What does a Payroll Manager do?

Cassie L. Damewood

A payroll manager ensures the accuracy of payments to employees for wages and salaries. She guarantees the appropriate deductions have been taken from the gross amount of the payment to satisfy local and regional regulations, benefits funds and garnishment requests. Managing and supervising payroll support personnel are also commonly part of her job responsibilities.

Payroll managers are tasked with ensuring the accuracy of wages paid to employees.
Payroll managers are tasked with ensuring the accuracy of wages paid to employees.

When new personnel are hired, a payroll manager normally assists the human resources department in their orientation. She usually confirms their rate and frequency of pay and verifies what deductions should be made on their paychecks. When current employees are promoted, transferred or terminated, she is in charge of adjusting their pay rates or issuing final checks.

A payroll manager will communicate with accounting and human resources managers about salaries, benefits, and payroll procedures.
A payroll manager will communicate with accounting and human resources managers about salaries, benefits, and payroll procedures.

If a company offers benefits packages to its employees, the payroll manager is often the administrator of them. She is frequently in charge of retirement funds, stock options and the disbursement of awards and bonuses. Employees typically approach her for answers to their questions regarding these benefits. If management considers changes in their salary or benefits structure, she is often consulted along with the human resources manager.

To guarantee efficiency throughout the company’s financial operations, a payroll manager typically communicates with accounting and human resources managers on salary, benefits and payroll procedures and policies. These managers often work together to develop and implement changes that may benefit the entire company. If employee contracts are part of the company structure, these managers may regularly review them and recommend changes.

Management frequently requires a payroll manager to prepare and submit reports to them on a regular basis. These typically reflect what the company is paying for benefits, taxes and vacation accruals. The manager may make recommendations in these areas to improve operations or save money.

A successful payroll manager is normally a good communicator. She usually interacts with other company managers as well as staff employees on a regular basis. Her discretion is important as she is often discussing personal issues such as salaries, bonuses and benefits. Good math skills are preferred. Being well organized helps the manager simultaneously address multiple issues and achieve the desired results.

To qualify for this job normally requires a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting. Some companies prefer a master’s degree in the same concentrations. If an applicant has more than five years of successful experience in payroll administration or management, the educational requirements may be waived or reduced.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Becoming a payroll manager seems to be one of those jobs that you really have to work up to. I have noticed from my friend's experience that many of these jobs are hired from within the company.

Also, they often require you to get some extra schooling, as many businesses prefer their payroll managers to have a certificate specific to their work.

This job though, once secured, can be pretty lucrative. The starting salary for a first year is usually between $31,444US and $39,067US. For those who stick with the job your salary increases and can run into the $49,573US to $73,802US range.


If you have concerns about the deductions being taken from your pay is it possible to speak to the payroll manager about them, or is there someone lower down the chain of command that you should speak with?

Also, if you feel that you are exempt from certain deductions, are there usually forms available at the payroll manager's office that allows you to prove your exemption?

I usually pay for my own health care insurance and retirement savings, and prefer to take care of this myself, without it being automatically deducted. I don’t like our company’s options for these particular programs.

Post your comments
Forgot password?