Career Development

What Does a Payroll And Benefits Manager Do?

Find out what a Payroll And Benefits Manager does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Payroll And Benefits Manager.

The Payroll and Benefits Manager plays an integral role in ensuring that employees are compensated accurately and on time, while also managing the company’s benefits programs. This position requires a blend of expertise in finance and human resources, as it involves overseeing payroll processing, tax compliance, and the administration of benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other employee perks. By maintaining up-to-date knowledge of regulations and best practices, the Payroll and Benefits Manager supports the organization’s financial health and contributes to a positive work environment by ensuring employees receive their entitled compensation and benefits. This role serves as a liaison between the organization, its employees, and benefits providers, ensuring that the company’s offerings are competitive, compliant, and cost-effective.

Payroll And Benefits Manager Job Duties

  • Process payroll transactions including salaries, benefits, garnishments, taxes, and other deductions to ensure accurate and timely payroll issuance.
  • Administer employee benefits programs such as retirement plans, medical, dental, vision insurances, life, and disability insurances, ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations.
  • Resolve payroll discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information, providing solutions to payroll errors, and ensuring corrections are processed.
  • Coordinate with HR to ensure accurate employee data for new hires, terminations, and changes in pay and status are reflected in the payroll system.
  • Prepare reports summarizing earnings, taxes, deductions, leave, disability, and nontaxable wages for financial planning and audit purposes.
  • Liaise with external auditors and provide support during audits by supplying required payroll and benefits documentation and explanations.
  • Implement and maintain payroll best practices to improve efficiency and consult with senior management to recommend changes in benefits offered, especially if they could improve employee retention.
  • Oversee the maintenance of current employee data systems, ensuring confidentiality and data protection standards are met.

Payroll And Benefits Manager Salary & Outlook

Factors influencing a Payroll and Benefits Manager’s salary include industry sector, company size, years of experience, and complexity of the payroll system managed. Expertise in regulatory compliance, benefits negotiation skills, and proficiency in payroll software also significantly impact earnings. Leadership experience and a track record of process improvements can further elevate salary.

  • Median Annual Salary: $86,625 ($41.65/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of payroll and benefits managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by the increasing complexity of compensation and benefits packages, regulatory changes, and the need for compliance. As organizations expand and navigate these complexities, skilled managers will be essential to ensure accurate payroll processing and benefits administration, aligning with legal standards and employee expectations.

Payroll And Benefits Manager Job Requirements

Education: A Payroll and Benefits Manager typically holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Accounting, Human Resources, or a related field, with a significant portion also pursuing a Master’s Degree for advanced knowledge. Relevant coursework includes finance, labor law, compensation, benefits administration, and organizational management. Specialized majors or minors in payroll systems and employee benefits management are highly beneficial, providing the foundational knowledge required for overseeing complex payroll operations and designing comprehensive benefits packages.

Experience: Payroll and Benefits Managers typically ascend to their roles after gaining substantial experience in payroll, human resources, or finance departments. Their journey often includes on-the-job training, where they learn specific payroll systems, benefits administration, and compliance with relevant laws. Many have also participated in professional training programs or workshops that focus on leadership, strategic planning, and communication skills. This blend of practical experience and targeted training equips them to manage complex payroll operations and benefits programs effectively, ensuring organizational compliance and employee satisfaction.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications such as Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) by the American Payroll Association and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) can be beneficial for a Payroll and Benefits Manager. No specific licenses are typically required for this role.

Payroll And Benefits Manager Skills

Compensation Structure Design: Developing an equitable and competitive compensation framework involves analyzing market trends, ensuring internal equity, and maintaining financial sustainability. Payroll and Benefits Managers use this skill to align employee remuneration with organizational goals and industry standards, which helps in attracting and retaining top talent within budgetary limits.

Benefits Administration: Structuring employee benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, and leave policies, demands knowledge of regulatory compliance and cost-effective strategies. It enables organizations to stay competitive in talent acquisition and retention while meeting legal standards and managing budgets effectively.

Regulatory Compliance: Adherence to federal, state, and local regulations governing payroll and benefits is critical. It requires meticulous attention to detail and a proactive approach to stay informed about legislative changes, applying comprehensive knowledge in tax laws, labor standards, and healthcare requirements to manage compliance risks and avoid penalties.

Payroll Software Expertise: Proficiency in various payroll systems is essential for processing employee payments, managing tax filings, and ensuring compliance with laws. It facilitates the integration of benefits administration, ensuring accurate and timely updates to employee records and benefits enrollment.

Tax Reporting: The responsibility of submitting employee payroll taxes and filings accurately and on time to the relevant agencies demands a deep understanding of tax laws. Effective management of tax liabilities and potential benefits optimizes financial performance and ensures compliance.

Employee Data Management: Handling sensitive information, including salaries, benefits, and personal details, requires robust organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail. Secure and accurate administration of employee records builds trust and ensures compliance with legal standards.

Payroll And Benefits Manager Work Environment

A Payroll and Benefits Manager typically operates within a structured office environment, where the layout is designed to support both individual focus and team collaboration. The workspace is equipped with computers, payroll software, and secure storage for confidential documents, ensuring efficiency and data protection. Standard work hours are observed, though there may be periods, such as end-of-month or fiscal year-end, where extended hours are necessary to meet deadlines.

The atmosphere is professional, with a business casual dress code being the norm. This role involves a significant amount of interaction with both internal staff and external vendors or consultants, necessitating strong communication skills. The pace can be fast, especially during payroll processing periods, requiring meticulous attention to detail and effective time management.

Health and safety protocols are adhered to, with ergonomic furniture provided to prevent strain. The company may offer professional development opportunities to stay abreast of changing regulations and technologies in payroll and benefits administration. Work-life balance is valued, with some flexibility in scheduling to accommodate personal commitments.

Advancement Prospects

A Payroll and Benefits Manager can advance to higher-level positions within human resources, such as Director of Human Resources or Vice President of Human Resources, where they oversee broader HR functions beyond payroll and benefits. Achieving these roles often requires a deep understanding of HR policies, strategic planning, and organizational development.

To progress, demonstrating expertise in payroll systems, benefits administration, and compliance with employment laws is crucial. Success in this role also hinges on strong leadership skills and the ability to manage complex budgets and negotiate with benefits providers.

Advancement may also lead to specialized roles focusing on compensation and benefits strategy, where one designs and implements programs to attract and retain talent. This path requires a keen understanding of market trends and employee preferences.

Transitioning into consulting is another avenue, offering advice on payroll and benefits optimization to various organizations. This path values those with a track record of innovation and cost-saving measures in their previous roles.


What Does a Plumbing Foreman Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Product Consultant Do?