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Payroll reporting process

Always feel free to ask questions if you don't understand something.

What is a payroll report?

Put simply, a workers’ compensation payroll report (sometimes referred to as a "premium audit") is a review of your records and operations to ensure that your coverage information is accurate. The goal is to assess and collect a premium that accurately represents your risk exposure.

Why is reporting necessary?

Your premium is calculated based on the projected payroll information we receive from you at the inception of your policy. To make sure that your premium is priced accurately and fairly, we will compare your payroll estimates to your actual payroll at the end of your term. During the policy term, you may have payroll reported via a phone call, mail, or on-site audit, based on the size of the policy, the nature of your business and other circumstances.

When does reporting usually occur?

While payroll reporting can be performed anytime during or after your policy period, it is usually performed on an annual basis shortly after your policy expires. (It may be done earlier to verify the accuracy of your estimated exposures.)

Payroll reporting is also conducted after a policy cancellation, to determine the final earned premium for the shortened policy period.

Mail reporting

It may be sufficient to provide your payroll report by mail. This means that that we'll mail the necessary forms to your company along with instructions on how to complete them. You'll supply information regarding your payroll, subcontractors, etc. Maintaining the proper records will help you easily complete the form.

On-site payroll audits

If necessary, a premium auditor will contact you to make an appointment for an on-site visit. Your records will be audited to determine the correct exposure, or risk. This may include: payroll records, journals, tax reports, individual earnings cards, cash disbursements, etc. The various operations of your company may be observed to help better categorize risk classes.

Service audits

Service audits may be conducted by an ICW Group Auditor, either by visiting your place of business or contacting you to discuss your operations. By conducting a service audit, you can be sure that the correct classifications are assigned to your policy. You will also be advised of the records needed for the final audit.

If you are interested in a service audit for your policy, please contact us at premiumaudit@icwgroup.com

Preparing for your payroll audit

Advanced preparations will make sure your audit is completed smoothly.

  1. Be sure to have your records ready.
  2. Optimally, payroll should be organized by: policy period, classification code (list each job type separately), regular pay vs. overtime.
  3. Report your "total gross" payroll. See Reporting guidelines and exceptions for details.
  4. If your audit materials are mailed to you, complete all forms and return promptly.
  5. If you use subcontractors, ask them to provide a copy of their "Certificate of Insurance" to keep with your records.
  6. Be available in case the auditor has questions.

Your payroll audit checklist

To assist you in gathering the necessary records for your payroll audit, refer to this checklist. Make sure that records are available from the previous calendar year. These records include:


ICW Group's Payroll Reporting Team is committed to providing you with an easy, straightforward payroll reporting and audit experience. Read our Payroll reporting FAQs or contact Payroll Reporting.