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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1432 Occupation: Payroll Clerks
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Payroll clerks collect, verify and process payroll information and determine pay and benefit entitlements for employees within a department, company or other establishment. They are employed by payroll administration companies and by establishments throughout the private and public sectors. Payroll clerks collect, verify and process payroll information and determine pay and benefit entitlements for employees within a department, company or other establishment. They are employed by payroll administration companies and by establishments throughout the private and public sectors.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read email messages from employees or managers in other departments to process requests for information, such as why an employee's pay cheque is higher or lower than the previous month. (1)
  • Read memos from the company's human resources department about an employee's contract being adjusted or cancelled. (2)
  • Read summary reports sent from head office explaining the types of pay deductions. (2)
  • Read computer software manuals to determine how to perform specific functions. (3)
  • Read manuals which explain government legislation and how to calculate Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) deductions and benefits. Also must be able to explain regulations to employees. (3)
  • Read clauses in collective agreements to apply the terms and conditions of work to different job classifications. Interpret specific contract language using specialized knowledge of Labour-Management relations. (4)
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Writing
  • Write entries on payroll forms concerning sick leave or vacation days. (1)
  • Write to-do lists. (1)
  • Write memos explaining the payroll system and how to complete payroll forms. (1)
  • Take minutes at meetings. (2)
  • Write summaries explaining financial documents such as pay scales. (3)
  • Complete year end reports for payroll and benefits for Revenue Canada and insurance companies. (3)
  • Write letters to employees, government agencies and lawyers outlining problems and requesting or providing information on subjects such as confirmation of employment or the garnishment of wages. (3)
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Document Use
  • Read payroll summaries to verify balances and make journal entries. (2)
  • Read and complete employee timesheet and enter data into a central computer system. (2)
  • Enter payroll and benefits data on a computer to record information on employees and generate cheques. (2)
  • Read tables displaying employee names, hours worked, payroll scales, seniority and leave codes. (2)
  • Check forms filled in by employees for accuracy to correct errors and complete them in full by entering missing information. (2)
  • Read payroll deduction schedules to determine the amount of pension plan and employment insurance to deduct from an employee's earnings. (3)
  • Complete or help employees complete forms relating to payroll or benefits, such as medical services plan applications and pension forms. (3)
  • Complete workers' compensation reports. (3)
  • Complete group insurance forms. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use communications software. For example, use email to exchange information with co-workers. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, write letters. (2)
  • Use a database. For example, update employee benefits and payroll information on databases. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, use accounting software when preparing pay cheques and tracking pay expenditures. (3)
  • Use a spreadsheet. For example, produce reports using spreadsheet software. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Ask co-workers or supervisors for information or assistance in handling particular calculations and exchange information about the payroll with co-workers in accounting. (1)
  • Provide employees with information on pay, benefits and insurance coverage and answer their questions. (1)
  • Participate in group discussions at departmental meetings to solve problems and to discuss changes and new policies and regulations. (2)
  • Instruct other pay and benefits clerks on procedures. (2)
  • Speak with insurance agents to clarify insurance coverage. (2)
  • Receive direction and instructions from supervisors or payroll system representatives and discuss work concerns and problems with them. (2)
  • Consult outside agencies to receive clarification of regulations or procedures, such as contacting Revenue Canada to obtain a tax ruling or to resolve a conflict. (2)
  • Make presentations to orient new staff to payroll and benefits policies and procedures. (2)
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Money Math
  • Calculate departmental pay totals. (1)
  • Review travel expense claims submitted by employees to verify and authorize payments. (2)
  • Calculate pay, taking into account factors such as hours worked including overtime, hourly rates and various deductions. (3)
  • Process payroll transactions, such as leaves of absence, commissions, pay advances and salary increases according to company policy and current government legislation. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Enter payroll and benefits data in financial records. (2)
  • Balance pay and deduction totals with monthly report summaries. (2)
  • Revise departmental budgets to incorporate new information. (3)
  • Monitor departmental budgets and vacation entitlements to prepare budget and scheduling forecasts. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare the gross pay calculation to the net pay calculation for each employee to correct errors and omissions. (1)
  • Calculate payroll and benefit costs showing averages and totals broken down by project or department. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate total payroll disbursements and check that actual figures are relatively close to the estimate. This estimation is an important way of spot checking errors such as duplicated amounts or decimals in the wrong place. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Payroll clerks prioritize requests for information from employees, department managers and outside agencies. Emergencies and interruptions cause schedules to be readjusted frequently. (2)
  • Payroll clerks plan their own day and schedule work within established time frames. Many tasks, such as completing the payroll and filing government reports, must be completed by certain times each month. Besides this regular short term planning, payroll clerks also do longer range planning to complete year-end reports. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide when to refer employees to another department or an outside agency, such as an insurance company, in responding to their information requests. (1)
  • Decide when external requests for information about employees should be referred to the legal department. (2)
  • Decide what codes to apply to various payroll and benefits transactions. (2)
  • Decide whether to issue a cheque manually to an employee whose cheque has been delayed in the computerized cheque issuing system. The decision will depend on the employee's circumstances and the time needed to reprocess the transaction. (2)
  • Decide on the priority of work tasks to ensure that the payroll is completed on time. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Information is missing from pay files. Contact the employee, the employee's manager or the bank to obtain the data. (2)
  • An employee disagrees with the amount on the pay cheque. Review records and consult managers as necessary to identify the reason for the discrepancy so that corrective actions may be taken if necessary. (2)
  • The pay verification does not balance. May have to check all deductions to find the reason. (2)
  • Determine whether the specific circumstance of a benefits request are covered by insurance, dealing with vagueness in descriptions of insurance coverage. Contact insurance carriers to clarify details. (2)
  • There are minor technical problems in the payroll banking system. Resolve these problems by talking directly with bank staff. (2)
  • A dispute has arisen between an employee and the insurance company over coverage and payment to the employee. Handle the technical aspects of the problem by obtaining all of the facts and interpreting vague insurance contract language. Apply effective communication strategies to prevent the problem from escalating. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Contact outside agencies, such as Revenue Canada, insurance carriers or lawyers to request information, such as documentation to add to an employee's file or updates on legislation affecting the payroll. (1)
  • Contact managers of other departments and individual employees to obtain information missing from pay files. (1)
  • Consult payroll registers and personnel files to locate payroll and benefits data. (1)
  • Refer to manuals to locate specific tax information, such as the Employer Health Tax, and company policies in responding to employees' information requests. (2)
  • Refer to collective agreements to interpret and explain the application of various clauses to specific situations raised by employees, drawing on a knowledge of contract language and past practice. (3)
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