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Payables at Year-End (PAYE) for FIS and non-FIS departments - Information Bulletin

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DATE:  January 25, 2000

TO:  Senior Full-Time Financial Officers

SUBJECT:  Payables at Year-End (PAYE) for FIS and non-FIS departments

Introduction

This letter clarifies the Policy on Payables at Year-End (PAYE), Chapter 5-5, Treasury Board Manual, Comptrollership Volume, and the related Information Bulletin dated March 17, 1995.

Please ensure that this information is communicated to all sections of your organisation which are involved with accounting and year-end processing.

These amendments are required to address recurring queries and to reflect the new Financial Information Strategy (FIS) environment in which the government is now starting to operate. Some of these changes apply to all departments, but the majority apply to departments as they become FIS compliant. They are meant to ensure that year-end departmental reporting to the center and the ensuing consolidation process will result in all of the government's liabilities being reported accurately in the consolidated financial statements presented in the Public Accounts of Canada.

Changes applicable to all departments

Salary and related accruals

Following changes made since 1 April 1999, the Regional Pay System no longer processes compensation payments in period 13. As a result, accrual adjustments for salary, retro-active pay adjustments, overtime, and other pay related transactions pertaining to the old year are no longer calculated and recorded centrally. Consequently, all departments (FIS and non-FIS) are now responsible for ensuring that all liabilities related to these pay transactions are calculated and recorded in their own books as PAYE, and as charges against their old year appropriation. It should be noted that the above is only a decentralization in the process related to year-end payroll transactions, which were already charged to appropriations. It does not apply to general allowances, which are not charged to appropriations, and that are discussed later.

Materiality level

The materiality level applicable to the recording of a specific liability against an appropriation is established in Appendix A to the Policy at the lesser of $5,000 or one-half of one per cent of the appropriation authority. This limit is unchanged, except for salaries and related pay accruals mentioned above. For these accruals, while the liability will continue to be calculated on an individual basis, the above level of materiality will be applied on a group basis, for each type of pay related transaction.

Changes applicable to FIS departments

General application

For FIS compliant departments, the PAYE policy continues to apply for the recording of year-end payables against their appropriation. Other adjustments or clarifications that may be required in their reporting and accounting process are discussed below.

The current PAYE policy deals with both the liabilities recorded at year-end through central allowances and those recorded by departments against their appropriation. The latter portion of the policy has always received more attention from departments, as these are the only amounts charged against departmental appropriations. However, under FIS, with the use of both the Financial Reporting Accounts (FRA) and the Authority Codes (AC) in the government-wide Chart of Accounts, FIS departments may start recording liabilities against their FRA for which they have no appropriation, and which will then be recorded against an AC for non-appropriated amounts (F codes). Examples of these would include the recording of general allowances for vacation pay and severance pay.

As the recording of such liabilities will be new to FIS departments, they should ensure it is done correctly and follows clear departmental guidelines. They should also ensure these new accounting policies are implemented in accordance with the timetable established in their Accrual Accounting Transition Protocol.

For the first years of the FIS period, and until otherwise advised, departments will also be required to inform the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) of the existence of such liabilities being recorded in their year-end accounts. This will be done through each department's annual reporting to the Financial Management and Accounting Policy Division, TBS, in response to the call letter for Allowances for Valuation of Assets and Liabilities sent annually for the purpose of Public Accounts preparation.

Settlement in excess of amounts recorded

Upon settlement of the final PAYE of a given year, if the net of all recorded PAYE exceeds the net amount of all the settlements, the excess must continue to be recorded against non-tax revenue for appropriation purposes. For FIS departments, any such excess should be recorded against the same FRA expense where the amount was initially charged. However, the AC coding should continue to be reported against current-year non-respendable non-tax revenue for authority accounting purposes.

Interdepartmental amounts (PAYE-OGD)

Appendix A to the PAYE policy provides for the accrual of PAYE to other government departments (PAYE OGD) against the appropriation of the debtor department and the equivalent receivable at year-end (RAYE OGD) in the books of the creditor department when the corresponding revenue is net-voted non-tax revenue. This approach is meant to ensure that at year-end, on a consolidated basis, the total government-wide expenditures charged against appropriations will be presented on the same basis as the total government-wide revenues credited to appropriations. This year-end process continues to apply to FIS departments. However, it is only a year-end process and should not be used during the year to credit OGD receivables to a vote prior to the processing of the interdepartmental settlement.

Given that FIS departments now record their receivables through sub-ledgers and to ensure a better reconciliation of PAYE OGD and RAYE OGD, this year-end process now applies to all PAYE OGD and the equivalent RAYE OGD, even when the corresponding revenue is non-respendable revenues.

While departments may continue to record their PAYE OGD and/or RAYE OGD unilaterally, both parties to the transaction shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the counterpart department is informed of the transaction and is recording an equivalent amount. This should ensure that only small residual amounts need to be adjusted centrally.

Goods and Services Tax

The PAYE policy states that Goods and Services Tax (GST) must not be recorded as part of the liability set up under PAYE. To recognize the change in their operating systems and procedures, this no longer applies to FIS compliant departments. FIS departments now have to set up the GST component of their PAYE, both when recording a liability through their accounts payable sub-ledger (as they do during the year) and when estimating other PAYE accruals.

Queries regarding this policy can be directed to Louise Breton, Financial Management and Accounting Policy (FMAP), at 613-957-9675 or by Email at breton.louise@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Richard J. Neville
Deputy Comptroller General

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