Financial Literacy for Tribal HR Professionals

As an HR professional, nearly every aspect of your job intersects with numbers in some way: budgets, compensation, insurance benefits, etc. If you donít understand the numbers around those issues, youíre missing a chance to become a key player in your organizationís strategic development. Take this important class and learn what reports you need to understand and how to interpret them, how to budget expenses, and how to get HR involved in the performance budgeting process. Youíll also receive training on the factors your organization should consider when developing a compensation system, including the use of wage surveys, what fringe benefits you offer, and how your compensation system compares with those of other tribes, the local market, and the federal pay scale.

Your instructor will help you understand indirect costs as they relate to staff, what internal controls HR needs to have in place and how to tell if your current internal controls are insufficient, how HR should be interacting with the Finance Director, and what HRís full role is in issues surrounding payroll. Youíll also learn how to tell if an independent contractor should actually be classified as an employee, what the dire consequences of misclassification can be, and how this can empower you to hire new employees.

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E

Indirect Cost (IDC) as it relates to staff

  • Which costs are direct vs. indirect?
  • Why HR is an IDC
  • Your role in documentation:
    • Personnel Activity Reports
    • Salary and Wage Certifications

Budgeting for HR-Related Expenses

  • Training
  • Wages and salaries:
    • Wage and salary increases
  • Personnel  development
  • Vacation time
  • Full-time vs. part-time employees:
    • What the Fair Labor Standards Act has to say
  • Temporary help

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

  • What is the difference?
  • Simplified IRS Test
  • Fines and penalties for misclassification
  • Tracking the 10-99
  • HR Role in Classifying employees


  • Developing a compensation system
  • Wage surveys
  • Fringe benefits
  • Affordability
  • Comparison to:
    • Other tribes
    • Local market
    • Federal pay scale

The Finance Director

  • Tips on hiring
  • How to evaluate

Reports You Need and How to Interpret Them

  • Budget status
  • Financial statements
  • Frequency of reports
  • P-L statements

Role of HR in Launching Performance Budgeting Process

  • Guiding the process
  • Overcoming employee’s fears
  • Providing technical guidance
  • Interfacing with senior staff
  • Learning what measures are meaningful
  • Implementing a Pay for Performance Plan

Interpreting Budgets and Reports

  • Budget status
  • Financial statements:
    • Income statements

Budgeting Expenses

  • Eight typical approaches
  • Travel, overhead and selling expense budgets
  • Salary and fringe
  • Travel expenses

Examining HR Internal Controls

  • What they are
  • How they function
  • Why they are necessary
  • Detecting weaknesses

Laws Affecting Payroll

  • Internal Revenue Code
  • Tax withholding
  • FICA
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • FLSA

Dates to Remember

  • January 31
  • April 30, July 31 and October 31
  • February 15 and 28

Role of the HR Department in Payroll

  • New employees
  • Rates of pay
  • Who is a dependent?
  • Payroll deductions
  • Rules of evidence
  • Who is an employee?
  • Retirement plans
  • December 31
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