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What is Payroll?

Payroll is one of the most important parts of any business because it involves all of the processes related to calculating the salaries and wages of permanent and temporary employees of a business.

Payroll employees work not only to calculate and pay wages to an employee population but to ensure the payment process takes place accurately, on time, and in compliance with the rules and regulations of their territory. Payroll allows you to keep track of your employee’s information, salaries, and wages, working hours and employee’s time and overtime, deductions, benefits, and taxes. 

Payroll keeps you compliant legally and protects your employees by making them eligible for any benefits of being an employee.

What Payroll Courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Economics courses in the following subject areas:

  • Introduction to Payroll – The study of the operations relating to the basic calculations and preparation of payroll and use of payroll software.
  • Accounts and Payroll with QuickBooks 2016 – The study of Quickbooks 2016 and its accounting functions.
  • Advanced Diploma Bookkeeping and Payroll – The study of advanced computerized bookkeeping and payroll.
  • Certificate in Payroll Techniques – The study of the operation of the PAYE system and the workings of payroll.
  • Certificate in Xero Payroll – Increase your competence and skills and become Xero Payroll Confident
  • Computerized Accounts Payroll & Information Technology Applications – The study of Computerised Accounting and Payroll Systems, Manual Recordkeeping and business management.
  • IPASS Certificate in Payroll Techniques – The study of the practical skills necessary for payroll personnel.
  • Payroll & Computerised Accounts – The study of the basics required to understand and use computerized payroll and financial accounting systems for small businesses.
  • Payroll Manual and Computerised: Payroll Modernisation – The study of the knowledge, skills, and competence to record, edit, interpret, analyze and process payroll data.
  • Sage 50 Accounts & Payroll Management – Gain a full understanding of using Sage 50 software for accounts and payroll.

Studying Payroll in college

Courses will be delivered through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve the qualification.

There are full-time courses that run anywhere from 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like. You could also consider work experience or work shadowing in areas such as accountancy, banking, or finance. Contact local employers to see if they can help you.

Career options

After completing a course in Payroll you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of encompasses finance, remunerating employees, preparing wages, managing expense claims, completing VAT returns, checking the accuracy of accounts, and dealing with income, payments, receipts and sales invoices. This could be as a Payroll Specialist, Bookkeeper, or Administration in the finance department.

Ideally, payroll employees should be diligent and conscientious and show strong attention to detail. Given the deadline-based challenges of the role such as employees needing to be paid on time, creative thinking and problem-solving skills are also vital, along with an ability to communicate clearly with clients and other team members regarding urgent pay queries.

Related jobs include:

  • Payroll Administrator
  • Payroll clerk
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Accounts manager
  • Office Manager
  • Office clerk
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Store Manager
  • Assistant Manager
  • General Manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Bookkeeping assistant
  • Accountant
  • Staff Accountant
  • Finance controller
  • Operations Director
  • Business owner
  • Account assistant
  • Account clerk

Further study

After completing a course in Payroll you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field of research. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas.

You could choose to specialize within a certain area of HR, customer service, IT, data analysis, or even compliance/risk management.


Why is payroll so important?

Payroll is one of the most important aspects of business, not only does it deal with employee payment which affects employee morale but it also reflects a business’s financial stability and reputation.

Is payroll a fun job?

A career as a payroll specialist can be a very rewarding job, offering opportunities for advancement and branching out into new areas of expertise.

What are some skills a payroll administrator must have to be effective?

Successful Payroll Administrators should have excellent numeracy and literacy skills. You should have excellent timekeeping abilities and the ability to meet strict deadlines. You should be organized, logical and methodical and have excellent attention to detail. Ideally, anyone working with payroll should enjoy working with numbers.

Where can I study Payroll?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· Archaeologists have found evidence of payroll records carved into stone in Athens dating back to 7000BC.

· The first time clock for employees to punch in and out was invented by a jeweler named Willard Bundy in 1888. His company eventually merged with another to form IBM.

· The word “tax” is from the Latin word “taxo” which means “I estimate”.

· Over 1 Million accountants are hired every year in America to assist individuals with their taxes.

· In 1935 when President Roosevelt raised the top tax rate to 79% for those making over $5 million, it only applied to one person in the United States; John D. Rockefeller.

Mariza Halliday

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