Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Payroll Specialist

  • Title: Payroll Specialist
  • Class: Classified
  • Exempt Status: Non-Exempt
  • Grade: 19

Job Summary

Under the direction of financial services management, performs a variety of duties necessary for the accurate and timely processing of biweekly and monthly payroll throughout the college district. Ensures accuracy in employees’ pay and withholding balances, audits necessary payroll related reports and maintains appropriate payroll records. May specialize in one or more payroll related expense and liability accounts, and performs associated general ledger entries. Handles sensitive and confidential information ensuring compliance with college policies, union contracts and state and federal legal requirements.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Payroll Specialist is distinguished from the Lead Payroll Specialist in that the senior level position provides direction and assistance to department staff regarding payroll processes, coordinates department workload, maintains the monthly work calendar and completes quarterly and yearly multi-state tax reports.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Calculates pay for various employee groups and individuals assigned to multiple job classifications in strict accordance to union contracts, government wage and hour laws, and college policy. Calculations include regular pay, overtime (including weighted average) and annualized salaries. Verifies and maintains pay records and leave balances.
  2. Processes payroll using online input, desktop and third party web based applications. Manually enters and edits documents as necessary.
  3. Maintains payroll deductions in accordance with union contracts, college policy and legal requirements. Deductions include, but are not limited to garnishments, insurance adjustments and refunds, and PERS. Performs billing and balances monthly payable and receivable accounts for remittance of payroll taxes and deductions. Resolves complex payroll issues as necessary.
  4. Provides customer service to college staff/student employees and outside agencies upon request. Communicates technical and confidential information and responds to requests for clarification and interpretation of data.
  5. Prepares journal entries and labor distribution for general ledger under fund accounting system. Completes correspondence, agency forms and reports. Audits payroll programs and internal accounts.
  6. Calculates and prepares unscheduled manually issued checks, gross to net. Completes input documents to update employee year-to-date records.
  7. Determines employee eligibility for state retirement program and completes all subsequent functions from initial employee notification to annual reconciliations. Researches information for retirement including compiling and maintaining employee information, records and plan contributions using PERS EDX software.
  8. Maintains accurate and organized files and records in compliance with college policy and state and federal regulations.
  9. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent; one year of college level accounting or formal training in payroll; three years of work experience in payroll processing with knowledge of tax withholding, accounting practices and mathematical calculations. Relevant work experience will substitute for college level training on a year-for-year basis. Strong verbal and written communication skills; detail oriented; able to apply complex salary, compensation and record keeping criteria in processing payroll. Ability to analyze and interpret data for accuracy. Must be proficient in use of computers, including familiarity with spreadsheet and word processing software. Proficient in use of 10-key calculator is required.

Work Environment and Physical Requirements

Work is performed in a standard office environment where work pressure, disturbances of workflow and/or irregularities in work schedule are expected and occur on an intermittent basis. Subject to severe penalties regarding non-compliance with strict timelines imposed by external agencies and union contracts. Changes in performance environment require occasional upgrading of skills. Minimal physical exertion is generally required. Learned physical skill is required to perform keyboarding and 10-key functions. Exposure to video display terminals.

Reviewed: 12/18

  • Revised: 02/11
  • Replaces: 04/09