Payroll clerks often are entry-level, although many companies prefer at least some previous payroll experience. Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications is a basic requirement; however, firms hiring experienced staff also seek automated payroll processing systems knowledge. Payroll clerks should have a high school diploma or equivalent and solid communication, customer service and organizational skills.
Careers in this category may also have the title of payroll assistant or payroll specialist.
Typical duties of a payroll clerk
- Performing data entry and reconciling timecards
- Distributing paychecks and statements to department managers
- Answering inquiries from employees and vendors
Payroll administrators must have strong technical skills, including proficiency with automated payroll processing services. Payroll administrators usually need at least two years of payroll experience and a high school diploma or equivalent. Payroll administrators also should possess excellent communication and problem-solving abilities.
Typical duties of a payroll administrator/coordinator include
- Processing payroll
- Reconciling payroll sub-ledger to the general ledger
- Remitting payroll taxes and governmental reporting
- Preparing monthly, quarterly and year-end payroll statements
Individuals pursuing these positions should have strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills. Payroll managers or supervisors generally need at least five years’ payroll experience, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. A certified payroll professional (CPP) designation is valuable.
Typical duties of a payroll manager/supervisor
- Hiring, training, developing and supervising payroll staff
- Ensuring compliance with current government regulations
- Establishing and implementing policies on such matters as garnishments and payroll advancements to employees
- Preparing government reporting
- Preparing accruals and reconciling to the general ledger
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