Canadian Payroll Association

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The Canadian Payroll Association
Type Private
Established 1978
President Patrick Culhane, CEO & President [1]
Location Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Canadian Payroll Association logo.png

The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) has been representing employers’ payroll interests since 1978, through its core purpose of Payroll Compliance through Education and Advocacy and its values of Community, Professionalism and Authoritative Compliance Knowledge.

Professional payroll administration is mission-critical because of the magnitude of the remuneration by employers and the breadth of the legislative compliance requirements.

Canada's 1.5 million employers count on payroll professionals to annually pay $901 billion in wages and taxable benefits, $305 billion in federal and provincial statutory remittances, and $169 billion in health and retirement benefits, as well as produce 26 million T4s, 9 million T4As, and 7 million RL-1s - all while complying with over 200 regulatory requirements.


The CPA was founded in 1978 by a group of payroll practitioners who proposed changes to the first Record of Employment (ROE) form. They advocate on behalf of employers to federal and provincial/territorial governments, proactively influencing payroll- and benefits-related legislation to enable all stakeholders to administer them in an efficient and effective manner.

As the authoritative source of Canadian payroll compliance knowledge, the CPA influences the operational, compliance and technology policies and processes of payroll service bureaus, software providers, hundreds of thousands of small, medium and large employers, as well as federal and provincial tax authorities. The CPA advocates on behalf of employers to federal and provincial governments, proactively influencing payroll-related legislation to enable all stakeholders to administer them in an efficient and effective manner.

As the source of payroll education and advocacy, the CPA delivers certification, professional development programs, and products and services that enable payroll practitioners to enhance operations, meet new legislative requirements and utilize emerging technologies.

The CPA also provides many opportunities to network with your colleagues within a community of more than 20,000 organizations and individuals, including our Certification Recognition Events, Annual Conference & Trade Show, and National Payroll Week activities.


The CPA offers two Certifications. Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) and Certified Payroll Manager (CPM). The required courses for each certification are:

Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) Certified Payroll Manager (CPM)
Payroll Compliance Legislation Payroll Management Processes
Payroll Fundamentals 1 Organizational Behaviour Management
Introduction to Accounting Managerial Accounting
Payroll Fundamentals 2 Compensation and Benefits Management
Payroll Management Practices

Certification holders are required to:

  • adhere to a Professional Code of Conduct;
  • maintain membership with the CPA; and
  • participate in continuing professional education (CPE).

Payroll courses are offered at over 50 post-secondary institutions and 90 campuses across Canada. The courses are also offered through an instructor led online program that starts every month.

Professional Development[edit]

The CPA holds more than 400 professional development seminars across Canada each year to address key payroll topics ranging from Learning Payroll I and II which covers the basics, to Taxable Benefits and Year-end.

The CPA's Annual Conference & Trade Show, held in a different city each year, is a payroll networking event featuring more than 50 educational and keynote sessions. It also includes the largest payroll trade show in Canada.

National Payroll Week (NPW) is the largest annual public relations initiative of the Canadian Payroll Association. NPW recognizes the accomplishments of payroll professionals, the payroll community and The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), by building greater awareness of the size and scope of payroll and its impact on business, government and employees across Canada.


  1. ^ [1]

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