What does a Payroll Administrator do?

Learn all about Payroll Administrator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Payroll Administrator.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A payroll administrator is responsible for processing and managing an organization's payroll. This includes ensuring that employees are paid correctly and on time, calculating and withholdings taxes, and managing employee benefits. Payroll administrators may also be responsible for preparing reports on payroll data, such as employee hours worked and wages paid.

Payroll Administrator job duties include:

  • Maintains payroll information by collecting, calculating, and entering data.
  • Updates payroll records by entering changes in exemptions, insurance coverage, savings deductions, and job title and department/division transfers.
  • Prepares reports by compiling summaries of earnings, taxes, deductions, leave, disability, and non-taxable wages.
  • Determines payroll liabilities by calculating employee federal and state income and social security taxes and employer's social security, unemployment, and workers compensation payments.
  • Resolves payroll discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information.
  • Provides payroll information by answering questions and requests.
  • Maintains historical records by microfilming and filing documents.
  • Maintains payroll operations by following policies and procedures; reporting needed changes.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks.
  • Accomplishes accounting human resource objectives by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, assigning, scheduling, coaching, counseling, and disciplining employees; communicating job expectations; planning, monitoring, appraising job contributions; recommending compensation actions; adhering to policies and procedures.

Payroll Administrator Job Requirements

A payroll administrator typically needs at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most employers prefer candidates with experience in bookkeeping or accounting. Payroll administrators also need to be proficient in using spreadsheet and word processing software. Although certification is not required, completing a payroll administrator program can give job seekers an edge in the hiring process.

Payroll Administrator Skills

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Customer Service
  • Attention to Detail
  • Accuracy
  • Thoroughness
  • Independence
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Multitasking

Related: Top Payroll Administrator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Payroll Administrator

A payroll administrator is responsible for ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time. They may also be responsible for managing employee benefits and deductions, as well as preparing reports for senior management. Payroll administrators need to have strong attention to detail, as well as good organizational and communication skills.

If you are interested in becoming a payroll administrator, here are some steps you can take:

1. Get a degree in business administration or accounting. This will give you the basic knowledge and skills you need to be successful in this role.

2. Consider getting certified as a payroll professional. This designation will show employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job effectively.

3. Gain experience working in payroll or accounting. This can be done through internships, part-time jobs, or even volunteering.

4. Stay up to date on changes in payroll laws and regulations. This is important to ensure that you are always compliant with the latest rules and regulations.

5. Be proactive in your career development. Attend workshops and seminars, read industry publications, and network with other professionals in the field to keep your skills sharp and stay abreast of new developments in the field of payroll administration.

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