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How to Become a Payroll Officer


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WE HAVE FOUND it particularly useful to talk about the kinds of job outcomes they might expect from enrolling in our online training courses. If you’re after a job as a Payroll Administration Officer, or working with payroll generally, then you’ll need to be able to conduct payroll processing, tax and superannuation calculations and the payment of staff within a company.

People working as payroll administration officers, or payroll administrators, can also work as bookkeepers, or even BAS agents, who specialise in payroll only; either within the payroll department of a business or accounting / bookkeeping firm.

Here are some common Payroll Administration tasks in a job description.

Find Work as a Payroll Administration Officer

It’s worth noting that many companies outsource this work to their accounting firm or external “contract” bookkeeper to remove the tasks, followup and query issues associated with the job.

They also outsource the work to an external contractor because of the importance of keeping this information private and confidential; and of course, there are myriad other reasons why using contractors and freelancers is good for business. 

In a nutshell, payroll is a vital, yet time-consuming process that requires a keen eye for detail and accuracy.

Payroll is a vital, yet time-consuming process that requires a keen eye for detail and accuracy.

The daily tasks of a payroll officer

Choosing the right online training course can set you on the path to becoming a payroll officer or working in the payroll department of an accounting firm.

The day-to-day tasks that a payroll officer will perform include:

  • Creating files for new employees to record payroll data
  • Maintaining and updating files for existing employees
  • Preparing payroll data from time sheets and other payroll and personnel records
  • Processing payment of wages and salaries
  • Issuing and recording adjustments to staff pay
  • Interpreting industrial awards
  • Providing information to employees and managers about payroll matters, such as tax issues, benefits and deductions
  • Finalising files and arrangements when employees retire, resign or transfer

A payroll administration officer may also be in involved in maintaining superannuation and other deduction and contribution records. Payroll officers can be employed by the business or be self employed and provide payroll services on a contract basis.


The soft skills of a payroll officer

Having a good head for numbers is a critical skill for anyone wishing to become a payroll, as is the ability to work with an array of data. A payroll office must also have:

  • The ability to multitask and meet deadlines
  • Good communication skills
  • Good intrapersonal skills
  • Numerical accuracy
  • Proficient computer skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • The ability to work autonomously and within a team.

Qualifications & Advanced Certificate Courses of a payroll officer

Payroll officers don’t require any formal skills to provide their services for a fee. But they do need to have a thorough understanding of the payroll process and of cloud accounting software.

Payroll training would include:

Career pathways for payroll administration officers

The tasks completed by a Payroll Administration Officer are covered in the Xero Advanced Certificate, MYOB Advanced Certificate and QuickBooks Online Advanced Certificate courses. These courses are a great way to get the necessary skills regarding GST coding, PAYG, Payroll and Superannuation skills required to perform this work in a Payroll and Advanced accounts job.

Working as a payroll officer at an accounting / bookkeeping firm is a good way for prospective BAS agents to gain the supervision and work experience necessary to register with the Tax Practitioners Board. 

Learn more about how our Beginners and Advanced Online Training Courses can help you achieve your desired job outcomes.

find work in payroll bookkeeping


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