Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

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Also known as:
Flight Crew Time Clerk, Payroll Bookkeeper, Personnel Scheduler, Time and Attendance Clerk, Time Clerk, Timekeeper

ABOUT PAYROLL OR TIMEKEEPING CLERK CAREERS
Video transcript

Many people get a lot of satisfaction from their jobs - their work is a source of pride. But work is also a source of income, so payroll and timekeeping clerks are key to the operations of many businesses. They make sure employees are paid what they're due. Some employers require that staff members fill out timesheets, cards, or work charts, to ensure proper payment. Timekeeping clerks distribute and collect these documents - either as hard copies or computer files.

Timekeeping clerks might also be needed at companies that bill clients for work. The timecards are used to help determine how much to charge. Payroll clerks screen timecards for any errors, then they calculate a worker's pay - making sure they hold aside taxes and other deductions for things like insurance and retirement. More and more, payroll clerks use computers to help make deductions and correct inaccuracies. Even so, jobs are expected to be steadily available in the years ahead. The hours are regular, and working conditions are usually comfortable - in well lit, organized offices.

Most clerks have a high school diploma and get training on the job. Good communication skills are helpful, since these professionals interact with workers at all different levels of a company. In fact, people who start in the payroll department often move up to other positions at the company. The accuracy and dedication required to be a good timekeeping and payroll clerk is something employers greatly depend upon.

SNAPSHOT
Compile and record employee time and payroll data. May compute employees' time worked, production, and commission. May compute and post wages and deductions, or prepare paychecks.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Issue and record adjustments to pay related to previous errors or retroactive increases.

Process paperwork for new employees and enter employee information into the payroll system.

Provide information to employees and managers on payroll matters, tax issues, benefit plans, and collective agreement provisions.

Verify attendance, hours worked, and pay adjustments, and post information onto designated records.

Record employee information, such as exemptions, transfers, and resignations, to maintain and update payroll records.

Compile employee time, production, and payroll data from time sheets and other records.

Review time sheets, work charts, wage computation, and other information to detect and reconcile payroll discrepancies.

Process and issue employee paychecks and statements of earnings and deductions.

Keep track of leave time, such as vacation, personal, and sick leave, for employees.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.