Course Title: Establish and maintain payroll systems

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C4398 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping

Course Title: Establish and maintain payroll systems

Portfolio: BUS Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 45

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T Vocational Business Education

Face-to-Face or Internet

Term1 2019,
Term2 2019,
Term1 2020,
Term2 2020,
Term1 2021,
Term2 2021

Course Contact: Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to record and prepare payroll documentation, respond to enquiries, and process payroll data for manual and computerised systems.

It applies to individuals, including BAS agents, who use a range of organisational and other specialist techniques. They may work directly for organisations or be small business owners, contractors or service providers.

Work functions in the occupational areas where this unit may be used are subject to regulatory requirements. This unit is designed to meet the education requirements of the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB). Refer to the FNS Financial Services Training Package Companion Volume Implementation Guide or the relevant regulator for specific guidance on regulatory requirements.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

FNSTPB402 Establish and maintain payroll systems


1. Establish payroll requirements

2. Record payroll data

3. Prepare and process payroll

4. Handle payroll enquiries

5. Maintain payroll

Learning Outcomes

Overview of Assessment

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to:

  • identify, calculate and input data from time-recording systems for payments into manual or computerised payroll systems
  • produce a payroll report according to organisational and legislative requirements
  • present a payroll report for verification and approval
  • maintain records according to organisational and legislative requirements that relate to security and confidentiality of information.


Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided at least once.


Knowledge Evidence

The candidate must be able to demonstrate the following knowledge to effectively complete the tasks outlined in the elements and performance criteria of this unit, and to manage tasks and reasonably foreseeable contingencies in the context of the work role.

  • Scope of services offered by a business activity statement (BAS) agent providing payroll services
  • Key principles of award and enterprise agreements and industrial instruments required to maintain payroll systems
  • Organisational policy and procedures that affect payroll, including the structure of authority in organisations
  • Industry codes of practice relevant to payroll operations
  • Key features of manual and computerised payroll systems
  • Legislative and record-keeping requirements from all levels of government that affect business operation and reporting requirements, especially in regard to:
  • Fair Work Act
  • National Employment Standards
  • Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act
  • corporations law
  • workers compensation and work health and safety
  • state payroll tax relating to payroll activities
  • Privacy Act and requirements relating to confidentiality and security of records
  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
  • Medicare levy
  • Tax Agent Services Act (TASA)
  • current commonwealth, state and territory industry and modern awards, and enterprise bargaining agreements
  • individual employment agreements
  • commonwealth, state and territory leave Acts, including annual, personal, paid parental and long service
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Act
  • Current Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requirements relating to payroll systems, including:
  • Australian business number (ABN)
  • payment summaries
  • employment termination payments (ETPs)
  • tax file number (TFN) declaration
  • Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) requirements relating to payroll systems, including:
  • registration and scope of services documentation requirements for BAS agents
  • code of professional conduct
  • Key requirements of taxation law relating to payroll systems, including:
  • pay as you go instalment (PAYGI) tax
  • pay as you go withholding (PAYGW) tax
  • fringe benefits tax (FBT) as it relates to salary packaging
  • Key aspects of routine and non-routine requirements for payroll, including:
  • routine: award payments, salary amount, salary packaging, superannuation guarantee and superannuation reporting
  • non-routine: termination payments and superannuation guarantee charge


Assessment Conditions

Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance of typical activities experienced in the bookkeeping field of work and include access to:

  • office equipment, technology, software and consumables required to establish and maintain a payroll system, including:
  • workplace reference materials, such as procedural manuals and organisational policy
  • actual or simulated payroll data.


Assessors of this unit must satisfy the assessor requirements in applicable vocational education and training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.


This unit is designed to meet the education requirements of the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB). Where registration with the TPB is sought, assessment must reflect the conditions described by the regulator which stipulate that a significant amount (at least 40%) must be completed under some form of independent supervision. Where recognition of prior learning (RPL) is used, it must also meet the requirements of the Board s policy on RPL.

Details of requirements can be accessed on the TPB website at <>;.

If undertaking this unit for BAS agent registration, the following items in the Range of Conditions must be addressed in the assessment to meet educational requirements for registration with the TPB:

  • payroll preparation
  • payroll records.

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions.  You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed. Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.