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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Payroll Specialist

Payroll Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Maintains and processes payroll records and reports for accounting of salary/wages due, accruals, deductions and other payroll functions. Acts as a resource and provides leadership to subordinates.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is first in a series of three classifications. Incumbents perform duties similar to the Payroll Assistant classification, but are distinguished in that specialists typically are assigned more technical responsibilities, have expertise in most areas of the payroll function to enable them to be a resource to payroll assistants, make independent judgements within established limits and have some lead responsibilities.

Examples of Duties:

  • Reviews, analyzes and checks payroll reports for accuracy and makes necessary adjustments or corrections through journal entries or other established procedure.
  • Completes appropriate forms to adjust wage/salary account funds or to correct or balance a special situation.
  • Researches, analyzes and resolves difficult or technical problems or questions presented by other workers, faculty, staff, students or outside agency representatives using knowledge of common problems and of entire payroll function.
  • Recommends or participates in the development of new procedures and policies related to payroll operations utilizing knowledge of university, state and federal policies and regulations.
  • Compiles financial, tax and payroll reports for both internal and external purpose; submits to supervisor for review.
  • Acts as liaison with staff, faculty, administrators and students in answering questions, providing alternatives and facilitating decision-making.
  • Coordinates schedules and conducts training sessions for departmental payroll representatives to explain payroll policies and procedures, state and federal regulations and laws.
  • Prepares correspondence of a technical nature pertaining to payroll issues.
  • Coordinates and interacts with federal and state agencies on issues pertaining to employee compensation and deductions.
  • Compiles and analyzes payroll data, makes recommendations and determinations and prepares related reports.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of payroll principles, practices, regulations and procedures.
  • Skill in evaluating and analyzing technical payroll activities.
  • Skill in both verbal and written communication.
  • Knowledge of accounting practices and procedures.
  • Skill in preparing detailed reports.
  • Skill in performing detailed computations.

Minimum Qualifications:

Four years of related experience which includes two years of clerical accounting experience; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.


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