Year End Isn't Just For Accountants

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Are you ready for year end? (Its not just for accountants!) While you may just be focused on planning the final touches of your holiday party, you can use this time to prepare for the new year. Below are the must dos, should dos and may dos to get you started right in 2017.

Must Do:

  • Check with your finance team or payroll provider that they've updated the tax rates for 2017
  • Remind employees to update their 2017 TD1 federal and applicable TD1 provincial tax forms - especially if they have any additional deductions to ensure the correct amount of tax is taken off for them. You'll want to update these forms in any new hire or onboarding packages you have.
  • Check with your extended health benefits provider and provincial medical plan (as applicable) to see if there are any rate changes - both to update your budget and to notify employees of the impact on their paycheque deductions (either on the amount they pay directly or the taxes they pay on the benefits you pay for)
  • Review your policy on anti-harassment and bullying. Then have a refresher learning session for your management team on their roles, rights and responsibilities. In some Canadian provinces this annual review is even a compliance requirement.
  • If you have employees at or near minimum wage or are following the livable wage, check your province's employment standards branch as the rates may be changing (e.g. British Columbia will increase to $11.75 and Newfoundland will have two increases in 2017).

Should Do:

  • Check with your benefits provider if there are any age limits on benefits (e.g. Life insurance ending at age 65), and if so to remind employees at or near that age of the changes. Best practice would be to notify them the year before so they have plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
  • Remind employees nearing 70 years of age that Canada Pension Plan contributions will end and at 71 as per Canada Revenue Agency the company RRSP contributions will also end
  • Remind employees to review the beneficiaries of their insurance and dependents on extended health plans in case any changes need to be made
  • Remind employees to update their emergency contact information and review their own contact information so have on hand if needed
  • For employees that are in regulated professions (e.g. CPA, CPHR, PEng) or have job required licenses and tickets (e.g. CWB welding certification, driver's license, forklift ticket), check the renewal requirements and expiry dates to ensure they don't lapse and impact job performance
  • Review your conflict of interest policy with all employees and have them respond back that they understood. Plus have them update potential conflicts or that they do not currently have a conflict of interest.
  • Review your other employee policies and handbook (especially important issues like privacy, confidentially, safety and performance) to ensure they are still compliant and are also aligned with your company culture and vision. If any changes, ensure each employee receives the updated copy and acknowledges they understand.
  • Depending on your fiscal cycle, you may also want to review salary and compensation. The cost of living adjustment this year is 1.3% and several sources have average salary increases ranging from 2.2% to 2.5%.

May Do:

  • Encourage employees to update their professional headshot photo, profiles and bios. This includes professional social media like LinkedIn and for any internal uses like a company intranet, communication tools and to have on hand for media mentions and award nominations.
  • Have employees review their desk, files, folders, and also electronic storage - what can be deleted, archived or returned. You may be surprised as what turns up! Check what compliance standards are as some documents need to be saved for a set period of time (e.g. In BC, resume submissions for one year and employee records for two years after the last day worked)
  • Depending on your performance review cycle, you may have employees and their managers review goals, performance and expectations. Some companies align this to personal anniversary dates while others have a set time throughout the department or company.

Phew. Seems like a lot to do? However, many of these will save you hours and days of time by being proactive rather than reactive. If you need help, let BrightGo Solutions review and update your company processes, templates and checklists. We can even manage the actual communications, refresher training and policy updates. Contact us today to be ready for the new year!