Why I chose a career in Payroll

Sep 7, 2023 | Careers

This week is National Payroll Week and the theme is #ChoosePayroll, focusing on an individual’s career journey. So we’ve sat down with one of our Payroll Specialists, Holly Hinchliffe, to find out why she chose a career in Payroll.

When I look back on my school days, a career in payroll was not on my radar. I didn’t have any family connections to accountancy or finance and so I didn’t really know what ‘payroll’ entailed (other than a basic understanding that some magic happened behind the scenes that meant my Saturday job paid out!).

When I started working at 16, I found myself gravitating to the more organisational and mathematical aspects of my job. I thrived on creating order out of chaos, and number crunching didn’t intimidate me – it excited me. Yet, it wasn’t until someone suggested a career in payroll that I actually considered it as an option. Intrigued by the idea, I secured myself my first payroll job doing data processing and since then I’ve never looked back.

In the spirit of National Payroll Week, I thought it would be helpful to flag 4 key reasons that I continue to #ChoosePayroll. And who knows, if you’re a student considering your options perhaps they might inspire you to find out more!


Payroll is undeniably one of the most critical functions within any company. Getting someone’s pay right is not just a job—it’s a responsibility. I’m acutely aware that even a minor error can cause unnecessary stress to employees. This motivation to ensure accuracy and reliability in every payroll cycle is a constant reminder of the importance of my role.


Initially, I thought payroll was a straightforward process. However, as my career has progressed I’ve discovered that it is far from simple! The payroll landscape has its various challenges, making every day unique. Plus, there are numerous niches to specialise in (for example, pensions and expenses), offering endless opportunities to diversify and find new areas of interest. This dynamic nature of payroll keeps me engaged and eager to tackle the next challenge.

Learning opportunities

Payroll is a field that is in a constant state of evolution, thanks to ever-changing legislation and advances in digitalisation. This continuous evolution provides an opportunity for constant learning and skill development. I find myself constantly seeking ways to further my knowledge and streamline processes. Working in payroll feels like an ongoing education, an exciting journey where I can continuously acquire new skills and adapt to emerging trends.

Relationships and teamwork

Payroll isn’t just about numbers – it’s also about people. Collaborating with various colleagues and teams is a fundamental part of the job. Building strong relationships with co-workers and clients is not only enjoyable but also essential for effective payroll management. The ability to work through problems together and bounce ideas off one another creates a vibrant and supportive work environment which is something I really value, particularly since joining the team at Harold Sharp.

Choose Payroll

I guess when I look back, I didn’t really chose a career in payroll – it kind of chose me. And I’m glad it did! The responsibility, versatility, endless opportunities for learning, and the sense of camaraderie with my colleagues all make it an incredibly rewarding career. So, as I reflect on my journey into payroll during National Payroll Week, I am grateful for the path that led me here and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in this ever-evolving field.