There are a wide variety of computer programs that are designed to make businesses easier to manage and reduce the complicated nature of job functions. There are some true benefits to software that performs these functions, as they allow individuals who are completely new or in entry-level positions to perform tasks that only more experienced professionals would typically be able to do. This reduces cost for companies, and becomes worth the price of the software in accordance with the size of the business entity.
In the same way, the assembly line increased the efficiency of work for companies, which could reduce their prices significantly based on the reduced cost of employment. What they were really doing was creating a process by which little education would be necessary to perform a complex job. In the case of Ford, the complex job was to produce a car. But the assembly line allowed each worker to learn one, specific task, which required a minimal amount of training and experience to do.
On the other hand, and just like the assembly line, software can reduce the work, in many cases to being based on data entry. Regarding payroll administration, these programs facilitate the job and significantly reduce the amount of training necessary to perform it, inasmuch as the calculations of tax deductions, benefits, and so on can be performed by a computer. Software decreases the amount of knowledge needed to perform the job function, as deductions, benefits, and pay are computed after entering in the appropriate data, amounts and so on.
At companies large enough to need payroll administration software, the entry-level position typically entails a fair amount of data entry and administrative work, with low amounts of coordination necessary to complete tasks. However, for companies large enough that a team of individuals is necessary, there are a wider variety of functions, from data entry to management. The same is true of payroll administration companies, which can have a number of different positions. All of these can entail different job descriptions.
Still, this business career sees a fairly high turnaround rate, so there are usually plenty of payroll clerk positions available and on the job market. Even now, when employment is projected to decrease by 5% in between 2008 and 2018, reducing from roughly 210,000 to 200,000 clerks in the U.S., the prospects look favorable for employment.
Average salary of payroll clerks as of 2008: $34,810