The idea of undergoing an I-9 audit is intimidating, but if your company should ever receive a dreaded Notice of Inspection you’ll want to know what to expect and be prepared. By educating yourself on the I-9 audit process you and your company will feel at ease after every action has been taken to ensure compliance. The fines associated with uncompliant Form I-9s increased in 2016, so it’s essential that staffing companies are ready for an audit. Consulting your attorney will provide the best insight in how to prepare for an I-9 audit, however, the below information is designed to give you an overall glimpse into what can be expected during the process, and what you can do to be ready for it:
Be sure your staffing agency has a legal resource with experience in I-9 audits. If your company should have to go through an audit, it’s essential to have the right advice to guide you through situations you might be unsure about. Adapt customers who integrate with our I-9 partner, Maximus, have access to a team of experienced legal staff that specializes in employment verification processes. If your ATS software uses a third-party I-9 integration, be sure you are offered a similar resource, or learn more about our electronic I-9 solution by contacting us today.
Perform a Self-Audit
The best way to avoid paying penalty fines is to catch mistakes before a Homeland Security Inspector does. Typically, a self-inspection involves an internal HR team reviewing all I-9 paperwork and correct errors as they come across them. This does leave room for errors, depending on how thorough and educated the internal audit team is. If your staffing agency has taken the steps to retain legal counsel for Form I-9s, be sure to inquire on services to look over employment verification documentation for mistakes, and additional insight on what is scrutinized during an audit.
Notice of Inspection – What Now?
If your company is ever served with a Notice of Inspection, you will have three business days to return the requested information to the Homeland Security Inspector. As you gather the required documents for review, do not make any changes or corrections without instructions from your attorney. If there is any legal counsel utilized to help with an audit, a Notice of Entry of Appearance as an Attorney form must be signed and submitted.
Electronic Third-Party Provider
If using a third-party provider for an I-9 process, be sure to provide instruction on how the Inspector can search through documents and how the system captures electronic signatures, while meeting legal obligations.
The Homeland Security Inspector will count the I-9 forms submitted and provide you with a receipt for the submitted documents, be sure to keep the receipt in a secure place. It will take 60 days to hear back on the audit results. Once the audit process is completely done, review and revise your I-9 processes as necessary.
The right electronic I-9 solution can provide peace of mind and take the stress out of audits. If you are interested in an electronic I-9 solution coupled with your onboarding process that provides legal counsel and ensures each form is completed correctly, contact us today!