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

A Payroll Technician runs the administrative and clerical tasks of the payroll function and ensures that employees are paid correctly and on time.

Reporting to a Payroll Supervisor or a Payroll Manager, the role demands attention to detail, comfort with tight deadlines, and a commitment to complete accuracy.

This is an entry-level position that can lead to later supervisory or management responsibility.

Similar Job Titles:

HR Specialist, HR Assistant, Human Resources Clerk, Benefits Assistant, Payroll Clerk

What Does a Payroll Technician Typically Do?

A Payroll Technician captures data, prepares payroll runs, fixes payroll mistakes, and reports on each payroll run to payroll management.

The role’s responsibilities include:

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

Collating and Inputting Work Records and Timesheets

While most work records are automated as part of the Human Resources Information System (HRIS), a Payroll Technician extracts them from the system and organizes them in the correct format for payroll purposes.

All the records require verification for completeness and accuracy before input into the payroll accounting system, and a Payroll Technician is responsible for making sure that each payroll run balances against the plan and forecast.

In rare cases, manual timesheets may have to be collected, verified, and added to the payroll run. In such instances, a Payroll Technician verifies that each record is accurate and carries with it the required sign-off, permission, and counter-signatures.

Preparing Payroll Data

With all the payroll data having been captured, a Payroll Technician transfers it to the payroll system, ensuring no data is lost or corrupted in the process.

This task involves a large amount of data and requires deep concentration and total accuracy. A Payroll Technician needs time management skills to make sure the preparation process can be completed without distractions.

Mistakes or issues in the transfer of data to the payroll system can cause havoc, and experienced Payroll Technicians develop a series of cross-checks to guarantee data integrity. Any issues found must be corrected before the payroll run and flagged to payroll management for possible corrective action.

Capturing Leave Information

All annual, sick, and emergency leaves should be captured correctly and completely on the payroll system. A Payroll Technician checks that all leave records are accompanied by the required permissions, records, and sign-offs and that remaining leave days are calculated correctly.

Validating and Capturing Overtime

Overtime can amount to a large percentage of the total salary mass, so all overtime records are verified for accuracy before input into the payroll system.

A Payroll Technician checks that each overtime record is accompanied by the required management authorization documents and clocking system records to verify the accuracy and authenticity.

Resolving Payroll Discrepancies and Issues

Payroll mistakes are a major cause of discontent among staff, so a Payroll Technician tries to resolve any disputes or discrepancies as quickly and equitably as possible.

Wherever the fault for the issue lies, a Payroll Technician should be friendly and helpful towards the affected employees.

Speed of resolution is crucial, but a Payroll Technician also needs to analyze whether an issue was caused by an input error or a systemic failure. If a systemic failure occurs, the matter is passed on to the Payroll Manager and the IT department to ensure a sustainable fix is implemented.

Answering Payroll-Related Queries

Employees regard a Payroll Technician as the first point of contact for payroll-related issues, so the role requires a friendly, helpful, and service-driven mindset.

Experienced Payroll Technicians know that time management is an important skill in their role, so they designate specific times during each week to answer employee payroll queries.

Reporting to Payroll Management

Management requires reports after each payroll run to measure its speed, accuracy, and completeness.

These three factors should be trended to monitor whether the payroll function is improving in its efficiency.

A Payroll Technician prepares these reports in a clear and understandable format and adds comments on the payroll process from the technical point of view.

Roles a Payroll Technician Typically Collaborates With

A Payroll Technician works closely with the following roles:

Collaborative Roles
Payroll ManagerBenefits ManagerHR Coordinator
HR ManagerPayroll Tax SpecialistPayroll Supervisor
Payroll DirectorBenefits SpecialistPayroll Analyst

Payroll Technician Salary

A Payroll Technician will typically earn between $41,000 and $52,000 annually in the U.S. The median lies at $45,800.  

What Is the Payroll Technician Pay Difference by Location?

The average salary for a Payroll Technician is influenced by location as follows:

CityAverage Salary
Austin, TX$45,044
Boston, MA$51,603
Denver, CO$46,318
Seattle, WA$50,078
Washington, D.C.$50,985
Milwaukee, WI$45,328
New York, NY$55,098
San Francisco, CA$57,250

What Is the Payroll Technician Pay Difference by Experience Level?

A Payroll Technician’s experience will give the following variations in pay:

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 Technician Job Description Template

[Company] is seeking to hire a diligent and accurate Payroll Technician 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.

Our payroll team consists of professional HR practitioners, and your success in the role will contribute directly to maintaining a productive organization.

Payroll Technician Job Responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a Payroll Technician will include:

  • Capturing work records and timesheets
  • Calculating overtime
  • Preparing payroll runs on time
  • Helping our staff with payroll queries
  • Reporting to payroll management

Required Skill Set

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or HR
  • At least two years’ experience in an HR or payroll support role
  • Wide experience with common payroll systems 
  • Deep knowledge of common HRIS
  • In-depth understanding of all relevant overtime, leave, and benefits regulations
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work under deadline pressure
  • Helpful and supportive demeanor

Hiring Resources for Ambitious Companies

  1. Need all your HR-related activities under one roof? Check out the best HR software solutions top companies are using
  2. Complicated bonuses, incentives, and commissions making your payroll process difficult to manage? Ensure complete payroll accuracy with the top commission-based payroll software
  3. Growing your team for the first time? Streamline payroll with a 1099 payroll software.
  4. New entry-level hires coming on board? Roll out time tracking software to keep them accountable
  5. Help new hires hit the ground running with the best onboarding software
  6. What is so good about AI recruiting software, and which companies see the most benefit? Find out if your organization could take advantage of this innovation
  7. Business-critical documents always getting lost? Keep all your employee information neatly sorted in a centralized platform with employee record software
  8. Attract and hire the top candidates for your vacancies with the best sourcing tools for recruiters

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