Business analyst payroll — An overview

Business analyst payroll — More than 185 federal and provincial legislative requirements govern payroll in Canada. Canadian employers, estimated at 1.5 million, find that the payroll system has become too complex. It needs to be analyzed, understood, and adapted by business analysts specializing in payroll. Payroll analysts work mainly for large companies, but can also be found in specialized firms offering their services to smaller businesses. They are rarely self employed.


Payroll analysts are in charge of analyzing payroll business processes, making the required changes and training users on the changes made. They validate the integrity of payroll data and all the steps of the year-end process (e.g. regulatory tax forms, T4s and Relevé 1s, variance analysis).

Main duties 

  • Analyze complex problems related to payroll data
  • Study and prioritize payroll application improvement requests
  • Make recommendations and provide solutions that meet user expectations
  • Conduct tests when implementing a new configuration
  • Identify system impacts when making a change to the configuration, and validate the results
  • Update work procedures in light of the changes made
  • Regularly train users and provide ongoing support
  • Issue operational control reports


Payroll analysts must have a university degree in accounting science or administration. 
Candidates with experience in the implementation of a payroll module or who are members of the Canadian Payroll Association have an advantage.


  • Understand how the human resources department works
  • Be proficient in the use of Office software (e.g. Excel, Word)
  • Keep up with changes in technology
  • Be familiar with payroll modules (e.g. SAP)
  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills


  • Independent and discreet
  • Organized and thorough
  • Team oriented
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills


Salaries vary depending on the province and size of the company.
In Quebec, payroll analysts earn between $45,000 and $55,000 on average. Salaries are higher in Ontario, where a payroll analyst with five years’ experience can make between $85,000 and $95,000.

Career path 

Business analysts begin their careers focusing on information research, interviews and classical analysis. With a few years of experience under their belt, new opportunities arise, and they will be involved in larger, more complex files with an expectation of more thorough analyses. network