3 Common Questions About Payroll Administrators
Did you know that Canadian payroll professionals collectively process more than $900 billion in wages and taxable benefits and comply with over 200 federal and provincial regulations?1 It's true. Being in charge of people's paycheques is challenging and important work. But it's also rewarding.
Think this might be the field for you? Read on to get more details about typical job tasks, salary potential, and training requirements!
1. What Does a Payroll Administrator Job Description Usually Include?
Payroll administrators are responsible for ensuring that workers receive appropriate compensation for the work they perform. That means the job involves tracking employee hours, calculating wages, processing deductions, and coordinating benefits. It's an essential role that bridges the finance and human resources functions in a company.
A typical payroll job description includes duties such as:
- Maintaining personnel records
- Verifying and calculating regular earnings, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, and vacation entitlements
- Calculating taxes, union dues, employment insurance premiums, and other deductions
- Administering group benefits such as extended health insurance or pension plans
- Issuing and distributing paycheques or arranging for direct deposit
- Adhering to all labour regulations and federal and provincial government remittance requirements
- Reconciling payroll records with bank statements
- Preparing T4 slips
- Addressing employee questions about payroll or benefits issues
In some companies, payroll administrators are also responsible for broader accounting functions like processing invoices and bills, collecting payments, and maintaining general ledgers.
Payroll administrators can find opportunities with a huge array of private businesses as well as nonprofit organizations and government agencies. As you gain knowledge and experience, you can work your way up to positions such as payroll supervisor or human resources manager.
2. What's a Typical Payroll Administrator Salary?
Whether your job title is payroll administrator, payroll and benefits administrator, or accounting and payroll administrator, salary potential for this type of position can range from about $31,000 at the low end to around $68,000 at the high end. The median salary in Canada is about $49,000, which means half of the people working in this occupation earn more than that amount and half earn less.2
3. What Training Is Required?
Most positions call for post-secondary training in payroll administration or related fields like bookkeeping, accounting, human resources, or business administration.
Payroll administrator courses are widely available at colleges and vocational schools across Canada. They offer training in areas like accounting systems, payroll legislation, customer service, and business communications. Many also include a period of supervised work experience. Programs typically take anywhere from 33 to 48 weeks to complete and culminate in a certificate or diploma.
You can enhance your employability by getting Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification from the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA). This requires successfully completing three payroll-specific courses as well as an introductory accounting course. You can take the payroll courses directly from the CPA online or from a college or university; the accounting course has to be taken through a post-secondary institution. Once you have met the educational requirements and become a member of the CPA, you are considered a PCP Candidate. To become fully certified, you need to complete at least a year of work experience in the payroll field.
Many payroll administrator training programs include the courses required for PCP certification as part of their curriculum, so graduates only need to acquire the one year of work experience before applying for full certification.
Learn to Be a Payroll Professional
Turn your ambition into action. Here's an excellent first step: Explore the payroll administrator training programs listed above. Or put your postal code into the following school finder to discover even more convenient options in your region!
1 The Canadian Payroll Association, website last visited on June 22, 2018.
2 Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on June 22, 2018.