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Payroll Clerk

What is the role of a Payroll Clerk?

The role of a Payroll Clerk encompasses end to end Payroll related duties including tracking company’s Payroll information to ensure it is accurate. Some examples of Payroll information that a Payroll Clerk may have to monitor includes:

  • ​Employee personal Information (Names, Addresses, national insurance numbers, tax codes etc.)

  • Employment Information (Offer letters, background checks, references etc.)

  • Timesheets (Including information on regular hours, overtime hours, holidays taken etc.)

  • Pay information (Rate of pay, bonus entitlement, pay period etc.)

The specific duties of a Payroll Clerk may include: tracking employee working hours, calculations relating to commission/bonuses and taxes and answering payroll questions employee’s have.

The size of a business usually determines who a Payroll Clerk will report into. Payroll are often required to work closely with HR as well as finance in order to allow functions to be carried out effectively. In smaller companies, some payroll roles are standalone roles and report directly in the Finance Director or Chief Financial Officer. In other larger companies, Payroll Clerks may work as part of a Payroll team and report into a Payroll Manager or Supervisor.

How do I become a Payroll Clerk?

There are many different ways to get into a career in Payroll, a degree is not necessary, however a degree in a relevant subject such as Accountancy / Finance or Mathematics will prove useful in a Payroll role. You can also get into Payroll as a school leaver, in order to do this studying AAT or Finance / Accountancy related qualifications in college will be beneficial. Another route into Payroll is undertaking an apprenticeship in Payroll which will allow you to study a relevant qualification while obtaining training on the job.

Within a Payroll role, you will require:

  • Good Mathematics skills;

  • Excellent organisational skills;

  • Attention to detail; and

  • A knowledge and interest in Accountancy.

Payroll offers a variety of different progression opportunities for your career, the most common route would be developing from Payroll Clerk / Administrator into Payroll Supervisor through to Payroll Manager.


Typical Job Specification for a Payroll Clerk:

  • Completing Payroll for employees;

  • Managing multiple payrolls paid weekly and monthly;

  • Inputting pay information into the payroll system from a spreadsheet;

  • Administering new starters and leavers, basic pay, absences, and any other pay changes & queries;

  • Processing SMP, SSP and SPP payments on a monthly basis as well as updating pension information; and

  • Processing P45’s and updating HMRC.