Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

Timekeeping and payroll clerks perform a variety of function. They make sure that employees are paid on time and their paychecks are accurate. If inaccuracies occur like incorrect amounts of vacation time or monetary errors, these clerks investigate and correct the records. Additionally, they may carry out other clerical tasks.

Job Prospect
Payroll and timekeeping clerks use automated timekeeping systems. With the help of this system, employees can enter the number of hours they have worked. In offices where this system is not available, timekeeping and payroll clerks have to perform various traditional job functions.

The basic work of timekeeping clerks is to collect and distribute timecards every pay period. These clerks evaluate timesheets, work charts, and timecards to verify that the information is accurately recorded. They also make sure that these records have the signatures of authorized officials.

Timekeeping clerks ensure that the recorded hours are charged to the appropriate job so that clients are properly billed. These workers evaluate computer reports listing timecards, which cannot be processed due to errors. In this situation, clerks contact the employee or the employee's supervisor to solve the problem.

Additionally, timekeeping clerks are accountable for informing managers and employees about changes and modifications in payroll policies. Generally, payroll clerks are called payroll technicians. These clerks screen timecards for coding, calculating, and other errors. Their work is to calculate pay by subtracting allotments comprising of state and federal taxes and contributions to insurance, retirement, and saving plans from grass earnings.

These workers use computers to execute their daily tasks. With the help of computers, they perform calculations and alert payroll clerks to errors or problems in the data. In small establishments, clerks have to perform the required calculations manually for new employees whose records are not registered in a computer system.

The work of payroll clerks is to record necessary changes in employees' address, transfer, resign, close files when workers retire, etc. They advice employees on income tax withholding and other compulsory deductions. Payroll clerks record and issue adjustments to worker's pay due to previous errors and retroactive increases.

Payroll clerks prepare and mail tax-withholding statements and earnings for employees' use in arranging income tax returns. Payroll clerks have to be aware of changes in deduction and tax laws so that they apply them. In small offices, timekeeping and payroll duties are to be contained in the duties of a secretary, a general office clerk, or an accounting clerk.

Nevertheless, some large organizations hire specialized timekeeping and payroll clerks to execute these functions. In offices that have automated timekeeping systems, these clerks carry out more analysis data and evaluate trends and working with computer systems. They are accountable to answer employees' questions and process unique data.

Work Environment
Usually, timekeeping and payroll clerks work in pleasant, clean, and comfortable office settings. Sometimes, they may need to work under severe stress while meeting deadlines. Normally, clerks work forty hours a week. However, longer hours may be required during busy periods. Payroll and timekeeping clerks have to carry out following responsibilities.


Educational Qualification
Timekeeping and payroll clerks are given training on the job. Candidates who have completed high school diploma or GED are preferred. Payroll and timekeeping clerks are trained under experienced workers or supervisors. Some community colleges, business schools, and high schools offer training programs.

Candidates who have computer skills are preferred by most of the employers. Additionally, timekeeping and payroll clerks should be able to communicate and interact with individuals at every level of the establishment. Clerks need tactfulness, poise, interpersonal skills, and diplomacy to deal with confidential and sensitive situations.

Many professional establishments for timekeeping and payroll offer classes to reinforce employees' skills. Most of the organizations offer certification programs. The American Payroll Association offers two level of certification the Certified Payroll Professional and the Fundamental Payroll Certification. Upon completing theses certifications, candidates may enter the field easily.

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