Payroll Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Decorah

Website Luther College

The Payroll Specialist is responsible for timely and accurate preparation and production of all campus payrolls and associated reporting.

1. Payment of salaries and wages:

  • Proofs employee master file for correct department, wage, social security number and W-4 information.
  • Processes contracts for salaried employees and computes new faculty/staff benefit levels.
  • Verifies accuracy of timecards.
  • Prepares bi-weekly payroll for non-exempt staff and students and monthly payrolls for exempt faculty and staff.
  • Proofs payroll register containing tax and deduction information.
  • Proofs salary changes, as needed, and manages salary accruals when applicable.
  • Administers irregular payments related to summer camps, grant funded projects, and benefits subject to employment taxes.
  • Reconciles completed payroll files prior to disbursement.

2. Deductions:

  • Obtains and maintains data to create necessary payroll deductions including supplemental life insurance, flexible benefits, dental insurance, accounts receivable, rent payments, payroll advances, and garnishments.
  • Manages deduction changes as needed.
  • Utilizes spreadsheets to reconcile dental and flexible benefit programs.

3. Payroll-Related External Payments:

  • Makes tax payments as required by law including FICA/Medicare, federal withholding, and state withholding.
  • Verifies accuracy of contributions for health savings accounts, flex health, and flex dependent care. Submits payments for these benefits to third-party administrators.
  • Administers all Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) and
  • Roth Annuity payroll deductions and monthly billings.
  • Reviews laws affecting TDA and Roth contributions and calculates maximum contributions allowable by law.
  • Manages TIAA CREF retirement plan employer contributions due each month for participating employees.
  • Ensures that employees are added to the retirement plan when appropriate and contributions are calculated accurately.

4. Payroll Reporting:

  • Gathers data to create and distribute payroll reports as needed. Reports include payroll specific reports, quarterly reports, W-2 reports, and departmental reports as requested.
  • Provides information to external auditors in conjunction with the annual financial statement audit, federal funds single audit, 403(b) retirement plant audit, and worker’s compensation audit.
  • Works with Information Technology Services to create reports that will generate data necessary to complete regular payroll tasks and special projects as requested.

5. Research:

  • Conducts research regarding employment regulations as set forth by entities such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor.
  • Advises management in the process of determining compensation arrangements that consider Fair Labor Standards Act requirements as well as tax reporting and withholding implications.
  • Models tax withholding and benefit deduction scenarios as requested by management.

6. Other duties as assigned:

  • Assists with customer service in the Human Resources (HR) office. This responsibility includes coordinating breaks and time off with HR employees, answering HR phone calls, and assisting HR office visitors.
  • Performs reconciliations of various general ledger accounts and researches any imbalances.


Education: Associates degree required. Bachelor’s degree preferred.

Experience: Three to five years of payroll experience with proven ability to keep up-to-date on IRS payroll regulations pertaining to both US residents and nonresidents for tax purposes.

Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual must:

    • Be able to utilize Colleague database software, Glacier nonresident alien tax software, and Business Objects reporting software to satisfactorily perform each essential duty.
    • Ability to utilize Microsoft Excel and read/write advanced Excel formulas is required.
    • Must be able to manage time effectively by prioritizing tasks, organizing information from many sources, and identifying problems early in the payroll process in order to meet tight payroll deadlines.
    • Must be able to read, analyze, and interpret payroll periodicals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.
    • Ability to cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of the college


Physical Demands:

  • Sedentary work: involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time; includes exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or the ability to lift, carry, push or pull, or otherwise move objects with a negligible amount of force.
  • Work Environment: Pleasant, smoke free, air conditioned in summer and comfortably warm in winter.


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