What is the Role of a Payroll Manager?

Posted in General, Payroll

The Payroll Manager ensures all employees are paid, manages payroll related information, and submits the necessary employee remittances. 


Salaried, hourly, commissioned and casual are all forms of employment. Each form presents its own challenges for getting your people paid on time and correctly. The payroll manager ensures all of those challenges are overcome.

A payroll manager, also known as a payroll administrator or a payroll officer, has nothing to do with setting how much employees are paid – that is negotiated between the employee and his or her employer or between management and the union – but they do ensure that the company fulfills its contracted rates on schedule. The payroll manager can fulfill this responsibility by taking on three categories of tasks: employee information management, payroll and taxation administration, and employee communication and verification. 

Employee Information Input & Management

Legal names, fixed addresses, social insurance numbers, bank account numbers, tax exemption forms, timesheet systems and expense reports all represent the myriad of details that have to be collected from each hire and updated as individual circumstances change. The payroll manager gathers this information and inputs a profile for each employee. The payroll manager also sets expectations and deadlines for the delivery of regular updates from the employees such as when to update time sheets each day or week.  They will also outline change processes, such as adding a new baby to the health benefits package or replacing an old bank account with a new one for direct deposit.  Each year a new TD-1 form should be filled out for each employee, and this often neglected. All Social Insurance numbers should also be collected in advance of any employee beginning work.

Payroll Taxation and Administration

The payroll manager will set up and use the software system that calculates general and specific payments and deductions based each employee’s profile. They have to ensure compliance with federal and provincial taxes, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance premiums, WSIB.  Additionally, there may be employee health plan premiums, and shared pension scheme contributions have to be deducted while salaries, commissions and bonuses have to be paid. The payroll officer will also use this software to track and report vacation time and sick time that is banked for future use, or that has already been used by the employee. Taxable benefits are a key area which is often ignored by either management, payroll administrators, or both.  This relates to items such as company vehicles, cell phones, benefits, and even gifts, lodging, travel, and a host of other items.  This is a key area of audit for the Canada Revenue Agency.    

Employee Communication and Verification

The payroll manager is in constant communication with every level of employee in the enterprise. Employees have to know whom they should approach if they change banks or don’t get paid as expected. In addition to managing details and diverse populations, payroll managers have to have the emotional fortitude to be part of both employee celebrations, like creating a profile for a new hire, or changing details to accommodate a raise or promotion, and dealing with employee difficulties like an employment termination, a mass layoff or even closing profiles and payroll accounts for an employee who has died.

Detail-oriented jugglers of information, effective communicators who are emotionally mature, payroll managers fulfill responsibilities for their employers and give employees the peace-of-mind of knowing they will be paid properly and on time.

Not all companies have the budget, or require a full-time Payroll Manager.  We offer our clients payroll services to fulfill the responsibilities required of a Payroll Manager.  We can work around your schedule, customize the services for your business needs, and our digital software solutions means we can do it remotely.  Give our office a call to learn more about our payroll services.

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