Payroll Advice: The Role of the Payroll Professional

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There's a lot of aspects to payroll.
Sometimes the importance of payroll is underestimated.

When the national minimum wage increased this month, it got us thinking about the role the payroll professional plays in a business. Payroll is an important and often complex aspect of every business — and a topic we cover in our MYOB training course — but it’s often the most underestimated. So we decided to take a deeper look at the role of the payroll professional.

Payroll: There’s Quite a Lot to It

Even though payroll sounds easy enough — you just pay people their wages, right? — it’s actually not as simple as it sounds. As a payroll professional, you’re entirely responsible for understanding and interpreting the ever-changing regulations and legislation relating to payroll; as well as managing the demands of both the employer and employee.

And as such, payroll is not a simple task for the uninitiated; it requires a person with solid knowledge of PAYG and superannuation, as well as an understanding of Australian tax.

For instance, how do you ensure you’re making the correct contributions to an employee’s HECS or HELP debt? Or make sure super contributions are made correctly (and to the correct fund)? Are you certain your employees are being paid according to the correct modern award? Getting these things wrong is not just time-consuming to rectify, but can also incur fines to your company!

In a recent new book by Tracey Angwin called The Payroll Revolution (which has gone on to become an Australian best seller) Angwin discusses the responsibility of the payroll professional and offers practical and guided tips on Australian payroll.

Just some of the skills that Angwin suggests the payroll professional should possess are:

  • Strong people skills
  • AIS/payroll software experience (such as MYOB)
  • General email, word and excel skills
  • Strong understanding of superannuation and PAYG
  • Good knowledge of the Fairwork Act
  • Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Strong problem solving skills.

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We cover the technical side of payroll in our MYOB training course; the Australian Payroll Association website can also give you more information on payroll practices. We also highly recommend The Payroll Revolution.

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Steve Slisar

Steve Slisar has been training people how to use computers since 1994, opened a training centre in 1999 in Dee Why and by 2005 had 3 training centres and created over 35 individual courses that include Screen videos with audio commentary, training workbooks for those who prefer to read to learn, and exercise files that are used with the tasks in the workbooks so you get practical experience in the software you are trying to learn. Now the creator of 5 of the most popular online MYOB training courses in Australia.