Raylene Murphy, PCP
The City of Whitehorse – Whitehorse, YT
Raylene Murphy is a payroll professional who spent a lot of time working in the profession without realizing it.
“Only in the last five years have I said ‘I work in payroll’,” she says.
Raylene is the Payroll Supervisor for the City of Whitehorse but her journey with both her payroll career and the city has been circuitous. She was born in Nova Scotia, but spent many of her formative years in Alberta. She and her husband moved to Whitehorse in 1989 where they lived until moving back to Nova Scotia in 2004. While on the east coast, she managed a credit union branch full-time while doing bookkeeping and payroll for the construction company she owned with her husband.
Eleven years later, she applied for a short-term contract with City of Whitehorse. “I came back for a seven-month term. That was seven years ago.”
She worked in a variety of departments for Whitehorse until she was asked to help in the payroll department. “Payroll had always been an element of what I did, but then I found out I was really good at it. Through various opportunities, I came to be the Payroll Supervisor.”
Whitehorse has all the amenities of a big city with the feel of a small town, she says, adding that as an employer, the City of Whitehorse maintains the large-small dichotomy. “I love working for the city – it’s like a small business with a larger feel.”
Raylene also loves payroll. “It’s the people element. I work one-on-one with almost every single employee at some point. But I also really like the analytical side.”
The convergence of people and data is engrained in payroll she says, citing the example of a recent amalgamation of two unions. Her data analysis impacted both sides during the negotiations. “I ran all the data to make costing decisions such as how many individuals used different benefits and what the costs were. And now I’m doing rate increases and signing bonuses.”
And the impact of her work Raylene is intrinsically linked to the heart and health of the city she says. “No one thinks about payroll, but it is critical to having road crews, bus drivers and people to run the recreational centre.”
Raylene now helps others see the opportunities offered by the payroll profession. “I have a summer student right now. This is a career she didn’t know existed and she’s eager to learn all about it.”