Your T4 is on its way

February 8, 2016

It takes about eight employees, a checklist of more than 270 items, and months of planning, troubleshooting and testing to make it happen – and, Monday, 55,674 T4s were shipped by 3sHealth to healthcare employers across the province.

Many of us take for granted that sometime in mid- to late-February our T4 magically appears so we can complete our tax returns. We might not necessarily think about the people and processes behind that important document.

At 3sHealth, a team of Information Management and Information Technology experts begin planning the April prior to T4 distribution.

Using a “super” detailed checklist of about 276 items, the team first meets to talk about lessons learned and potential improvements. They incorporate feedback from clients – regional health authority partners – and look for ways they can continuously improve the process. If a step takes two days, for example, they consider what they might do to reduce that time next year.

This year, despite the fact there were only five instead of six weeks between payroll year-end and printing of T4s, the process is two days ahead of schedule. The target to send T4s to employers was Feb. 10 and they were ready by Feb. 5 and will be in the mail Monday.

The process has been completed without any overtime, too.

“Last year, we had an enormous amount of overtime,” said Natasha Harrison, HRIS specialist with 3sHealth.

Another contributor to a successful process was that the team wasn’t also tackling other major projects at the same time, added Andrea Wright, HRIS Lead IT Analyst.

“We start our year-end process in August,” said Cindy Yelle, HRIS Specialist with the 3sHealth Information Management team. “A lot of the early work focuses on data clean up in preparation for payroll year-end and generating T4s.”

A couple of new enhancements have been added this year that make the T4 process smoother for health system employers. The first is related to a pension adjustment calculations and the second provides a box for including income relevant for Status Indians.

“When we introduce enhancements, we first test them with one employer,” said Wright. “Once we’ve got the process in place, tested and working correctly, we offer it to all the employers.” The pension adjustment process was tested with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region last year. “We’ve had lots of positive feedback."

In October, the team was thrown a curve ball when they learned the Canada Revenue Agency would no longer provide sufficient numbers of Employer T4 forms for printing – they would provide only 50 copies and 3sHealth requires about 30,000.

“So we had to develop a new process,” said Mario Milanovski, a Windows developer with 3sHealth IT. “We took a three-pronged approach and did some testing and it seems to be working well.”

Most provincial employers will receive electronic copies of the employer T4s while employees will receive a printed copy. The team looks forward to a day when employees can also be provided with electronic versions but it’s not clear when or if that will happen anytime soon.

Overall, the team’s goal is to maintain confidentiality and ensure every employee receives an accurate T4 delivered on time.


pdf  2016-02-07-Your-T4-is-on-its-way.pdf

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