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

A Payroll Clerk gathers employee timekeeping reports, handles compensation benefits, and checks pay against hours worked. 

Payroll Clerks handle staff grievances and are the first point of contact for any payroll inquiries. They also review and address any payroll mistakes in a timely fashion. Other responsibilities include ensuring that the payroll software’s database matches the hours worked by staff, salaries and overtime earned, and vacation days used.

Strong software and organizational skills are required, along with having proficiency in balancing numbers.

Similar Job Titles:

Payroll Tax Specialist, Payroll Manager, Payroll Assistant, Payroll Supervisor, Payroll Technician

What Does a Payroll Clerk Usually Do?

A Payroll Clerk is accountable for ensuring that the organization’s workers are paid correctly and on schedule.

Here’s a list of daily tasks a Payroll Clerk would be expected to complete:

  1. Update staff tax and compliance status where needed
  2. Initiate direct banking deposits
  3. Maintain procedures and systems for payroll
  4. Verify reports for timekeeping and notify workers of any inconsistencies
  5. File payroll records and validate all balances in the database before making salary payments

Updating Staff Tax and Compliance Status

A Payroll Clerk must keep the existing tax records up-to-date and ensure they are reflected in the payroll software database properly. This task involves staying abreast of any changes to tax regulations and ensuring that the company remains compliant. 

To maintain the accuracy of the data, the Payroll Clerk works closely with employees who haven’t had profile updates in a while, as well as new employees who might need to collect their tax information for the company.

Initiating Direct Banking Deposits

Payroll Clerks need to monitor payroll runs and initiate payments based on the cycle, such as weekly wages or monthly salaries. Once a payroll cycle is completed and payment has been made, Payroll Clerks will submit payslips to employees where required.

Maintaining Procedures and Systems for Payroll

Payroll Clerks use a variety of payroll and accounting systems. Part of the daily tasks is to ensure that all information in the systems is accurate and that there is no missing information from previous weeks or months. The payroll system needs to be maintained regularly so that payments can be made quickly and without issue when the pay cycle ends.

Verifying Reports for Timekeeping

Depending on the nature of the business, employees may need to keep timekeeping records using punch cards or biometrics systems. This ensures an accurate record of hours worked. Payroll Clerks need to run reports on these hours, verify that the information is correct, and adjust any incorrect hours in the timekeeping report.

Filing Payroll Records and Validating All Balances

Payroll Clerks need to maintain a database of all payments made to staff. The database needs to reflect the company’s actual staff expenses. To achieve this, all payroll records need to be filed regularly.

Roles a Payroll Clerk Typically Collaborates With

Payroll Clerks typically work under Payroll Managers or Supervisors, but depending on the structure of the organization, they may work closely with a number of different roles within the HR department. The most common ones include:

Roles Payroll Clerks Collaborate With
Payroll CoordinatorHR SpecialistPayroll and Benefits Specialist
Benefits ManagerPayroll AnalystPayroll Accountant

Payroll Clerk Salary

The average annual income for a Payroll Clerk in the United States amounts to around $46,000. 

Based on the experience, existing skill set, and the organization itself, the annual salary may vary from $35,000 and $56,000.

What is the Payroll Clerk Pay Difference by Location?

Location impacts the annual wage of a Payroll Clerk in the U.S. as follows:

CityAverage Annual Salary
San Francisco, CA$57,046
Seattle, WA$49,899
Denver, CO$46,152
Austin, TX$44,883
Washington, D.C.$50,803
Milwaukee, WI$45,166
Boston, MA$51,419
New York, NY$54,901

What Is the Payroll Clerk Pay Difference by Experience?

Based on years of experience, a Payroll Clerk’s annual salary varies according to the table below:

Years of ExperienceAverage Annual Salary
< 1 $43,475
1–4 $44,866
10–19 $47,138

Payroll Clerk Job Description Template

[Company] is searching for an accomplished Payroll Clerk to ensure that all our workers receive timely paychecks. 

We will rely on the Payroll Clerk to inspect and check all reports of hours worked by staff and any deductions or withholdings needed to conform with state and federal laws. We are looking for someone who can collaborate with our accounting team to ensure that the whole company operates as smoothly as possible.

Payroll Clerk Responsibilities

  • Change the tax status of workers when necessary
  • Distribute wage paychecks to staff on schedule
  • Compile payroll-related reports when needed
  • Keep records of workers’ wages, hourly rates, overtime worked, and paid time off and sick leave
  • Ensure correct payment records by working closely with the HR and accounting departments
  • Use computer applications for data capturing and account management
  • Check personnel records and communicate with departments if any salary-related issues arise

Payroll Clerk Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, or another related field
  • Full understanding of functions and formulas in Microsoft Excel
  • Previous experience in a payroll environment
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Proficiency with payroll software is a plus

Hiring Resources for Ambitious Companies

  1. Working with freelancers and independent contractors? Ensure quick and accurate payments with the best 1099 payroll software
  2. Expecting a bunch of new hires soon? Help them settle in their roles quickly with top onboarding software
  3. Is your hiring pipeline chock-full with candidates? Separate the wheat from the chaff quickly with applicant tracking software
  4. Find top talent for your open positions quickly with the best sourcing tools for recruiters
  5. Tired of daily status reports? Keep track of everyone’s performance and keep your staff accountable with the best employee monitoring software
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