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

A Payroll Supervisor oversees the payroll function in an organization and ensures that employees are paid correctly and on time.

A Payroll Supervisor leads the payroll team and reports to a Payroll Manager. The role demands experience in all payroll-related tasks and a strong leadership ability, but it is primarily tactical.

Successful Payroll Supervisors can advance to a payroll management role or choose to move into more general HR work.

Similar Job Titles:

Benefits Coordinator, Payroll and Benefits Manager, Human Resources Team Leader, Human Resources Associate, Payroll and Benefits Specialist, Payroll Coordinator, Payroll Assistant

What Does a Payroll Supervisor Typically Do?

A Payroll Supervisor oversees, checks, and manages all payroll-related tasks in the organization.

Their tasks commonly include:

  1. Ensuring work records are captured correctly and completely
  2. Ensuring wage and salary calculations are accurate
  3. Checking and verifying deductions
  4. Overseeing the distribution of paychecks and direct deposits
  5. Managing payroll information updates
  6. Reporting to management on payroll, benefits, leave, and tax
  7. Rectifying payroll issues
  8. Answering employee queries
  9. Leading and managing the payroll team

Ensuring Work Records Are Captured Correctly and Completely

Work records are the basis for wage calculations and are crucial for the correctness of each payroll run. A Payroll Supervisor makes sure the payroll team has captured all records of work correctly and completely. 

Work records are usually automated or linked to clocking systems, so a Payroll Supervisor must have knowledge of these systems and must work with the payroll team to verify the accuracy of the data on the system.

Ensuring Wage and Salary Calculations Are Accurate

A Payroll Supervisor checks all the wage and salary data entered by the payroll team for errors or inconsistencies and flags and fixes any issues. In organizations where remunerations involve commissions, incentives, or bonuses, the Payroll Supervisor must cross-check all payment claims against sales data, target achievement statistics, and the directives from the relevant line-manager. 

Mistakes in the payroll can be caused by input mistakes or system issues. A Payroll Supervisor must also investigate wage and salary miscalculations to determine the root cause. Any systemic failures should be reported immediately to payroll or HR management and IT.

Checking and Verifying Deductions

Payroll deductions must be accurate and consistent, so a Payroll Supervisor checks all the deductions in each payroll run. They must be particularly vigilant with more complex pay structures such as benefits, unclaimed leave payouts, or stock options earnings to ensure that the deductions conform to the relevant legislation. The Payroll Supervisor is responsible for not over- or under-deducting monies.

Overseeing the Distribution of Paychecks and Direct Deposits

Having completed the payroll run, a Payroll Supervisor makes sure payroll staff have paid employees correctly and on time and that payments have gone to the right recipients. Most payments are now made via direct deposit, but any physical paychecks must also be reviewed for correctness, their logged dispatch, and the payees’ receipts confirmed.

Managing Payroll Information Updates

Updates to payroll information must be dealt with promptly to ensure all changes are reflected in the system immediately. A Payroll Supervisor ensures that payroll staff members have updated the database to reflect any promotions, pay raises, or exits from the organization. They should also periodically cross-check with departmental heads that all the payroll records are correct and complete.

Reporting to Management on Payroll, Benefits, Leave, and Tax

Payroll is often the largest element in an organization’s financial management. A Payroll Supervisor prepares management reports after each payroll run to highlight payroll accuracy, payroll timing, benefits contributions, uptake in the period since the last payroll run, the leave status of the workforce, and tax paid through employee contributions. 

A Payroll Supervisor is also perfectly positioned to highlight any anomalies or issues and should also trend the reports to give an overview of payroll development over time.

Rectifying Payroll Issues

A payroll team, under the direction of a Payroll Supervisor, ensures that any payroll issues are rectified as soon as possible. Most issues can be corrected by junior team members, but the Payroll Supervisor may have to assist in more complicated problems.

Answering Employee Queries

Employees may need assistance to understand the payroll process and comprehend all variables that might affect their paycheck. A Payroll Supervisor should assist the payroll team in answering any payroll-related questions from employees. They should also make sure that the team remains polite, friendly, and helpful towards the workforce.

Leading and Managing the Payroll Team

A Payroll Supervisor treads a fine line between staff and management and must make sure the payroll team performs well without doing the job for them. 

Roles an HR Payroll Supervisor Typically Collaborates With

A Payroll Supervisor works in close contact with the following roles:

Collaborative Roles
Payroll ManagerPayroll CoordinatorPayroll Tax Specialist
Compensation and Benefits ManagerHR ManagerHuman Resources Executive
Benefits ManagerBenefits AdministratorBenefits Analyst

Payroll Supervisor Salary

The average salary for a Payroll Supervisor in the U.S. falls between $70,000 and $88,000 annually. The median is around $80,394.  

What Is the Payroll Supervisor Pay Difference by Location?

Location can affect a Payroll Supervisor’s salary as follows:

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$100,493
Seattle, WA$87,903
Washington, D.C.$89,495
Austin, TX$79,068
Milwaukee, WI$79,566
New York, NY$96,715
Boston, MA$90,580
Denver, CO$81,303

What Is the HR Payroll Supervisor Pay Difference by Experience Level?

A Payroll Supervisor’s salary will change according to experience as follows:

Experience LevelAverage Salary
< 1 year$76,560
1–4 years$79,321
5–9 years$81,577
10–19 years$81,577
20+ years$81,577

HR Payroll Supervisor Job Description Template

[Company Name] is looking for an experienced, reliable, and committed Payroll Supervisor to lead our payroll team.

We pride ourselves on keeping our employees happy, and timely and accurate payments are one of the most critical elements when it comes to employee satisfaction. Your job will be to oversee payroll runs and ensure that every team member receives the correct amount, on time, via their preferred payment method.

You will lead an experienced team of Payroll Assistants and report to the Payroll Manager. Your job will be mostly tactical, but you will be expected to work with management to bring improvement suggestions to the table.

Payroll Supervisor Responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a Payroll Supervisor will include:

  • Checking all salaries, deductions, and other payroll elements are correct and complete
  • Overseeing each payroll run
  • Ensuring our employees are paid correctly
  • Reporting regularly to management
  • Analyzing the payroll function for possible improvements
  • Answering queries and fixing payroll issues
  • Leading the payroll team

Required Skill Set

  • Bachelor’s degree in Payroll or Accounting
  • At least five years’ experience in a payroll job
  • Expert knowledge of payroll systems and HRIS
  • Total commitment to detail and quality
  • Proven ability to function well under pressure
  • Expert time management, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills
  • Excellent leadership ability

Hiring Resources for Ambitious Companies

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