Secured Signing delivers online police checks for H&R Block

H&R Block has broadened its online on boarding process to include a paperless background check that slashes staff and turnaround time.

Every year hundreds of thousands of Australian entrust their tax affairs to H&R Block. For their part, H&R Block take very seriously the trust their customers place in them. A robust selection and recruitment process is a key part of ensuring their people are not only capable and professional but also trustworthy and of good character. Background checks are an important part of the selection process.

Thousands of police checks are performed each year using the Federal Government’s CrimTrac service. For H&R Block managers, the paper process involved printing a multi-page consent form and asking the employee to complete, sign and return it. In many cases it took some follow up to get the form completed properly and returned.  The form was then faxed to PeopleCheck, the accredited broker H&R Block partner with to perform CrimTrac searches. In all, the process could consume 20 minutes of effort per employee and typically took a day or two to get a result.

H&R Block transitioned to an online process to digitally sign employment contracts in 2014. The success of this initial project realised such a clear benefit it was expanded to cover the entire on boarding process including an electronic tax file number (TFN) declaration.

The solution provided by Secured Signing allows the H&R Block manager to invite the employee to fill and digitally sign the consent form online. The form can be filled in a web browser on any device without the need to download software. This anytime, anywhere access is convenient for the employee and translates to faster turnaround. All mandatory fields must be filled before the employee can sign the form ensuring it is complete the first time around and removing all the wasted effort of following up incomplete paper forms.

Bill Cashman, HR Manager, H&R Block estimates the online process takes as little as 25% of the effort compared to the paper process. “Bringing the background check process online as well as the broader reduction in paperwork we have achieved with Secured Signing has been a dramatic improvement in the work life of our team.”

The completed consent forms are batched and submitted directly to PeopleCheck as an XML data file that is loaded directly into the CrimTrac search system. Staff no longer need to manually rekey data from the consent form.

“For a client like H&R Block that submit large numbers of background checks with a very tight timeframe, receiving the data in an electronic form compatible with CrimTrac is a great time saver.”, said Summa McCosker, Managing Director, PeopleCheck.

This also translates to benefits for H&R Block with the response time from PeopleCheck reducing from days to just hours. “Getting rid of the paperwork in the police check process has seen a significant increase in the speed of the process and reducing the lead times in bringing new people onboard.”, observed Mr. Cashman.

“It is great to be able to deliver a solution that provides such clear benefits to all parties”, said Mike Eyal, Managing Director, Secured Signing. “Digital Signature solutions provide that rare win-win situation where a more secure and reliable outcome is also simpler and quicker. It is difficult to understand why documents are still being printed to sign or signature images that provide no authenticity or reliability pasted into electronic documents.”