What do you need to know about the minimum wage hike?
January 30, 2014

There are so many different government laws that directly affect operations within Canadian small businesses every day, particularly accounting and bookkeeping firms. For instance, professionals in these companies have to abide by very detailed laws regarding financial reporting, human resources standards that affect employees and many others.

While there are definitely technologies that can help firm owners stay compliant with these regulations–like accounting software, which can ensure sensitive fiscal data is protected adequately and figures are recorded in the right manner–leaders should still stay apprised of all new developments.

For instance, accountants in Canada should be aware that minimum wage laws are shifting in Ontario. This can not only affect Ontario-based firms internally, depending on their payroll practices, but it will also likely affect many clients in some manner.

One June 1, everything changes
According to Canada.com, on June 1, 2014, minimum wage in Ontario will rise from $10.25 to $11. The shift will also affect those who work at a lower minimum wage established by the government, such as those who serve liquor, students, hunting and fishing guides and so on. This is a relatively significant change, as this figure has been frozen since 2010.

The news source explained that this decision places Ontario and Nunavut at a tie for first place in terms of the highest minimum wage rates across Canada. Comparatively, Alberta is the region with the lowest hourly salary, holding steady at $9.95, while all others are $10 or more.

Even though wages will be changing across the province, Canada.com still pointed out that technically, full-time minimum wage workers in Ontario would still fall under the poverty line, which is set at a salary of $23,000 annually. As such, the source indicated that talks about minimum wage might not be over any time soon, suggesting that accountants need to keep an ear to the ground on the subject, as anti-poverty activists are trying to push for a $14 hourly wage.

What should accountants be on the lookout for
One of the best things about using bookkeeping software is the fact that it automates everything - professionals don't have to manually input a lot of data, nor do they have to make most calculations themselves. As such, many have their programs set up to calculate things like payroll automatically using embedded equations.

This means, then, that professionals located in the Ontario area, or those that do the books for clients in the province, should double-check their figures when June rolls around to ensure that not only are employees being paid right, but that the numbers reported are correct.

Nexus: G-WEBCD6