Payroll director overview

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The top job in the traditional payroll career path is payroll director. People at this level will likely have worked in payroll in some capacity for many years. The payroll director has overall responsibility for all payroll teams, but also for the strategy of the payroll department as a whole. The payroll director may also sit at senior level within an organisation and have input on company strategy.

Skills and experience needed

  • This is a strategic role and candidates must have worked at a senior level within a payroll function
  • Experience of managing a large payroll team
  • Must have complex and multiple payroll experience
  • Strong leadership skills
  • System Implementation experience
  • Ability to nurture relationships with key stakeholders

Duties and responsibilities

  • Take full responsibility for the payroll function and oversee a large team
  • Increase the payroll service provided to clients – this will be achieved by taking responsibility for a number of different teams across different sites and ensure that individuals are motivated and challenged
  • Liaise with company partners, external clients and third parties; develop the operational procedures for the payroll function, recruiting additional members of the team a and visit clients where necessary

Qualifications you may need

If you are looking to become further qualified, click below for details of our professional payroll qualifications suitable for payroll directors:


The CIPP offers many payroll training courses suitable for payroll directors, just click below to see full details of each course.

At this level, and with this amount of experience, we would expect people to be at fellow or Chartered level of membership with the CIPP. These are the highest level of membership offered by the CIPP and demonstrate your commitment to payroll excellence, but also to the betterment of the whole profession. 


*minimum of three years experience or level 5 payroll qualificaiton