Job Title: Payroll Specialist

Job Location: San Diego

Employer Website:

Job Description:

Overview of the Accounting Division

SANDAG has great pride in being a fiscally responsible public agency and has implemented rigorous accounting processes and financial reporting procedures to monitor expenses, encumbrances, grant funds, and project budgets and accurately document various types of financial transactions. SANDAG has been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

The Accounting Division has a role in supporting all agency programs through functions such as accounts payable/receivable, payroll, and cash receipts through to cash flow analysis, debt management, and financial reporting. The Payroll team plays an important role in supporting employees by ensuring accuracy of wage and salary information, deductions, benefits, and garnishments. The team is highly regarded for their ability to maintain an exceptional level of accuracy and for providing outstanding customer service.

Payroll Specialist Role

The Payroll Specialist will perform accounting and administrative duties including preparing and processing bi-weekly payroll, auditing payroll reports, processing tax forms, performing data entry, preparing account reconciliations, setting up voluntary deductions, and resolving payroll issues.

Job Responsibilities

This position is ideal for an experienced payroll professional with a strong interest in furthering their expertise in the accounting and finance field. We anticipate career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:

Process a variety of payroll documents in an automated payroll system; process time and attendance of employees, overtime, paid time off, and leaves of absence; record entries to the payroll system; calculate accruals and verify totals; prepare manual, supplemental, and payout checks as needed.
Calculate and process special payroll transactions such as retroactive pay adjustments, garnishments, voluntary deductions, retirement deductions, income tax withholding requirements, and payroll-related invoices.
Prepare and process online deferred compensation, retirement, and flexible spending account reports; prepare and process management reports, spreadsheets, and summaries on a regular basis including salary history and labor distribution reports using automated accounting software or Excel.
Reconcile payroll account balances such as payroll clearing, deferred compensation, and other payroll related general ledger accounts; prepare payroll-related journal entries; ensure proper documentation for all withholdings and deductions; process payments.
Review personnel/payroll records to verify names, rates of pay, addresses, tax information, deductions, benefit information, and occupations of newly hired employees.
Research payroll inquiries from employees; respond to inquiries regarding payroll processes; provide guidance and training for new employees entering time and attendance into an automated payroll system.
Process work in a manner that results in a complete and evident audit trail; assist in preparing comprehensive and accurate documentation of transactions and adjustments; maintain complete files and records and ensure that all documentation is filed appropriately.
Assist with maintaining accurate payroll data by reviewing payroll records and timecards, performing appropriate adjustments, and balancing and reconciling transactions in accordance with standard practices.
Provide support to the Senior Accountant in completing payroll operations for ensuring timely and accurate bi-weekly payroll generation.
Assist in the preparation of agency records for annual financial and compliance audits and for audits conducted by various governmental agencies.
Assist in ongoing maintenance of automated accounting systems; participate in the development and implementation of new procedures related to payroll systems/operations.
Perform a variety of general administrative support work; establish and maintain payroll files; assist with special projects and tasks as assigned.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate who is detail-oriented, organized, and committed to providing professional and prompt service. Excellent communication and customer service skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to use sound judgment and confidentiality when working with employees are essential to this position.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent and one to five years of recent experience providing support for accounting and payroll functions, preferably with a government-related organization. A designation as a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP), and/or specialized training or college level course work in accounting, business, finance, or a related field is desirable.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position.

Demonstrated experience performing payroll duties for a mid-sized organization including processing payroll, auditing payroll reports, processing tax forms, and setting up voluntary deductions; experience using accounting software to process payroll including data entry, analysis, and report generation.
Demonstrated knowledge of the principles and techniques involved in payroll administration and payroll related accounting practices; awareness of state and federal laws related to payroll practices, record keeping, retirement funds, and garnishments.
Ability to prepare clear, concise, and accurate payroll statements, reports, and written materials; ability to analyze data and draw logical conclusions.
Ability to accurately research, reconcile, and compile payroll information; ability to produce meaningful summary reports and spreadsheets from compiled data.
Proficiency with file and record management to include hard copy and electronic file records maintenance; ability to keep accurate payroll records with complete, auditable, files and records.
Demonstrated data-entry experience using automated financial accounting software applications; ability to type at a speed necessary for successful job performance.
Excellent customer service skills, including strong communication skills; demonstrated ability to establish, maintain, and foster cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
Effective time management and organizational skills and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks in order to ensure timely processing; ability to exercise good judgment, confidentiality, and work independently.
Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and with frequent interruptions from telephone calls and employees.
Knowledge of audit principles and practices; experience supporting payroll audits.
Ability to perform accurate mathematical computations; reconcile differences; ability to review payroll data for accuracy.
Demonstrated computer software proficiency using the Microsoft Office Suite, conducting research on the Internet, and other PC-based applications; experience using payroll software such as Ceridian is preferred.
The selected candidate can anticipate a driving record check upon hire, and approximately annually thereafter. The results of the check may determine whether the selected candidate will be permitted to drive for SANDAG business.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

This Payroll Specialist position will be filled at the I, II, or III level depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Positions at the Specialist I and II level are considered entry-level with job duties primarily related to learning and supporting payroll activities. At the III level, employees are expected to independently coordinate more complex payroll functions.

The annual salary ranges are: Specialist I – $35,235 to $54,614 per year; Specialist II – $37,380 to $57,940 per year; Specialist III – $41,212 to $63,878 per year.

Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. To support the need to rest and rejuvenate, SANDAG offers flexible work schedules and employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG website. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply webpage for additional information.

This position is Open until Filled. The first review of applications will begin on Friday, August 16, 2019.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons who require assistance in order to apply for a position at SANDAG. Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability during any stage of the recruitment and selection process, including requesting this document and related application materials in an alternative format, should make their needs known by contacting Human Resources at (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), fax (619) 699-6905, or

Application Supplement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 200 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Questions

The following is a hypothetical situation. It is pay day and you have discovered an employee has been short paid by two hours on their bi-weekly pay check due to an error in the timecard. Describe the steps you would take to remedy the situation.
Provide an example of when you had to help an upset employee or customer while communicating payroll related information. What steps did you take to help resolve the situation?

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the first review date for applications, all candidates will receive written confirmation that their application was received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the close date. The best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.

Further Information

The SANDAG website contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Link or email to apply:

Apply by date: 08/16/2019