What are the Responsibilities of HR and Payroll?

The main function of human resources is to take care of employee relations, while the payroll function deals with the financial compensation of those employees and the process by which they get paid. These two departments have distinct responsibilities in an organization, however they do have areas where they overlap.

Recruitment, salary increases, bonus payments, benefit deductions, vacation leave, sick leave and termination are all areas that will require the attention of both payroll and HR. In many situations, the two departments must coordinate together in order to remain efficient.

To learn about the specific distinctions of payroll and HR responsibilities, take a read through the rest of this article.

Payroll Processing Responsibilities

Payroll processing include responsibilities such as:

  • Examine and verify the accuracy of all documentation, as well as ensure the accuracy of calculations for payroll.
  • Validates that timesheet information entered by casual employees has been approved by their manager
  • Calculates and processes: statutory holiday pay for employees and make adjustments to salaries and benefits
  • Prepare record of employment (ROE)
  • Administer informations about Employment Insurance (EI)
  • Coordinates direct withdrawals, remittances and deductions ensuring the transfer of funds to governmental departments and insurance companies
  • Provide a comprehensive breakdown of payroll-related charges such as salary, and benefits – in order to help managers with the reconciliation of actual costs vs budget.
  • At fiscal year-end, calculate merit increases (performance-based raises), variable pays, lump sum payments, pension contributions, and salary and severance accruals
  • Prepares leave without pay estimates
  • Run year-to-date adjustment payments
  • Produces statement of earnings of all non-Canadians overseas employees
  • Verify T4 details before issuance
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Accounting and Payroll Reporting

Payroll function is closely tied to accounting because it deals with all the financial documents of employees. Payroll accounting responsibilities include:

  • Reconcile payroll entries
  • Calculate and adjust accruals
  • Complete payroll remittances and provide reports for the general ledger on a monthly basis
  • Create monthly general ledger entries using the payroll software by preparing monthly payroll and accounting journal entries, ensuring data integrity and following internal accounting rules and policies
  • Reconcile all Payroll liability accounts in General Ledger
  • Review and approve all remittances to Government and benefit carriers
  • Reconcile annually Employer Health Tax (EHT) contributions, Public Service Management Insurance Plan and Public Service Health Care Plan insurances and various Canadian and overseas insurance reports

Human Resources Responsibilities

HR specialists focus on a single area – for example training or recruiting employees. HR generalists are responsible for a variety of different tasks simultaneously. Small businesses normally have one or two general lists, and larger companies have many HR specialists devoted to particular areas and services.

The typical responsibilities of an HR personnel are:

  • Communicate with employers to identify needs and preferred qualifications
  • Interview applicants about their experience, education and skills
  • Contact references and perform background checks
  • Inform applicants about job details such as benefits and conditions
  • Hire or refer qualified candidates
  • Conduct new employee orientations
  • Process paperwork

HR managers will also:

  • Plan and coordinate the workforce to best use employees’ talents
  • Resolve issues between management and employees
  • Advise managers on policies like equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of specialists and staff
  • Oversee recruitment and hiring process
  • Direct disciplinary procedures

Human Resource Management System (HRMS)

An HRMS is a set of software applications that support and automate the HR processes throughout the employee life cycle. This includes applications such as: the hiring process, payroll, timecards, taxes, employee development, performance reviews, benefits, compliance and more.

With an HRMS companies can manage a wide range of people related activities all in one place. Therefore, increasing efficiency and allowing you to better understand your workforce so that you can make more informed decisions.

HR staff are responsible for the development and maintenance of the HRMS system to ensure compliance with IDRC HR and finance policies, practices, collective agreements and employee manuals.

Payroll Job Skills and Qualifications

A payroll administrator holds a large responsibility in every organization and therefore requires certain skills and qualifications in order to do the job well. These skills include:

  • Problem solving skills. From compliance issues and tax discrepancies to miscalculations, so many problems can arise while processing payroll. A successful payroll administrator needs to be capable of solving any problems that may arise in a competent, logical and efficient manner. You also need to be able to anticipate potential challenges that could complicate matters further.
  • Computer proficiency. From preparing payroll in Excel to working with Word documents, admins need to grasp standard programmes used at any office. You will also need extensive working knowledge of industry software specifically designed for processing payrolls, such as QuickBooks. Knowing how to use such software will help you organize employee information, streamline payroll processes, and perform your duties more effectively.
  • Math skills. Statutory deductions and tax reports are only part of the responsibilities in this position that require math skills. There's a lot of complex data, numbers and calculations that need to be made with accuracy, so strong numerical skills are crucial for this role.

The Canadian Payroll Association has a variety of courses that will give you the qualifications necessary to become a practitioner or a manager in the payroll field.

Human Resource Job Skills and Qualifications

Being responsible for making hiring and firing decisions, keeping watch over employee welfare, and handling a company’s most sensitive information is taxing yet rewarding work. If you feel like your up for the challenge, see the most essential skills to be successful in this role:

  • Employee relations. Successful businesses thrive on secure employee–employer relationships and the professionals who support those connections. Your ability to manage conflict will be a large determining factor for your success in this position as problems can come up anywhere from labour disputes to dealing with employee benefits packages.
  • Collaborating with teams. Working in HR means you will be collaborating with teams from different types of departments. It's therefore very important to be someone who thrives in situations where they are in constant communication with others.
  • Organizational skills. Employers want HR candidates with organizational skills because many positions require juggling and prioritizing tasks on a team or company calendar. It’s important to be able to create a plan that allows everyone to achieve their goals.

Most positions require the candidate to have a bachelor’s degree and sometimes even a masters in HR. For a comprehensive list on how to start a career in HR check the Charted Professionals in Human Resources page.

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