10 Traits to Look for When Hiring a Payroll Professional

Payroll Salary Women Employee Happiness

A payroll professional is an individual who has knowledge about financial services and can handle higher-level accounting functions for businesses. They will help you in streamlining various processes and take the responsibility off your shoulders so that you can focus on other key areas of your business. The main job of a payroll professional is to make sure that employees receive the right amount of pay for their work hours. With the intricate and complex regulatory payroll landscape, the profession remains a highly specialized business function. There are several reasons for this because a payroll staff should be efficient enough to handle the demands of the job or risk errors and hefty penalties. In fact, a small mistake could snowball into a big crisis as it impacts the salaries of employees.

Most companies are aware that accurate payroll is crucial to a firm’s success. So hiring a payroll expert can help them navigate these challenges. However, it’s a tricky process to recruit the best payroll professionals. You need to understand the various payroll expert traits to ensure that the expert you hire could take good care of your company’s payroll processes.

If you want to hire a dedicated payroll expert, we have prepared a list of 10 payroll expert traits that will help you in identifying the best talents.

  1. Qualifications

    There are no industry standard qualifications for people who are eager to join the payroll profession. However, relevant certifications or educational backgrounds could help a person excel in a payroll role. With accountancy playing a major role, candidates who have math-related backgrounds or have undergone relevant certificate courses are considered to be well suited for the position.

  2. Understanding of Data

    One of the most important payroll expert traits is understanding numbers and data. This is because the job involves dealing with large datasets of numbers and analyzing them. Therefore, a candidate should have an aptitude for numbers. The professional must also possess analytical skills to be able to resolve any payroll calculation errors quickly and effectively.

  3. Compliance

    If a candidate doesn’t stay compliant with payroll laws and tax regulations that are basic in driving accurate payroll processing, then they are doing it all wrong. Professionals who are entrusted with this job need to stay updated about any kinds of changes in tax legislation and adhere to the best practices so that the organization doesn’t incur hefty fines arising from non-compliance.

  4. Communication & Patience

    Payroll isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, it might be a complex process for employees who are not familiar with it. So payroll experts might need to explain certain calculations or discrepancies to employees across various verticals. So it is important that a professional is good at communication — a very crucial payroll expert trait — in order to interact effectively with employees and clear all their doubts.

    Because payroll professionals have to deal with a lot of employees, they need to show patience in order to understand and address different queries.

  5. Time Management

    How would you feel if your salary doesn’t arrive on time? You wouldn’t obviously feel sprightly about it, right? So payroll experts need to work on tight timelines to ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time. Given that a company might employ hundreds or thousands of employees, it is important that payroll professionals stick to their schedules.

  6. Confidentiality

    When a payroll professional is handling salary information about an employee, he or she needs to show a lot of caution. This is because an employee’s personal details and payroll records are sensitive information that shouldn’t get leaked. So a payroll expert has to exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality when handling such data.

  7. Reliability & Vision

    You need to find a responsible person to whom you can hand over payroll duties. This is because a small discrepancy in salary can cause huge turmoil. So your payroll staff needs to be reliable and dependable so that you can trust him or her to carry out the payroll function accurately.

    Apart from reliability, a good payroll professional should have a good vision to identify areas where their systems could be improved upon or create solutions to problems.

  8. Tech-Savvy & Adaptability

    We are living in a world where technology is constantly evolving and improving. Payroll software also gets updated from time to time. In fact, significant changes in the political and legal landscape can happen quite quickly and affect the way your business is run. So you will need a payroll staff who is familiar with the changing trends of payroll software and can adapt to new regulations accordingly.

  9. Experience

    Besides relevant qualifications, a candidate must also possess some experience in payroll processing. Experience helps a professional understand a region’s compliance requirements and other different aspects of their job.

  10. Leadership & Administration

    A candidate who will be hired in the payroll department needs to show leadership skills to efficiently manage processes. Depending on the seniority of their role, a professional might need to coordinate with colleagues, train and guide junior staff, advise HR staff or be called upon to brief company executives.

    Apart from leadership, one of the important payroll expert traits is administration. This is because the daily tasks involved in payroll processing go beyond general office duties. A payroll professional should be a versatile administrator with a range of clerical skills.
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