Payroll Clerk Job Description Template

A payroll clerk going over documents and records with her manager.

Whether you’re looking for a payroll specialist to work under the direction of your bookkeeper or payroll manager, or you’re hiring for the growing payroll services industry, you’ll need a well-crafted payroll clerk job description to attract the most capable candidates.

Today’s payroll clerks need to have all the traditional skills associated with the role, along with more foreword-facing skills, such as comfort with rapidly changing payroll automation systems and the intellectual flexibility required to keep up with shifting legal requirements. They must become familiar with and adhere to the Wages and Fair Labor Standards Act and be trustworthy enough to be permitted access to highly confidential financial and personal information.

Finding candidates with this rare combination of qualities is a tall order, but the job description template below can help you get started. For more ideas about what you might want to include in your job description for a payroll clerk you can look at current listings for open jobs.

A payroll clerk going over documents and records with her manager.

Payroll Clerk

[Intro Paragraph] Begin your payroll clerk job description with a concise paragraph or list of bulleted items designed to sell your company, institution, or workplace to applicants. Emphasize your organization’s investments in employee development or its dedication to work-life balance. You might also mention how many employees or clients you have, or the scope of your business.

Payroll Clerk Job Responsibilities:

  • Pays employees by calculating pay and deductions and issuing checks.
  • Maintains payroll information by collecting, calculating, and entering data into the payroll system, as well as retrieving data when necessary.
  • Updates payroll records by entering changes in exemptions, insurance coverage, savings deductions, and job title and department/division transfers.
  • Prepares reports by compiling summaries of earnings, taxes, deductions, leave, disability, and nontaxable wages.
  • Determines payroll liabilities by calculating employee federal and state income and social security taxes and employer’s social security, unemployment, and workers compensation payments.
  • Communicates payroll deductions to retirement administrators for 401(k) plans and other pre-taxation savings plans.
  • Assist with monthly, quarterly, or year-end calculations of bonuses and other salary-based compensation.
  • Resolves payroll discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information and interacting with HR.
  • Provides payroll information by answering questions and requests.
  • Maintains payroll operations by following policies and procedures, and reporting needed changes.
  • Maintains employee confidence and protects payroll operations by keeping information confidential.

[Work Hours & Benefits] In this section of your payroll clerk job description you’ll want to sell the position in a similar way as your first paragraph marketed your workplace to candidates. To ensure that the salary range you mention in your job post is in line with similar salaries in your region, you can use a salary tool that allows you to input job title and location. You can also mention benefits, including healthcare, skills training, tuition and/or certification reimbursement, or paid time off.

Payroll Clerk Skills and Qualifications:

  • Analytical skills
  • Data entry skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Deadline-driven
  • Problem solving
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Confidentiality
  • General math skills
  • Familiarity with financial software
  • Familiarity with accounting principles
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills

Education, Experience, & Licensing Requirements:

  • High school diploma required; associate’s degree preferred
  • Experience working in an office setting
  • Previous payroll software experience a plus
  • Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) a plus

[Call to Action] Close out your payroll clerk job description with a strong call to action by providing the necessary information they need to apply to your job post. For instance, you can include the HR manager’s email address or invite them to click on the job application link.

Leverage Your Payroll Clerk Job Description With a Free Job Listing

Now that you know how to craft a thorough, compelling job description you’re ready to start collecting resumes from the most capable payroll specialists in the job market. Extend your reach to top candidates with a free job listing from Monster.