[Canada] How to enter payroll history

If you have processed payrolls and are moving to Wave mid-year, you will need to accurately enter year-to-date (YTD) amounts for all employees, active and inactive. This needs to be done before approving your first payroll in Wave. Learn how to enter payroll history to ensure you get accurate calculations, payments and reporting.

In this article


What is payroll history and why is it important?

When you move to Wave Payroll mid-year and have processed payrolls before joining, you need to enter the gross wages and applicable taxes in Wave, to ensure correct payroll calculations moving forward.

The payroll history you enter is considered your year-to-date payroll, or YTD. You will be asked to enter YTD amounts for gross wages, federal and provincial taxes, employee Employment Income Premiums and employee Canada Pension Plan Contributions for both active and inactive employees for the current calendar year so far. Only the current year’s information is necessary.

It’s important to have and enter the correct YTD amounts before you approve your first payroll in Wave. You will need YTD amounts for your former (inactive) employees, in order to generate complete T4 slips and T4 summary at year-end.


Steps to take in Wave

If you have paid employees this year, whether manually, by your accountant, or through another payroll provider or you have paid employees this year who are no longer employed, let Wave know during your payroll setup. Here's how:

  1. Under Payroll > Click Run Payroll
  2. If the following page isn’t the payroll setup list, click Payroll Setup
  3. Locate Business > Click Edit/Add Details
  4. Locate “Have you paid any employees this year?
  5. Select Yes

If you are hiring your first employee, only pay T4A contractors or you have not yet paid any employees (active or terminated) this year, select No.

Enter your payroll history

Here's what you'll need

  1. Wage and tax totals for each employee you paid in 2020, or
  2. A downloaded report from your previous payroll provider

Access the payroll history import either from Run Payroll > Payroll SetupPrior Payrolls or from SettingsPayroll > Payroll History Import.

Begin by entering your last cheque date in the current year and your last pay period end date in the current year. For example, if your last pay period ran from January 1-14th and you paid employees on January 15th, the last cheque date would be January 15th and the last pay period end date would be January 14th.

For each employee, enter the following amounts and click Done:

  • Gross wages
  • Federal income tax
  • Provincial income tax
  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions
  • Employment Insurance (EI) premiums

Heads up! CPP and EI amounts required are the employee portions only. If your previous provider does not separate Federal and Provincial tax amounts, you can enter the combined amount into the Federal tax field. Income tax deducted is reported in one box (22) on the T4 slip and not all providers will separate income tax on pay statements. 


How to view payroll history in Wave

After your payroll history has been added to Wave, you'll be able to review it any time you need. Here's how:

  1. Click Settings
  2. Under Payroll > Click Payroll History Import

How to correct your payroll history

If your YTD amounts are incorrect, you may end up over or underpaying your payroll taxes, which may result in receiving a Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Review (PIER) from CRA. Learn more about PIER reports here.

If you discover an error with your payroll history import and you have already approved payrolls in Wave, or if you have additional questions, please click on the help icon on the bottom of the screen in your Wave account for more help.