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SSA Outlines BSO Upgrades for the 2019 Filing Season and Beyond

BY: APA Staff | 07/13/18

On July 5, during the IRS’s payroll industry call, Scott Pederson, a Program Analyst in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Electronic Services and Technology, provided an overview of some of the changes that SSA has made to its Business Services Online (BSO) suite of services for the 2019 filing season. He also outlined some of some of the changes that SSA would like to make for future years.

Pederson said that there are internal upgrades that filers may not see and others that will be more visible. One change involves the types of alerts generated by AccuWage Online. There are three types of alerts: critical errors that prevent a W-2 or W-2c wage file from being processed; errors that may not prevent a file from being processed, but should be corrected; and informational alerts. Because the number of alerts is limited to 500, some filers may not receive critical alerts. Pederson said that there will be fewer informational alerts in 2019. He also reminded listeners that the 2018 Form W-2 includes two new codes for Box 12 (Codes FF and GG) that the SSA’s systems are ready to process.

Pederson looked ahead to future BSO upgrades, which could include a new authentication and authorization system. Noting that some of the elements of BSO were designed approximately 20 years ago, he said that SSA is looking to provide a user experience that is “a lot more intuitive,” simple, and less menu-based. Pederson sought feedback from the attendees on the payroll industry call concerning the types of issues they were having with their BSO accounts. SSA will take that feedback into account as it develops the upgrades to its systems.

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