Performing payroll accurately and timely is critical to the success of your business, as employees don't usually like to come in if they aren't getting paid correctly. However, the person who handles payroll each week can hold a variety of titles, each with its own set of additional responsibilities.

Business Owner

In many small businesses, the owner takes responsibility to make sure payroll is handled correctly. The owner might also carry the title of president or CEO. This is normally done with the help of financial software that includes a payroll feature, by faxing the information to an accounting professional to create the payroll statements or by subscribing to a payroll service. The owner might ask an assistant to enter the employees' information, such as hours worked and commissions earned, but ultimately, he is in charge of the process and typically signs the checks himself.

Accounting Manager

In the accounting department, the accounting manager can be in charge of producing payroll checks, although he might delegate some of the tasks to an accounting associate or assistant. This makes sense in many small businesses because the payroll information ends up in the accounting department at some point in the form of checks written that must be entered into the financial tracking software. Also, the accounting manager is usually responsible to send and track the employees' withholding tax information.

Human Resources Manager

Because the human resources manager handles the paperwork involved in hiring, training, firing and benefits for all employees, he often takes charge of the payroll as well, keeping all compensation information in one location. He might ask other HR personnel to handle the more automated side of payroll, such as entering the number of hours worked, but he is responsible for the implementation and reporting of the payroll checks.

Payroll Clerk

Not many businesses need a full-time payroll clerk, but a part-time one can be helpful. This person usually handles only payroll issues, although sometimes he handles the withholding tax reporting as well. This could be a retired accountant or someone with the necessary accounting knowledge to understand how payroll is calculated and how to use accounting software. He might enter the information into your financial tracking software as well, and provide payroll reports upon request. Payroll clerks usually need to work only one to two days per week, depending on the size of the company and their payroll duties.