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You don’t choose payroll – it chooses you

The ultimate truth, that all payroll professionals are aware of, is that you don’t choose payroll – it chooses you.

For me it happened whilst I was working as a recruiter at a job agency. One day I had to cover for an absent colleague and prepared a spreadsheet based on all the timesheets, working hours and absences for our accountant to process payroll for our employees. I realised that this was more enjoyable for me than recruitment. The decision was made so I changed my job and since then I have worked as a payroll administrator both for Britannia Hotels and Stagecoach, before joining Symatrix just over 3 and a half years ago. I started as BPO Payroll Specialist and have recently been promoted to BPO Payroll Team Lead and I thoroughly enjoy my new role.

When someone asks me why I like working in payroll, I am immediately reminded of a scene from a movie called The Accountant where Dana, one of main characters played by Anna Kendrick, replies to a similar question saying “I like the balance of it”. It gives me satisfaction when I check final reports, when all the data is correct and it balances. It’s another month, and people got paid accurately, securely and on time again. Smashing!

For those outside of the payroll environment, it may not be obvious how much knowledge and experience is needed to work in payroll. Some believe that it’s just a case of pressing a button and the system will do the job for you when in reality that is far from the truth. To work in payroll, you need be not only up to date with all job-related legislation or know how to carry out the different calculations and rules behind them, but you also need technical knowledge relating to the payroll system. There are many different payroll systems and throughout their payroll career payroll professionals will likely come across a few different systems and will have to learn how to use different software.

Enrolling in a Foundation Degree in Payroll Management course with CIPP will help with the above and more. Having just recently finalised the course, I can confirm that it has also given me a better understanding of payroll calculations and legislation – it is very rewarding when you’re able to confidently answer a complicated query from an employee, being able to give them a full breakdown or explanation of their payment. The course also touched on many different subjects like leadership/management, teamwork, improving system and more and as it’s a professional qualification it will open many different doors in the future. I would recommend considering it!

Happy National Payroll Week and Keep on [Pay]rolling!

About the author

Vickey Wallis

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