For most companies the HST in Ontario & British Columbia kicks in on July 1st. The exception to this is for contracts starting May 1st and running beyond June 30th. These will need to be prorated at 5% GST for May & June and 13% HST starting with the months from July onward. Many companies are handling this by adding an 8% HST item manually to the contract invoices to cover the period from July 1st to the end of the contract.

For companies that deal primarily in product distribution or services billed on a monthly basis, this should be somewhat less complicated. In theory you should be able to complete your June invoicing and post it prior to doing any July invoicing. Then the simplest approach would be to set the GST rate to 13% and the PST rate to zero if you only deal with Ontario customers. Similarly BC would set the GST rate to 12% and PST to zero.

Clients that deal with customers from different provinces may have a slightly more complicated problem since GST was previously universal at 5%. If you set this to 13% then it would want to charge the same rate to customers in Alberta for example.

Within Libra’s Order Entry program, individual provinces are supported. You can alter the GST rate for Ontario Customers without affecting the other provinces. In many custom written Order Entry/Invoicing programs there is only a single GST rate, so the solution may be to increase the PST rate to 13% and code the customers as being PST Taxable only. In either case and when coding the GST or PST as 13% you will probably want to create a new G/L account for HST to keep them separate.

The final area to be addressed will be the invoices themselves. In some cases the program prints the letters “GST”, in others it is pre-printed. Some changes may be required to clarify the taxes being charged.


The exact location of tax rates varies with each application so be sure and familiarize yourself with the location prior to July 1st. It is expected that the beginning of July will be a little hectic so give yourself a little time to plan the transition to the HST before the deadline.

To change tax rates in Libra’s Order entry go the Setup Menu. Select 61. Table & List Maintenance and then Tax Rates Maintenance. Key in the province code, for Ontario this is usually 61, and the jurisdiction code which is 01 for GST & 02 for PST, and set the rates to 13% for GST changing the G/L account if appropriate and to 0% for PST. Do not delete the PST line even though it no longer applies.

In most custom written modules the Tax Rates can be accessed via the Utilities Menu and 91. Edit Company Contacts. What you do here will depend on whether you have customers outside Ontario. You may set the GST to 13% and PST to 0% or you may need to do something completely different. Give us a call if you have any questions regarding the conversion for your individual programs.

Some sales reports have an input for the GST rate which can be changed when running the report. Set this to 13% when appropriate. Other programs may have GST rates and calculations imbedded in the program and these will require minor program changes.

Similarly there are a lot of GST headings and such on forms and reports that will need to be changed. Please report these as you come across them and we will make the necessary changes. If you believe that you will need changes in July, contact us to set up an appointment in advance on the date you think you will be creating your July invoices. I believe the governments will be a little flexible during the transition in either case, since this will affect a lot of companies in the short term.