Careers

The True Nature of A Payroll Clerk

Payroll Clerk
Written by Godwin Ekpo

Making sure that employees are paid appropriately and on time is your responsibility as a payroll clerk. The input of employee-related data into a computer and the upkeep of timesheets are the responsibilities of payroll clerks. The monitoring of hourly pay, annual salaries, overtime, sick days, and vacation days may also be a component of your employment. Working as a payroll clerk is essential for controlling employee remuneration and ensuring employee satisfaction in workplaces without automated timekeeping systems.

Read: What You Need To Know About Accounts Payable Clerk Salary

Duties of A Payroll Clerk

The following are important tasks that a payroll clerk performs in relation to timekeeping and payroll regulations:

  • Organize punctual periodic payments to employees, such as commissions and bonuses, by checks or direct transfers.
  • Include accrued vacation time and overtime pay based on the number of hours worked for workers who work in many departments.
  • Keep up-to-date personnel data on paper and on computers, including rates, residential addresses, W4 statuses, benefit statuses, contact information, etc.
  • Address any grievances and inquiries that employees and upper management may have regarding payroll.
  • When payroll is transmitted, save comparison reports comparing the current payroll to previous payrolls for the purpose of auditing employee salary payments.

How the Job Goes

A payroll clerk’s usual duties include thoroughly checking timecards for any coding or computation problems. Additionally, they perform the crucial task of determining employee pay while deducting allowances from gross earnings, such as Federal and State taxes and payments to retirement, insurance, and savings plans. Computer programs are increasingly being used to carry out these computations and alert users to data issues when there are discrepancies.

Keeping track of employee retirement, resignation, and transfers as well as giving employees appropriate advice on income tax withholding and other required deductions may also be on your daily to-do list.

Payroll clerks must keep track of any modifications to tax and deduction legislation so they are informed of the most recent updates to rules and regulations. Making and distributing earnings and tax-withholding statements for all employees so they may prepare their income tax returns is another monthly recurring chore.

Regular Work Hours

When working full-time, a payroll clerk will often work an office job during regular business hours for at least 40 hours a week. Due to the nature of the position, the payroll clerk rarely needs to work overtime. It is typically thought of as fully stress-free employment, making it the ideal option for anyone looking for a balance between their personal and professional lives. Payroll clerks’ primary responsibilities include managing all aspects of payroll processing as well as gathering and recording information on employee time and payroll. Every month, it is often completed within a flexible time limit.

Future Job Growth

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a minimum 4% reduction in payroll clerk employment between 2019 and 2029. This is due to the recent introduction of several software programs and internet resources that offer HR and payroll management capabilities. Due to the ability of many of their clients to automate the majority of these tasks, this will decrease the number of employment prospects for payroll clerks over the next ten years.

Furthermore, rather than assigning a specific employee to handle payroll and timekeeping, many businesses include these tasks among the responsibilities of the HR officers. Only enough experienced payroll clerks will likely be able to find employment at this rate to replace the older workers who leave their positions. In spite of this, there is not much competition for this position, so you might still be able to find employment in this industry.

Common Employers

Given that every business, non-profit, and governmental organization needs to keep track of its payroll and timekeeping, payroll clerks can work for any of these organizations. Accounting firms that offer accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services may also fall under this category. You can also work for one small business outsourcing service providers like Gusto, Paychex, Square Payroll, PrimePay, Intuit QuickBooks Payroll, and Wagepoint.

Getting a Job as a Payroll Clerk

A high school diploma or, at the very least, the GED equivalent is necessary for nearly all payroll clerks. You can also look for specialized programs in high schools, business schools, and community colleges that will provide you with the knowledge and abilities you need for a lucrative career as a payroll clerk. For instance, some universities offer certificates in payroll management and practice. Topics including payroll accounting, income taxation, employee benefits database administration, and time reporting may be covered in courses.

You must be able to work well with people of all levels of authority and be confident handling a variety of activities on your own as a payroll clerk. Therefore, having good organizing or communication skills as well as a thorough understanding of computer programs like the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint) is beneficial. Payroll clerks frequently handle sensitive information, so in addition to dependability and strict confidentiality, you’ll need to be able to work quickly.

Salary for Payroll Clerks

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average national salary for this career is $42,130 while the average national wage per hour is $20.

How do Payroll Clerk wages compare to those in other professions?

According to the most recent data on employment across the country, payroll clerks can earn an average yearly salary of $42,130, or $20 per hour. It is therefore a higher-than-average wage. Depending on the state you live in and even when just starting out, they can make as little as $33,160, or $16 per hour.

How has the growth of the Payroll Clerk job compared to other jobs?

There will be a shift of -5,900 jobs by 2024, with 166,900 individuals overall working in the field. This represents a -3.4% change in growth over the following 10 years, giving the career a below-average growth rate nationally.

About the author

Godwin Ekpo

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