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What You Need to Know About Accounting and Payroll Administration 2022

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ccounting and payroll administration is an essential career. With all companies needing to pay their employees, your skills in this field will be valuable anywhere. The best way to gain knowledge and skills in this field is through taking an accounting and payroll diploma course. 

In this blog, we’ll go over key questions that come with wanting to pursue a career in accounting and payroll administration, including: 

  • How long does an accounting and payroll diploma take? 
  • How much can accounting and payroll administrators make?
  • Is payroll administrator and payroll accountant the same?
  • What is an accounting and payroll job like?
  • What sort of jobs are available for accounting and payroll?
  • What do I learn in an accounting and payroll administrator program? 

Let’s get into it: 

How long does an accounting and payroll diploma take? 

An accounting and payroll administration diploma usually takes one year to complete. This is mixed with both theoretical learning and practical experience through an internship or a practicum which they can apply when they are looking for employment or get employed. 

ABM College’s diploma program in particular only takes 55 weeks to complete with the majority of students finding work in the field shortly after, or simply getting hired at the same place where they did their practicum. 

How much can accounting and payroll administrators make?

The salary of accounting and payroll administrators can vary depending on the role and level of experience they have. In Alberta, payroll administrators make an average wage of $29.35 per hour with an average salary of $56,608.00 per year. 

The average starting salary is $25.37 with the average top salary being $32.41. However, there’s a lot of room for growth and to negotiate your salary depending on what you’re doing and your duties in that particular job you are interviewing for or are already working at. For example, the top accounting and payroll admins can make up to $45.90 per hour. 

Is payroll administrator and payroll accountant the same?

The term payroll administrator and payroll accountant are interchangeable terms that employers may use in any of their job postings. The real difference lies in payroll admins/payroll accountants versus payroll coordinators. 

Payroll admins or accountants take the recordkeeping responsibilities for payroll documents. This includes processing commission payments, payroll, bonuses, timesheets, filing tax reports, and more. A payroll coordinator is a liaison between various departments in a large organization and the payroll department. Typically only companies with a large amount of staff will have a payroll coordinator. 

What is an accounting and payroll job like?

When working as an accounting and payroll clerk, you will mostly be doing a typical office job at a desk. You’ll be dealing with various deadlines related to employee’s pay stubs, taxes, adjusting time, and more. You need to know the payroll cycle and complete your tasks on time. 

There are good employment opportunities in this field with a variety of tasks and regular working hours, so you’ll always have something to do and can have security in your work. You need to be calm under pressure and stay on top of your work so you don’t miss important dates.

What sort of jobs are available for accounting and payroll?

The job titles that you need to look out for to find work in this industry are: 

  • Payroll clerk
  • Accounts payable or receivable clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting assistant
  • Accounting administrator

There are many different fields you can work in too, including public administration, oil and gas, construction, scientific and technical services, healthcare, social assistance, education, retail, trades, manufacturing, transportation, business, and more. 

What do I learn in an accounting and payroll administrator program? 

In both an accounting and payroll administration online program or in-person, students learn a wide variety of things they can apply to their future careers such as concepts and procedures. This includes:

  • Financial accounting
  • Accounting software systems
  • Income taxation
  • Microsoft Office, and;
  • Payroll fundamentals 

With this knowledge, students are prepared to cover many different tasks, keeping their options of work fresh and exciting. 

Financial Accounting 

Students aren’t only limited to learning about payroll in a payroll administration course. Rather, they are exposed to a variety of accounting topics. Financial accounting includes learning about the fundamentals of accounting such as the daily transaction procedures that a business would undertake. It expands on bookkeeping functions, recording journal entries and engaging with the full accounting process. It also includes accounting information systems, going through the entire accounting cycle (creating, adjusting, and closing entries) as well as receivables, intangible assets, liabilities, and more. 

Accounting Software Systems 

In addition to learning the concepts and procedures of accounting, students in a payroll administration course learn how to use the programs that maintain financial records. This includes QuickBooks and Sage 50, which are popular accounting software that many companies use. It has the full suite of bookkeeping tools to help them manage the business they will be in. These software programs have a multitude of uses, including payroll management, income and expense tracking, and financial reporting. 

Income Taxation

In this course, students delve into a bit of law to learn about the Income Tax Act in Canada, and how to apply its rules appropriately and correctly to practical situations. They learn many things about income taxation including federal taxation, capital gains and losses, income and deductions, and tax income and payable for individuals. 

If students would like to open up their own business in the future, this is one of the best routes to specialize in because every person, whether they own a business or not, needs to file an income tax report, so this way their services also appeal to a wider audience. 

Microsoft Office

While Microsoft Office is commonly used, there are a lot of interesting features and aspects of the software that are left unused. Office has many components to make your work easier, faster, and more efficient. The average person who uses the Microsoft suite doesn’t engage with every aspect of it, so learning it is helpful. Especially, in an accounting and payroll administration online program, understanding this information is important, as when one starts to work in the field, there’s less time to understand and engage with the software in a way that you can fully utilize it. 

Payroll Fundamentals

This course teaches the main concepts and procedures of payroll, and is also a requirement for the Canadian Payroll Association’s (CPA) certification for Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) that students can pursue after graduation. Students calculate individual net pay, termination pay, record of employment (ROE), and how to communicate these aspects to stakeholders. 

Final Thoughts

An accounting and payroll administration course is one of those programs that remains in demand forever. Every company, organization, small business, and even sometimes sole proprietor needs someone who can do their accounting and payroll, in an accurate and timely manner. 

ABM College offers an accounting and payroll administration online program so that students have the opportunity to fast-track their education in the way that’s most convenient for them, and get into the field as soon as possible. 

Contact us today for more information or read more about the top interview tips for accounting and payroll professionals. 

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