Payroll ManagerSample Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Interview Questions

A payroll manager oversees the payroll department and is responsible for preparing and distributing employee payments. They maintain payroll records, calculate taxes, and balance payroll accounts. They ensure payroll procedures are followed and must comply with all federal and state laws, regulations, and payroll tax obligations. They must be able to meet crucial deadlines and ensure payroll expenses and taxes are paid correctly and on time. They manage payroll systems and must be proficient with timekeeping and payroll software, such as SAP, ADP, Kronos, and MS Office. 

Payroll managers should have excellent analytical and organizational skills. Good leadership qualities and excellent communication skills are also required. They need to be detail-oriented and good with numbers. They must be familiar with tax regulations, deductions for benefits, charitable contributions, retirement contributions, and other savings. They must keep up-to-date on any changes to these contributions as well. Payroll managers typically work closely with the human resources and accounting departments and work in almost all industries.

Sample job description

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a payroll manager in the United States is $79,800. Salary will vary depending on location, industry, company, and size of organization.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$84,000$102,700
Los Angeles, California$94,800$115,850
Denver, Colorado$79,000$96,550
Washington, DC$96,200$117,600
Miami, Florida$78,600$96,100
Orlando, Florida$72,500$88,650
Tampa, Florida$73,250$89,500
Atlanta, Georgia$76,800$93,900
Chicago, Illinois$88,300$107,950
Boston, Massachusetts$95,500$116,700
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$76,100$93,000
New York City, New York$100,500$122,850
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$81,850$100,050
Dallas, Texas$79,700$97,400
Houston, Texas$79,350$96,950
Seattle, Washington$91,900$112,350
National Average$71,800$87,750

Sample interview questions

  • How would you respond to an employee who complains about errors in their paycheck? What steps would you take to investigate?
  • What do you do if you notice a mistake in the payroll that resulted in an employee being under or overpaid?
  • How do you go about forecasting next year’s payroll expenses?
  • Are you familiar with documenting guidelines to payroll processes?
  • What do you do if you see a stark gender pay gap in a specific department within the company?
  • What payroll software are you familiar with?
  • Have you worked with HRIS systems? If so, which ones?
  • How do you check your work for accuracy before submitting payroll?
  • What’s the best method of timekeeping for employees who do shift work?
  • What is included in local taxes withholdings?
  • What is the overtime pay rate for non-exempt employees?
  • How do you ensure deadlines are met?
  • Can you describe a time when you successfully managed a stressful situation?
  • What resources do you use to learn about new labor regulations?
  • What change to a payroll process have you made to streamline it? Was it successful?
  • How would you explain financial and insurance details to employees in simple terms?
  • What are the main differences between an employee and a contractor?
  • What is FICA, and how is it calculated?
  • Can you name some examples of voluntary deductions?
  • Which benefits are taxable?

Payroll Manager Jobs in Ashburn

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