API Degree
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Payroll course curriculum

Our payroll course curriculum trains you to become a payroll clerk through instruction in employee classification, time tracking, wage taxes and deductions, legal compliance, and more. You will understand the payroll clerk's role within an accounting department and explore the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing payroll to another company.

Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career Program

Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Concepts in Business and Self-Employment  

Evaluating your business idea; setting yourself apart from the competition; market testing; investment funding and donation funding; qualities of an entrepreneur; crowdfunding and angel investors.

Lesson Group 2: Introduction to Payroll and Employees

Introduction to Payroll Management  

This lesson will define the traditional payroll process and the methods used to manage data entry functions to improve operational efficiency. Students will learn the concepts of electronic payment and employee self-service systems. Students also learn about the types of employees and contractors and the importance of confidentiality in the payroll processing function.

Basics of Time Tracking and Compensation  

Lesson coverage includes the importance of accurate time tracking and the varieties of technical applications used to accurately track employee time on the job. Students will learn the distinction between wages from salaries and how to calculate compensation for different kinds of wage plans, as well as supplemental wages including overtime, commissions, sick and vacation pay.

Employee Benefits  

In this lesson, students will be introduced to a wide range of employee benefits and to the wage implications and taxability of each type of benefit.

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Program Description

The Payroll Clerk program will provide instruction on the basic requirements and practices required to accurately compute and maintain records and reports related to the distribution of wages and employee benefits. Program coverage includes basic management principles for the payroll process, time tracking, deductions for benefits and taxes and the payment process. Students will also learn about the accounting practices required for accurate reporting and record keeping, as well as processes used for outsourcing payroll functions.

Program graduates are prepared to take the National Bookkeepers Association (NBA) Uniform Payroll Certification exam, leading to the Payroll Certification designation.

Program Objectives

After completing the Payroll Clerk program, students will be able to:

  1. Properly classify workers, differentiating employees and private contractors based on the common law rule.
  2. Track employee time and differentiate between types of employee compensation.
  3. Identify, track and account for all required employee deductions associated with benefits and all required wage taxes.
  4. Explain how payroll interacts with the accounting system and the associated record keeping, controls and measurements.
  5. Understand the payroll outsourcing process and the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll.

The tools to grow your career

Our payroll course curriculum teaches you a skill set desired by numerous organizations. To help you find the right job for your new skills, Ashworth College gives you exclusive access to career advice, job search assistance, and a network of employers looking for people just like you! Browse our Career Tools today to see how we can support your professional goals and help you discover new opportunities.

Ready to get started?

Advance your career in our online API Program Name program. Call 1-800-957-5412