Building trust, retaining talent: The power of payroll professionalism

Timely and accurate pay is a non-negotiable payroll standard, says Steven Van Alstine of the National Payroll Institute

Building trust, retaining talent: The power of payroll professionalism

This article was provided by the National Payroll Institute.

When it comes to business operations, there are few functions as essential as payroll. It’s at the heart of every business and is the lifeline of the workforce.

For employees, timely and accurate compensation isn't just a matter of financial stability-- it's a testament to their value within the organization. It fosters a sense of trust and loyalty, contributing to a positive workplace culture.

According to a recent study from the National Payroll Institute, 75 per cent of Canadians say their paycheque is their primary motivation for going to work each day. Unsurprisingly, more than four in five Canadians would stop working if their job stopped paying them.

In today’s competitive job market where talent retention has become an increased challenge, ensuring accurate payroll is not just good practice— it's a strategic imperative for organizations looking to retain the best talent.

Recognizing the impact that payroll has on the overall health of an organization, in 2023 The National Payroll Institute sought to further raise the bar for professionalism by introducing Payroll Standards Canada, a self-regulating body for the payroll profession in Canada.

Just like other trusted professions – doctors, lawyers or accountants, for example – belonging to a professional body means practices are held to a high standard. It instills trust that practitioners are well-educated and accredited to handle and advise on sensitive information. 

Payroll demands the same degree of professionalism.

Payroll professionals who have earned and maintained the Payroll Compliance Professional (PCP) or the Payroll Leadership Professional (PLP), Canada’s only payroll designations, demonstrate a high degree of knowledge and expertise.

Payroll Standards Canada oversees the administration of these designations by setting the requirements for achieving and retaining them. This ensures that those who hold their PCP or PLP meet the standards for education and ongoing professionalism. Designated members are expected to adhere to the professional Code of Conduct, remain a member in good standing with the National Payroll Institute, and keep their knowledge current through continuing professional education on an annual basis.


Steven Van Alstine, Vice President of Professional Standards and Education at the National Payroll Institute

“Knowing the integral role that payroll plays in organizations, we felt strongly that instituting a professional body, would be another leap forward in the National Payroll Institute’s mission to advance the payroll profession,” says Steven Van Alstine, Vice President of Professional Standards and Education at the National Payroll Institute. “While payroll is not a regulated industry, employers greatly benefit from the expertise and professionalism our PCP and PLP holders possess. Payroll is simply too important to an organization’s health to entrust to anyone but the very best – someone with a PCP or PLP.”  

Payroll Standards Canada also maintains a public registry with over 17,000 listed designated payroll professionals. The searchable registry confirms that those listed have completed the academic and practical requirements to earn a payroll designation and continue to meet the rigorous standards to maintain that designation.

Payroll Standards Canada not only benefits employers and individual practitioners, it also elevates the reputation of the payroll profession as a whole. More and more businesses are making payroll designation a requirement for all posted payroll positions.  

With 77 per cent of Canadians stating they would notice if their pay was incorrect within two days, timely and accurate pay is non-negotiable when it comes to building and maintaining employee trust.

Rebecca Logan, Marketing Communications Specialist, National Payroll Institute

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