Payroll SpecialistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Payroll is an essential aspect of any business, and getting it right for both the company and its employees is critical. That’s where the payroll specialist comes in.
A payroll specialist typically manages and oversees all aspects of a company’s payroll. Payroll specialists handle myriad tasks, from collecting bank and direct deposit information to handling paper checks for employees, from maintaining accurate records to keeping up on taxation and much more. Payroll specialists often are called on to do it all, making this position a vital part of a crucial department for all businesses.
If you have the background, plus excellent math and communication skills, an eye for detail, and can balance many different projects and tasks at once, you may have the skills and interests to be a great payroll specialist.
Sample job description #1
We are currently seeking a Payroll Specialist to be responsible for processing payroll information, reviewing and performing payroll audits, and serving as a point of contact for questions about pay policies and procedures.
Essential duties and responsibilities
Processes regular payroll information on a weekly basis, as well as bonuses and off-cycle checks when necessary
Performs weekly overtime audits
Keeps abreast of the payroll processing system and changes in wage/tax laws, and applies changes as appropriate
Prepares follow-up for Stop Payment requests, manual check requests, and associated system updates
Responds to questions regarding pay policies/procedures
Establishes and maintains a positive working relationship with customers, both internal and external
High School diploma or equivalent required
2-4 years of payroll processing experience, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience, preferred
Should be familiar with payroll software and payroll reports
Proficiency with Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel
Excellent listening, written, and oral communication, organizational, and time-management skills
Competitive pay and weekly paychecks
Health, dental, vision, and life insurance
401(k) savings plan
Awards and recognition programs
Benefit eligibility is dependent on employment status
Sample job description #2
We’re looking for a Payroll Specialist to join our team! Full time position working an 8 hour shift between the hours of 7am – 6pm M-F. Hybrid schedule can be discussed with management. Laptop provided.
Preparing and processing multiple payrolls
Assist in data entry of new hires
Process all terminated employees and calculating manual checks
Research employee payroll inquires or answer questions through the ticketing system
Assist with annual merits, increases, special, and retroactive calculations
Assist with other special projects as required
Assist in the review of bi-weekly and special payrolls
Processing Wage Garnishments and Child Support request
Organizing Payroll Storage and documentations
Minimum of 1 to 2 year experience with high volume Payroll
Accounting and Human Resource experience a plus
Processed payroll for at least 100+ employees
Familiar with ADP Workforce Now and Time & Attendance
Working knowledge of wage & hours laws
Familiar with state & federal taxes
Great energy, engaging, and enjoys collaborating with team
Experience in administration of any Time & Attendance system
Great follow-through skills, and good with math and logic
Great customer service mindset
Attention to detail and analytical skills
Flexibility and ability to multitask
Ability to communicate in written form
Knowledge, skills, and abilities
Basic office skills and abilities, knowledge of standard office equipment and software including Google Docs, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, PowerPoint, and ability and willingness to learn new and/or proprietary applications as required
Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
Ability to multi-task and prioritize assignments under high pressure in a fast-paced environment
Willingness to work overtime if needed
Understanding details of full payroll processes
Sample job description #3
The Payroll Specialist administers the 403(b) contribution and loan processes, prepares invoices for payment and processes Foundation contributions, garnishments and employee expense reimbursements. This role administers timecards, payroll and payroll reporting, and ensures that payroll reports are: downloaded, secured, and backed up on the company’s network. In addition, the Payroll Specialist creates custom reports as needed from HRIS systems.
Compile payroll data, process and transmit payroll for all Wesley companies in an accurate, timely manner in accordance with established payroll processing calendars, state and federal regulations. Assist managers, timekeepers, and schedulers with systems to ensure accurate time accounting for all employees
Communicate with Ceridian and other timekeeping and payroll system vendors to enable accurate, timely processing of payroll
Administer 403B contribution, loan payment and electronic funds transfer on a weekly basis in compliance with the plan design and federal regulations
Administer electronic deposits and cash funding report for payroll. Ensure payroll reports are downloaded and data is securely and confidentially maintained
Extract payroll data and import into companies after each payroll is processed
Enter and extract data from multiple HR Systems for reporting, compliance and metrics purposes
Provide administrative support by processing payroll related expenses and reimbursements, responding to requests for verification of employment
Stay abreast of Payroll compliance issues and Payroll system upgrades via continuing professional development
Generate, complete and process quarterly Worker’s Comp filings with the state
Handle special projects and perform other duties as assigned
Accounting-related associate’s degree or equivalent work experience
Two years electronic payroll processing experience preferred
Superior written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
Advanced MS Office skills (Word, Excel, Outlook)
Professional, organized, detail-oriented and customer service oriented
Ability to appropriately handle confidential information and maintain confidence
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a payroll specialist is $43,500 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
Do you have any previous work experience in the payroll specialist field or any relevant certifications for this position?
Which payroll systems have you worked with?
If you were hired for this position, how would you go about ensuring that you understood the business payroll?
If you made a payroll error and are dealing with a disgruntled employee, what are your next steps?
How do you determine what is and isn’t an acceptable business expense?
How would you handle a situation or predicament where there is a misunderstanding with an employee?
What is FICA, and how is it calculated?
What benefits are taxable?
How do you follow changes and updates regarding IRS or location-specific regulations?
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