Payroll is a financial record of salary and benefits provided to an employee. This is one of the more complex transactions in terms of accounting, simply because there are many different deductions and matching payments to be made to various tax authorities and health insurance and other vendors.
Payroll is an expense. Deductions may have to be stored in a short term liability account. This is useful for things such as taxes, which may be paid to the government at a different time from paying employee salaries.