Practice Areas

Abandoned and Unclaimed Property

With state enforcement of abandoned and unclaimed property (AUP) on the rise, it’s critical to have highly experienced experts that can help navigate complex state regulations and potential audit risks to protect profitability and cash flow.

Ryan’s Abandoned and Unclaimed Property (AUP) practice is one of the largest in the United States and the only end-to-end, fully integrated AUP service offering in the industry.

Abandoned and Unclaimed Property

States are laser focused on the enforcement of abandoned and unclaimed property (AUP), and regardless of industry or size of your business, taxing authorities are aggressively targeting all single and multi-jurisdictional abandoned and unclaimed property audit opportunities. The scope of abandoned and unclaimed property laws and requirements is incredibly complex and varies by state and jurisdiction; therefore, it’s imperative to have an unclaimed property compliance strategy developed by experts that will provide the most effective solutions to efficiently identify, capture, and report unclaimed property.

With the largest integrated Abandoned and Unclaimed Property practice in the United States and more than 300 years of collective experience, our clients gain access to the only true end-to-end solution for mitigating abandoned property and unclaimed property risks. Our clients benefit from committed professionals who help with navigating the maze of abandoned and unclaimed property laws, efficiently applying them to your business and effectively managing state enforcement efforts.

Whether your company needs assistance with abandoned property or unclaimed property risk assessments, voluntary disclosure programs, unclaimed property audit assistance or defense, escheatment, unclaimed property annual compliance, policies and procedures, researching unclaimed funds, or recommendations on best practices/process improvements, we can help you meet your goals.

Leveraging a comprehensive abandoned and unclaimed property audit strategy that typically includes intervention with the jurisdiction or third-party auditors, our clients gain a team of experts that negotiate favorable settlements of terms to ensure that a fair assessment is achieved, and the threat of interest and/or penalty is eliminated.

Clients appreciate the cost savings and added value that our unclaimed property technical expertise delivers, which includes a team of former state and third-party auditors who understand this process from the inside out and will guide you through the unclaimed property audit process and manage it to an effective and efficient conclusion.

Clients benefit from a suite of services that can assist with all aspects of an unclaimed property voluntary disclosure program, including the identification, quantification, and remediation of previously unreported abandoned and unclaimed property obligations, as well as negotiations with the appropriate jurisdictional officials to mitigate interest, penalties, and amounts owed. Clients find significant value through the execution of closing agreements, limitation of review periods, and the abatement of interest and/or penalties associated with prior unreported abandoned property and unclaimed property.

With advanced experience in data extraction, sampling, estimation, and extrapolation techniques, you are provided with a means of confidentiality advancing voluntary disclosure agreements with reporting jurisdictions. By performing due diligence and locating owners of presumed abandoned and unclaimed property, our clients reduce the risk of interest and penalties while enhancing their reputation with customers and vendors.

Clients gain added value with a dedicated team of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property professionals who specialize in outsourcing and compliance services that analyze raw data to determine unclaimed funds by state, as well as which items are reportable and to what states. Using that raw data, you are provided with a number of services, including:

  • Preparation of the annual unclaimed property reports in the required format necessary for each state
  • Creation, mailing, and response tracking of statutory due diligence letters
  • Identification of potential exclusions, including statutory business-to-business exemptions, de minimis payroll exemptions, duplicate items, and available deductions
  • Preparation of the payments to the various jurisdictions

Tracker PRO Unclaimed Property software is the nation’s leading unclaimed property technology application. Tracker PRO is a comprehensive, user-friendly application that consolidates abandoned property records from multiple sources across your enterprise, simplifying your compliance with due diligence requirements, and generating all the necessary statutory reports for state filing purposes. Thousands of companies rely on the application to stay in compliance, and it can be installed on your network or used over the Internet as a hosted application (SaaS). 

Read more about Tracker PRO

The first critical step for any company seeking compliance with the abandoned and unclaimed property laws in each state is to perform a risk assessment. Clients are assisted with performing two types of risk assessments: 

Qualitative Risk Assessment: Encompasses interviewing key employees and reviewing pertinent documents and records to review and assess your company’s existing unclaimed property environment. Subsequently, a comparison analysis is performed against best practices for your industry, and gaps are identified along with a remediation strategy.

Quantitative Risk Assessment: Involves performing a detailed, diagnostic review (Phase I) of the books and records of the company and estimating a high-level potential exposure calculation to help your company get a real sense of potential worst-case liability. Ryan can also work with you to research and remediate the items identified as potential unclaimed property to help mitigate the actual exposure (Phase II). Furthermore, Ryan has a dedicated team of statisticians, who can assist in developing statistical sampling methodologies to create a more streamlined and efficient research and remediation process.

The Asset Recovery process can be daunting, and in many cases substantial property or assets are not subject to reporting, which makes them difficult to identify. Clients gain a full-service solution, ensuring no asset is left behind, including:

  • Asset recovery claims process
  • Researching unclaimed funds
  • Filing claims with jurisdictions and required documents to get claims approved
  • An assessment of internal recovery vs. outsourcing
  • A review of often overlooked repositories, such as bankruptcy courts, counties, cities, state agencies, and federal agencies

Each year, more than 40 million people move to a new address. These individuals chance becoming displaced with their investments if they fail to update important account record information. For corporations, this creates risk associated with dormant accounts that are now subject to escheatment. As the holder of these liabilities, corporations face significant challenges retaining customer investments, reducing escheatment, and mitigating financial risk. 

State regulators have a heightened sense of interest in escheatment opportunities. In recent years, unclaimed property has become a significant revenue source for state government. Audit activity has increased drastically as states look to fill budget deficits with revenue generated from unclaimed assets and abandoned property. The results can yield multi-million-dollar liability assessments or settlements. 

Ryan’s Search and Location services can drastically reduce escheatment risk while improving investor retention on dormant accounts. Our proactive Pre-Escheat Asset Reunification (PEAR) and Corporate Action Asset Reunification (CAAR) programs employ thorough, in-depth research combined with professional outreach campaigns that deliver measurable, targeted results. 

PEAR
Ryan’s PEAR program provides a robust outreach campaign that analyzes client files for missing account holder data, conducts in-depth research, and assists “Lost” account holders in claiming their assets. Our specialists work with the account holder in an effective and respectful manner, representing our client’s interests with a thorough approach. We explore the nature of the situation for each “Lost” account holder and determine the best course of action to achieve resolution. 

CAAR
After a mandatory corporate action such as a merger, acquisition, or reverse stock split, up to 20% of registered shareholders may fail to exchange their shares. These investors risk asset escheatment because they have failed to take the required action. To compound the problem, they are unable to liquidate or transfer their shares because they have not properly exchanged their stock. The CAAR program identifies the reason hindering an exchange and works to resolve the issues at hand to the benefit of both the investor and the corporation.

TRACKER®Pro software
TRACKER®Pro Unclaimed Property software, the nation’s leading unclaimed property technology application. TRACKER®Pro is a comprehensive, user-friendly application that consolidates abandoned property records from multiple sources across your enterprise, simplifying your compliance with due diligence requirements, and generating all the necessary statutory reports for state filing purposes. Thousands of companies rely on the application to stay in compliance, and it can be installed on your network or used over the Internet as a hosted application (SaaS).

Clients are assisted with the development of customized written policies and procedures and are provided in-house staff training to help them implement escheat reporting practices, along with identifying gaps while building a governance model for managing enterprise-wide unclaimed property responsibilities. Some of the services that Ryan’s team can provide include:

  • Defining roles and responsibilities regarding your company's unclaimed property compliance process
  • Documenting the current unclaimed property process and identifying process improvements and best practices
  • Assessing compliance options
  • Drafting Unclaimed Property Corporate Governance Framework documents
  • Providing in-house staff training as part of the implementation of the new procedures

Clients benefit from Ryan’s end-to-end Abandoned and Unclaimed Property solutions with assistance in reviewing existing internal controls and policies and procedures, both formal and informal, and identifying potential compliance gaps. Assistance is also provided by formulating an action plan for compliance so that you can begin a thorough review of books and records and ensure all property requiring escheatment is included in the annual compliance process.

Some of the tasks that may be utilized during this review include:

  • Conducting onsite interviews with the key functional area leaders (e.g., Accounts Payable, Payroll, Accounts Receivable, and Risk Management) to understand the past and present procedures to identify, capture, remediate, and report, on a consistent basis, transactions determined to be unclaimed property
  • Assisting in the identification of other additional categories of potential unclaimed property based on the company’s operations
  • Reviewing document record retention policies to determine whether they satisfy the various jurisdictions' requirements
  • Determining whether processes are in place to identify legislative/administrative changes that affect the reporting process (e.g., change in dormancy periods and online filing requirements)
  • Identifying the individual(s)/department(s) responsible for each step in the compliance process

At the conclusion of the internal control review, Ryan will provide management with a written summary of findings and recommendations.

Ryan's Abandoned and Unclaimed Property practice can help your company with strategic planning issues surrounding the design, implementation, and maintenance of your company’s gift certificate/card program.

Design Steps: 

  • Assess potential implementation components, including operational considerations, legal structure of the gift-card maintenance company (GCMC), jurisdiction of domicile or incorporation, and potential tax issues
  • Research and discuss key issues and alternatives
  • Evaluate operational considerations, including GCMC entity selection, flow of transactions and intercompany agreements, accounting and financial reporting implications, systems integration, and GCMC services

Implementation Steps:

  • Form new entity/utilize existing entity
  • Develop intercompany guidelines and pricing
  • Identify and evaluate requisite filings with state agencies
  • Develop state income/franchise tax filing positions
  • Address business purpose and corporate substance considerations
  • Integrate GCMC with overall business purpose and operations
  • Work with legal counsel with regard to obtaining requisite legal documents
  • Create report summary of implementation process methodology

Maintenance Steps:

  • Analyze functioning of planning strategies and GCMC structure
  • Develop plan enhancements in response to changes in unclaimed property and tax laws, corporate direction, and business environment
  • Perform a strategy checkup six months after the date of structure implementation

Ryan Expertise

Ryan is a valuable partner to our company whose opinions are held in high regard. They respond to our needs quickly and have helped move our audits forward with positive outcomes. They are truly an extension of our team who cannot be replaced.
Unclaimed Property Administrator Fortune 500 Global Travel Brand
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