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QuickBooks Desktop Payroll year-end checklist

by Intuit Updated 7 months ago

This checklist will help you make sure you're finishing all of the most important year-end activities in QuickBooks Desktop with correct payroll information for your employees.



Before you start

Install the latest payroll tax table updates

Downloading the latest payroll tax table will ensure you have the most current and accurate rates and calculations for supported provincial and federal tax tables, payroll tax forms, and EFILE options.

Update QuickBooks to the latest payroll tax table.

Turn on Automatic Updates

The best and easiest way to make sure you have the latest QuickBooks Desktop and payroll updates is to turn on the Automatic update feature, which tells QuickBooks to check for new payroll updates automatically.

Since the actual dates of payroll updates vary depending on federal and provincial actions, we highly recommend that you check for payroll updates each time you pay your employees (or at least every 45 days) to ensure that you have the most current tax table and forms available.

Order year-end supplies

To order your year-end supplies from Intuit, visit the QuickBooks Cheques, Forms, and Supplies web site.

Intuit recommends that you order your year-end supplies as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery and distribution.



Review active employees

The end of the year is a good time to review employee information that can affect T4 forms and, potentially, paycheques issued in the next tax year. Be sure to check:

  • Names, addresses, and Social Insurance Numbers
  • Retirement plan eligibility

Review employee data

  1. Go to the Employee Centre and select the Employees tab.
  2. Select the drop-down list below the Employees tab.
  3. Double-click on an employee's name to review their name, address, and Social Insurance Number for errors or missing information.
  4. Select the Payroll Info tab.
  5. Make changes that are needed, then save them by selecting OK.


Review terminated employees

Regardless of the current employee status, any employee who received a paycheque during the year will receive a T4 form for that year.

Be sure to check terminated employees for:

  • Names, address, and Social Insurance Numbers
  • Retirement plan eligibility

Verify that terminated employees are set up correctly

Be sure that terminated employees have been released correctly in QuickBooks.

  1. Go to the Employee Centre and select the Employees tab.
  2. Change the View to All Employees.
  3. Click the name of the released employee.
  4. Select the Transactions sub-tab.
  5. Double-click the termination (typically the last) paycheque, then select Paycheque Detail. Ensure that all vacation and sick time has been paid out.
  6. Close out of the paycheque. Do not save any changes. If you need to pay out vacation or sick time, create a new cheque for this amount and deliver it to the employee.
  7. Double-click the name of the released employee to access the Edit Employee window.
  8. Select the Employment Info tab.
  9. Verify that all information is current, the Release date is correct, and that an ROE Code is entered.
  10. Select OK to close the Edit Employee window.


Distribute year-end bonuses

Write a bonus check for an employee

  1. Go to the Employee Centre and click the Payroll tab.
  2. Click the Pay Employees tab, and in the Create Paycheques section, click Start Unscheduled Payroll.
  3. In the Enter Payroll Information window, select the employee to whom you're giving a bonus.
  4. Click Open Paycheque Detail.
  5. In the Item Name field, add the bonus item, and enter the amount of the bonus in the Rate field.
  6. Click Save & Next or Save & Close.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Click Create Paycheques.


Review benefit information for your employees

Before you create paycheques in the new tax year, confirm that all compensation and benefit types are correct, and that the rates for each is correct.

Review benefit information

  1. Go to the Lists menu and select Payroll Item List.
  2. Double-click the item to review the setup.
  3. Select Finish to save any changes you have made.

Review benefits added to the employee defaults or to an employee record

  1. Go to the Employee Centre and select the Employees tab.
  2. Double-click the employee name
  3. Select the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Review the information in the Additions, Deductions, and Company Contributions section. If you need to edit the information, click in the field, make the edit, then select OK.
  5. Select OK to save your changes.

Any future paycheques created for that employee will include the new information.

For more information about benefits limit and contribution deadlines, visit the CRA website.



Review employee wages, sick time, and vacation hours

Review wages and benefit levels

Before your first payroll of the new year, you may want to take the time to review wages and benefits for all active employees. To do so:

  1. Go to the Employee Centre and select the Employees tab.
  2. Double-click the name of an employee to access the Edit Employee window.
  3. Select the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Ensure the items, rates, and limits are correct in the Earnings and Additions, Deductions and Company Contributions sections.
  5. Click the Vacation Pay button and review the settings.
  6. Select OK to close the Edit Employee window.

Review sick and vacation settings

To review sick and vacation hours for an employee:

  1. Go to the Employee Centre and select the Employees tab.
  2. Double-click the name of an employee to access the Edit Employee window.
  3. Select the Payroll Info tab.
  4. Click the Vacation Pay button and review the settings.
  5. Select OK to save any changes and close the Vacation window.
  6. Click the Accrual Hours button and review the settings for accrued sick time.
  7. Select OK to save any changes and close the Accrual Hours window.
  8. Close the Edit Employee window.


Generate year-end forms

Below are the most commonly-used year-end payroll forms:



Important dates

The deadline for T4, RL-1, T4A, and T5018 forms is the last day of February, which could fall on the 28th or 29th, depending on the year.

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