People & Leadership

Four lessons I’ve learned working in payroll

Payroll Administrator

Ruth Groshon, CPP, shares valuable insights she’s learned working in the payroll industry.

Like many working professionals working in payroll and human resources I just fell into the industry. Numbers always intimidated me and I never thought I would be celebrating 10 years working in the payroll industry next year. I began working in the human resources department when our payroll person left and I was asked to take over their role. At the time I knew nothing about payroll and immediately had to become the expert in payroll.

Today I’m sharing four lessons I’ve learned working in the payroll industry:

1. Find a mentor
I was lucky enough to find mentors early on in my career working in payroll that have helped me navigate the payroll industry. Being able to get advice from professionals who have been working in the industry for decades helped ease my transition. Any questions or issues you may encounter during your early years working in the industry, ask your mentor. Mostly because they’ve run across a similar situation during their career.

2. Always remain a student in payroll
After 10 years of working in the payroll industry, one of the most valuable lessons I learned was to always remain a student. To stay up-to-date on the latest trends and laws related to the payroll business, I’ve taken several continuing education courses offered online and in-person in my area. The payroll industry has evolved a lot in the past decade and to remain an expert I’ve found it important to remain competent and up to speed on what’s going on in the industry.

3. Join payroll organizations
To connect and learn from other industry professionals like myself, I joined the American Payroll Association (APA). I am now a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP). I became certified so that I could develop a deeper understanding of the industry.

4. Stay up-to-date on the latest payroll trends and laws
Outsourcing parts of my daily tasks helped me stay compliant and up-to-date on new rules and regulations that would impact my employees and company. Having an outsourced partner that I could communicate with regularly was essential to easing the stress of stepping into a new role and industry.

Navigating your first years working in payroll? Take the Big HR & Payroll quiz to determine how to determine how you can succeed in your career.