By Nsim Team
A career as a payroll administrator could be a great fit for you if you enjoy working at a desk, crunching numbers and having clear guidelines for your work. This field can offer a chance to work independently but as part of a team, very good pay, and plenty of room for career advancement. So, if you'd like to know more about the ins and outs of this field then read on; we’ll fill you in on what you would be doing for a living, how much you could earn, and what you’ll need to break into this profession!
As a payroll administrator, you’d be responsible for processing the payroll information of an organization’s employees, as well as determining their pay and benefit entitlements.
In processing the payroll of employees, you would have to reference regional and federal regulations and legislation in order to ensure their payroll activities are compliant.
General Job Duties
• Prepare periodic tax reporting slips, such as T-4s (Canada)
• Ensure compliance with labour standards and regulations, as well as government payroll remittance requirements
• Ensure employees are paid on time by cheque or electronic transfer
• Prepare payroll related reports and statements
• Liaise with third party service providers, such as insurance carriers and government agencies
• Ensure to follow proper procedures for safeguarding and releasing private and confidential employee information
• Reconcile issued payrolls to bank statements
• Respond to inquiries from employees
Most employers require payroll administrators to have related post-secondary education or work experience, or a combination of both.
Related post-secondary education typically includes a diploma or degree in accounting, business administration, commerce, human resources, industrial relations or similar fields.
Relevant work experience may include working in human resources, working as an office clerk of any kind, or any kind of work that involved dealing with payroll related information or documents.
In order to succeed as a payroll administrator you will need a certain set of technical skills. These skills may be gained while you’re a student (if you’re in a relevant program), or they may be learned on the job.
Some employers will insist you have them before they hire you, whereas others may start you out in a more entry-level role until you have learned them. Either way, these skills may (or may not - depending on the job) include:
• Proficiency with MS Office software, specifically Excel
• Understanding of payroll rules and regulations
• Knowledge of workers compensation payment procedures
• Knowledge of multi-rate, union and prevailing wage payroll procedures
• Strong knowledge of payroll practices for a full cycle payroll for both hourly and salary employees
• Proficiency with certain types of payroll software
• Knowledge of Multi-Jurisdictional issues related to payroll
There’s more to being a payroll administrator than just crunching numbers. You need soft skills to succeed in this role also; they include:
• Strong customer service focus
• The ability to respond appropriately in pressure situations with a calm and steady demeanor
• Strong time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines on a regular basis
• The ability to work independently, cross check and verify own work for accuracy
• Must be able to handle confidential information in an ethical and professional manner
• Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
Your list of potential employers include all types of public and private sector organizations, as well as payroll service providers that contract their services to organizations that do not have payroll departments.