USC Human Resources Administration

Job code: 113218Senior Payroll Specialist

Grade: J |Overtime eligible: Yes |Date approved: August 2, 2007


Serves a senior leadership role in the planning and delivery of payroll services. Leads staff in a wide variety of tasks related to the set-up, processing, taxation, preparation, direct deposit and delivery of payroll checks for faculty, staff and students and stipend checks for non-resident alien students. Serves as payroll liaison to assigned home departments.


Priority Time (%) Task (Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.)

% Has responsibility as a lead to provide guidance and direction to payroll staff members and student workers regarding the set-up, processing, taxation, preparation, direct deposit and delivery of payroll check requests for faculty, staff and students and stipend checks for non-resident alien students.

% Schedules and assigns work. Demonstrates techniques and/or procedures to others. Provides input to performance appraisals.

% Leads payroll specialist(s) with on-line processing of "out of system" payroll check requests. Audits calculations for termination documents and final checks.

% Provides service to assigned home departments. Answers policy and procedure questions for payroll staff, home departments and university employees. Investigates and resolves complex payroll problems according to FLSA, California State Wage and Labor Code, Immigration and IRS regulations and university policy and procedures. Assists Payroll Supervisor to train Payroll Processors and Home Department Coordinators in the use of on-line applications as needed.

% Sorts, prioritizes, reviews for accuracy and processes incoming payroll/personnel documents.

% Audits I-9 documents to ensure compliance with immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) requirements. Follows up on problem I-9's, notifies Home Department Coordinators and Senior Business Officers of all I-9 violations.

% Prepares and processes payroll documents for non-resident aliens in accordance with Federal INS and IRS regulations. Updates system according to tax treaties and keeps payroll staff and home departments informed of all tax treaty changes. Handles all calendar year end processes for non-resident aliens such as form renewals, treaty reviews, tax reviews, etc.

% Coordinates final audit for all hand drawn checks to ensure compliance with university policy and state and federal law. Ensures and adheres to established controls in regard to hand drawn checks. Pulls checks and advice slips for special routing and handling.

% Processes new hire packages, exceptions, transfers and promotions. Inputs information to online system to establish taxation status. Researches missing documentation and discrepancies and coordinates with payroll staff to make necessary changes and updates. Reviews new hire paperwork from payroll staff and home departments for accuracy and missing documentation.

% Verifies and updates direct deposit applications, pre-notifications and changes in check depositions.

% Assists with College Work Study (CWSP) certification process.

% Maintains records and statistics for all payroll processes such as IRCA, direct deposit, stop payments, bank reconciliations, etc. Prepares periodic reports for management as needed.
Emergency response/recovery:    
In the event of an emergency, the employee holding this position is required to "report to duty" in accordance with the university's emergency operations plan and/or the employee's department's emergency response and/or recovery plans. Familiarity with those plans and regular training to implement those plans is required. During or immediately following an emergency, the employee will be notified to assist in the emergency response efforts, and mobilize other staff members if needed.


Minimum education Preferred education
High school or equivalent Associate's degree
Minimum experiencePreferred experience
3 years 4 years
Minimum field of expertise Preferred field of expertise
Payroll services experience. Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Answer telephones
  • Assemble and organize numerical data
  • Balance figures
  • Communicate with others to gather information
  • Compute totals
  • Coordinate work of others
  • Edit routine documents
  • Gather and input data
  • Maintain filing systems
  • Prioritize different projects
  • Read handwritten text
  • Research information
  • Understand and apply policies and procedures
  • Use database and/or word processing software
  • Verify calculations
  • Write memorandums for own signature
  • Other

  • Knowledge of applicable laws/policies/principles/etc.
  • Leadership/guidance skills
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Problem identification and resolution
  • Teaching/training
  • Calculator
  • Computer and peripheral equipment
  • Computer network (department or school)
  • Computer network (university)
  • Fax
  • Photocopier
Supervises level
  • Leads one or more employees performing similar work
  • May oversee student, temporary and/or casual workers


Employee: Date:
Supervisor: Date:

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer