Hidden Pitfalls: How Outsourcing Payroll Saves Your Business from Compliance Disasters

If you’re a business owner, you know that one of the things you will often encounter is running your payroll. Of course, it is a priority because it ensures employees are compensated accurately and on time, which keeps the business running smoothly.

Though on the surface, payroll may seem like just about making sure everyone gets paid, the process is actually more than that. It’s also about navigating compliance and regulations to ensure your business stays on the right side of the law.

That being said, let’s get started and dive into the details of payroll compliance.

The Regulatory Maze of Payroll Compliance

As we briefly touched upon, staying compliant with laws and regulations is often a challenge for businesses, especially when it comes to payroll processing.

In Canada, more specifically, did you know that payroll is actually one of the most highly regulated spaces? This is mostly because there’s a multitude of rules and regulations from both government and non-government agencies that businesses need to adhere to.

Let’s take a look at some of these agencies, rules, and regulatory bodies:

Canada Revenue Agency

This is one of the most significant agencies responsible for managing taxes and benefits. In the payroll process, the CRA plays a big role. They make sure that businesses calculate and deduct the right amount of taxes from their employees’ paychecks. They also ensure that businesses contribute their share of the canada pension plan and employment insurance.

That’s why they require businesses to accurately report employee earnings, deductions, and remit the collected taxes on time. They also audit businesses to make sure they’re following the rules correctly. Essentially, they’re like the watchdogs ensuring everyone plays fair when it comes to paying tax.

Service Canada

Service Canada is a government agency in Canada that provides various services and benefits to citizens. In the payroll process, they handle things like employment insurance and social benefits. They ensure that employees who qualify receive benefits for things like maternity or loss of employment. Apart from that, they also manage all of the Record of Employment (ROE) forms, which employers use to report an employee’s earnings, hours, and reason for leaving a job.

This helps determine if someone is eligible for employment insurance benefits. Service Canada requires employers to submit accurate and timely ROEs when an employee stops working, ensuring that workers get the support they need if they apply for employment insurance.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB – Ontario)

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Another agency that acts as a safety net for workers and employers. Their main role in the payroll process is to provide insurance coverage for workplace injuries or illnesses. Employers contribute to the WSIB to protect their employees in case of accidents on the job.

If a worker gets hurt or sick because of work, the WSIB steps in to cover medical expenses and lost wages. They also offer support to help injured workers recover and return to work safely. The WSIB requires employers to report workplace injuries or illnesses promptly and accurately, ensuring that affected employees receive the necessary support and benefits with minimal delay.

Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance is a government department responsible for managing finances and economic policies. They set rules for how much tax businesses need to collect from their employee’s pay and how to report and remit those taxes.

When it comes to payroll, the Ministry of Finance handles the management of the Employer Health Tax (EHT). Businesses who have larger payrolls, or businesses who do not qualify for the EHT exemption, have an additional reporting requirement with the Ministry of Finance – filing and remitting Employer Health Tax. Depending on the amount of tax you need to remit, the frequency and reporting differs.

Employment Standards Act – Ontario

The Employment Standards Act in Ontario is not an agency but a rulebook for workplaces, outlining the rights of employees. Its role in the payroll process is to ensure fair treatment and proper compensation for workers. This act sets rules for the calculation of public holiday pay, overtime pay, overtime rules, and vacation entitlements.

In the payroll process, the Employment Standards Act is what requires employers to adhere to these standards, ensuring that employees receive fair wages and benefits, and are treated respectfully in the workplace. Compliance with these regulations helps create a fair and harmonious work environment for all parties involved.


On top of all of that, if your business is part of a union, you’re compelled to follow a union’s collective agreement. A union’s collective agreement outlines the different standards that its members must receive. For example, a union may require that employers pay 5 weeks of vacation pay per year and 8 weeks of vacation pay per year after “x” years of employment. This differs from the Employment Standards Act’s minimum requirement of 2 weeks per year and 3 weeks after 5 years of employment.

Risks of Not Complying With Payroll Regulations

As a business owner, it’s important to be familiar with these regulations and to follow them. They exist for good reason, and failing to comply can have serious consequences.

For instance, failing to comply with tax regulations set by government agencies like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) could lead to penalties, fines, and legal action. Similarly, not following guidelines from agencies such as Service Canada, which is responsible for employment insurance and benefits, or the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for workplace safety coverage could result in financial liabilities and reputational damage.

Moreover, neglecting to meet the requirements outlined by unions, such as fair wages and working conditions, may lead to disputes, strikes, and legal battles, ultimately disrupting business operations and harming relationships with employees.

Overall, non-compliance with these regulations and requirements can have far-reaching consequences, including financial loss, legal troubles, and a damaged reputation. Plus, your employees may become dissatisfied, which could result in the loss of valuable team members.

Advantages of Letting Experts Handle Your Payroll

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But as a business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate, so it’s understandable if payroll details slip your mind, especially without a solid system in place. So, how can you ensure you stay on track with payroll compliance? The answer is simple—consider outsourcing experts to handle it for you. If you do, here are some of the advantages you can expect.

Expertise and Experience of Payroll Service Providers

When you hand over your payroll to professionals, you’re tapping into their wealth of knowledge and experience. They eat, sleep, and breathe payroll, so you can trust them to handle all the tiny details accurately and efficiently, leaving you free to focus on growing your business.

Time and Cost Savings Compared to In-House Payroll Management

Another reason is that managing in-house payroll can be a drain on your resources. From hiring and training staff to investing time in staying up-to-date with ever-changing regulations, it all adds up. But with outsourcing, you’re streamlining your operations and cutting costs. Plus, you’re freeing up valuable time that you can invest back into your business.

Access to Advanced Technology and Compliance Tools

Outsourcing also gives you access to advanced technology and compliance tools that you might not have on your own. These tools streamline processes, reduce errors, and keep you on the right side of the law, saving you from potential fines and headaches down the road.

Scalability and Flexibility To Adapt to Business Growth

Businesses grow over time, and when that happens, your payroll needs will also change. And if you do it alone, how sure are you that you’re doing it accurately? On the flip side, if you choose to outsource payroll experts to handle it for you, your business can easily adapt to these changes without the hassle of reconfiguring your payroll system.

Security From All Kinds of Financial Risks

Most of all, outsourcing helps you protect your business from errors and all kinds of financial mishaps. With professionals managing your payroll, you’re less likely to encounter costly mistakes or compliance issues that could dent your finances or harm your reputation. It’s like having a safety net in place, giving you peace of mind to focus on what you do best while resting easy, knowing your finances are in safe hands.

Having experts manage your payroll is a top choice, especially when you’re swamped with business or personal tasks. Because, it’s more than just doing what’s best for your business but also prioritizing your own peace of mind and well-being.

Things To Consider When Thinking About Outsourcing Payroll

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Nonetheless, it is completely understandable that every business has its unique set of problems. So, if you are still contemplating whether or not you should outsource experts for your payroll needs – here are a few things to keep in mind in this thought process:

How Much Is Your Time Worth

Is spending hours processing payroll worth it when you could focus on more strategic aspects of your business? If it consumes a significant portion of your week, perhaps delegating this task to a payroll professional could be more beneficial.

Employee Retention

Are you contemplating introducing programs to enhance employee retention? For instance, you might consider implementing a retirement or group health plan. However, it might be wise to seek assistance if you lack expertise in managing such schemes.

Payroll Accuracy

Are your employees complaining about payroll accuracy? And if so, are you being transparent with them? Outsourcing to a payroll professional may not eliminate all errors, but you can be sure that errors are reduced, providing more transparency to your staff.

Complex Situations

Often, business owners get themselves into complex payroll situations like a large employee advance that is paid down over the next 10 payrolls. What happens if somewhere this goes sideways and you lose track of how much the employee needs to pay back? Can you explain the situation to your staff?

Outsourcing Makes Your Life as a Business Owner Easier

Ultimately, it boils down to valuing your business and your team enough to make investments that benefit everyone. Payroll compliance might seem challenging, but it becomes manageable with the right knowledge, time, and support.

As a business owner, your time is precious, and managing everything from supplies to staff can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling stretched thin, let payroll experts step in to lighten the load. They’ll keep up with regulatory changes, ensure your employees are paid accurately and on-time, keeping your business running as smoothly as possible.

If you’re ready to simplify your payroll process and focus on what you do best, schedule a call with us. Together, we can develop a strategy that works for your business.