Updated — December 2018
How time flies! Can you believe it's time for year-end routines already?
In order to ensure a stress-free wrap up of your fiscal year, we've outlined 8 steps that will work for anyone — whether you're a payroll DIYer, working with your accountant or using payroll software to manage your company's payroll.
By following these basic steps, both you and your employees can minimize any of the surprises or
1. Confirm Statutory Holiday Payouts are Being Handled in a Timely Manner.
In Canada, there are nine general holidays that apply to all companies federally:
- New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- Canada Day
- Labour Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Remembrance Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Additionally, there are certain holidays that apply to specific provinces and territories.
Below are the dates for 2019:
As an employer, you are legally required to pay out statutory holiday pay for employees who work on that holiday, but those requirements can vary based on your province or territory.
A good first step is to ensure that your company's payroll calendar accounts for those holidays. Then, if your employees meet eligibility requirements, you should make sure that they have been paid out for those holidays.
2. Maintain Accurate Employee Details
As an employer, you are legally required to collect and record your employees' SIN within three (3) days of their hire date. You also want to ensure that for all of your employees:
- The SINs are correct
- First and last names are correct
- Addresses are current and accurate
If you are using an online payroll solution, employees can access and update their personal details like address, date of birth, etc. online — which is a lot easier than you
Another aspect to consider is ensuring that you have your employees classified properly as either an employee or contractor. Mistakes from misclassification, such as failing to withhold the proper tax amounts, can add up quickly.
3. Verify Your Business Number and/or Quebec Remittance Account Number
One of the first steps of setting up your business is to register your company with the government, and through the registration process, you get a unique business number for your company.
This business number forms the basis for all your program accounts with the government, including your payroll account (it typically follows the 123456789RP0001 format).
As all of your tax remittances are paid out to the payroll account, associated
While we strongly recommend checking this during and immediately after setting up with your payroll provider or bookkeeper, it's something you can always check again at the end of the year.
4. Review Your WCB, WSIB and/or CSST Account Numbers and Rates
This may or may not apply to your company specifically, but if you are required to register your company for Workers' Compensation, you will be assigned an account number and a percentage rate by the Workers' Compensation Agency in your province.
For a comprehensive list of all the Provincial and Territorial Workers' Compensation Boards across Canada, download our FREE Comprehensive Guide to Hiring Your First Employee.
In addition to checking the account number and the rates, you should also make sure that all the applicable employees are enrolled in the program from a payroll standpoint. In a payroll app like Wagepoint, it's as simple as assigning the right Workers' Compensation rate to a specific employee within their Job Tab.
This is also a good time to make sure that you are fully caught up on all Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)/La Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) reporting. Because these agencies typically deal with the company directly, the employer is responsible for completing and submitting these reports, usually on a quarterly basis. You should always confirm your reporting frequency with the Workers' Compensation board in your province.
Most payroll providers can provide a report of all the remittances that have been made on your behalf, which is a handy report to accurately complete your WSIB/CSST reports.
5. Confirm That Your CRA/
Revenu Quebec Statement of Account Matches Your Remittances Paid Out To Date
Assuming your bookkeeper or payroll provider is handling government remittances on your behalf, they should be able to provide you with a Receiver General Report that outlines all the remittances that have been paid out to date.
You should compare the Receiver General Report with the Statement of Account you receive from the CRA/
This will help you spot any missed remittances, detect over or underpayments and catch up your payments well before you rack up any serious penalties.
6. Ensure You're Using the Right Remittance Frequency and Updating it as Needed
Most companies typically fall in the New or Regular Remitter Frequency, where your remittances have to be paid by the 15th of the month following the month you paid your employees.
Once your Average Monthly Withholding Amount (AMWA) starts to increase, your company might be required to remit taxes more frequently than a New or Regular Remitter.
It's really important that you notify your bookkeeper or update the frequency in your payroll software as soon as you receive the notice from the government. The penalties can be pretty severe for missed remittances.
7. Update Your Company's Employment Insurance (EI), Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), Health Services Fund (HSF) or Employer Health Tax (EHT) Rates
Stating the obvious here, but any notices you get from the government are important.
If you get reduced rates for EI, QPIP, HSF or EHT, you have to notify your bookkeeper or payroll provider immediately so that there are no discrepancies at year-end.
8. Make Sure Your Year-to-Date (YTD) and Accrued Vacation Amounts are Accurate
The YTD amounts are mostly applicable for companies who are switching payroll providers or systems. The YTD amounts have to be entered for all employees who are on payroll, especially if they have been paid previously in the year. These amounts all tally up at the end of the year and are reflected in the T4s / T4As.
Another thing to bear in mind is if the YTD amounts are incorrect, you might end up overpaying taxes and other source deductions like CPP or EI.
You should also check accrued vacation amounts to make sure that the amounts match up to what they should be for your employees. Typically, vacation
By following these eight steps, your year-end reporting should run smoothly for you and your employees. Plus, you minimize the risk of any penalties or discrepancies, and that's always a good thing!
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