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Payroll Assistant Job Description
  • Publish: April 2, 2021
  • Author: StrongerTeams Editorial
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Payroll Assistant Job Description

A Payroll Assistant performs all the administrative and clerical tasks for the payroll function of an organization.

As a key member of the payroll team, a Payroll Assistant is responsible for making sure all payroll data is complete, accurate, and verified before each payroll run. The role requires exactness, diligence, and focus on delivering error-free work.

Payroll accuracy and consistency are crucial to the smooth functioning of an organization. A Payroll Assistant’s role is an entry-level position with the potential for promotion to Payroll Specialist or even Payroll Management at a later stage.

Similar Job Titles:

HR Generalist, HR Assistant, Human Resources Clerk, Benefits Assistant, Payroll Clerk, HR Intern

What Does A Payroll Assistant Typically Do?

A Payroll Assistant captures data, prepares payroll runs, fixes any compensation-related glitches, and reports to payroll management.

The Payroll Assistant’s job encompasses:

  1. Collating work records and timesheets
  2. Preparing payroll data
  3. Recording leave information
  4. Capturing and validating overtime
  5. Resolving payroll discrepancies and issues
  6. Answering payroll-related queries
  7. Reporting to payroll management

Collating Work Records and Timesheets

A Payroll Assistant uses the HRIS (Human Resources Information System) and time logging systems in the organization to capture work records correctly and fully. Some organizations may also use physical timesheets, in which case these must be captured with complete accuracy. 

A Payroll Assistant checks all the records for completeness. The task requires diligence, accuracy, and attention to detail and is often subject to work under deadline pressure. A successful Payroll Assistant develops enough resilience to remain effective and accurate.

Preparing Payroll Data

Preparing the weekly and monthly payroll runs entails capturing all the required data, processing it, and collating it in the correct format. 

A Payroll Assistant is responsible for the correctness and completeness of all the data and develops rigorous verification techniques to ensure the entire payroll run is reconciled. They should set aside adequate time to make sure this task is completed well in advance of the payroll cutoff.

Recording Leave Information

A Payroll Assistant ensures all annual leave, sick leave, unpaid leave, and all PTO (paid time off) is captured correctly and completely in the payroll system. A Payroll Assistant also checks that relevant written leave requests, permissions, and leaves-of-absence are in place and recorded.

Capturing and Validating Overtime

Capturing and validating overtime entails logging all overtime worked and ensuring it is compensated at the correct rate. The overtime logs must be accompanied by overtime requests, sign-offs from supervisors or managers, and relevant clocking system reports. A Payroll Assistant verifies all overtime with the respective supervisors or managers to ensure the work was required, agreed to, and performed.

Resolving Payroll Discrepancies and Issues

A Payroll Assistant looks into any payroll discrepancies or issues as a matter of urgency. They must investigate the discrepancy and resolve it but should also set aside time to perform root-cause analysis on the issue. 

The Payroll Assistant should find out whether issues were caused by data entry errors or a system malfunction. In the case of system irregularities, the Payroll Assistant flags the problem to payroll management and assists in implementing a solution.

Answering Payroll-Related Queries

Employees frequently need assistance with payroll-related queries, and a Payroll Assistant is their first point of contact. When it comes to providing assistance to the company’s staff, the Payroll Assistant should be helpful, friendly, diligent, and fast in resolving queries.

Reporting to Payroll Management

Management requires weekly or monthly reports on the success of each payroll run against agreed metrics. Payroll metrics will be related to accuracy, speed, and completeness of the payroll run, but a Payroll Assistant should also report on any system issues or opportunities for process improvement that the run may have highlighted.

Roles a Payroll Assistant Typically Collaborates With

A Payroll Assistant works closely with the following roles:

Collaborative Roles
Payroll ManagerBenefits ManagerHR Coordinator
HR ManagerPayroll Tax SpecialistPayroll Supervisor
Payroll DirectorBenefits SpecialistPayroll Analyst
Payroll TechnicianHuman Resources ExecutiveSenior HR Specialist

Payroll Assistant Salary

The average pay for a Payroll Assistant lies between $41,000 and $52,000 annually in the U.S. The median is around $45,721.  

What Is the Payroll Assistant Pay Difference by Location?

On average, a Payroll Assistant’s pay will differ by location as follows:

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$57,151
Seattle, WA$49,991
Denver, CO$46,238
Austin, TX$44,967
Washington, DC$50,897
Milwaukee, WI$45,250
Boston, MA$51,514
New York, NY$55,002

What Is the Payroll Assistant Pay Difference by Experience Level?

A Payroll Assistant’s pay will vary depending on experience as follows:

Experience LevelAverage Salary
<1 year$43,791
1–4 years$44,949
5–9 years$45,181
10–19 years$45,181
20+ years$45,181

Payroll Assistant Job Description Template

[Company Name] is seeking to hire a dedicated, diligent, and exacting Payroll Assistant to support our payroll function.

You will be responsible for all the data capturing and administrative tasks in the payroll process and must ensure that all payroll-related tasks are performed on time and to perfection.

You will join a team of professional HR practitioners and contribute directly to maintaining a productive and happy organization.

Payroll Assistant Job Responsibilities

  • Capturing work records accurately
  • Calculating overtime
  • Preparing payroll runs on time
  • Helping our employees with payroll queries
  • Reporting to payroll management

Required Skill Set

We are looking for the following qualifications, skills, and behaviors:

  • High school diploma
  • At least two years’ experience in an HR or payroll support role
  • Experience in common payroll systems 
  • Knowledge of all relevant overtime, leave, and benefits regulations
  • Total attention to detail
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Experience in common HRIS
  • Ability to work under pressure

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