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Payroll Manager

The role

Payroll Managers look after the payroll department, ensuring that employee’s wages of a company are paid correctly and on time.

Their roles will often include managing the payroll team, deciding upon and implementing payroll procedures, acting as an authority on payroll taxes, analysing financial data and managing computer systems related to pay.

Other responsibilities that may be part of the role include organising payments of tax and national insurance from employee’s wages, issuing pay in different formats, including cheque and electronic transfer, and coordinating sick, maternity, holiday or overtime pay.

How to become a Payroll Manager

The commonly accepted route towards becoming a Payroll Manager is to start as a payroll administrator, and work up from there.

There are a number of qualifications in the subject that can help a candidate to progress, including:

  • The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Certificate in Payroll Administration 
  • International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) Certificate and Diploma in Payroll or Computerised Payroll
  • The Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP) National Payroll Certificates

Managers from other areas of the business who possess some experience working with accounts may also be able to move across into this line of work.

Skills and knowledge required

  • Strong organisational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Numerical aptitude
  • Good team leadership
  • Time management
  • Honesty
  • Discretion


Salaries vary considerably, depending on the size of a Payroll Manager’s team and their levels of responsibility. They can be paid anything from £18,000 to £40,000.

The hours

Working hours are usually between Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm. Positions with part-time hours are usually available as well.

Useful websites - The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)      - International Association of Book-keepers (IAB)  - The Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP)

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