Make Year-End Payroll Easy: A Checklist -

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2019 is quickly coming to a close. 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 2020 starts off successfully.

Downloadable Version

If you would like a copy of the payroll year-end checklist for yourself, there is a downloadable version containing a succinct checklist (great for printing!). The same information is also available on this blog; enjoy either option… or both!

View and Download


  • 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 2020 Payroll Year

  • Review payroll provider 2020 calendar for payroll processing/pay day conflicts (statutory holidays etc.)
  • Email employees new FED TD1 and TD1 ON forms from CRA for the 2020 payroll year.
  • Review 2020 CPP and EI statutory deductions rates and maximums. You can find details by following these links to CRA website:
  • 2020 Canadian Pension Plan: CPP contribution rates, maximums and exemptions are changing. Learn more about these changes by clicking here (link to Government of Canada information on CPP).
  • 2020 Employment Insurance: EI premium rates and maximums have slightly decreased. You can learn more about the 2020 EI changes on this concise chart (link to Government of Canada information on EI).

Have you considered outsourcing payroll?

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 any 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.