual corrections to the same people for 2015; making these manual corrections would be a never ending cycle. I contacted PDS Support for help and was reminded that PDS ACA Services is available for customers.

Through PDS ACA Services, Charles works with clients to review ACA-specific data, load and review staging tables, etc. The goal is to keep clients from making manual corrections to the staging tables. The type (and length) of services offered vary, depending upon the needs of the customer and their readiness. Charles and I had our first 2-hour phone call at the end of July and I only wish I’d contacted him sooner. Charles understands the ACA and Vista HRMS’s ACA capabilities inside and out, and was able to make suggestions on our set up, and tell me why specific data is incorrect and also how to correct it. There is a fee for PDS ACA Services, and customers are only invoiced for hours used.

I know of many customers who have outsourced their ACA filing, and I know the thought of bringing that back in-house may seem daunting and overwhelming. I encourage you to look into it and consider what you can do yourself within Vista HRMS and the potential cost savings of processing in-house with PDS ACA Services to help you.

Kimberly Johnson
Human Resources Generalist


How PDS Can Help You with ACA Reporting

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents new challenges for businesses who have to report IRS forms 1094-C/1095-C, especially when it comes to data integrity. Vista HRMS is uniquely suited to handling ACA reporting, as it takes into account the wealth of data stored in its database to determine employee situations at various points throughout the year. IRS Form 1095-C line 14 and 16 codes are generated per month, thus Vista HRMS must figure out what each employee was doing in each month to determine the proper code. The net effect of ACA on Vista HRMS users is that it increases the level of precision required when recording data, from status changes and benefits eligibility, to keeping track of average hours worked on a weekly basis.

Proper ACA reporting doesn’t occur on its own. PDS has incorporated ACA-specific settings and setup in Vista HRMS to accommodate your unique reporting needs. Combined with accurate employee data and a willingness to keep up with the reporting requirements, it’s a recipe for ACA reporting success.

PDS can assist you with understanding how ACA affects you, and what you need to do to report it accurately. The time you’ll spend with us getting ACA up and going in your Vista HRMS is likely to be far less than it would be to have an outside vendor do the reporting for you. There’s no hiding from the data, so you’ll still need to extract or otherwise generate the required data for the outside vendor. Why do that when it’s already in a system capable of handling your ACA needs?

We have a good deal of documentation available on our ACA-specific features, starting with update 93 and onward. We also have numerous videos available on our Support site ( So you certainly could tackle this all on your own. But understanding the ACA itself is going to be a challenge, unless you have a person on staff or otherwise available who is intimately familiar with its fine print.

Should you like to work with us, this is generally how our ACA services go:

  • On the initial meeting (1-3 hours), we’ll review the HR, Payroll, Benefits, and Time Management related settings and configuration in Vista HRMS. We’ll set up recurring jobs as needed, such as average hour calculations, to keep core ACA data up to date. Additionally, we’ll review your hire, status change, benefits enrollment, and termination practices as they relate to ACA reporting. You may find yourself making changes to your practices after this review.
  • On the second meeting, we’ll load your ACA People Staging tables using Vista HRMS’s built-in ACA processing routines. Vista HRMS collects 24 unique data points per month, per employee, for the reporting year. That’s a lot of data. We’ll go through the data points with you in the ACA people staging tables and explain them. This will provide you with insight into how your data is interpreted in the eyes of the ACA. Again, a process will load this data for you, so it’s not a manual effort. We’ll provide advice on resolving any discrepancies in your data. Inaccurate data can lead to improper line 14-16 codes on Form 1095-C (and possibly an inaccurate 1094-C, as well).
  • We’ll schedule subsequent meetings as needed, usually for one hour at a time. These meetings tend to be data-related, with the goal of getting the ACA People Staging tables to show the data you want to report.

(It’s a good practice to do a once-monthly meeting to review ACA, either with us and/or with your internal staff. You should be loading your ACA people staging tables each month to capture the data for the previous month. It’s more time efficient to load data each month, than to load it all at once at the end of the year, where you’ll be dealing with 12 months of data at the same time. A data entry error affecting ACA that occurred in June, for example, could have repercussions all the way through to the end of the year. Had you loaded in July and reviewed June’s data, there’s a good chance you would have found the issue and been able to correct it.)

  • Following the final month ACA People Staging data load at year-end, we’ll meet to generate and review your 1094-C form data, which summarizes the ACA People Staging (1095-C) data. Once all looks as it should, we’ll prepare the final 1095-C and 1094-C forms, and then the IRS electronic transmission files using the processes built into Vista HRMS.

If you plan to file to the IRS on your own, you’ll need to obtain a Transmitter Control Code (TCC). Take a look at our June 2015 Newsletter article ( to see how to do this. Alternatively, PDS can file on your behalf, in which case you wouldn’t need a TCC.

We had almost two dozen customers already engage us for ACA services for 2016 reporting. Many of these customers are no longer meeting with us, because we helped them reach the point where they were comfortable with their ACA-related data, how to record it, and how to stay abreast of it throughout the year. To use a cliché, it’s a bit like riding a bike.

Either way, view ACA as a challenge you can tackle. PDS is willing and able to help you throughout this process.

Charles P. Jefferies
ACA Specialist and Technology Consultant