Sample payroll manager job description and interview questions

Are you looking to hire and need the perfect payroll manager job description to bring in top talent? Hiring is a lengthy and costly process so it’s best to get it right the first time — and that means bringing the best applicants into the interview process. This job description template will help you understand the role of a payroll manager and what to look for in potential candidates.

In this BusinessManagementDaily.com article, we cover:

  • Accountant job description
  • Qualifications and skills an accountant should have
  • Interview questions for job seekers

So, before you hire an accountant for your business, read all about payroll manager duties to help you make the right decision.

Payroll manager job description

Position: A few possible position titles include payroll manager, payroll administrator, payroll clerk, and payroll specialist.

Salary Range: It’s a good idea to include a salary range for your position to avoid having applicants that might later reject an offer.

COVID Compliance Event

Reports To: Who will the payroll manager report to in your company?

Job Description

This position institutes payroll policy and recommends procedural changes for the Payroll department, and acts as liaison with our outside computer payroll processing company for problem resolution and error correction. Plus, you’ll manage all functions of the Payroll department involved in the preparation and distribution of wages and salaries to company employees.

Qualifications & skills

You must be able to keep up-to-date and comply with federal, state, and local legal and regulatory requirements and advise management when necessary. A key characteristic is the ability to deal professionally, courteously, and efficiently with employees who have payroll questions or problems. You’ll also need strong communications skills to assist all managers in defining exempt and non-exempt employees and monitoring overtime charges.

Must be able to keep up-to-date and comply with federal, state, and local legal and regulatory requirements and advise management when necessary.

Additional qualifications include:

  • The ability to deal professionally, courteously, and efficiently with employees who have payroll questions or problems is essential.
  • Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Accounting or Business is required.
  • Three years of computerized payroll experience with two years of supervisory responsibility is necessary.
  • Must be competent with payroll software among others, including ADP, excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Office suite, QuickBooks, etc…
  • Must have excellent organizational skills as this job deals with company payroll records/payroll reports.
  • Good problem-solving skills are preferable.
  • Must process payroll in a timely manner.
  • Good leadership skills for managing payroll operations/the payroll team.

Payroll manager responsibilities and duties

Below are approximations of the amount of time you’ll spend carrying out key functions of the position.

Percentage of Job Duty
______ %

Ensures accurate preparation and balancing of weekly and special payroll functions.

______ %

Drafts payroll policy and recommends procedural changes for the payroll department.

______ %

Acts as liaison with outside computer payroll processing company for problem resolution and error correction.

______ %

Assists all managers in defining exempt and non-exempt employees and monitoring overtime charges.
______ % Manages payroll department personnel, payroll taxes, employee payroll information, and more.

______ %

Perform and oversee internal and external audits.

______ %

Processing new hire information and deleting terminations social security and other info from the payroll system.

______ %

Prepares periodic payroll-related analyses, statements, and projections.

______ %

Handles various payroll adjustments, including shortages, garnishments, vacation pay, bonuses, paychecks etc…

Education/Background

We require a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Accounting or Business; plus three years of experience using computerized payroll systems with two years of supervisory responsibility.

Accountant interview questions

Once you bring in great candidates, consider some interview questions for achieving the best results for hiring a payroll manager. These questions will help you distill the traits or qualities you want out of your accountant using the answers given. Use a 1-5 rating system to grade the applicant’s answers. You may also require a cover letter from applicants.

Here are a few interview questions to consider:

  • Describe your experience with computerized payroll systems. How did you learn them?
  • How do you keep your skills/knowledge updated?
  • Give me some examples of how you developed and implemented procedural changes for the Payroll department in your former/current job.
  • What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of using an outside computer payroll processing company?
  • A manager tells you that one of your employees revealed that a new employee is making more than some of the veterans in her department. What action would you take?
  • You receive a complaint that a manager is requiring non-exempt employees to perform off-the-clock work. What do you do?
  • How much time did you spend in your last job dealing with employees’ payroll questions? Any personal secrets for handling them tactfully?
  • How has creative thinking helped you in working with numbers?
  • What are some of the more mundane payroll tasks you don’t delegate, and why?
  • How extensive is your knowledge of the Fair Labor Standards Act?
  • What steps did you take in your last/current job to verify payroll problems before making adjustments?
  • How would your ideal Payroll department run?
  • What obstacles have you faced which thwarted this scenario, and how have you attempted to fix them?
  • Give me some examples of payroll polices you’ve implemented. Why did you decide to create them?
  • How well did the payroll policies go over when you introduced them?

Wrapping up interview questions

Human resources: feel free to add additional questions to the list that may be specific to your operation.

Write an overall impression of the applicant, and give them an average rating of 1-5 for further comparison with other applicants.

You can also give upper management three recommendation choices:

  • Hire
  • Do not hire
  • Second interview

Follow the above formula for successfully hiring candidates for the administrative assistant position. Don’t forget to spread wide when putting out job postings — the more online platforms you use for hiring, the better the candidates you’ll get. We hope this helped you hire the perfect administrative assistant.