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How Much Does A Payroll Specialist Cost?

How Much Does A Payroll Specialist Cost For A Small Business?

The cost of hiring a Payroll Specialist for a small business can vary depending on several factors, but it is important to weigh the costs and benefits carefully.

In general, you can expect to pay between $30 and $150 per month for a base fee, plus $2 to $15 per employee per month.

While a Payroll Specialist is an additional expense, it saves you a significant amount of time and gives you peace of mind knowing that your payroll is being handled by a professional.


What Does A Payroll Specialist Do?

A Payroll Specialist is responsible for processing and managing an organization's payroll, ensuring accurate and timely payments to employees while also handling tax deductions and other payroll-related tasks.

Here are some typical tasks that Payroll Specialists do—and don’t do …


What Do Payroll Specialists Do?

  • Calculating and processing employee wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions
  • Updating and verifying employee information
  • Managing payroll taxes and deductions
  • Distributing payroll reports and payslips
  • Resolving payroll discrepancies and inquiries
  • Maintaining accurate payroll records and compliance
  • Processing new hire and termination paperwork
  • Managing benefits and deductions
  • Collaborating with HR and finance teams
  • Staying updated with payroll regulations

What Do Payroll Specialists Not Do?

  • Determine employee work schedules or job assignments
  • Manage employee performance evaluations or promotions
  • Set company policies or strategic financial decisions
  • Handle accounting tasks related to payroll
  • Manage employee benefits or HR functions beyond payroll-related matters
  • Provide legal advice or handle complex legal issues
  • Handle IT or technical support tasks unrelated to payroll systems
  • Manage marketing or sales activities for the organization
  • Participate in product development or manufacturing processes

Basic Payroll Specialist Costs Per Month and Year

The basic Payroll Specialist costs can vary significantly based on factors such as the organization's size, the complexity of payroll operations, geographic location and the experience level of the Payroll Specialist. 

Junior Payroll Specialists may cost around $2,500 to $4,500 per month – or $30,000 to $54,000 per year, Mid-level Payroll Specialists may cost $4,500 to $6,500 per month – or $54,000 to $78,000 per year, and Senior Payroll Specialists may cost between $6,500 to $8,500 per month – or $78,000 to $102,000 per year.

For comparison, BELAY’s full-service, fully managed Payroll starts at $145 per month.

It's essential to keep in mind that these figures are rough estimates, and the actual costs will depend on specific circumstances and regional factors. 

Additionally, some organizations might choose to outsource their payroll services to third-party providers, like BELAY, which can also affect the cost structure.


The Indirect Costs of DIY Payroll

The indirect costs of DIY payroll can be significant and may include the following:

  1. Time and Effort: Handling payroll in-house requires dedicated time and effort from existing staff, especially if they lack expertise in payroll management. This takes away valuable time that could be spent on core business activities.
  2. Potential Errors: DIY payroll increase the risks of errors in payroll calculations, tax filings, and compliance, which can lead to costly penalties and legal issues.
  3. Lack of Expertise: Non-specialized staff may not be well-versed in complex payroll regulations, tax laws, and changing labor requirements, leading to compliance issues.
  4. Technology Costs: Implementing and maintaining payroll software or systems can involve upfront costs, ongoing fees, and potential training expenses for employees.
  5. Training: If existing staff takes on payroll responsibilities, they may require training to understand payroll processes and stay up-to-date with regulations.
  6. Data Security: Managing sensitive employee data in-house could pose security risks if adequate measures are not in place.
  7. Opportunity Cost: Time spent on payroll-related tasks can take away from other revenue-generating or strategic activities.
  8. Lack of Scalability: As the business grows, DIY payroll may become more time-consuming and challenging to manage without dedicated expertise.
  9. Stress and Burnout: Employees tasked with payroll may experience increased stress and burnout if they have to juggle payroll duties with their regular responsibilities.
  10. Audit Risks: Without professional oversight, the risk of errors or inconsistencies during audits increases, potentially leading to financial losses or penalties.
  11. Employee Dissatisfaction: Errors in payroll processing can lead to employee dissatisfaction and adversely affect morale and productivity.

It's essential for businesses to carefully assess these indirect costs and consider the advantages of outsourcing payroll to professional specialists or payroll service providers who can offer expertise, accuracy and compliance assurance. 

This allows the organization to focus on its core functions while ensuring smooth and efficient payroll management.


How To Hire The Right Payroll Specialist

Hiring the right Payroll Specialist is essential for any business that wants to ensure that its employees are paid accurately and on time. Here are some tips on how to hire the right Payroll Specialist:

Define your needs.

Before you start looking for a Payroll Specialist, take some time to define your needs.

    • What are the specific requirements of your business?
    • How many employees do you have?
    • What kind of payroll software do you use?

Once you know your needs, you can start to narrow down your search.

Create a job description.

Once you know your needs, you can create a job description that outlines the specific skills and experience that you are looking for in a Payroll Specialist. 

Be sure to include the following information in your job description:

    • Job title
    • Job duties and responsibilities
    • Required skills and experience
    • Education and certifications
    • Salary range

Screen candidates.

Once you have received some resumes, it is time to start screening candidates. Be sure to review their resumes carefully and look for candidates who have the skills and experience that you are looking for.

Conduct interviews.

Once you have narrowed down your list of candidates, it is time to conduct interviews. Be sure to ask the candidates questions about their experience, skills and knowledge of payroll. You may also want to ask them about their approach to payroll and how they would handle specific situations.

Check references.

Once you have interviewed the candidates, it is time to check their references. This will give you a good sense of their work ethic and personality. Be sure to ask the references specific questions about the candidate's experience with payroll.

Make an offer.

Once you have found the right candidate, it is time to make an offer. Be sure to include the salary and benefits that you are offering in the offer letter.

Hiring the right Payroll Specialist can be a daunting task, but it is important to take the time to do it right. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the right person for the job.


Stop Doing It All Yourself. BELAY Can Help.

For over a decade, we have been dedicated to supporting thousands of leaders like you with their accounting needs. 

Whether you require basic accounting support such as general bookkeeping, accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit card reconciliation, or tax services, our skilled Accounting Specialists are here to help. 

For those seeking comprehensive payroll assistance, our full-service Payroll provides all the essential financial services you need.

But that's not all – we recognized another way to cater to your needs and empower you to reach new heights with our fractional CFO services. 

Our CFOs offer a range of specialized services, including financial review and analysis, strategic profit planning and execution, cash flow projections and forecasting and collaboration with tax experts. These services are available in monthly, quarterly and annual packages to suit your specific requirements.

At BELAY, our goal is to give you the confidence to focus on what truly matters—growing your organization. Let us handle your financial complexities, so you can climb to new heights and achieve your business objectives.