Mark currently serves as a Product Specialist, Compliance for UPCS (that’s Unclaimed Property Compliance System) at Trintech. In fact, he’s spent 17 ½ years (all but his first year) working with this product. Mark lives outside of Baltimore, MD with his wife, Wendy. They have two sons – one lives and works in Bethesda and the other attends college near them in Baltimore.
Shannon: Thanks for talking with us today and congratulations on receiving the Trintecher Spotlight nomination. I know you’ve been busy with the upcoming release of UPCS version 7.2.
Mark: Yes, that’s right. I’ve been working on the fall compliance update. It keeps me busy.
Shannon: There are many Trintech customers that aren’t aware of UPCS. Can you explain a little about what it does?
Mark: Basically, UPCS contains all the state compliance information for unclaimed property in one location. That’s the main benefit. But, it also has the capability to perform due diligence in finding the rightful owner of the property. So, instead of turning it over to the state, companies can have a chance to return it to its owner. I also think a huge benefit is if a company ever goes through a state audit, UPCS works! The states are aggressively auditing companies for unclaimed property compliance because these audits are big revenue generators for them. You’d be surprised at how many companies, even very large companies, don’t report unclaimed property at all. For them, there is a huge potential liability for non-compliance.
Shannon: And how do you fit in?
Mark: I am responsible for keeping UPCS in compliance with all 54 US jurisdictions. We provide four compliance updates each year to incorporate changes by the states. That involves contacting all the states, asking questions about reporting changes, reviewing each state’s statutory requirements, catching any changes there, documenting them and comparing those to what’s in the software. It’s a full-time job and that’s one of the reasons companies need UPCS, just to keep up with the changes!
Shannon: I bet that does keep you busy. When you aren’t updating UPCS for compliance, what do you do for fun?
Mark: I have a group of friends that meet weekly to play tennis. It’s quite competitive and fun and keeps me active. On a bigger scale, my wife and I love to travel. We enjoy going places here in the US that we haven’t seen, but we always try to work in a stay at a beach.
Shannon: What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?
Mark: Wendy and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by traveling to Huntington Beach, CA. That’s Surf City, USA. It was incredible, though it did rain a bit.
Shannon: So you are saying it does rain in California? Alright, what changes have you seen during your years working with unclaimed property compliance?
Mark: When I first started, companies were required to print their reports and mail the hard copy to all the reporting jurisdictions. Then, the states started accepting reports on diskettes, then CDs. But you still had to mail them in. Now states are allowing companies to file their reports online. In fact, online reporting capability is one of the enhancements included with version 7.2.
Shannon: This month’s newsletter is all about reporting, what reporting is available with UPCS?
Mark: Well, UPCS is all about reporting – that’s at the core of the software. UPCS will generate the reports you need, based on the states’ due dates and regulations, created on time and in the correct format. There is even a notification service available as part of the software that will remind users when it’s time to create the reports. The user can initiate the process themselves or they can schedule it at a specific time. As part of this process, UPCS identifies all available deductions and exemptions. These differ by state, but some examples are gift cards, business to business transactions and/or payroll checks below a threshold amount. That’s just another example of how UPCS can benefit your company, because these items don’t have to be remitted to the states.
Shannon: I see. Over the years, I’ve spoken to many customers and I really don’t know how an Accounting department can keep up with all of this on their own.
Mark: Exactly. It’s one of those jobs no one wants, but someone has to do it. The fact is, UPCS allows them to stay compliant, while reducing their workload as much as possible. If they go with a cloud installation, the resources required on their side are quite limited. They get the quarterly compliance updates as well as software updates downloaded and applied automatically. This includes even last minute changes by the states. And with the automated notifications, the user can be assured that they do not miss any critical reporting deadlines. I guess that’s the best part of my job – showing companies how UPCS can really help them and then making it happen.