Balancing and reconciling your records can be difficult because changes to one record can impact another and cause it to be incorrect.
For example, if a non-cash taxable benefit is added during the review, the CPP and EI due to CRA may increase. As a result, it's critical to follow a process in which you review your records, make adjustments (if necessary), and then review your records again.
However, we strongly advise you to complete this step so that you can identify and reconcile any potential discrepancies before generating your T4s. This will save you a lot of time (and headaches) in the long run.
The flowchart below displays the actions you need to complete for this step. You can download it at the end of this article, or click here to jump there now.
All employers are legally responsible for keeping payroll and employment records for each employee for at least 36 months.
It's also a best practice to back up all payroll records regardless of whether or not third-party payroll providers produce the records for you.
Because this article is jam-packed with useful information, you can skip ahead to any section that interests you by using the links below. Continue reading to learn about all of the steps you must take to balance and reconcile your records, including:
- Run the PIER Analysis Report to audit CPP and EI statutory deductions
- Things to review in the PIER report
- Common causes of CPP/EI discrepancies
- Confirm all "Income Types" are set up correctly
- Use the T4 Preview to make sure that all employees have an accurate social insurance number and email address
Run the PIER Analysis Report
Run the PIER Analysis Report to audit CPP and EI statutory deductions
In "Reporting," select the "Payroll" tab and click on the "PIER Analysis" report. The "PIER Analysis" Report will help you quickly identify any potential discrepancies in:
- Employee CPP
- Employer CPP
- Employee EI
- Employer EI
We recommend doing this review before generating your employee T4s to ensure your business won't receive a "Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER)" from the CRA.
You can easily see a discrepancy if there's an amount other than zero in any of the "variance" fields.
A positive discrepancy means there's an "overage" (i.e. over-remitted amount), and a negative discrepancy means there's a "deficiency" (i.e. under-remitted amount).
Please note that it's normal to have minor "deficiencies" if there are still outstanding payrolls for the current tax year.
If the last payroll(s) for the year hasn't yet been processed, you should verify whether the discrepancies will be covered by the final payroll(s) or not.
Things to review in this report:
CPP Variance and ER CPP Variance
These amounts represent discrepancies in the "employee CPP" and "employer CPP" amounts calculated throughout the year versus the statutorily required amounts.
To determine the amount:
Humi takes the "Pensionable Earnings," subtracts the "Basic Exemption" (based on the "Periods Paid" and the pay period "Basic Exemption Amount"), multiplies this amount against the "CPP contribution rate," and then subtracts this value from the "CPP Deducted."
EI Variance and ER EI Variance
These amounts represent discrepancies in the "employee EI" and "employer EI" amounts calculated throughout the year versus the statutorily required amounts.
To determine the "EI Variance" amount:
To determine the "ER EI Variance" amount:
Humi takes the "Insurable Earnings," multiplies this amount against the "EI premium rate," multiplies this value by 1.4, and then subtracts this value from the "ER EI Deducted."
Common causes of CPP/EI discrepancies
- Rounding errors. It's possible for per-period CPP/EI deductions to be correct but have minor discrepancies when "per-period" amounts are added together to get the annual amount due to rounding. These are unlikely to trigger a PIER review from the CRA.
- The employee earned less Pensionable income in a pay period than the pay period basic exemption amount.
- Clerical or calculation errors.
- Incorrect configuration of CPP/EI exemption statuses. For example, when an employee turns 18 and becomes non-exempt or turns 70 and becomes exempt.
- Incorrect or missing YTD amounts uploaded to Humi Payroll during implementation.
- A payroll frequency change mid-year.
- Records were adjusted retroactively and no longer reflected the remittances made.
If you see a variance that you believe is not a rounding error, we have included four columns in the report to help determine the root cause:
The report aims to help reveal basic errors in implementation or usage in Humi Payroll. It's not designed to replace the employer's review of payroll records. As a result, Humi does not guarantee all discrepancies are captured in the PIER Analysis Report.
Run the T4 Preview Report
Run the T4 Preview Report to verify that earnings and deductions are reporting in the correct boxes
Humi’s T4 Preview Report is designed to help you quickly review where earning codes are mapped and check for overall accuracy. Doing this review before generating your T4s will help you avoid mistakes and time-consuming T4 Amendments. It allows you to generate a box-by-box preview of your T4s, broken down by each employee.
To access the report, under "Reporting," select the "Payroll" tab and click on the "T4 Preview" report.
It's vital to ensure all employees paid within 2022 are set up in Humi Payroll, even if they've been terminated.
To confirm all "Income Types" are set up correctly
Certain "Income Types" have specific reporting requirements on the T4.
These resources may help you understand the requirements for pay types you have offered employees in the tax year:
With this information, you can use the "T4 Preview" report to ensure that T4s meet the reporting requirements.
If you need to investigate the specifics of certain "pay types" within your account, use the links below to dig into the details:
- Salary / hourly compensations. Learn more.
- Amounts and deduction behaviours for taxable benefits and allowances.
- Amounts and deduction behaviours for additional income types.
While Humi automates many of these processes, it's a best practice that employers also periodically perform a self-directed review of all payroll records.
The CRA has published a series of helpful resources to facilitate this review process:
- Calculation of CPP contributions (multiple pay periods or year-end verification)
- Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC)
- Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER)
The report aims to help reveal basic errors in implementation or usage in Humi Payroll. It's not designed to replace the employer's review of payroll records. As a result, Humi does not guarantee all discrepancies are captured.
Use the T4 Preview
Use the T4 Preview to make sure that all employees have an accurate social insurance number and email address
The CRA uses the social insurance number reported on the T4 to identify the taxpayer. If this number is incorrect, your employee will have problems when they file their personal taxes.
You will also want to make sure that your employees all have an accurate email address, and that they will have access to this email address. This is important because Humi will send employees their T4s via a password protected email. Therefore, all employees (Active and Terminated) must be able to receive this email from Humi.
Confirm that your employee's personal information is correct:
- Employee First Name (legal)
- Employee Last Name (legal)
- Employee Address
- Employee valid Email (for terminated employees, this will be their personal email)
- Social Insurance Number (for security reasons, the T4 Preview Report will show a partially redacted SIN)
Use the Year-End Adjustment tool
Use the Year-End Adjustment tool to correct any issues you’ve identified in the PIER Analysis Report, and/or T4 Preview Report
With Humi, it’s easy to make any adjustments needed: simply use our Year-End Adjustment tool. This tool becomes available on January 1st, for the previous year. For example, for the 2022 reporting year, the Year-End Adjustment tool will be available in Humi on January 1, 2023.
This is a powerful tool and admins should only use it after a thorough review of payroll data and the T4 requirements.
The "Adjustment Table" has a row for every employee who was on at least one payroll in the year. The table also has a column for every type of Pay, Additional Income, Benefit and/or Deduction that was on at least one payroll in the year.
To make an adjustment, double-click on the field, and enter the change.
- To increase the value of an earning or benefit, enter a positive dollar value.
- To increase the value of a tax or deduction, enter a positive dollar value.
Humi automatically saves the changes and reflects them on the T4.
Note: The Adjustment feature does not move money to your employee(s) or the CRA. If the adjustment results in more money owed to the employee or the CRA, you will need to pay (or collect) this outside of Humi.
If you need to make an adjustment that requires increasing tax amounts, whether it's for the employee or the employer, please be aware that you, the employer, must remit these amounts to the CRA outside of Humi.
Remit outstanding CPP, EI, and Income Tax statutory deductions
It’s a good idea to reconcile the amounts paid to the CRA with the total statutory deductions for the year, and, if necessary, make any additional payments. You can review all payments received by the CRA in your MyBusiness account, and compare these to the total statutory deductions. You'll need to remit any owed income tax, CPP, or EI statutory deductions before or as part of the final remittance for the tax year through the CRA's My Business Account.
You will incur no penalties or interests as long as the owed amounts are remitted and received by the CRA within the remittance period's due date.
As a leniency policy, the CRA offers a last resort solution known as Payment on Filing, allowing eligible employers to remit a reconciliation payment by the last day of February without being subject to a penalty or interest.
Employers are eligible if they meet all three of the following requirements:
- If the "reconciliation payment" is less than 1% of your total annual remittances
- You have perfect payroll compliance:
- No late or outstanding remittances
- No assessments in the year they are filing
- All T4 information filed on or before the due date
- You must have one or more of the following circumstances:
- Employees who are paid stock-based salaries or wages
- Third-party information they rely on for insurance, health benefits, broker information, taxable benefits and/or automobile fleet mileage
- Employees who live in other tax jurisdictions
However, we generally recommend remitting any owed amounts as soon as possible, so "Payments on Filing" can only be used for true emergencies, such as reconciling discrepancies that are discovered after the final remittance due date.