Paymaster Magazine
10 Hats article series

Ten month article series presented by Paymaster: 10 Hats Worn by Payroll Professionals

Ian-Hurst-HeadshotAuthor: Ian Hurst — Managing Director, Paymaster People Solutions


I am a proud payroll professional. A few months ago, while talking to a group of Payroll people I was asked, “What will the future payroll administrator look like?” and “What will they be doing?”

On a related note, I recently saw a very outdated payroll job description that read: Main purpose of the job: to accurately capture all payroll data and print payslips monthly.  How inaccurate this is. We do so much more than this. Payroll professionals are an important part of any company. They hold the keys to keeping the company stable and on track.

Personally speaking, I must confess that I am somewhat biased because I love being in Payroll. I love serving my customers (and their employees) and helping management wherever I can. I am proud of what we as payroll professionals do. Therefore, I am saddened by the otherwise general attitude towards payroll professionals — namely, that they are only noticed when things go wrong.

For these and numerous additional reasons, it’s time to kick-off with the following 11 month series:

10 Hats article seriesWe are not

We certainly are not the following:

  1. Retreaded staff with nowhere else to go.
  2. Payroll is not the last step before retirement.
  3. We don’t all have our hair in a bun and a scary frown on our face.
  4. We don’t like being stuck away in corners.
  5. We are not data-capturers.
  6. We are not there to bend the rules because you messed up and now don’t want to face the consequences.

We are

We most definitely are:

  1. Proud employees who have chosen administration as a career.
  2. We love getting things right – it is in our nature.
  3. We think about influencing strategy and understand what the company remuneration policy is and how it impacts strategy and results.
  4. We are open and friendly but can be tough at times.
  5. We love doing analysis, “what if” calculations.
  6. Trusted – you have no idea of the secrets we keep – “especially when we like you”.

10 Hats article seriesInvitation — Join us

Join us over the next 10 months (during 2019) where we will be looking at the 10 hats worn by payroll professionals. The series unpacks several issues including a look at the contemporary challenges that payroll professionals are faced with today. The topic of each area of focus is as follows:

  1. Interpreter of the law
  2. Implementer of policy
  3. Gatekeeper of compliance
  4. Accurate keeper of information
  5. Communicator of changes
  6. Who to ask “what if” questions
  7. Trusted confidant/employee
  8. Financial counsellor
  9. The problem solver
  10. Moral compass

In addition, within each topic and area of focus, the following keyword will help to concentrate our attention on the subject at hand:

  • Information – What does this topic mean?
  • Inspiration – Why is this topic important for me?
  • Education: What do I need to know (policy procedures, knowledge or consequence)?
  • Action Plan: What do I need to do?
  • Communication: Do I need to tell anyone about this?

Looking forward to you joining me, Ian Hurst, on this journey of discovery and adventure. We will all learn something excitingly new! Guaranteed.

Ian Hurst

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