what is a payroll administrator?
As a payroll administrator, you work in an organization's human resources or accounts department. You make sure every employee receives accurate pay on time. Since you oversee all activities associated with payroll management systems, your job includes administrative duties. For instance, you collect all the personal information of employees and the hours worked in every payroll cycle. After collecting the data, you organize, tabulate and use it to calculate the compensation package for the week or month based on the company's hourly rates or salary policy.
Most experts working in payroll departments need a finance and accounting degree or industry certification in payroll. You also need computation skills and attentiveness to details to avoid making mistakes during the calculations and allocation of salaries.
As a payroll administrator, you work alongside human resource professionals in various business sectors, including IT, retail, sales and marketing or construction. When working in a small organization, your duties include other human resource functions like hiring employees or training and development. In large companies, you will work alongside other human resource professionals and payroll specialists. Hence, your role involves handling payroll matters only. When working for a human resource consultancy, you work with various companies that outsource payroll instead of focusing on a specific company.
Would working as a payroll administrator suit your exceptional mathematics skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a payroll administrator role.payroll administrator roles
average payroll administrator salary
According to our latest salary guide, the median salary of a payroll administrator is $56,000 per year for entry-level positions. Experienced payroll administrators receive a compensation package of $63,000 to over $75,000 annually. The salary structure varies depending on the company and the industry.
Apart from the base salary, some employers offer additional benefits, including medical insurance and various allowances. When you work overtime, your hourly rates will be higher than regular rates. Some companies also award yearly bonuses and rewards for top performance.
how to increase your salary as a payroll administrator
As a payroll administrator, your compensation package is influenced by personal factors like education and experience and external factors like the employer and location. Employers are willing to pay premium rates for the right experience and education. If you have a degree and additional certifications, your take-home salary will be higher. Your years of experience also influence your transferable skills, and employers always pay more for additional experience. You can increase your salary by attending training for other certifications or going for internships to improve your working knowledge.
The size of a company also impacts your earnings. If the company has limited resources, your salary may be lower. However, working for multinationals and big organizations guarantees higher pay due to job complexity. Companies in urban areas also tend to pay more due to the higher demand for payroll administrators.
types of payroll administrators
Payrolls administrators can be junior payroll specialists or lead administrators, depending on the size of the company and the roles performed.
- junior payroll administrator: as a junior payroll administrator, you perform the bulk of the administrative tasks in the payroll department. For instance, you verify staff information and working hours before computing their salaries. You also disburse the salaries and handle tax deductions according to the statutory requirements. You can work with a few other payroll specialists and report to the lead administrator.
- lead payroll administrator: as the lead payroll administrator, you supervise other payroll specialists and organize work schedules. You also audit payroll reports and deal with salaries for higher managers in the organisation. Sometimes, you also formulate payroll policies for organizations.
- external payroll administrator: when you work for an HR consultancy, you perform payroll activities for various companies. Your job is to calculate your client's payroll and statutory deductions without visiting their premises.
working as a payroll administrator
Becoming a payroll administrator involves processing employee salaries and other administrative duties. Read on to discover more about a payroll administrator's typical tasks and work schedules.
payroll administrator skills and education
Some payroll clerk positions require only a high school diploma, but many call for college or university studies in accounting, finance or payroll administration as a minimum requirement.
Experience as a financial clerk is often a prerequisite for the position. Payroll clerks must be familiar with general accounting and software principles, have experience with office and accounting software, and be detail-oriented. Certification by the Canadian Payroll Association is an asset for those wishing to succeed in the payroll field.
skills and competencies
Some of the skills and competencies for payroll administrators include:
- problem-solving skills: as a payroll administrator, you handle multiple issues relating to compliance, taxes and miscalculations. You need exceptional problem-solving skills to deal with these issues logically and competently. You should also anticipate problems that could arise.
- computer and software proficiency: as a payroll administrator, you use various software to record employee data, record work hours and process payroll. Proficiency in using payroll-related software and computer skills makes your work easier.
- mathematical skills: you will excel in the role if you are good with numbers. You need exceptional numerical skills to handle complex data, numbers and calculations. Maths aptitude also helps you avoid mistakes when calculating deductions and preparing tax reports.
- organizational skills: as a payroll administrator, you have many tasks to complete for every pay cycle. Organizational skills help you stay on schedule with employees' pay and meet tax deadlines to avoid penalties.
FAQs about working as a payroll administrator
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