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How Can an Accounts and Payroll Assistant Help Your Business?

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No matter the size of your business, you need to be able to process reliable, accurate, and timely payroll for your employees. Some small business owners or start ups opt to manage their own payroll, but as staff grow and remittances become more complex, working with a payroll assistant can drastically simplify the process.

Payroll assistants can work full time or part time, depending on the needs of your company. When you outsource payroll assistant duties to an accounting or payroll firm, you have access to greater scalability should your business experience changes or rapid growth.

An accounts and payroll assistant can save you time, money, and immense amounts of stress not only at tax time or when paycheques are issued, but year-round.

Who Is the Payroll Assistant?

The payroll assistant is responsible for maintaining and processing payroll records and reports for accounting. These records and reports can include salaries/wages due, accruals, deductions, remittances, and other payroll functions.

They can act as assistants to a payroll specialist or a payroll manager who can perform more technical aspects of the payroll process. Depending on the size of the business, a payroll assistant may report directly to an accountant like a CPA or perhaps to the business owner themselves.

What are the Payroll Assistant Duties and Responsibilities?

The payroll assistant responsibilities and tasks can vary from company to company. Some may be responsible for simple day to day responsibilities while others may be required to act in more technical roles.

Usually, the payroll assistant role job description includes:

  1. Entering payroll data into digital systems
  2. Remitting payroll taxes and government reporting
  3. Maintaining accurate staffing sheets and time sheets
  4. Reconciling time sheets
  5. Creating staff schedules
  6. Processing tax forms
  7. Managing payroll tasks, like direct deposits or benefits deductions
  8. Distributing paycheques and statements
  9. Gathering and analyzing payroll data to make recommendations to supervisors
  10. Preparing monthly, quarterly, and year-end payroll statements
  11. Maintaining confidentiality in all aspects
  12. Answering questions from managers or financial institutions as needed

A payroll assistant can either work in-house at an office or can easily be outsourced to a company specializing in payroll management to work fully remotely. In both cases, the payroll assistant’s duties and responsibility can remain the same.

What are the Payroll Assistant Qualifications and Skills?

Payroll assistant qualifications and skills can vary widely from person to person. Often, payroll administrative assistants are considered an entry-level job, although if the role requires more technical skill, the qualifications required will reflect that.

The minimum qualifications you should look for in a payroll assistant are a degree or certificate in a relevant field, like business or finance, and two years of related clerical accounting experience.

A payroll assistant should also have:

  1. Knowledge of mathematical calculations
  2. Knowledge of bookkeeping procedures
  3. Knowledge of payroll processing reporting
  4. Written and oral communication skills
  5. Strong data entry and computer skills
  6. Excellent time management and organizational skills

There are also payroll certifications available to payroll assistants wishing to improve their qualifications. The Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) and Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) certifications are two such qualifications.

A large corporation may hire a payroll assistant with very little experience to be trained on the job by payroll specialists and payroll managers in the department.

A small business or start up looking for payroll support will need to hire a payroll assistant with more experience or relevant certifications so they are able to work independently and accurately without significant on the job training.

What is the Rate of a Payroll Assistant?

The payroll assistant rate differs depending on their responsibilities and experience. A part time payroll assistant will more often be paid an hourly rate, while a full time payroll assistant will be salaried. A full time payroll assistant could cost your company a salary of upwards of $35 000 per year, plus benefits and related employee costs. A PCP or CPM will cost significantly higher.

The rate of an outsourced payroll assistant is significantly lower than this, which is why many small businesses and SMEs choose to work with a payroll management company. Monthly rates for a full time or part time payroll assistant are much lower and do not have the associated costs of benefits plans, vacation days, or sick days.

Could a Payroll Administrative Assistant Help Your Company?

Processing payroll can cost a small business owner or start up hours every week as they try to input, reconcile, and calculate remittances on employee salaries and wages. Issuing tax forms can add stress onto your additional year-end responsibilities. Plus, the risk of making an error on payroll can have significant consequences. Frustrated staff, spending hours doing recalculations and corrections, or incurring fines and penalties from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) for missed deadlines or mistakes in remittances.

A payroll assistant handles the payroll tasks and processing so you can focus on growing your business. They ensure tax compliance and accurate and on time payroll for your employees.

Your company could also benefit from the scalability that comes with an outsourced payroll assistant. As your business’ needs change, the scale and responsibilities of your payroll assistant can as well. Outsourced payroll assistance can match the speed at which your company is growing and hiring more staff with ease. You do not have to worry about hiring internally yourself to grow your in-house payroll department.

Our team of payroll experts and CPAs (Chartered Professional Accountants) at Accountor CPA work to streamline your payroll process and can act as your full time or part time payroll assistants.

Let’s get started with a free consultation.

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