Preparing for Year End

This section provides answers to some of the most common questions related to preparing for year end processing.

How many forms should I order?

If you plan to use the plain-paper format of the W-2 and file electronically, then ordering forms is not applicable.

A reliable way to determine how many forms might be needed is to perform the Build W-2 Forms and print the "totals only" format of the W-2 Form Listing. This report includes "# of W-2s" on the page. Plus, allow extra pages for potential alignment errors, printer jams, and reprints for employees who may have lost their W-2s. Some of our clients order twice the number of forms they expect to need. Should an error be found at the last minute, this ensures that the entire W-2 run can be successfully reprinted before the deadline.

Spectrum supports the standard CRA plain-paper T4 format. No forms need to be ordered.

Do I need any programming modifications in order to produce W-2s and 1099s at the end of this year?

Please load Spectrum 2021 R3 for up to date Year End programming on W-2s, 1099's and other Year End functions.

How do I show life insurance in excess of $50,000 and/or personal use of company-owned automobile on the W-2?

The IRS publishes a table detailing the amount of earnings to be applied. Contact your accountant for more information regarding your company's specific responsibility. See the Chapter on Benefit Setup in this help file for more information on recording benefits in Spectrum.

What can I do before my final payroll cycle this year to prepare for year end?

There are several things you can do now to make year end easier:

  • Review this help file carefully.

  • Order forms if you don't plan to use the plain-paper W-2 format.

  • Print copies of the Notice to Employee if you plan to issue plain-paper W-2s.

  • Collect state, county, and local tax changes.

  • Record benefit accumulations for each employee. Please check with your CPA for more detailed information on your company's specific obligation.

  • Perform a W-2 pre-test.

  • Print the Wage and Tax History Report in summary for each state and verify that no major corrections are needed.

  • Update to the Spectrum Year End version for 2021 R3.

What is a W-2 pre-test?

The W-2 pre-test is a test performed before year end. We recommend you perform a pretest of your W-2 processing, particularly if you are a new Spectrum user or operating in a different state for the first time. This can be done well in advance of year end. Run the Build W-2 Forms function. Then, review the year-to-date 2021 information for accuracy. After the final payroll cycle of the year, you will re-run the Build W-2 Forms; this clears all information and rebuilds the file automatically. It is not necessary to wait until January 2022 to begin the review process.

What should I do if I find a problem during the pre-test?

If you find a problem, and you are not sure how to correct it, please submit a case through the Viewpoint Customer Portal.

Do I need to modify the format of my employees' names for electronic filing?

The 2022 XML Specifications for T4 requires that employees' names be separated into first, middle, and last names. Spectrum automatically does this separation when the employee is entered. If the employee has had a name change during the year, verify the correct name will print by going to Payroll > Employees. Use the drop-down list at the employee name to verify first, middle and last.