Happy National Payroll Week! Hiring and Salary Trends for Payroll Professionals

As a payroll professional, the role you play serving companies and their employees is one worth celebrating. Along with Labor Day, this week marks National Payroll Week, an event that recognizes the ways in which payroll professionals contribute to the vitality of our national workforce.

Ensuring that employees get paid on time may be the best-known role of payroll professionals, but that contribution is just part of a much-larger set of indispensable responsibilities. Payroll professionals at all levels must wear many hats and be able to adapt to new technologies and regulatory requirements.

The recent uptick in hiring and payroll salaries at companies of all sizes not only reflects the necessity of these jobs but also creates opportunities for payroll professionals who are interested in taking on leadership positions.

According to the 2014 Salary Guide from Robert Half, average starting salaries in large companies rose 4 percent for payroll managers over the last year, 3.2 percent for payroll administrators, and 3.9 percent for payroll clerks.

Payroll managers at large companies (more than $250 million in sales) currently start between $55,500 and $88,500. The starting salary range for payroll managers at midsize companies ($25-$250 million in sales) is $47,750 to $68,500. And the starting salary range for payroll managers at small companies (up to $25 million in sales) is between $40,750 and $55,750. 

Note: The salary range listed for each position in the Salary Guide reflects starting pay only. Seniority, bonuses awarded and other factors would likely boost these numbers (Look for the 2015 Salary Guide coming soon.) 

In the past, payroll departments operated as subdivisions of accounting and human resources departments, but this is also changing in response to growth and technology trends. The industry is more complex than ever before, leading to the creation of new positions and separate payroll divisions. The ongoing move to paperless and cloud-based systems that combine HR information and benefits tracking means that payroll professionals will have to stay up to date and expand their knowledge beyond payroll accounting basics.

According to a 2013 “Getting Paid in America” survey conducted by the American Payroll Association, 82 percent of employees have access to online portals to check their pay and benefits information, but this information doesn’t just magically appear on company sites; an entire team of payroll professionals is behind every number. The survey also revealed that most employees are certain that their paychecks are sent accurately and on time. This level of confidence underscores the fact that, no matter how the industry changes, the payroll professional remains an indispensable part of the workforce.

Happy National Payroll Week!

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