Canadian Government COVID-19 Assistance Programs

There are several assistance programs offered by the Canadian government. This blog post outlines some of what is available and how to apply for them.

NOTE: This information needs to be confirmed by the company that applies to these programs. You must determine your own eligibility for each program offered. We simply show where to apply for them.

This link from the Canadian Government leads to many programs being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes information for individuals as well but they are not discussed in this post.

10% Wage Subsidy

Click this link to determine eligibility for the Wage Subsidy being offered by the Government of Canada,

Organizations described in the link that have a payroll account qualify for getting 10% back on your gross payroll of up to $1,375 per employee to a maximum of $25,000 per employer.

It is available for payroll dates of March 18th, 2020 to June 19th, 2020 at the time of this writing. (April 27, 2020).

To claim it, the employer can reduce the amount of their payroll remittance for the period. Spire 3.4 has a built-in calculator that uses all the rules that CRA put in place to make sure you get the maximum that is due. See instructions below on how it works.

Spire’s Subsidy Calculator

If you are claiming the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers, then the source remittance will automatically reduce the payment to CRA for the eligible amount and post it to the GL account setup in company settings -> Payroll ->Employer -> Temporary Wage Subsidy Revenue Account.

First, create a GL account for the subsidy income. Then add that GL account as below.


When submitting the payroll deductions, the subsidy will be calculated and posted to this GL account.


The subsidy amount will be posted to the Subsidy income account.

$40,000 Interest-Free Loan

The Canadian government is lending businesses $40,000 that can be used for ongoing expenses, including payroll. See this link for more details.

The application is done through your bank.

This example shows how it is done through Royal Bank (RBC)
What is and How to Apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account?
For a business to be eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), per the Government of Canada’s requirements, the organization must meet certain criteria, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • RBC is your primary bank for business banking.
  • Your RBC business deposit account was open before March 1, 2020, is active and in good standing.
  • Your organization was registered and operational on or before March 1, 2020.
  • Your organization is not a holding company.
  • Has total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year between $20,000 and $1,500,000.

To enroll for CEBA, log into your RBC Online Banking for Business:

  • If you are eligible, you will have already been sent an email and/or a link to apply on your My Accounts page.
  • If you are not registered for online banking, click here to enroll in RBC Online Banking for Business.
  • If you are an RBC Express client, please contact your RBC Account Manager for separate instructions to enroll for CEBA.
  • Please note that the CEBA enrollment cannot be fulfilled in our branches, or through our advisors and RBC Advice Centre.

Click on the ‘Learn More’ box that looks like this.

Follow the instructions for the bank, and if you are approved, a new line of credit or credit card will appear in your account with a $40,000 limit.

75% Wage Subsidy

As of April 27th, you can log into your MyBusiness site to apply for a 75% wage subsidy. Use this link to logon

This subsidy is paid to businesses that have seen a drop in revenues as defined in the link below.

The link includes a handy spreadsheet to assist with the calculation. Be sure to check back for the latest version as they are updating it frequently.

Once you have calculated the amounts go into your MyBusiness account and select Payroll -> Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)


Then select the period you are reporting on.


Fill in the amount that you have calculated manually or with the included spreadsheet.


Add your contact information and click on ‘Submit’.

NOTE: Be sure to set up direct deposit with CRA because a mailed cheque adds a big delay.

Need More than Basic Accounting Software?

Having basic accounting software is fine for a new business startup, but you’ll need a complete solution as your business grows. Expanding businesses require software that can handle a flood of invoicing, and a large payroll. As taxes become increasingly complicated, management needs more detailed reports in order to create a budget for the upcoming year. A complete accounting software package is needed to ensure the successful running of your company.

Generally, accounting software will include modules that smaller businesses need, such as general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll tools. The software should also be able to produce standard reports and income statements. There may be options to filter and track custom data fields as well. While this software is great for the new business start-up, something more advanced may be required for an established business.

The best accounting software should have more advanced features. Reporting and analytics are important for a larger firm. Some programs include preconfigured reports. These can easily be altered with custom data fields. Customized reports can be produced as required. With good accounting software, detailed analytics can be made so that your business can be taken to the next level. Management will be able to assess which ventures to focus on. Accounting software should be able to quickly generate reports and statements, sorting through data to find pertinent information.

Most accounting systems will manage the payroll, whether an employee is hourly, salary, or commission-based. An accounting system will accurately calculate the taxes due and keep track of them for each employee. More advanced systems can handle either cheques or direct deposits, as well as providing yearly tax forms. The more employees you have, the more likely you will need a complete accounting software solution, rather than trying to work around your basic accounting program, which can lead to frustration on the part of your accountant.

If you have a large online store, or brick and mortar shop, chances are that at some point, you’ll need advanced business accounting software tools. Every aspect of your inventory can be electronically managed. It can manage purchase orders, including receiving POs, track all shipping, and recommend reordering stock. Intricate details can be managed such as history, bill of materials, serial numbers, and even bar coding.

Good accounting software will be adaptable to your business’s needs. Basic accounting software will only be able to handle the payroll for a limited number of employees. Good software should not be obsolete when you have 200 more employees. It should scale up to your requirements. Software may be available for your specific industry, organization, school or government branch.

It’s also important that accounting software allow for multiple users. More than one employee should be able to use the accounting software. Nothing is more frustrating than having one employee enter data, while someone waits over their shoulder for them to finish. Productivity and time can be lost while one employee waits for another one to complete a task. Search for software that allows several users to access it at any given time.

Look for accounting software that provides a variety of add-on modules, as well as working with other third-party software systems. Document managers, time-clock software, expense tracking and other solutions may be warranted. Credit card processing, as well as data backup management of accounting data may be required. When you have all your software working together in one package it’ll increase productivity. If you’re currently using multiple software packages you may you’re wasting a lot of time importing data from one software to another. A good accounting software package will streamline your data all into one accessible location.

A comprehensive accounting system should handle more than the basic tasks. You need a complete accounting program solution that includes reporting, payroll, and inventory control. Also look for packages that are adaptable as your business grows, whether through additional modules, or unlimited usage. A good accounting software package will grow with your business, helping you to maximize business profits.