Payroll specialists can be found in many industries from small businesses to large organizations. Job responsibilities often include payroll processing, maintaining personnel databases, and managing budgetary expenditures. Knowledge and experience with tax laws, union contracts, wage and hour laws, and common fiscal procedures are important. Most payroll specialists are expected to have a good understanding of budgetary operations. Payroll specialists report to a supervisor who oversees the department. Flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, may be required.
Successful payroll specialists are able to multitask and manage time in a fast-paced environment. They may also be expected to work directly with clients and to successfully address and resolve employee complaints and concerns. A broad range of computer skills are necessary. Payroll specialists often work with online database programs and payroll processing, as well as Microsoft Office applications. Specialists may be called on to prepare reports and to provide accurate company data to management. Clerical skills also are very important. Within one work day, a payroll specialist may be performing data entry, verifying accuracy, maintaining files, preparing mail-outs, addressing contract issues, and answering calls and emails to clients and employees.
Payroll Specialists must be self-motivated, detail-oriented, and work well with numerical data. They must also have excellent customer service skills. A high school diploma or GED is required, while an associate's or bachelor’s degree in accounting or business is often preferred.
Payroll Specialist Tasks
- Maintain current knowledge of IRS regulations.
- Compile and submit payroll deductions related check requests and payments.
- Maintain, prepare and process payroll for organization personnel.
- Audit employee timesheets for hours worked and accuracy.
- Prepare payroll related journal entries for period-end.