An accounting and payroll administrator is an individual who handles the basic tasks that a business must perform to ensure that its employees are paid correctly. People in these accounting careers use information from time cards and/or hour reports to enter information into a business’ computer system; correct errors related to the number of hours that an employee has worked or the amount that an employee has been paid; adjust pay for overtime and holiday time; track vacation time; record the amount that each employee is paid; deduct the cost of insurance and other benefits from the amount that an individual will receive; calculate the amount of taxes that should be withheld; record the amount of taxes that is actually withheld; issue checks or submit payment information to a payroll company that issues checks; and perform a number of other similar tasks as needed. Individuals who specialize in accounting and payroll administration may work under any of a number of different job titles depending on their specific responsibilities, including accounting clerk, accounts payable clerk, office manager, payroll administrator, payroll assistant, payroll clerk, payroll manager, payroll practitioner, and payroll systems coordinator.
In most cases, an individual will be able to obtain a position in the subfield of accounting and payroll administration with an associate’s degree in accounting from an accredited accounting school or an equivalent amount of experience. (The exact amount of experience that is required will vary from position to position, but it is typically between one to three years in a field related to accounting and/or payroll.) It is important to note, however, that some employers may require an individual to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a bachelor’s degree in business, a bachelor’s degree in another similar field, and/or three to five years of experience in order to obtain some of the upper-level payroll positions that are available. Some employers may also require an individual to obtain a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) certificate or a Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) credential in addition to or instead of a college degree (although you will need to meet a series of education and/or experience requirements to obtain your CPP certificate).