Paying your employees on time

This article applies to Payroll by Wave in Canada.

As an employer, you want to make sure your employees get paid on time, every time! If you are writing your own cheques, you can do this on payday no problem. If you have direct deposit for your employees, there are wait times you need to be aware of. 

One important note before getting started: Once you issue pay stubs to your employees, you cannot change the frequency your employees are paid. Meaning, if your employees are paid biweekly, you can't change this to pay them monthly. For more information on why, see Why can't I change my payroll frequency?

Writing your own cheques 

If you plan to write your own cheques, you can do this on pay day or in advance. 

  1. You will need to run payroll before you write cheques. In the left-hand navigation menu, select Payroll > Run Payroll. From there, when you are ready, click Run payroll.
  2. After you have run payroll, click the Approved Payrolls button to view pay stubs for previous payrolls. Locate the payroll you want to see and click the dates to view details.
  3. Click Print cheques.
  4. You can select the employees you want to pay by cheque. Note: You can set up direct deposit for some employees while writing cheques for others.
  5. When you're ready, click Print.

Print out a few test pages before using actual cheques in your printer.

Direct deposit for your employees

If you have direct deposit set up, there is a waiting period. This is because it takes time to receive your request, verify the funds in your account, and move the funds to your employees' accounts. Keep in mind that all of this has to happen within normal banking hours.  This means payday can't happen on weekends or bank holidays. 

  • The daily deadline to run payroll is 5:30pm Eastern.  If you miss this deadline, your payroll will not be run until the next day.
  • You can expect employees to be paid 4 business days after you have ran the payroll.
  • If you want to, you can run payroll in advance. Wave will only withdraw the money from your account three days before payday. 

Example time!

Let's say your direct deposit is already activated and verified, and your employee's payday is November 1st. In order for your employee to be paid on time, you need to run your payroll on October 28th before 5:30pm Eastern. Notice that's four days before payday, and before the cut-off time. 

Here is a breakdown of what happens: 

  1. Monday: request to withdraw money from the employer's account is sent to the employer's bank.
  2. Tuesday: money is withdrawn from the employer's bank account. Note: If Wave handles your remittances, this amount is included in your withdrawal. 
  3. Wednesday: verify sufficient funds, and withdrawal. 
  4. Thursday: money is sent to employee bank accounts. 
  5. Friday: employees receive the money in their accounts. Payday!

One final thing to note is that if you have just set up direct depositthe process may take longer than 4 days. A lot of Payroll by Wave customers choose to cut cheques for their first payroll, and then use direct deposit moving forward.

If you feel confident you'll have your employees paid on time, you can move onto the next article in getting started: What do I do about payroll taxes?

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