Make Year-End Payroll Easy: A Checklist

 In Blog, Bookkeeping, Finance

2018 is quickly coming to a close and for most of us that means juggling competing priorities – there just seems to be so much that needs to get done before the year is out!

If one of the tasks on your “to do” list is year-end payroll, please read on for a checklist to ensure your year-end process is seamless and 2019 starts off successfully.


  • Verify all manual payroll cheques were recorded in the payroll register and balance source deduction remittances to payroll register and general ledger accounts.
  • Prepare a PIER audit of CPP and EI deductions and remit any amounts owing with the final remittance for the year.
  • Generate a draft T4 run and T4 summary report for use in reconciling. Verify employee addresses and SIN numbers are correct.
  • Reconcile T4 summary report to payroll register and accounting general ledger accounts. Verify all amounts balance and are recorded in the correct boxes on the T4.
  • Communicate any additional payroll time for reconciliations with your employer or clients in advance. 

Taxable Benefits

  • Ensure taxable benefits (employer paid life, dep life, AD&D, CI) were reported each pay period, are balanced to the provider statements and are recorded in the correct boxes on the T4.
  • Process taxable benefit variances and other entries such as company car benefits. 

Set-up 2019 Payroll Year

  • Review payroll provider 2019 calendar for payroll processing/pay day conflicts (statutory holidays etc.)
  • Email employees new TD1 and TD1 ON forms from CRA for the 2019 payroll year.
  • Review 2019 CPP and EI statutory deductions rates and maximums.

2019 Canadian Pension Plan

2019 CPP Contribution rates, maximums and exemptions are changing. Learn more about these changes by clicking here (link to CRA information on CPP).

2019 Employment Insurance

2019 EI premium rates and maximums have increased. You can learn more about the 2019 EI changes on this concise chart (link to CRA information on EI).

Have you considered outsourcing payroll?

Many smaller businesses try to squeeze in payroll tasks when they have time but if the work is not done well or in a timely manner it can prove costly. A bookkeeper can process your payroll promptly and ensure that your payroll remittances are made on time to avoid costly penalties. Business Sherpa Group provides cost-effective, experienced bookkeepers in the exact amount that you need and has a team of accounting associates who are well versed in current processes, technologies and legislative requirements for payroll.  Learn more.

If you would like a copy of this checklist, we’ve created a downloadable version.

About the Author

Sandy Berry leads the Bookkeeping Business Solutions Team at Business Sherpa Group. Over the past 30 years, Sandy has worked with multiple small and medium sized organizations providing bookkeeping, accounting, payroll and human resources support.

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