Payroll – Behind the Scenes – Pt 1

The life of a Payroll Manager/Administrator is a busy one. They have insider knowledge of the ins and outs of the employee set up and they are the often unsung heroes of the organisation, responsible for helping new employees, sorting out tax benefits and ultimately making sure that everyone gets paid which some would argue is the most important job there is!! 

Not only is our team made up of mostly Payroll Specialists but we also deal with them everyday and have past colleagues/friends in the sector so it is fair to say that we have a pretty strong insight into their world. Below are just some of the stories and experiences that we/they have come across down through the years. We will keep collecting these stories and share a follow up in a few weeks!

“I was managing 2 payrolls fortnightly and they were running opposite each other and then a 3rd one monthly. This scenario meant that an ad hoc day could never be taken Mon – Thurs and holidays would need to be booked almost a year in advance for cover to be arranged. Cover was usually by someone who would then have to be taken out of their own department. Sick days were never sick days as your phone would still be hopping no matter how sick you were and the guilt you feel from not being there was surreal. Not sure how I survived!!”

“I used to have to split between payroll and another department ie. HR, Accounts etc., (which most Payroll Administrators do) which in turn often meant bringing work home and very late finishes. Many companies think that running payroll is just the press of a button and it will all work itself out, therefore not seeing the bigger picture of the responsibility placed on the Administrator. This again leads to the one person taking way too much responsibility onboard. Needless to say my family were unimpressed with this situation.”

“So many Payroll Administrators must hand the payroll over to someone else in the company who is totally unfamiliar with the process in order to take holidays. For some companies this may indeed work for some but more often than not there can be a trail of destruction left (through no fault of the temp person running that time as they did the best they could under the circumstances). The Payroll Administrator returns from their holidays to what they say was “Never Worth taking in the first place”.”

“I will never forget, and it is a good few years ago but the lady that looked after the payroll had handed over the payroll to another colleague while she went on maternity leave and had to come to the office on route to the hospital in early labour to deal with an issue. No Joke!!! “

“There is very little support and back up in Payroll as a whole. Revenue will tell you five different ways to deal with an issue or your software provider will only support on software issues. Most accountancy firms don’t have the same understanding of payroll as an experienced Administrator. This leaves very few avenues open for actual Payroll Support. This was one thing I found almost on a daily basis when I worked on the payroll software support side.” 

“Ah Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year for some and for those of us in payroll it is Year End. No matter how big or small the company and especially now since modernisation the poor Payroll Administrator will almost certainly be the last one out the door in 2022 and the first in the door in 2023. Ho ho ho!”

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