Online Degree Programs to Be a Payroll Specialist

Payroll specialists ensure that employees are paid promptly and accurately. You can prepare for this job through a program in payroll accounting, which is most commonly offered online in a certificate format. Get more info on training options in this field, and find out how an online program works. Explore the coursework, and review the job duties of payroll specialists. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Levels of Training Are Available Online?

Accounting and payroll specialist certificate programs are commonly available on the Web, but some private, for-profit, online schools offer diplomas in payroll or associate's degree programs in accounting with training in payroll. Accredited schools are most likely to offer online classes in payroll accounting through associate's and bachelor's degree programs in business administration or accounting. If you choose to earn a certificate in payroll accounting through the Internet, you can then continue your studies through a 2- or 4-year accounting degree program based online or on campus. To begin your career as a payroll clerk and work your way up to specialist, you only need a high school education and strong math skills.

Online AvailabilityCertificates and courses in payroll accounting are available
Online Course StructureSimilar to campus-based programs; will be provided with online course management system
Common TopicsWage and hour law, year-end reporting, spreadsheets, accounting, classification of workers
Job DutiesMaintain payroll records, ensure compliance with regulations, create yearly reports, make payroll calculations

How Do Online Classes Work?

Online course management systems provide materials to students and allow them to interact with their instructors and classmates. You're likely to find dedicated sections for discussion areas, work assessments and records of your progress. Some class materials are available online; however, you can also order textbooks from your school bookstore when necessary. Internet-based courses are often similar or identical to their on-campus equivalents.

What Will I Study?

In any program specific to payroll accounting, you study and practice the concepts, rules and procedures needed to compare and validate payroll figures in a business environment. Schools may base the curriculum on the information necessary to sit for voluntary Fundamental Payroll Certification or Certified Payroll Professional tests through the American Payroll Association. You may familiarize with commonly used bookkeeping and accounting software programs. Other potential topics include:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Classification of workers
  • Wage and hour law
  • Taxation and compensation
  • Benefits, garnishments and levies
  • Year-end reporting
  • Spreadsheets
  • Accounting

What Would My Job Duties Be?

As a payroll specialist, payroll clerk or accounting technician, your duties may include interpreting financial statements and accounts, creating spreadsheets, maintaining payroll records and producing financial reports. You also ensure compliance with government regulations, make payroll calculations and create yearly reports.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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