AskDefine | Define payroll

Dictionary Definition



1 a list of employees and their salaries; "the company had a long payroll" [syn: paysheet]
2 the total amount of money paid in wages; "the company had a large payroll" [syn: paysheet]
3 the department that determines the amounts of wage or salary due to each employee [syn: payroll department]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) /ˈpeɪɹəʊl/
  • (US) /ˈpeɪɹoʊl/


  1. A list of employees who receive salary or wages, together with the amounts due to each.
  2. The total sum of money paid to employees.
  3. The series of accounting transactions that ensure that employees are paid correctly, and that all taxes etc are properly deducted; the department in a company responsible for it.

Related terms


list of employees who receive salary or wages, together with the amounts due to each
total sum of money paid to employees
series of accounting transactions that ensure that employees are paid correctly

Extensive Definition

In a company, payroll is the sum of all financial records of salaries, wages, bonuses, and deductions.


A paycheck is traditionally a paper document issued by an employer to pay an employee for services rendered. While most commonly used in the United States, recently the physical paycheck has been increasingly replaced by electronic direct deposit to bank accounts.
In most countries with a developed wire transfer system, using a physical check for paying wages and salaries has been uncommon for the past several decades. However, vocabulary referring to the figurative "paycheck" does exist in some languages, like German (Gehaltsscheck), partially due to the influence of US popular media but this commonly refers to a payslip or stub rather than an actual check.

Pay slip

A pay stub, paystub, pay slip, pay advice, or sometimes paycheck stub, is a document an employee receives either as a notice that the direct deposit transaction has gone through, or as part of their paycheck. It will typically detail the gross income and all taxes and any other deductions such as retirement plan contributions, insurances, garnishments, or charitable contributions taken out of the gross amount to arrive at the final net amount of the pay, also including the year to date totals in some circumstances.

Payroll card

A payroll card is a plastic card allowing an employee to access their pay by using a debit card. A payroll card can be more convenient than using a check casher, because it can be used at participating automatic teller machines to withdraw cash, or in retail environments to make purchases. Some payroll cards are cheaper than payday loans available from retail check cashing stores, but others are not. Most payroll cards will charge a fee if used at an ATM more than once per pay period.
The payroll card account usually is held as a single account in the employer's name. That account holds the payroll funds for all employees using the payroll card system. Some payroll card programs establish a separate account for each employee, but others do not.

Payroll Professionals

In Canada Payroll Professionals are Certified by the Canadian Payroll Association. They are qualified as either 'Payroll Compliance Practitioners (PCP)' or as 'Certified Payroll Managers(CPM)'.
In the United States Payroll Professionals are Certified by the American Payroll Association. They are designated as Fundamental Payroll Consultant (FPC) or Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) after passing the appropriate certification exam.
Upon completion of the required course material and with continuing education and membership fees the person is then entitled to the post-nominal letters associated with their current level of accomplishment.
In the United Kingdom, payroll professionals are represented by the Institute of Payroll Professionals.


Payroll warrants look like checks and clear through the banking system like checks, but are not drawn against cleared funds in a deposit account. Instead they are drawn against "available funds" that are not in the bank so the issuer can collect interest on the float. In the US, warrants are issued by government entities such as the military and state and county governments. Warrants are issued for payroll to individuals and for accounts payable to vendors. Technically a warrant is not payable on demand and may not be negotiable.Glossary of Accounting Terms Deposited warrants are routed to a collecting bank which processes them as collection items like maturing treasury bills and presents the warrants to the government entity's Treasury Department for payment each business day.
In the UK, warrants are issued as payment by the NS&I when a Premium Bond is chosen.

See also

payroll in Spanish: Nómina
payroll in Hebrew: תלוש משכורת
payroll in Russian: Расчётный лист
payroll in Serbian: Плата

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

base pay, compensation, dismissal wage, earnings, escalator clause, escalator plan, financial remuneration, gross income, guaranteed annual wage, hire, income, living wage, minimum wage, net income, pay, pay and allowances, payment, portal-to-portal pay, purchasing power, real wages, remuneration, salary, severance pay, sliding scale, take-home, take-home pay, taxable income, total compensation, wage, wage control, wage freeze, wage reduction, wage rollback, wage scale, wages, wages after deductions, wages after taxes
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