Seminar notes: The Canadian Payroll Association

MRSB Bookkeeper Linda Hicken recently had the opportunity to participate in a web seminar offered by The Canadian Payroll Association on documenting payroll policies and procedures. Here she shares some of the insights gained during the seminar.

Payroll is an essential component of most businesses, and is often the largest expense of a corporation. Your payroll department can consist of an entire team, or just one payroll administrator. Lack of good communication flow to and from the payroll department can cause inefficiency, decreased employee morale and increase the risk of non-compliance with the legislation of various government bodies.

To ensure successful communication, it is beneficial for every company to create their own Policy & Procedures Manual that covers all payroll issues and outlines the procedures involved in carrying out these rules consistently. First, research should be done to identify the needs of the company, the departments involved and who should be part of the team that will write your manual. Writing styles can vary, but it should be in simple language. Some topics to include in your payroll manual:

  • Hiring process
  • Submission of hours
  • Vacation pay policies
  • Bonuses
  • Mandatory deductions


Once your team has compiled the material and written a draft, approval by upper management is vital as this enforces your policies once they are in effect. When your final document is complete, ensure that it is available to all employees, either printed or in digital form. Be prepared to answer questions and review the policy with staff. You may want to have each employee sign a form stating that they have read and understood the manual.

Your payroll policy and procedure manual should be reviewed periodically and updated in the event of changes in your organization or in government legislation.  There is a time commitment involved in producing your manual, and you should consider it an investment. Your company will benefit from the results.