How to write the best payroll administrator job description

Written by samuel hamilton
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How to write the best payroll administrator job description
Writing a job description for a payroll administrator requires you to identify all the mathematical and social skills the job may require. (Paying Bills image by ne_fall_photos from

According to Paul V. Anderson's Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach, the most important component of crafting a perfect job description is clarity. Anderson believes that too often companies hire unqualified candidates because they were not explicitly clear in their job descriptions about such features as responsibilities, desired qualifications and job overview. Writing the best payroll administrator job description, according to Anderson, would therefore involve highlighting the specific responsibilities of the job, as well as required qualifications.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Provide a specific title for the payroll administrator position. If the position is general, it is sufficient to title the position "Payroll Administrator." If, however, the position is for a specific element of a payroll administrators job, such as leading a group of other payroll practitioners in the filing of tax returns and voluntary deduction forms, you could choose a more appropriate title such as "Lead Payroll Administrator of Taxes and Deductions."

  2. 2

    Identify the specific company and department within that company for which the payroll administrator position will work. Include demographic information about the number of employees.

  3. 3

    Write a brief overview of the administrator's job responsibilities. This is not to give an in-depth analysis and description of the responsibilities, but merely to introduce those responsibilities. For example, you might write something like "The Lead Payroll Administrator of Taxes and Deductions will oversee a team of two to three payroll practitioners in the handling of annual tax returns of all company employees, as well as the individual employee voluntary deductions, levies and garnishments."

  4. 4

    Highlight the key areas of responsibility in an orderly list. Use bullets to organise and prioritise responsibilities from most to least important. For example, a Lead Payroll Administrator of Taxes and Deductions will play a significant roll in helping employees complete, review and maintain their tax information, so that bullet will likely be in the top of the list. The same position will also likely have input into insurance and other payroll deductions, albeit not as much as that position's direct supervisor, a Payroll Supervisor or even a Payroll Manager/Director.

  5. 5

    List all employees the payroll administrator's position will be required to correspond and consult with, including subordinates, peers and supervisors. For example, the Payroll Manager of Taxes and Deductions will lead a team of two to three payroll practitioners, collaborate with a Payroll Manager of Accounting and Budget and report to a Payroll Supervisor in charge of the payroll unit consisting of the manager in charge of taxes and deductions and the manager in charge of accounting and budget.

  6. 6

    Identify the length and terms of employment. For example, some firms guarantee 12 months of continuous and monitored employment, while others operate with an at-will contractual agreement. This will depend largely on the state, as well as company, in which you work.

  7. 7

    List all qualifications a candidate must possess in order to get the job. Include both minimum and ideal requirements. Include items such as years of work experience, education, physical and office-related skills (words-per-minute typing, lifting equipment and so on).

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