When a Temporary Payroll Clerk Can Be Your Staffing Solution

An overwhelmed payroll clerk with a huge stack of folders in front of him covering his face with his hands

Your accounting and finance department is struggling, work is piling up around the office, and productivity is on the wane. Payroll has had several instances of being late or inaccurate, and your workforce is getting nervous and losing confidence in the organization. Does at least part of this sound familiar? If it does, a temporary payroll clerk could be just what the proverbial doctor ordered.

Take a moment to consider your organization's situation: Are you behind because of a transitional issue, such as employee turnover or an unusually heavy workload? If so, an interim payroll clerk can come in for a set period of time — until you hire a replacement for the full-time worker who left, for instance, or through the end of the busy season — and take the pressure off your core team.

Consider the following duties and responsibilities of a payroll clerk to help you determine whether a temporary professional can provide the assistance you need to get through the current staffing challenge:

The role of a payroll clerk

Payroll clerks ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time. They calculate deductions for each employee and keep track of overtime, vacation and sick days. A payroll clerk also arranges for the distribution of statements and pay — by check or direct deposit — to employees. Most payroll clerks have some experience with various payroll processing systems and are proficient in Microsoft Office.

A payroll clerk must employ problem-solving skills to analyze any discrepancies that arise. He or she must have excellent customer service abilities to fulfill requests and answer questions by telephone, via email and in person. Clerks work in a team, so they must be good at collaboration and organization. Most importantly, a payroll clerk communicates well and maintains confidentiality. These nontechnical attributes are essential for handling sensitive information, demonstrating competency in payroll and earning trust from the organization's employees.

How payroll clerks add value

If you feel your accounting department is sometimes paddling upstream, it's time to call for reinforcements. An overwhelmed in-house staff triggers a multitude of problems: costly overtime, stress-related sick leave, decreased morale, plunging productivity and bigger retention issues.

It's often faster and cheaper to call a temporary staffing agency that specializes in accounting and finance. The company can find a payroll clerk who can come in and add value right away.

By hiring a temporary payroll clerk to help out during a busy period, your full-time accounting and finance team members can focus their attention on matters that require their specialized skills and expertise. This assistance can help your business operations get back on track.

Don't wait until things get out of control. A skilled staffing specialist can solve your temporary payroll problems cost- and time-effectively by providing a customized staffing strategy that works for your business.

Related article: Salary Spotlight: Payroll Clerk and Payroll Manager