Payroll administrators, also called payroll managers, are specialists within the human resources division who oversee the daily payroll operations of an organisation. These operations include issuing employee paychecks, verifying the number of hours worked recording leaves of absence and keeping records of changes in employment.
Payroll administrators perform most of their managerial work with computers and are expected to be experts at tracking employee data using accounting, database and excel sheet software programmes. Read on to learn how you can climb the ladder of success to hold the title of a payroll administrator in a business entity.
1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree
Most payroll administrator positions need you to possess a bachelor’s degree. Studies in human resources management, accounting and business administration can make you ready to become a payroll professional to engage in the field.
The curriculum for a bachelor’s degree course in payroll and bookkeeping provides you with additional knowledge on topics like leadership and management principles, organisational behaviour, communication, compensation packages and business ethics.
Students will also gain a good understanding of business administration processes with an accounting emphasis, including areas of financial accounting, internal auditing and risk management.
2. Consider an Internship
Grabbing an internship opportunity while completing their educational programmes can provide students with a mode to gain work experience.
Interns can get hired to work with the human resources or in accounting departments of a company, institute or business entities. Many payroll graduates gain entry-level job positions by completing internships, moving on to hold permanent positions in the business.
3. Apply for an entry-level position
While having a bachelor’s degree under the belt is important for potential payroll administrators, many employers expect applicants to have prior work experience. Due to this reason, many students aspiring to become payroll administrators may have to first undergo training in an entry-level position as a payroll executive or clerk.
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4. Earn a master’s degree
Some payroll administrator positions demand a postgraduate degree to top up the undergraduate knowledge base. Graduates can choose to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or even specialise in accounting or leadership. You can also opt to enrol in a master’s degree program in human resources and take short term training on staffing, collective bargaining, compensation, dispute resolution and employee benefits.
5. Get certified
Some employers prefer to hire payroll administrators who possess the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation. You can also choose to national or district level payroll association for administers to obtain a membership. (1)
In addition to certification, the memberships offered to payroll professionals can help you acquire industry-related information by gaining access to regular publications and attending payroll and bookkeeping seminars and conferences.
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