5 Tips for the First Time Payroll Admin

So you got a job in payroll, congrats! There is much to learn, but don’t worry, with the right resources you’ll be running payroll like a pro in no time. Diving into your software, learning the company’s processes, and doing some targeted research will definitely help you get a good start on your career. Here are a few tips I’ve gathered to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

Get to Know Your Software

Whether you’re using Quickbooks, Sage, Dominion, Paychex, or some other form of software to run your payroll, you’ll need to get familiar with the system. While I can’t speak for other companies, Dominion provides comprehensive training when clients add on new payroll admins. The goal is to get you as comfortable with your software as possible. If you have questions, we have answers. If you’re not a client of Dominion, call your payroll provider to find out if they have additional training for new payroll admins. The truth is, no matter how familiar with payroll you may be, if you don’t know the system you’re working in, then you’ll likely need some help. 

Learn the Process 

Outside of learning the software you need to hone in on the actual process of running a payroll. What is the pay frequency and what day do you need to complete payroll in order to get that check out on time? Are there any special processes you need to be aware of? Do all employees get paid on the same frequency, or are there multiple frequencies? Do you need to add in commissions, if so when are commissions due by? Same goes for expenses. These, among other things, are questions you need to be asking. 

Take Notes, Identify Inefficiencies

Now is the best time to weed out inefficiencies; with a fresh set of eyes on the software and the process that it takes to get employees paid you are the best person to find what isn’t working. If you find inefficiencies that are wasting time and money, speak up! Nothing will impress your new employer more than you trying to do what is best by them. 

CPP Study Material

Now that you’re working in payroll you might want to look into becoming a Certified Payroll Professional. If you’re not familiar with what a CPP is, it is a certification for those with extensive payroll knowledge. In order to become a CPP you must apply for the exam, but before you do so, you’ll want to make sure you have all the appropriate study materials. The title of CPP is not something that comes easily, it requires hours of study time to perfect tax calculations, payroll deductions, and anything to do with payroll really. Not to mention, once you do become certified you’ll need to attend classes throughout the year to retain your CPP status.

Attend Conferences

One of the best resources available to payroll professionals is the American Payroll Association Conference. Every year Dominion attends the Michigan Statewide APA Conference as a sponsor, while our employees who are have the CPP credential attend to participate in the classes offered. Some examples of the classes at the 2015 Michigan Statewide APA Conference are - Payroll Compliance: 2015 & 2016 Legislation Updates, Independent Contractors, Michigan Garnishment Reform, Multi-State Taxation. These are just a handful of the many classes offered at these conferences. If you’re interested in connecting with your local APA chapter, you can find it by following this link: http://www.americanpayroll.org/chapter/

The best thing you can do is surround yourself with information and be open to learning. As you get going in your payroll career you’ll see the importance of staying up-to-date on legislation to ensure an accurate payroll every time. 

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