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

Senior Payroll Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Performs duties necessary for the accurate calculation of wages, maintenance of records and distribution of payroll reports and withheld monies. Acts as a resource and provides leadership to Payroll Specialists.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is second in a series of three classifications. Incumbents are distinguished from the Payroll Specialist by performing advanced technical work in a specialized area of payroll, make independent judgments within established limits, and have some lead responsibilities.

Examples of Duties:

  • Acts as a subject matter expert and/or resource to others in the area of payroll processing.
  • Reviews, analyzes and verifies payroll reports and documents for accuracy; makes necessary adjustments or corrections through journal entries or other established procedures.
  • Analyzes and responds to complex matters requiring comprehensive knowledge of payroll policies and procedures; authorizes exceptions to the policy within defined limits.
  • Researches and interprets a variety of complex technical information in response to inquiries.
  • Advises, interprets and provides direction to management and staff on university rules and procedures, Federal, state and local laws and regulations involving payroll.
  • Authorizes, reviews and/or enters payroll transactions and related data; completes appropriate forms to adjust wage/salary account funds or to correct/balance a special situation.
  • Researches, analyzes and resolves difficult or advanced technical problems or questions presented by co-workers, faculty, staff, students, and/or outside agency representatives
  • Prepares and files a variety of local, state and federal forms including, but not limited to: NRA tax forms, monthly, quarterly and year end filings; responds to outside agency requests for production.
  • Recommends or participates in the development of new procedures and policies related to payroll operations; assists coordinate approved changes within payroll processing system; updates affected policy/procedure manuals.
  • 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 and/or update information regarding payroll policies and procedures, state and federal regulations and laws; tracks progress of specialized work projects or department functions.
  • Responds verbally or in writing to inquiries, complaints or problems and makes necessary adjustments of a non-routine nature.
  • Coordinates and interacts with federal and state agencies on specialized issues pertaining to employee compensation and deductions.
  • Initiates payroll processing quality assurance reviews; identifies training issues and/or problem prone processes to ensure optimal efficiency and error-free operations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of payroll principles, practices, regulations and procedures.
  • Knowledge of basic accounting practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge of applicable state and federal payroll and related tax regulations, legislation and guidelines including, but not limited to: writs of garnishment, child support, levies, subpoenas, non-resident alien and U.S. tax treaties.
  • Knowledge of the practice, methods and techniques of process improvement.
  • Skill in evaluating and analyzing technical payroll activities.
  • Skill in both verbal and written communication.
  • Skill in preparing detailed reports.
  • Skill in performing detailed computations.
  • Skill in leading the work activities of others.

Minimum Qualifications:

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


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