What makes a good payroller? What makes a good payroller?

What makes a good payroller?
28 Feb 2016

If you are in Payroll then its probably your thing, you are passionate about it, you love the work, even love the hassle and are a master of change.

I think we’d all agree that if anyone stays in the role for more than six months they are payroll people and it does become a passion and a pride.

Talking to Martyn Faulkner reminded me of the things that I’ve loved about payroll over the years and I can see that same passion and pride in the payroll professionals and leaders I meet on a regular basis.

Martyn made the point that all the good payroll professionals are the ones who listen, the ones who really care, and the ones very likely to be busy people outside of work; the two things just seem to go hand in hand. Perhaps it’s the ‘ask a busy person’ concept.

In fact we agreed that the best description of payroll professionals is ‘practical pragmatic problem solvers and progressives’. And there are not many other professions that can tick all the boxes.

We can’t afford to be the tanker that takes days to make a turn we need to turn on a 5p piece. Fast acting and fast thinking, the helicopter view and the detail, creative and procedural at the same time so a real mix of left and right brain.

Once upon a time we called ourselves the Cinderella industry but not any more. Of course there’s still room for change in the perception and how we are valued but we are not just a back office processing team now.

Qualifications are an industry standard; leaders and managers receive leadership and management training so there is personal and career development. We demand more of the systems we use and the support that these systems give us. We are sophisticated in the way that we manage the function and the resources and are often recognised as a model for other functions to aspire to.

We care, we want the payrolls to be correct and everything to balance to the penny, we want to know what’s going on in the business so that we can add value. We’re the guardians of the organisation’s money and are aware that if we fail the compliance implications let alone the fall out of incorrect or late payment are huge. But we take it on the chin, those pressures don’t phase us because we know what we are doing and we make sure the teams do too.

We lead by example, virtually everyone of us started at the bottom and worked our way up... there’s nothing that we would ask someone to do that we haven’t done or wouldn’t be prepared to do ourselves. We give impeccable service to our customers and work closely with all our stakeholders.

People skills is a given, we deal with all sorts of people and have to do that without judgment. If someone has been underpaid it may seem a small amount but the difference to them could be between having the bus fare to work or not. It’s an emotive subject.

Perhaps we don’t celebrate our successes enough, we know that its rare to get a thank you or praise for doing our day job but its up to us to promote ourselves, what we’ve achieved and the differences we have and can make. And yes at times it may seem more like a love hate relationship but payroll professionals (no matter what their status in an organisation) in their heart of hearts wouldn’t change a thing... well maybe just one or two things.

Yvette Lamidey

If you are in Payroll then its probably your thing, you are passionate about it, you love the work, even love the hassle and are a master of change.

I think we’d all agree that if anyone stays in the role for more than six months they are payroll people and it does become a passion and a pride.

Talking to Martyn Faulkner reminded me of the things that I’ve loved about payroll over the years and I can see that same passion and pride in the payroll professionals and leaders I meet on a regular basis.

Martyn made the point that all the good payroll professionals are the ones who listen, the ones who really care, and the ones very likely to be busy people outside of work; the two things just seem to go hand in hand. Perhaps it’s the ‘ask a busy person’ concept.

In fact we agreed that the best description of payroll professionals is ‘practical pragmatic problem solvers and progressives’. And there are not many other professions that can tick all the boxes.

We can’t afford to be the tanker that takes days to make a turn we need to turn on a 5p piece. Fast acting and fast thinking, the helicopter view and the detail, creative and procedural at the same time so a real mix of left and right brain.

Once upon a time we called ourselves the Cinderella industry but not any more. Of course there’s still room for change in the perception and how we are valued but we are not just a back office processing team now.

Qualifications are an industry standard; leaders and managers receive leadership and management training so there is personal and career development. We demand more of the systems we use and the support that these systems give us. We are sophisticated in the way that we manage the function and the resources and are often recognised as a model for other functions to aspire to.

We care, we want the payrolls to be correct and everything to balance to the penny, we want to know what’s going on in the business so that we can add value. We’re the guardians of the organisation’s money and are aware that if we fail the compliance implications let alone the fall out of incorrect or late payment are huge. But we take it on the chin, those pressures don’t phase us because we know what we are doing and we make sure the teams do too.

We lead by example, virtually everyone of us started at the bottom and worked our way up... there’s nothing that we would ask someone to do that we haven’t done or wouldn’t be prepared to do ourselves. We give impeccable service to our customers and work closely with all our stakeholders.

People skills is a given, we deal with all sorts of people and have to do that without judgment. If someone has been underpaid it may seem a small amount but the difference to them could be between having the bus fare to work or not. It’s an emotive subject.

Perhaps we don’t celebrate our successes enough, we know that its rare to get a thank you or praise for doing our day job but its up to us to promote ourselves, what we’ve achieved and the differences we have and can make. And yes at times it may seem more like a love hate relationship but payroll professionals (no matter what their status in an organisation) in their heart of hearts wouldn’t change a thing... well maybe just one or two things.

Yvette Lamidey