The secret diaries of a…Payroller.

Payroller secrets

With Payroll being arguably (and personally, I’d say definitely!) one of the most in-demand professions in the market at present, I thought it would be a great idea to delve into the innermost workings of some of AccountAbility’s favourite Payroll minds!

As Payroll is becoming more and more of an attractive, financially rewarding career for Accounting & Finance professionals; I decided to take time out of my relentless search for quality Payroll candidates and sit down with a Senior Payroll Officer who has recently secured a new position through AccountAbility.

Due to the nature of the questions and information, this charming human has requested to remain anonymous!

Q. Thank you for taking the time out of your day, as I know things have certainly been a whirlwind since starting your new role last month! Let’s start at the beginning; why did you decide to get into Payroll?

A. I guess I just sort of fell into it if I’m honest, I can’t really say I grew up wanting to be a Payroll Officer as a little child! I started off doing general Accounting work, helping out across a variety of areas, including Payroll and found this to be the area I enjoyed the most. Particularly when I was able to use my analytical skills to try and streamline processes.

So, when I felt there was nothing more I could learn or progress from where I was working, I decided that a pure Payroll position was what I wanted to do and see where that journey would take me!

Q. What’s your favourite part of the job?

A. This might be a bit of strange one for some people, but I love dealing with queries! I like to think I’m quite a friendly, chatty person so sometimes being behind a screen and consistently processing Payroll on a weekly basis and reconciling superannuation can get a bit repetitive.

Therefore (particularly when I was working in recruitment) when various contractors used to call on a Tuesday panicking and upset about not being paid, I used to really enjoy talking them through the process and often resolving the problems. Helping someone out so they are able to pay their rent or other similar matters and making a difference for them is something I really enjoy.

Q. What’s your least favourite part of the job?

A. Hmmm… even though it is my favourite part of the job, dealing with queries can also occasionally be the worst part! Although I do like helping people with genuine issues, sometimes you do get people shouting at you down the phone, which is never pleasant!

Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?

A. Hopefully, it will be sooner than five years, but I see myself as a Payroll Manager for a large national company. I feel now that once I have a couple more years under my belt as a Senior Payroll Officer it is the natural progression. I’ve been doing Payroll now for seven years so I feel like I will have enough experience soon.

Saying that, the increasing frequency of Payroll Accounting roles is also quite appealing to me. I like the more analytical side and feel it is something I would enjoy.

Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in Payroll?

Q. Not to rush. I know that the present state of the market means that sometimes you can fall into the trap of jumping from job to job (especially when contracting) by being offered an extra dollar or two by some recruiter who doesn’t even bother to meet you. You can end up being overpaid in a role you hate – I know I’ve been there!

So if you are getting good experience and enjoying the job with a good mentor, don’t just jump ship. It’s crucial in those first few years to get a good technical grounding and I promise this will stand you in a better position in your career.

Q. Having had a number of temporary positions in your career, what do you enjoy most about temporary/contract roles?

A. The flexibility… or the pay! I guess they can go hand in hand. I mean you obviously don’t have the holidays but sometimes when I have worked long hours and a high hourly rate for project work, I have earnt nearly a third more than I would have in a permanent role.

So when the contract does end you don’t have to immediately go into another position and can take a month off to travel – which I love to do – without the pressure of returning to work or getting extended leave. You’re kind of your own boss in a way.


Q. What would you be doing if you weren’t in Payroll?

A. This might not be a typical answer, but I always wanted to own my own bakery! I just love baking and the satisfaction from somebody else thoroughly enjoying a cake or pastry I have created from scratch really makes me feel good. Simple things, I know.

Either that or own a cat café. All my friends call me the crazy cat lady. I just love them!

Q. And finally, completely non-payroll related, would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

A. Oh, definitely the horse-sized duck. No doubt. I like being able to consolidate my problems into one task, 100 little horses going crazy in all directions would just be a nightmare for me.

So there it is a bit of insight into the world of Payrolling through the eyes of someone who lives it. The main takeaway from my conversation with this lovely candidate is that, if you know what you are passionate about and pursue it with enthusiasm you will succeed in your career without fail.

Are you looking to succeed in the Accounting & Finance space? You know who to contact.

Ben joined AccountAbility in May 2017 focusing on recruiting temporary roles within Sydney CBD South and South Sydney. Prior to beginning his career in recruitment, Ben studied History at Swansea University and graduated in 2014.

Ben Knight
Consultant – Accounting Support
Telephone:(02) 8296 5305
E-mail Address:

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