Enter payroll history

When you switch to Wave’s payroll software mid-year and have processed payrolls before joining, you need to enter the gross wages and applicable taxes in Wave. This must be done before you approve your first payroll 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 the current calendar year so far. Only the current year’s information is necessary.

Your YTD amounts are used to calculate payroll taxes, so ensure they are accurate. If your YTD amounts are incorrect, you may over or underpay your payroll taxes. If your taxes are underpaid, you may receive penalties.

Enter payroll history

View payroll history in Wave

Correct payroll history

Enter payroll history

Step 1: Confirm you have payroll history to enter

If you have paid employees this calendar year, you have payroll history to enter. Mark this in your payroll setup:

  1. On the left-side menu click Payroll > Run Payroll.
  2. Click Payroll Setup.
  3. Under the Business section, to the right of Business, click Edit or Add Details.
  4. Select Yes to the question Have you paid any employees this year?

If you are hiring your first employee, only pay 1099 (US) or T4A (Canada) contractors or you have not yet paid any employees (active or terminated) this year, select No.

Step 2: Ensure you have added all employees

You need to enter all wages and taxes for each employee you paid prior to using Wave’s payroll software to your Wave payroll history, even if they are no longer active on your payroll. All employees need to be included to ensure the tax forms that Wave generates for your business are correct.

To add employees, follow the steps in Add an employee to payroll.

Step 3: Enter payroll history

In Wave, you’ll only be able to view quarterly summaries of your payroll history, so make sure you keep a complete copy of your original payroll information for your records.

  1. On the left-side menu, click Payroll > Run Payroll.
  2. Click the Payroll Setup button.
  3. Under the Business section, to the right of Prior Payrolls, click Add history.
  4. Enter your prior payroll dates.

    Pay period dates and check dates aren’t always the same. For example, if your last pay period ran from January 1-14 and you paid employees on January 15, the last check date would be January 15 and the last pay period end date would be January 14.

  5. Input the total wages paid to each employee per quarter, all taxes that were withheld and any other contributions.

    Enter the employee portions only. Wave will calculate the employer tax portion automatically.

If you notice any mistakes and want to start over, click the Restart button. If the payroll history is correct, you can move on to the next setup task. Your history has been saved.

For employers in the US only

For employers in the US only Federal income tax does not include Medicare or Social Security. Wave automatically calculates those amounts based on the other wage and tax amounts you provide.

For employers in Canada only

For each employee, enter the employee portion only for taxes, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums. Wave will calculate the employer tax portion automatically.

If your previous provider does not separate Federal and Provincial tax amounts, you can enter the combined amount into the Federal tax field.

View payroll history in Wave

  1. Open the top right menu by clicking your business name, then click Business settings.
  2. Under Payroll click Payroll History Import.

Correct payroll history

If you discover an error with your payroll history import and you have already approved payrolls in Wave, or if you have additional questions, open Mave, Wave’s automated chatbot, and type payroll history. Mave will help collect any relevant details and direct you to the appropriate support. Learn how to open Mave in Get support with Wave.