ACCA - The global body for professional accountants


Payroll and / or wages employees are involved in processing the monthly / weekly payroll for salaried employees for a business. The position may be within the human resources and / or the accounts and finance departments. A payroll staff member processes and submits monthly payroll including statutory year-end returns and liaises with tax authorities. Payroll staff are responsible for creating, maintaining and updating all payroll data, records and processes, also dealing with all employee salary and payroll queries. ​They are responsible for maintaining static, standing and variable data, including overtime, commissions, expense claims, statutory sickness, maternity and other benefit payments and reporting on payroll in line with HR, finance and business requirements.

The function role may be offered in-house, as part of an outsourced function or shared service provision (SSO).

Entry and progression

Someone entering the payroll function may come to it via different entry points or routes. These could either be through the human resource function or through an in-house accounts or finance department. Alternatively an entry point may be to join a specialist shared service payroll and centralised finance function within an organisation or a specialist company offering outsourced payroll functions to a range of clients. Progression in this role maybe within the human resources function, or to progress through becoming a supervisor or a payroll manager within the finance function or SSO. Some payroll staff may also move into other areas of HR or finance as a career path to broaden their experience. 

Career progression in this role can be supported by developing and demonstrating professional behaviours. Take a look at the behavioural competencies in the Competency Framework to reflect on the type of behaviours which are useful for payroll.