Cari Mell, PCP

Canola Council of Canada – Winnipeg, MB

Cari Mell is a payroll professional who is happiest when life is straightforward.  

“I like black and white,” Cari says. “I have to know that there is an answer.” 

Cari has been in the payroll profession for over 27 years. Born and raised in Winnipeg, she thought she was destined for a career in accounting, initially working in finance with a local accounting company. After a maternity leave, she took on a part-time position with the Canola Council of Canada, a non-profit industry association representing the stakeholders in the country’s canola industry, including producers, exporters, processors and science-based companies. That is when she started to do payroll on a regular basis.  

After a few years when her kids were older, she started to work full-time for the council and is now the Director of Finance, HR and Administration.  

During the first five years with the council, she found that there were too many payroll questions that she couldn’t answer. “The Canada Revenue Agency is hard to maneuver around,” she notes, adding that as well as payroll legislation, there are many issues to understand such as taxable benefits. So, she earned her Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) designation in order to find the answers. 

“The courses really cemented the knowledge into my brain and increased my payroll confidence,” she says, adding that she loves payroll. “There is a lot of satisfaction in paying people, in providing them with the confidence that they will be paid accurately and on time.” Cari is also grateful for the National Payroll Institute’s Payroll Infoline, which she says is always a great resource for answers to all payroll questions.  

Payroll is deeply embedded in her other role, Cari says. “You can’t take payroll out of finance — they are deeply intertwined.” She notes that when doing forecasting for the council, she brings analysis of payroll to bear. For example, she knows that when service awards are being considered, they are taxable benefits and will have a price tag attached for the employee. With this experience and expertise, Cari knows she contributes value to the council’s business.   

As passionate as she is about her work, Cari is also passionate about her two Shih Tzus. “I’m obsessed with them,” she laughs, adding that she already had one of the dogs when her daughter got a second. Her daughter moved out, “but she left the dog behind.” 

Cari also loves the Winnipeg Jets, attending games as often as she can. Though only 5 feet tall, she is a runner. “I can run far, but not fast. My legs are too short for speed!”  

Her other current passion is learning to work with fusion mineral paint. She intends to repaint her china cabinet and dining table.  

What colour? Well, black, of course.  

National Payroll Institute

(416) 487-3380