5 Essential Traits You’ll Need in Payroll Administrator Careers

Becoming a payroll administrator involves having several different key skills under your belt, and those skills go far beyond simply crunching numbers or paying employees in a timely fashion. Since your tasks are complex and demand accuracy, the last thing you’ll want is to make any mistakes that could cause damage to employees or a company, or lead to you being hit with compliance penalties.

While some of the necessary traits have to do with mathematical abilities, other skills are softer in nature, and it’s important to have a strong mix of all of them in order to be a success. Here are five traits that will help you succeed as a payroll administrator.

Numeracy and Mathematical Skills are a Must-Have

This goes without saying, but encountering and resolving an array of complex data, numbers and calculations is a regular part of the job. As a payroll administrator, being highly numerate and having a strong competency for math is one of the more obvious prerequisites for success. Not only will excellent numeracy help minimize any errors and compliance issues, but more specific calculations such as tax reports and statutory deductions will need to be correct.


Making mistakes with payroll can lead to serious consequences

Knowledge of Compliance is Essential for Success

Students can learn about payroll compliance legislation during their training, and this is one of the most important skills to have during accounting and payroll administration careers

Aside from the fact that compliance penalties can cost a lot of money, it’s critical that payroll administrators abide by all relevant compliance requirements, especially as these regulations can differ in different parts of the world, and even across Canada. Therefore, knowledge of the exact regulations in your province is paramount.

An Eye for Detail is Important in Payroll Administrator Careers

Making sure to get small details right, whether with data, numbers or keeping records, is another key element of the role. Since tax reports and calculating pay can be complex, and since even minor errors can lead to serious issues and consequences, having a strong attention to detail is of extreme importance. Again, this can be particularly crucial with regards to compliance with legislation.

Being Able to Work Under Pressure Will Serve You Well

Those in payroll administrator careers can surely understand the virtue of being good at working in high-pressure situations. Considering how much responsibility is associated with the role, you will not only have to be sure you’re maintaining accuracy, but are doing so while getting your work done quickly. 

Since payroll errors can hurt both the finances of an employee and the reputation of a company, you’ll have to ensure that all calculations are accurate and performance standards are met, all on tight deadlines while remaining calm and collected.

Having an Extensive Knowledge of Payroll Software is Also a Must

During your training, you may learn about using software platforms such as Microsoft Excel, Simply Accounting for Windows, Sage 300RP, and QuickBooks. These are all important to master by the time you have begun your career, as many of the software tools listed above are dedicated specifically to payroll. Demonstrating knowledge in both payroll software and standard office software, and knowing how to use these platforms efficiently, are both important skills to have in an increasingly digital landscape.


It’s important to understand how to use modern payroll software

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