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Canada Accounting Series: Initial Setup For New Canadian Accounts


When first logging in to CosmoLex, the Getting Started Wizard will prompt you to select your province. Below are instructions on selecting your province, if you find it necessary to change it, as well as additional setup steps.

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One Time Setup

Regional and Tax Settings

  • In Setup -> Regional Setting -> Enable “Enable Canada specific accounting/tax customization” 

    • Apply “Customize for province specific accounting/tax settings”. Review changes made by the system.

  • In Setup -> Financial Setting -> Tax Settings

    • Specify your Tax ID number as it may need to be added on the Invoices.

    • Review applied Tax rates and ensure those are labeled correctly.

  • In Setup -> Accounting Settings:

    • Review “Default Accounts for Client Costs Posted to Matters” settings. 

    • Review “Vendor Tax Account”

    • Review “Default Accounts for Sales & Service Taxes”

      • These are accounts to track GST/PST collection and payments in the course of doing business. The system is designed to track tax collection and recoverable tax payments in separate accounts for clarity but you can choose to change and use the same account, which will provide a “net” tax amount.

      • In jurisdictions with 2 taxes, except for Quebec: Firm Paid PST is set to an expense account as it is not recoverable. Ensure to note how to post disbursements in those jurisdictions. 

      • For Quebec, Firm Paid PST is set to a Contra Liability account as it is recoverable.

Ongoing Setup

  • When creating a Matter, if its Tax rates are different than global rates, localize those at the time of Matter Creation. Otherwise, global values will be used. 

  • When entering office expenses (Transactions or Bills), ensure to track taxes paid on the bills by splitting vendor bill accounts. The system will warn you due to a Setup level setting.

  • When entering disbursements, ensure you know the difference between “Disbursement Incurred As Agent” vs “Disbursement not incurred as agent”. See details in below sections. 

Invoice Customizations

  • Edit templates to show your Tax ID(s) on the Invoices.
  • If you are not in HST province, invoice template has to be customized so additional row for a tax can be added to separate GST/HST & PST in 2 rows. Individual fields are available and document in this article.Or review custom invoice templates here. 
Updated on June 19, 2018

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