Back to insights

Payroll Specialist Job Description

A payroll specialist is often responsible for processing payroll and managing budgets within an organization. Learn more about the role in this detailed guide.

A Payroll Specialist’s responsibilities encompass a broad range, depending on the organization, but their main goal is to ensure that employees receive their pay correctly. This role handles all aspects of the payment process, from tracking employees’ time through issuing paychecks. Since employees depend on a company to pay them accurately and on time, a Payroll Specialist is an essential link in any organization.


Depending on the organization, a Payroll Specialist’s goals and objectives may be to compile payroll data, including employees' time worked and pay rate. This position typically reports to a supervisor or manager within the department.


Education Requirements

  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related financial field
  • Knowledge of payroll industry software tools, whether through college or separate training courses, is essential
  • Industry-specific certification demonstrates expertise within the field and a commitment to continuing education

Payroll Specialist Essential Skills

  • Computation skills
  • Computer literacy, including using programs and spreadsheets
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Organizational skills
  • Time-management expertise

Payroll Specialist Roles & Responsibilities

  • Maintain database of personnel information and accurate payroll records
  • Conduct regularly scheduled audits of payroll records to ensure continued accuracy
  • Prepare paychecks to ensure that employees are paid on time and in the correct amount
  • Cooperate with different departments to increase payroll service performance
  • Process data and prepare tax information

Day-to-Day Duties

  • Collect, verify, and record employee attendance, including hours worked
  • Compute wages, commissions, and deductions
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local tax laws, including remittance of payroll taxes
  • Process and monitor garnishment orders
  • Handle employee complaints about incorrect payments and resolve discrepancies

Ready to find your next Payroll Specialist role?