Case Study

“A team member would come to me and say ‘Trina can I ask you something about my pay’ and my heart would sink…”

Trina Panasuik from Aged Concern Canterbury went from absolutely dreading questions from staff about their pay, to confidently being able to explain complicated situations, like Annual Leave calculations upon returning from Parental Leave and how extra pays are taxed.

“Payroll was the one part of my job I never felt very comfortable in.   I talked to my boss about it and said if there was any opportunity to do some payroll training that I would love to do it, because I just didn’t feel I could explain things clearly and confidently to the team when they had queries about their pay.  When information on the Small Business Training Hub Payroll Essentials course happened to pop up on my Facebook feed I did a bit of research and looked at the reviews and realised it was exactly what I needed.  My boss didn’t hesitate to let me do it – and it was absolutely worth every penny”.

Trina will tell you that everybody can get something out of the Payroll Essentials Course run by Small Business Training Hub, a division of Ontrack Bookkeeping.

The course is run in an online live classroom environment, with workbooks provided before each session on what is going to be discussed that day.

Trina with her Payroll Bibles
Trina with her Payroll Bibles

“I thought it was really good how it was delivered in an online environment but classroom style.  Having that small group of students was so invaluable, because you could ask questions as they came up during the sessions and learn from other students questions also. Di was really good at letting us get to the core of our understanding and used some of our own real life examples.

I’ve got a specific bookshelf with what I call my ‘Payroll Bibles’ which are the workbooks we were provided with each session.  I refer back to these quite often in my everyday life”.

Covering all the essential information you need to know to understand NZ payroll legislation, the course, run by Certified Payroll Leader Di Crawford-Errington, covers all the top topics including:

  • Leave Calculations
  • Allowances
  • Bonuses
  • Extra Pays
  • Parental Leave
  • Privacy Act
  • and so much more..


What were any breakthrough moments in your learning?

“I think the biggest breakthrough moment for me is to not rely on the payroll system getting it right. A couple of months priorto starting at my current workplace they had changed payroll systems and I’d never used this system before.   I just assumed what was there would be right. After I had completed the Payroll Essentials training course and the additional Leave Tracking workshop, we actually went through and checked everybody’s leave balances and we found so many errors, particularly with the sick leave balances.

We would never had known about them if I hadn’t done the course.

That’s my biggest takeaway – do not rely on the system being right, because it is only as good as what’s been entered prior. Such an eye opener to see how many mistakes were in employee’s leave, generally in the employee’s favour”.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking this course?

“Absolutely do it. There is so much to learn that you don’t even know you need to learn, and I think having all the resources at my fingertips we were given is fantastic. I can always go back to review it, it’s all there for me to flick through as I need it. And It’s not just in my job, I’ve used it in my personal life with my own families  pays as well.

It’s nice having that confidence and really knowing what you are talking about and being able to explain everything in layman’s terms. And being an advocate for my children.  You know both of them would have missed out on money if I hadn’t said ‘actually you are entitled to this’ and they could go back to their employers and say this is what I know. It’s the law, and this is what is  covered , the Legislation and Act’s.    You generally don’t know you need to know that stuff because you think your payroll system is going to do it for you, and it doesn’t always.”


If like Trina,  you would like to know you are getting it right, have a look at our 9 week Payroll Essentials training course.

For more information on the courses run by SBTH, check out our information page here or feel free to contact us for more details.

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