Recruiting | 6Min Read

Six Traits to Look for When Hiring a Payroll Professional

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The selection of a payroll specialist is one of the most important criteria affecting the reputation of your business. At the first stage, such specialists know what to do correctly from the point of view of legislation. Therefore, it is vital that the entrepreneur trusts his employee and tells them about his plans. When you plan to issue wages, the payroll specialist must explain how it is necessary to draw up an employment contract and prepare the relevant documents. He will calculate how much will be spent on insurance premiums and what time frame they need to be paid. As a result, he will warn about responsibility for delayed wages.

Traits To Look When Hiring Payroll Professional

We will look at the qualities of a good payroll professional. Let's start with the obvious, but no less important:

Traits to Look for When Hiring a Payroll Professional

1. Education

Working with wages is one of the most mobile areas, and what was relevant yesterday may no longer work today. Having a diploma does not guarantee up-to-date knowledge and flawless work, but professional education is the foundation for all further work. Project management certification will be a significant advantage here. It is easier to build knowledge on a solid foundation. Otherwise, the employee will constantly stumble over the fact that he does not know something. It is possible to take a risk and hire a person entirely without education in accounting, or at least from related fields, only if the work involves the simplest of the same type of operations. Ideally, if the candidate is engaged in self-education, this is essential because tax laws often change. Changes in federal and regional regulations, forms, and formats of documents have to be monitored independently, including asking questions to colleagues, writing to experts, and reading primary sources.

2. Experience

It is better if the payroll specialist has already made mistakes due to inexperience somewhere else and came to you already prepared. Like a person without education, an employee without experience can be put on simple routine operations that do not involve much responsibility. Just do not confuse real experience and work experience. For many years, a person could be listed as an accountant, performing simple operations without encountering non-standard situations and responsible tasks. This does not mean that he is an experienced specialist. Take an interest in real-life experiences. Ask during the interview what functions the applicant performed, what difficulties he faced, and what results from he achieved. In the end, ask about the ability to work with regulations. This is an essential quality of a specialist because not everyone can translate the official language into a human one. The Tax Code, Wage regulations, letters from the Federal Tax Services or the Ministry of Finance are full of terms and are written in a complex flowery language. If it is a problem for a person to understand what is written there, the likelihood of mistakes in work increases dramatically.

3. Perseverance

The work of a payroll specialist can be routine. If a person needs constant activity and it isn't easy to sit still, it is better not to take him to work. He will very quickly get tired, make mistakes or leave altogether, and you will have to start looking for another professional again. This happens because a specialist who works on a knurled basis does not ask questions and expand knowledge. He will not offer anything new or save the company money (this is not his money). The payroll specialist must be involved in the work process and desire to keep the owners' money. For a good specialist, it should be necessary to calculate the salary and suggest and implement how to do it faster, automate, and reduce costs.

4. Analytical mindset

Probably the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about wages is numbers and reports. No doubt, the work tasks of a payroll specialist are related to mathematics - calculating salaries, calculating VAT, balancing, etc. If you like working with numbers and understanding the magic of mathematical laws, then this is your profession. Developed logical thinking, analytical mindset allow him to see the problem in dynamics. A specialist with such qualities does not need to be put in for a long time to process primary documentation or issue invoices. Such employees are most often recommended for management positions. A critical mindset is helpful in any accounting business. After all, constant changes in legislation, tax conflicts require ongoing analysis.

5. Perfectionism

A quality that many people assess as unfavourable and interfering with life will be beneficial for a payroll specialist! Despite the maximum automation of calculations, almost everyone has errors - they need to be found and corrected. Such a professional should be worried about the discrepancy even in a cent. And the perfect order on the desktop and computer folders disciplines and saves time searching for information.

6. Honesty

Perhaps honesty is a key quality of a good payroll professional because he may have more opportunities to steal money than any other employee. Without honesty, experience, education, or any other positive qualities are irrelevant. On the contrary, the more intelligent and experienced the professional, the more damage to the company if he is thievish. For many managers, the honesty and decency of the employee are in the first place. They are ready to close their eyes to other shortcomings of a specialist if they completely trust him. The capture of an employee for theft should have only one result - immediate dismissal.

Indicators Of Quality Work

No matter how careful the selection of a candidate for the position of a payroll specialist is, conclusions can only be drawn over time. You can assess the quality of work by such indicators as:

  • Individual indicators: This is discipline, initiative, independence, innovation, avoidance of conflict situations.

  • Keeping internal records: This includes making mistakes in documents or their absence, late delivery of reports, and diligent official duties.    

  • External interaction: Working with government agencies. Ability to resolve controversial situations.

Quality Work

The work of a payroll specialist can be considered qualitative if it is performed quickly, correctly, and in full. To determine this indicator, companies often conduct internal audits.

Which People are not Recommended to be Hired as Payroll Specialists

There are categories of applicants that experts do not advise to find a job. It is not recommended to make friends, relatives, close people of already working employees. And the best thing is to take the right person from the outside. If the personal qualities of the professional are impressed, but he lacks professionalism, the right decision would be to register such a person and teach him. In this case, people try very hard and stay with the company for a long time.

Third-Party Payroll Services

In the early steps of business development, it often makes sense to turn to the employer of records, which provides outsourced payroll services. Since small businesses have low turnover, specialists can connect to work once a week or even once a month. He does not need to be involved in the process from morning to evening every day, so the outsourcing option is best suited in this case. However, you should immediately take into account the specifics of payroll outsourcing:

Third party payroll services

  • You are purchasing not a specific remote employee but a service. This can be a payroll service, an accounting service, and other similar services.

  • Outsourcing companies usually limit the list of obligations that they fulfil under the contract. Additional services are paid separately.

  • Frequently, the work is arranged in such a way that the client himself provides all the information: For example, an outsourced accountant does not call counterparties and does not ask them for documents. He contacts the company director and asks for primary documents from him. The director must provide all the information so that the outsourcing company has a reason to keep records. If the director wants an outsourcing company to do this work for him, he will most likely have to pay additional money.
       
  • Outsourcing companies are contractually liable for all their mistakes, which is an undoubted advantage compared to a full-time employee, from whom it is rather difficult to recover any penalties. Besides, if an employee who made a mistake resigns, the entrepreneur will have to deal with all his problems - find another payroll professional, delve into the intricacies of accounting.
       
  • As a rule, outsourcing companies prescribe a measure of responsibility. Moreover, many of them even insure their liability. In any case, carefully read the service agreement that you conclude with the company for the presence of clauses on the parties' responsibility, non-disclosure of information, etc

Outsourcers ensure uninterrupted work: they do not need a vacation, sick leave, and everything required by law for a full-time payroll specialist.

So Choose Wisely While Hiring Payroll Professional

Choosing a payroll specialist should be as careful as selecting a doctor or lawyer because the consequences of such an employee's poor performance can be just as unpleasant for the company. Hiring just about anyone without looking attentively is a big mistake and can be very expensive. It is a pity that many leaders realize this after they have got one's fingers burnt.