More than just a perfect cheque

National payroll week puts the spotlight on payroll practitioners

It’s not often a payroll professional hears the comment, “thanks for a perfect pay cheque.” Last week (Sept. 3-6) marked the eighth annual national payroll week, a celebration of the contributions of payroll professionals who too often go unrecognized the rest of the year.

Many employees don’t realize payroll professionals do more than simply calculate and process paycheques. With competition to retain and attract qualified employees on the rise throughout the organization, many employers are offering a wider range of compensation options including: salary base, stock options, profit sharing plans, flexible work schedules, tuition reimbursement and increased benefit plans. The implementation and responsibility of these usually falls to a payroll professional.

A qualified payroll professional can be an incredible resource, bringing extensive knowledge and skills to the organization. Practitioners need to understand government legislation and employment law, accounting and financial concepts, software programs and communication and management strategies, and apply that knowledge in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Payroll administrators are responsible for filing and reporting records of employment, EI, CPP/QPP, income taxes and other federal and provincial remittances. At year-end, they process all of the T4s and RL-L forms which allow workers to settle taxes with the government. Payroll professionals also co-ordinate the disbursement of payroll withholdings such as savings plans, insurance, disability and medical benefit claims, company pension plans, union benefits, group RRSPs and much more.

With these issues in mind, national payroll week was founded in 1995 to recognize the accomplishments of the payroll community and build greater awareness of the contributions of payroll professionals in today’s workplace. National payroll week is a project of the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) and is supported by a number of corporate sponsors. It is now both a North American and global event. The United States (American Payroll Association) holds events the same week, while the United Kingdom and Australia also hold activities during the month of September.

The week is an opportunity for the payroll community to create awareness with employers and employees about the extensive knowledge of payroll professionals. There are events scheduled in 21 cities across Canada.

Wendy McLean, is the co-ordinator of marketing and communications for the Canadian Payroll Association. For more information on national payroll week visit

Latest stories