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Does anyone work in payroll?

(18 Posts)
newcareerpath Sun 12-Feb-17 10:23:29

I am currently on maternity leave but am planning a career change when it finishes. I currently work in education but would love a career along the lines of payroll. I have no admin experience (other than my work as a teacher). I have a plan of action:

1. Complete the 3 levels of sage50 payroll,
2. Complete a microsoft excel course,
3. Contact local companies to see whether I'd be able to do some voluntary work/work experience in their payroll department whilst on maternity leave (thinking a day a week).

Does anyone have any other suggestions of what could help? I am determined that now is the time for a career change and to finally do something I'd really enjoy.

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
user1486613612 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:25:27

Wouldn't smaller companies have someone who does both accounting and payroll, and a bit of 'office management' too and a bit of being a 'receptionist', answering the phone, paying taxes etc.? In my world, companies have to be fairly big to have someone work exclusively in payrolls, but all companies have to have someone who actually pays out the salaries but often it's either done centrally (outsourced) or it's to be juggled with various other tasks.

user1486613612 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:26:30

You can probably do the Excel yourself by purchasing a good book + viewing YouTube videos. Nobody would know the difference between that, and a regular (expensive) course.

Wondermoomin Sun 12-Feb-17 16:35:35

I would probably speak to a local recruitment agency or two and ask them about routes into this work.

Also, rather than saying you have no admin experience, have a think about the skills you do have that translate across well so that you can go in and have positive discussions...

Working to deadlines
Meticulous with detail
Discreet and able to handle confidential information
Etc etc

newcareerpath Mon 13-Feb-17 03:04:40

Thank you for your responses. It is a good idea to speak with recruitment agencies. I may also look into accounts as well as payroll, because as mentioned there aren't many payroll vacancies available and I could find it even more difficult to get a job.

OP’s posts: |
Sammysquiz Mon 13-Feb-17 14:55:41

I'm a freelance bookkeeper and do a lot of payroll which is outsourced to me. To be honest, I find it one of the dullest aspects of my job, but each to their own! In your shoes I'd look at the courses on and see if any meets your needs. There's probably some free elearning you can do somewhere too so you can see if you enjoy it before committing to an expensive course.

Have you looked at AAT? Not much payroll on the syllabus, but a good general accounts qualification.

newcareerpath Mon 13-Feb-17 22:37:51

Thank you. I've actually spent most of the day researching and have been looking at the AAT Foundation bookkeeping course as it looks as if it would open a few different doors. I have been working through a cheap groupon course I found which covered hr, payroll and bookkeeping and it has really got me motivated.

OP’s posts: |
gizmo4 Thu 16-Feb-17 18:13:01

I would also do some research on the Hmrc web site. It would give you the different rates and bands for paye purposes.

newcareerpath Thu 16-Feb-17 22:49:47

I've actually been browsing the hmrc website today. I have also started a bookkeeping course, and so far am loving it (though only reached chapter 4!).

OP’s posts: |
StereophonicallyChallenged Thu 16-Feb-17 22:59:44

I'd look more at small accountants for work experience OP. We do have school w/ex sometimes and we do have a permanent trainee accountant. I do all the vat & payroll and would be happy to have someone in on w/e type thing and can't see partners objecting, so ask around in your area!

champagneplanet Thu 16-Feb-17 23:14:39

You would be better doing the AAT payroll qualification as this covers the basics/principles. I did mine via distance learning and it didn't take very long at all.

You could then do a software course if needed, sage do regular webinars that are worth watching and there is a library of old ones online. YouTube etc is also a great place to look for tutorials for other software providers.

Not everyone uses sage, there is even free HMRC software to use for very small businesses processing payroll so it worth looking into the different types.

newcareerpath Fri 17-Feb-17 07:33:10

Stereophonically that's really good to know. I've started looking at what firms are local to me, but want to see if I can get the first part of the bookkeepers qualification completed first, which I'm hoping to do by May. I figured it will show them that I'm serious about wanting to do it.

OP’s posts: |
newcareerpath Fri 17-Feb-17 07:36:30

Champagne I've been looking at job adverts for this area (I don't live near a city) and there were quite a few for bookkeeping and none specifically for payroll. The only payroll one I saw was actually a bookkeeping one with payroll included. I have started the bookkeeping course now, and am really enjoying it. I'm still trying to work out exactly what I want to option is still the payroll, the other is bookkeeping and then work on to becoming an accounting technician and then an accountant.

OP’s posts: |
INeedAnAlibi Fri 17-Feb-17 08:37:41

I work for a small company & although my official title is Administrator I do all accounts, admin, payroll etc with payroll being the smallest part of my job with only 12 employees it takes around an hour each month & as we have a purpose built package we don't use sage at all.

Even working for larger companies before having kids the payroll department was always usually combined with the accounts department.

I have a friend who works in payroll for the NHS & she's the only one I know who works in a dedicated payroll team & that is their only responsibility throughout the month but every single person on her team works part time.

Even at our accountants it's the girl who does our end of year accounts etc that does their payroll.

I'd definitely recommend doing a course/courses which will give you a wide variety of admin/accounts experience - one of my biggest bugbears with the girl in our other office is her inability to type a coherent letter or file alphabetically both of which are basic tasks in an office based environment.

champagneplanet Fri 17-Feb-17 09:10:52

I've also done the AAT accounting technician course as I was given more responsibility at work, it really is worth it. Then I did a basic sage line 50 course at night school (although I already used it at work) to refresh/validate my skills.

If you really wanted to you could then go on to a more advanced course like CIMA or ACCA. I did payroll instead as another string to my bow as due to personal circumstances I couldn't commit to the longer courses but wanted the qualifications to back up what I was already doing at work.

They key is to enjoy it, and it's a great feeling when you complete the courses no matter how long or short they are.

watchingitallagain Fri 17-Feb-17 12:23:30

I worked in Payroll for 15 years before stopping when I had kids. The best qualifications you can do are CIPP Ones- although they're probably more expensive. That's the qualifications that employers look for.

Sage is probably a useless qualification unless you want to work in an Accountancy Practice. Larger firms will use a range of more powerful software.

The most interesting jobs I had in my career were not linked to Finance functions, but to HR functions. Payroll holds a lot of employee information that is useful to the business and I'd suggest looking for a HR post if you don't want to be horrendously bored in five years time. confused

One thing... how are you with being shouted at?! I've been called all sorts by discruntled staff who think they've been paid wrong. And no one has ever thanked me for paying them on time! grin

Feel free to ask me any questions if you want to know more.

newcareerpath Sat 18-Feb-17 07:37:15

Thank you smile Lots of great advice.

Now I'm doing the bookkeeping course, I think I'll stick with the bookkeeping side and progress. Interesting to hear that payroll can become very boring after a few years of doing it.....I need something that will keep my brain working!

Just need to get my head around double entry bookkeeping now! Almost there with it......

OP’s posts: |
StereophonicallyChallenged Mon 20-Feb-17 22:17:06

aaah the joy of T-accounts grin

Good luck OP!

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