Payroll managers manage the payroll departments within organisations.

What does a payroll manager do?

A payroll manager, runs a payroll department or team responsible for paying wages correctly and on time. If placed within a payroll bureau that provides payroll services for a number of different clients, the role could involve managing a number of teams.

Management responsibilities would involve:

  • supervising and training the payroll team
  • creating payroll policies and procedures
  • advising on tax and pay laws
  • managing computer software and systems
  • analysing and reporting on financial data
  • checking and auditing payroll to make sure regulations are met

What do I need to do to become a payroll manager?

You usually need up to five years’ experience in payroll before progressing into management.

For jobs at management level, employers are likely to be more interested in your skills, experience and industry knowledge than your formal qualifications. You would usually be expected to have a good knowledge of payroll legislation.

It may help your job prospects to complete a qualification offered by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) or the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB).

Relevant courses could include:

  • CIPP National Payroll Certificates
  • CIPP Practitioner Certificate in Payroll, Advanced Practitioner Certificate in Payroll and Diploma in Payroll
  • IAB Certificate and Diploma in Payroll or Computerised Payroll

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • IT
  • Leadership
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Time management

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could work in the finance department of larger companies or public sector organisations, such as local authorities or the NHS. Alternatively, you could be employed by a payroll bureau that provides payroll services to other companies. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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