What does a Principal Payroll Manager do?

Payroll managers ensure employees get paid and keep track of relevant information to manage payroll preparation, complete reports, and for record maintenance. They maintain payroll information by designing systems and directing the collection, calculation, and data entry. They update payroll records by reviewing and approving changes in exemptions, insurance coverage, savings deductions, job titles, and department or division transfers. They pay employees by directing the production and issuance of paychecks or electronic transfers to an employee's bank account.

Payroll managers compile summaries of earnings, taxes, deductions, leave, disability, and non-taxable wages into reports. They determine the company’s payroll liabilities by calculating an employee's federal and state income and Social Security taxes alongside the employer's Social Security, unemployment, and worker’s compensation payments. They balance payroll accounts and provide information and answer questions and requests to resolve discrepancies. They study existing and new legislation to ensure the company complies with federal, state, and local legal requirements by studying existing and new legislation and advising the necessary action to management. Payroll managers need a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting.

What responsibilities are common for Principal Payroll Manager jobs?
  • Establish and maintain payroll controls and payroll related procedures for SOX compliance.
  • Review and approval of final payroll processes each pay period.
  • Manage payroll tax liabilities. Ensure accurate and timely filing of all payroll related taxes.
  • Recommend goals for payroll team and responsible for tactical implementation of team and individual goals.
  • Lead the development, implementation, maintenance, and coordination of US payroll operations.
  • Maintain payroll information by collecting, calculating, and entering data.
  • Manage issues related to employee deductions and other liabilities, including reconciling.
  • Work with clients on a retained project basis, to maximize the recruiting process.
  • Ensure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for payroll are clearly defined, achieved, and measured regularly.
  • Ensure accurate compliance with FLSA and state wage requirements
  • Responsible for process improvements, operational streamlining and exceptional client service.
  • Assist with the preparation and filing of payroll tax forms as required.
  • Prepare miscellaneous reports for various departments and upper management.
  • Identify key issues and patterns from partial and conflicting data.
  • Assist with supervision of the day-to-day activities of assigned staff.
  • Remain current on new legislation and regulatory ruling impact payroll and provide guidance on various federal, state, and local legislation.
  • Collaborate with leadership on payroll strategy to deliver a best-in-class payroll solutions.
  • Responsible for the documentation of standard processes within the team.
  • Ensure service delivery quality for all processes and procedures, keeping third parties accountable if necessary.
  • Respond appropriately to inquiries from all levels on a timely basis.
  • Manage the annual year-end W-2 reconciliation process, ensuring complete accuracy and timeliness.
  • Ensure payroll accuracy by completing thorough reviews of payroll audit reports and making corrections as needed.
  • Responsible for file transmissions and reconciliations with 3rd party payroll related vendors.
  • Preparing relevant weekly, monthly, quarterly and year-end reports for circulation to department heads
What are the typical qualifications for Principal Payroll Manager jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in accounting, business, computer science or business administration or equivalent experience.
  • Advanced general ledger skills and in-depth experience with all aspects of payroll management.
  • Strong command of English language and good communication skills.
  • Strong leadership and problem solving abilities.
  • Experienced with onboarding and termination procedures.
  • Comfortable with Enterprise Resource Planning programs and tools.
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 year

How much does a Principal Payroll Manager make?

Principal Payroll Manager Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Payroll Manager, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Principal Payroll Manager

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Principal Payroll Manager Insights

Read what Principal Payroll Manager professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Payroll Coordinator
May 18, 2022

“It’s done great things for my development and confidence and I am excited to hopefully progress within the company.”

Gerald Auto GroupGerald Auto Group
Payroll Manager
Oct 21, 2021

“I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work for such a great organization.”

Payroll Consultant
Nov 6, 2021

“You are asked to just wing it but will not receive pay increase if client does not give you an excellent score.”

Payroll HRIS Administrator
Apr 20, 2022

“Plus you get to work with an amazing and diverse workforce.”

US Department of Homeland SecurityUS Department of Homeland Security
Payroll Coordinator
Feb 23, 2022

“Good paying Job and great benefits.”

Prompt Personnel Private LimitedPrompt Personnel Private Limited
Payroll Manager
May 31, 2021

“Nice place to work and learn.”

Payroll Manager
Oct 6, 2021

“Good place to learn and develop your career.”

Myriad GeneticsMyriad Genetics
Salary Manager
May 18, 2022

“Good perks and pay.”

See More

Principal Payroll Manager Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Principal Payroll Manager

The most similar professions to Principal Payroll Manager are:
  • Payroll Specialist
  • HR Manager
  • Payroll Analyst
  • HRis Analyst

Related Careers

Payroll Specialist
No skills overlap
HR Manager
No skills overlap
Payroll Analyst
No skills overlap
HRis Analyst
No skills overlap

Principal Payroll Manager Jobs