Payroll blunders understandable but costly

System improvements, interdepartmental communication and training reduce errors
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/26/2008

With 185 pieces of related legislation, tax laws continually in flux and compensation packages more complicated than ever, it’s not surprising Canadian payroll professionals might make a few mistakes. Add in the fact that payroll responsibilities are not always appreciated — and supported accordingly through improved communication or training — and it’s amazing payroll does its job so well.

“Payroll is not recognized as a profession, the area is underappreciated,” says Annie Chong, manager of the payroll consulting group at Thomson Carswell, a Toronto-based supplier of business and HR solutions. “Most payroll errors are not done by payroll people. Payroll is one of the most impacted areas hit by legislation. And there are so many internal players who contribute.”

Late paperwork from other departments, lack of direction or understanding of the rules by HR, provincial differences and varying opinions from government bodies are all factors when it comes to payroll errors.