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In its briefest form, the definition of a Payroll Clerk is a person employed to administer the payment of wages to employees. However, in most modern companies this position also includes responsibilities for many other duties than just issuing employment compensation. For this reason, the position is also commonly titled Wage Manager, Compensation Clerk or Payroll Specialist. Whether a business employs just a few or thousands of employees, the task of handling all aspects associated with payrolls requires a person who is detail oriented and familiar with computer payroll software.
While the primary duty in the position is to see that employees are compensated in a fair and timely manner, many other areas directly related to payroll are ultimately included. The most directly related area is documenting attendance and performance records so that paycheck amounts will be correct. This not only includes verifying hours worked but also allotting sick and vacation days when necessary. If part of an employee's compensation includes commissions and bonuses, this information must also be compiled and paid to the employee at the correct time.
In most cases, the person in charge of administering wages to employees is also responsible for keeping records of any deductions that are taken out checks. These include areas such as federal and state taxes, FICA, Medicare, health insurance, retirement accounts and garnishments. It is also often the duty of a Payroll Clerk to oversee all employee paperwork that is required to be on file for these deductions and issue regular reports summarizing payroll transactions as requested by superiors or other departments. Another duty of the position can also include staying informed about changes in tax laws, benefits plans and other topics directly affecting a payroll.
A Payroll Clerk is an invaluable component of any successful business. It ensures that employees are compensated in a timely manner and provides business owners or executives timely access to payroll-related accounting reports and other pertinent information. Today, almost all tasks related to payroll are integrated into computer payroll software. This allows for the easier computation and distribution of checks, the ability to instantly generate reports and the timely filing of employee-related tax payments. The time saved by having one person oversee all the duties surrounding a payroll can provide business owners the opportunity to dedicate their efforts to other areas of the company.