Part two of our accountant job description series will examine the role of the Payroll Clerk.
A Payroll Clerk ensures that all employees get paid; accurately and on time. The duties performed by a Payroll Clerk are essential in just about every organisation with employees. This means a Payroll Clerk can find work in many industries, with all kinds of businesses and organisations – whether big city companies or regional and remote businesses!
In smaller organisations, the job of Payroll Clerk may be combined into a general accountant job position, or a specialist Payroll Clerk might be contracted for a few hours each week to manage the pay of a small business. In larger organisations, with a large number of employees, the role of Payroll Clerk can be a dedicated full time accountant job.
Here is the Payroll Clerk Job Description:
Key Tasks and Responsibilities
- Maintain payroll information by collecting, calculating and recording data
- Resolve payroll discrepancies by investigating and analysing information
- Collect and summarize timekeeping information
- Calculate and deposit PAYG tax
- Calculate and deposit employer superannuation deposits
- Calculate leave, deductions and non-taxable income
- Calculate Medicare levies
- Calculate commissions
- Obtain overtime approvals
- Create payroll reports by compiling summaries of relevant payroll data
- Print and issue pay checks
- Process direct deposit payments
- Update payroll records, including changes to insurance coverage, job titles, employee savings & superannuation contributions, department & division transfers
- Determine payroll liabilities such as workers compensation payments
- Protects payroll operation and maintains employee confidence by keeping payroll information confidential
- Follows payroll policies and procedures
- Report changes needed to payroll policies and procedures
- Contribute to the accounting team by accomplishing tasks in an accurate and timely fashion
- May also assist with general administration duties such as answering phones, faxing documents, greeting visitors, and assist with other bookkeeping duties
Recommended Education and Experience
The role of payroll clerk is considered an entry level accountant job position, meaning it is ideal if you have just completed a relevant vocational qualification and are looking to enter the workforce in an accounting related role.
Vocational courses that teach the skills and competencies to enter the job market as a Payroll Clerk include:
- Certificate IV in Accounting
- Certificate IV in Bookkeeping
- Certificate III in Business Administration
- Certificate IV in Business Administration
- Certificate III in Accounts Administration
You may have already learnt the duties of a Payroll Clerk on the job, as part of general office and clerical duties. In that case, Certificate IV in Bookkeeping or Accounting courses are the ideal qualifications for you to build your financial skills and progress further in the financial services industry in more demanding accountant jobs. Alternatively, you can use a Business Administration or Accounts Administration qualification to formalise your abilities with a nationally recognised vocational qualification.
General job competencies required as a Payroll Clerk include: knowledge and experience working with payrolls, general bookkeeping procedures, general accounting principles and administration procedures.
Having general computers skills with common software like Word and Excel is highly regarded, as well as experience and competence with more specialised accounting applications such as MYOB, QuickBooks, Reckon or other programs.
Payroll Clerks occupy an important position within an organisation. The responsibility of calculating taxes and accurate pay for employees requires excellent attention to detail, a firm grasp of mathematics, great organisation and personal integrity. Payroll Clerks must be professional, highly motivated and capable of working alone or with a team to complete payroll tasks by strict deadlines.
Strong communication skills are needed to effectively convey payroll information to other employees and management. General skills in customer service, good grammar and the ability to follow instructions can also be an asset in this role.
Job Prospects and Compensation
As they have significant responsibilities within an organisation, Payroll Clerks receive relatively high compensation compared to other entry level accounting positions. Overall growth in payroll clerk accountant job positions is expected to be below average, but there is a high vacancy rate, meaning there may potentially be many job openings.
You can find more details about the Payroll Clerk accountant job description & prospects on the government’s Job Outlook site. You can also find more entry level accountant job descriptions.
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