Occ. Code  0121100  











New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Payroll Examiners supervise the staff and operations of an agency or facility payroll program, or a segment of a payroll program, which entails the preparation of the regular, lag and special payrolls.  They also make related payroll determinations concerning salaries, miscellaneous payments, deductions, taxes, and other similar matters.  The preparation of payrolls requires compliance with detailed procedures, the use of multiple computer software programs, and adherence to strict deadlines.  Payroll Examiners develop internal business processes, internal control procedures, and staff development materials to ensure the preparation of accurate and timely payroll submissions to control agencies.  Incumbents interpret and apply policies, rules and regulations issued by the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department of Civil Service, and the Division of the Budget; sections of multiple negotiated agreements between New York State and the employee unions; and sections of the State Finance Law governing salaries, lump sum payments, deductions, leave credits, and other factors which affect employee payrolls.   


            Positions in these classes are located in the Personnel, Business Administration, or Finance Offices in State agencies and facilities.




            Classification of positions at the Payroll Examiner 1, 2, 3, and 4 levels is determined by the presence of multiple complicating factors that impact the degree of complexity of the bi-weekly payrolls.  Factors considered in determining the level of complexity include:  processing payrolls on both the administrative and institution pay cycles; the number of payrolls processed per payroll cycle; more than five collective bargaining agreements; a substantial percentage of the agency or facility workforce assigned to work shifts on a twenty-four hour basis; numerous seasonal, temporary, per diem, part-time and other non-statutory (NS) employees; numerous Statewide work locations; numerous funding sources utilized  to pay  employee  salaries; and hosting  the payroll programs for more than five other State agencies. Generally there is a positive correlation between the number of complicating factors and the number of employees on an agency Statewide payroll, or for host agencies, the total number of employees for all payrolls processed.


PAYROLL EXAMINER 1:  payroll program supervisor in an agency or facility with a payroll of 200 to 500 employees; performs the full range of payroll processing tasks and activities as workload requires; in larger agencies works under the supervision of a higher level Payroll Examiner and specializes in the preparation of a segment of the agency payroll; typically supervises subordinate clerical staff.


PAYROLL EXAMINER 2:  payroll program supervisor in an agency or facility with payrolls of approximately 500 to 1,500 employees; supervises Payroll Examiners 1 and/or clerical staff; performs the full range of payroll processing tasks and activities as workload requires.  In larger agencies may work as an assistant to a Payroll Examiner 3 and perform most of the tasks listed in this standard but based on workload may specialize in the preparation of one or more of the payrolls or in making payroll determinations.


PAYROLL EXAMINER 3:  payroll program supervisor in an agency with payrolls of 1,500 to 4,000 employees; handles the most complex payroll and salary issues; performs the full range of payroll processing tasks and activities as workload requires; supervises lower level Payroll Examiners and/or clerical staff.  May be classified to function as an assistant to a Payroll Examiner 4 in agencies that have centralized management and review of payrolls that are processed in multiple Statewide facilities or regional offices.


PAYROLL EXAMINER 4:  payroll program supervisor in an agency with more than 4,000 employees and the most complex bi-weekly payrolls; one position classified in each qualifying agency; may be assisted by a Payroll Examiner 3 in those offices where subordinate Payroll Examiners 1 and 2 are engaged in the review and certification of bi-weekly payrolls submitted from Statewide facilities or regional offices; and may supervise other payroll-related units such as time and attendance.




            Payroll Specialists review payroll transactions that are prepared and submitted from agency and facility payroll offices, ensuring the accuracy of salaries, amounts paid, taxes withheld, and deductions and garnishments taken in the paychecks of State employees. Incumbents apply laws, regulations, business rules and procedures governing payroll transactions and salaries. Payroll Specialists also provide technical assistance to agency payroll staff in determining salaries which may be complicated by a number of variables.  Higher level Payroll Specialists perform administrative, contract analysis, quality assurance, training, communication, and tax-related duties, providing management with information, research, recommendations, and expertise in these areas.  Positions are classified only in the Bureau of State Payroll Services at the Office of the State Comptroller.


            Calculations Clerks perform duties that require the computation and calculation of numerical data, in accordance with applicable procedures, laws, and rules and regulations.  In a payroll office they work under the supervision of a Payroll Examiner.


            In those agencies where the preparation of, or supervision over the preparation of, the payroll is not the full-time activity, positions assigned payroll duties are classified based on the predominant tasks performed and incumbents are assigned other occupationally-related duties.




Coordinate and oversee agency payroll operations.


-          Review and interpret control agency bulletins; develop internal procedures to implement control agency directives; and advise staff and agency employees verbally and in writing.


-          Certify the payroll for submission to the control agencies by using a      variety of queries, internal controls and reports to confirm that all payroll submissions are complete and prepared in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.


-          Monitor volume of transactions, miscellaneous payments, taxes and deductions; and assign trained staff as needed to complete work accurately within established payroll deadlines.


-          Receive and respond to written and oral communications from the Office of the State Comptroller, the Division of the Budget, the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, and the Department of Civil Service with regard to payroll and time and attendance issues.


-          Develop tools for use by staff to enhance payroll processing activities within the agency using standard office software programs.


Direct the work and oversee employees performing payroll related functions.


-          Assign work to subordinate staff according to the knowledge level of the incumbents, providing specific instructions, as needed.


-          Answer questions and advise staff on an ongoing basis to address unusual payroll issues.


-          Write and compile instructional materials and train subordinate and/or regional staff in payroll policies and procedures.


-          Interview and hire staff, write probationary reports and performance evaluations, approve leave requests, and address disciplinary problems.                  

Develop, implement, and monitor internal control procedures to ensure the timely submission of accurate payroll documents.


-          Create and monitor compliance with time frames for the completion of payroll work in order to meet control agency deadlines.


-          Review transactions to determine appropriateness and accuracy of position information and personal and job data; and independently resolve any discrepancies with appropriate parties prior to transaction submission.


-          Produce, review and/or reconcile information in standard and special queries and reports that relate to the production of an accurate and timely payroll; check for errors and possible overpayments; and make appropriate corrections.


-          Reconcile employee information in automated systems monitored by the Office of the State Comptroller (PayServ), the Department of Civil Service (NYSTEP), and internal agency payroll/personnel systems.


-          Review work of subordinate staff, double-checking calculations and proofreading data entry as needed to ensure accuracy.


-          Design and conduct regular audits of pay factors such as shift and inconvenience pay,  to ensure employees are receiving all payments that they are entitled to receive in accordance with Department of Civil Service special salary treatments, negotiated agreements, and Office of the State Comptroller rules and regulations.


-          Resolve payroll audit problems by working in partnership with control agency staff and agency personnel to clarify submissions and to correct them, as needed.


Calculate and/or verify salary calculations and related factors for agency employees.


-          Reconstruct employee salary histories by following standard procedures to determine and/or verify appropriate salary.


-          Calculate and coordinate processing of salary increases, longevity payments, and performance advances.


-          Calculate employee salaries taking into account eligibility for miscellaneous payments and additional factors.


-          Calculate and issue corrected W-2 Wage Statements as necessary to report adjusted earnings and taxes for employees.


-          Calculate, coordinate, and communicate back salary awards, settlements, penalties and garnishments in accordance with court orders, grievances, disciplinary proceedings, and arbitration decisions.


-          May calculate the number of pay periods of sick leave with half pay entitlement for employees by applying knowledge of Civil Service Law, Office of the State Comptroller rules and regulations, and negotiated agreements.


-          May determine eligibility and adjust vacation, sick, and personal leave credits for part-time annual salaried employees using various reports to calculate the additional hours worked beyond their payroll percentage and the amount of leave credits to be adjusted under the guidelines set forth by the Department of Civil Service.


Provide customer service to agency employees and department managers on payroll and/or personnel related issues.


-          Answer various types of communications (phone, e-mail, and letters) from employees and managers concerning general payroll topics and specific personal status issues and inquiries.


-          Write responses to authorized inquiries from banks, insurance companies, and government agencies regarding employees pay status, income, and benefit status using multiple systems to gather appropriate data.


-          Write memos utilizing information from control agencies to notify employees and/or department managers of a wide variety of payroll and/or personnel related topics.


-          Coordinate, organize and promote a targeted campaign to educate agency employees about direct deposit options and policies in order to increase participation in the direct deposit program.


-          May coordinate and deliver informational sessions and new employee orientation programs on a variety of payroll, personnel, and benefit topics.   


May be assigned to special projects as needed, such as:


-          Testing new or enhanced automated systems, such as leave and attendance systems or the Automated Interface, by performing system tests, identifying errors, and providing recommendations to program staff for system improvements.


-          Preparing salary studies to advise management of the financial considerations of proposed actions.


-          Preparing special salary memoranda and schedules for seasonal staff.


-          Assisting agency budgeting and personnel staff with the preparation and review of Managerial/Confidential non-statutory performance advance plans.




            Payroll Examiners function independently, without direct supervision of work procedures and priorities.  Incumbents are considered technical experts in payroll processing and, when functioning as the payroll program supervisor, are the final point of review for all payroll actions. Their program operations are guided by legal provisions of various laws and negotiated agreements, control agency guidelines, internal agency payroll policies and procedures, and strict time frames for the completion and submission of payroll documents.


            The highest level Payroll Examiner in an agency typically reports to a managerial position in the Personnel, Business Administration or Fiscal Office, whose scope of activity includes matters other than payroll.  Since there are extensive written rules, regulations, and guidelines for payroll actions, supervision generally involves periodic review of the payroll work, resolving problems involving procedural and policy interpretations, and may include formal certification and submission of the payroll to the Office of the State Comptroller.




            Payroll calculations require consultation with, and research using, multiple written and automated resources. Processing such transactions requires data entry into several different databases using different software. While Payroll Examiners must be knowledgeable about the requirements for processing a wide variety of transactions, the complexity of each action is dependent upon the number of variables that must be taken into consideration, the frequency of the occurrence of certain types of transactions, and the number of resources that must be referenced in order to determine the appropriate pay rate.


            Payroll Examiners are expected to be able to perform the full range of payroll calculations and transactions. Accordingly, they must possess specific knowledge concerning a wide variety of payroll and related topics such as overtime eligibility, tax requirements, garnishments, and system requirements to complete transactions and to provide training and guidance to others.  As supervisors of payroll activities, Payroll Examiners handle calculations that include a wider range of variables, exceptions, or the application of specific salary determination rules.  Incumbents are expected to identify and resolve discrepancies, develop job aids, and make recommendations or decisions regarding the development or revision of processing and internal control procedures. 


            Payroll Examiners must understand the business rules of the various automated systems that are used in processing payrolls (e.g., PayServ, NYSTEP, HRIS or other internal agency payroll/personnel systems) in order to trouble-shoot problems, prepare payroll reports, develop comprehensive internal controls, train staff, and respond to employee inquiries.


            In addition to bi-weekly payroll transactions, incumbents are also responsible for assigning, and sometimes handling, other payroll-related business. This includes but is not limited to: preparing the NS salary plan; overseeing the Extra Service program; calculating performance awards and advances; calculating and approving petty cash disbursements, and retrieving overpayments.




            Payroll Examiners have frequent verbal communication with agency program administrators and personnel staff to explain payroll procedures and deadlines, mandatory and voluntary payroll deductions, and attendance and leave rules.  They also have frequent verbal and written communications with all levels of employees to explain changes in salaries and deductions, procedures for voluntary deductions, and related topics.


            When processing payroll transactions and preparing payrolls, incumbents have frequent verbal and written communications with representatives of the Office of the State Comptroller and the Department of Civil Service to request technical assistance with complex or unusual salary computations, to identify and clarify legal and procedural requirements, and to resolve discrepancies in procedures and interpretation.


            Payroll Examiners have frequent verbal communications with subordinate staff providing them with advice and assistance to supplement written manuals and guidelines.




            Payroll Examiners supervise subordinate staff; they assign work, provide manuals and written guidelines, give advice and technical assistance as requested, and review completed work.  While supervision is a classification factor, the number of subordinate positions is not a controlling factor for determining the appropriate level of Payroll Examiner required.  When classified in a smaller agency or facility, a Payroll Examiner 1 or 2 may not have a subordinate staff and may have sole responsibility for all payroll activities.






One year of permanent competitive service in a clerical, keyboarding, or paraprofessional title allocated to Grade 7 or higher.




One year of permanent competitive service as a Payroll Examiner 1.




One year of permanent competitive service as a Payroll Examiner 2.




One year of permanent competitive service as a Payroll Examiner 3.




Date:  7/07



NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.