How Accounting Firms Can Help With WSIB Reporting
Handling WSIB reporting can be a daunting task. There isn’t just the matter of reporting workplace injuries to the Board; you also have to ensure that your finances are in order to ensure you are paying the right premiums; underreporting can lead to serious consequences especially if the Board determines that it was fraud. Our firm can help you with proper WSIB reporting.
We can act as a resource for understanding exactly what premiums need to be paid by helping you understand what employees you’re responsible for and the earnings that they make that need to be insured. We can also help you in cases where you are on a premium payment plan or when your premiums are higher than you expected. Let’s dive into how we can help:
The best way to deal with an injury report is to prevent it - that is to say, to avoid having to report in the first place. This is a matter of accountability - both for your employees and for you, the employer. You might not think of accountants when you think of accountability, except insofar as the words sound the same, but there’s a lot we can do to promote accountability in your workplace.
The main way by which accountants promote accountability is by tracking cash flow. An accounting firm can help you calculate how much you’ve spent in WSIB premiums, how much you’re paying to each of your employees, and how much you’ve spent on safety precautions. Using this information, you can decide how you’d like to progress; it may be important for you to develop systems by which you can keep everyone accountable for workplace safety. When there are dollar signs attached to expenditure, it’s easier for everyone to have targets in mind, and targets breed accountability.
Reporting Your Eligible Earnings
As we mentioned above, there can be serious consequences for not reporting the proper eligible earnings. If the WSIB discovers that you aren’t paying the right premiums as a consequence of improper reporting of earnings, you may end up paying interest for every month of premium that was underpaid. That can add up to a lot of money.
In order to mitigate this risk, you can use our accounting firm. We’ll help you handle payroll and by using that information we’ll be able to calculate exactly what qualifies as insurable earnings - you won’t end up underpaying and as a consequence, you’ll save money.
Determining exactly who qualifies as an employee for insured earnings isn’t always simple. When you get HVAC contractors to come in and fix your furnace, do you have to pay premiums on their earnings? What about if you hire independent contractors to deliver food for you? You might opt to use the guide by the Government of Canada to determine who is an employee, but the regulations of the federal government don’t always match up with the rules of the WSIB, and changes to one don’t necessarily result in changes to the other. Our firm stays up to date on changes to both so we’ll make sure you’re always reporting the right earnings.
Understanding WSIB Rates
In order to assess exactly how much you need to pay in premiums, WSIB uses actuarial tables. As an accounting firm, we stay up to date on news that could affect your WSIB rates; one such change occurred recently when the Board moved to index all of its benefits to the CPI. Our industry knowledge will help you understand adjustments like this; that applies not only to the WSIB, but to changes in taxes, and many other financial systems.
When most people think of reporting to the WSIB, this is what they’re thinking of, reporting injuries. You might assume it’s a pretty straightforward process, but look at Form 7, which is used for reporting; it’s actually pretty detailed. We keep a tally of your employees, their employment status, and their earnings, so we can help you fill out Page 3. We may also be able to help you assess what type of adjusted work wages you can offer to the employee if they’re willing to return on a modified basis that accommodates their injury. Finding a good compromise for modified work is often the most effective way of helping an injured employee stay on their feet while helping you avoid claims to WSIB.
All in all, there is a lot that our accounting firm can do for you when it comes to WSIB reporting, from making sure you know which employees are eligible and how much they make when the time to report comes. Get in touch with us, and we can go over all the ways in which we can help you with WSIB reporting; what’s more, we can help you with any and all of your accounting needs.