Brown University — Payroll Operations Specialist

Job Description:

The Payroll Operations Specialist is responsible for assisting the Payroll Manager and Assistant Payroll Manager to ensure all payroll functions are carried out effectively and timely.  This includes, but is not limited to, assisting with the following:  entering adjustments and corrections, researching and resolving employee payment discrepancies, payroll processing and on demand check requests, wage attachments, Workday update testing, annual escheatment processing, and maintaining payroll reports.  This position requires a strong attention to detail, the ability to multi-task and provide outstanding customer service to the University community.

Major Responsibility:   In conjunction with the Payroll Manager and Assistant Payroll Manager complete payroll processes and on demand payments. – 35%

Supporting Actions:

  • Assist with workflow process to ensure that all payroll transactions are processed accurately and timely
  • Comply with regulatory standards and University policy/payroll procedures
  • Assist with daily tasks relating to auditing and analyzing payroll data and identifying and resolving discrepancies with proper application of gross-to-net calculations for non-exempt and exempt payrolls
  • Assist with entry of manual payroll adjustments to employee records and auditing for FLSA retro corrections as needed
  • Research payroll compliance issues and escalate to UHR or other central departments as needed
  • Final audit of on-demand payments and adjustments
  • Prepare and process manual payments as needed
  • Understand and perform proper employee and employer tax calculations
  • Coordinate with UHR Benefits to apply proper taxation of employer paid benefits
  • Notify timekeepers of employees with time entered not submitted prior to payroll deadline
  • Participate in peer audit/review of payroll work being processed by team members and collaboratively communicate issues and solutions as appropriate
  • Escalate complex issues that cannot be resolved with the standard work process
  • Process stop payments and reissues as needed
  • Initiate inbound and outbound payroll integrations
  • Assist with the research and resolution of integration issues
  • Calculate and settle payroll
  • Research and resolve outstanding calculation and settlement issues
  • Review final audit reports
  • Sort and distribute payroll checks as needed

The above will result in:

  • All payroll adjustments are recorded properly.
  • The entire payroll process is completed and finalized in order to pay employees timely and accurately.
  • Compliance with University, State and Federal policies and procedures.

Major Responsibility:  Provide high quality customer service to all faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate student employees.  Provide guidance and assistance in handling employee concerns and in solving payroll problems.  Research and resolve employee payment discrepancies. – 25%

Supporting Actions:

  • Independently handle questions from faculty and staff on payroll issues, including tax withholding, W4 processing, direct deposit, over/under payment adjustments, gross to net calculations, and payroll corrections
  • Deal professionally with all staff, faculty, and students while demonstrating knowledge and patience in receiving questions and providing assistance
  • Assist employees and managers with payroll issues and requests for payroll information
  • Assist in monitoring the Payroll Office group email account and all payroll related Google docs
  • Monitor and remedy Help Desk tickets daily to ensure customer service issues are being met
  • Gather sufficient information to determine the cause of any pay discrepancy and advise the employee’s HR Coordinator on how to correct these discrepancies
  • As necessary, consult with the Payroll Manager or Assistant Manager in regards to any employee issue that needs to be escalated

The above will result in:

  • Questions/issues are resolved in a professional and timely manner.
  • Customer service needs are adequately addressed for all University employees.
  • Adjustments are entered and questions regarding adjustments are properly handled.
  • Ensure employee payment errors are resolved efficiently and correctly.

Major Responsibility:  Process court ordered wage attachments, union dues and other miscellaneous deductions. – 15%

Supporting Actions:

  • Facilitate wage garnishment process including ensuring all Workday related steps are properly executed
  • Interpret legal paperwork received to ensure proper withholding orders and follow up with the Office of General Counsel as needed
  • Create, review, and submit all agency invoices to the Accounts Payable office for agency payments withheld.
  • Audit all garnishments to ensure proper recording and payment

The above will result in:

  • Timely and accurate compliance with employee withholding orders that are in compliance with federal and state law.

Major Responsibility:    Workday System and EIB’s – 10%

Supporting Actions:

  • Assist in testing within Workday Sandbox during system upgrades
  • Assist with Workday and other system enhancement testing
  • Provide support for Workday issues by documenting known problems and raising them to a higher level if needed
  • Provide assistance to employees and departments on the use of employee self-service in Workday and payroll related job aids
  • Prepare, load and audit EIB batch payroll input

The above will result in:

  • Proper testing of any and all Workday upgrades.
  • EIBs loaded into the system accurately reflect the required payroll information.

Major Responsibility:    Stale Dated Checks and State Escheatment Processing – 10%

Supporting Actions:

  • Maintain stale dated check list year round and reconcile with the Accounting department
  • Research and send required letters per state escheatment laws
  • Audit the final escheat file and submit to the state
  • Prepare follow up emails to the Accounting department to ensure proper posting of the escheat file, as needed

The above will result in:

  • University compliance with state escheat laws

Major Responsibility:   Maintaining Payroll office reports – 5%

Supporting Actions:

  • Maintain Union Dues reconciliation report
  • Maintain garnishment reconciliation report
  • Review and reconcile ADP funding invoices and credits received
  • Review and run necessary departmental deduction reports and submit to department owners

The above will result in:

  • Data input problems identified on audit reports are resolved.
  • Departments relying on data deduction reports receive timely information.

Decisions Position is Free to Make

  • Scheduling priorities outside of the payroll processing structure
  • Research payroll problems and take corrective action
  • Contact department Timekeepers and HR Coordinators to ask questions or provide assistance


  • The Payroll Office provides service to approximately 8,000 employees.
  • Approximately 11,000 W2’s are issued annually.
  • First-line support to all departments and employees regarding payroll problems.
  • 7 -9 payrolls processed each month.

Qualifications and Competencies

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance preferred, with 2-4 years of related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent math skills
  • Excellent Microsoft Excel and Word skills
  • Workday experience.
  • Knowledge of Google Sheets and Google Docs.

Job Competencies

  • Excellent customer relation and communication skills.
  • Ability to handle a number of tasks simultaneously in an environment where regular interruptions are normal.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritizing and organizing the workload to meet constant deadlines.
  • Ability to work within a team structure and cross train within the Payroll Office.

Additional physical demands and working conditions:

  • Meeting payroll deadlines is essential to the well-being of all University employees.  Working in the Payroll Office requires a commitment that deadlines be met and that paychecks be delivered on time.
  • At times this requires that Payroll Office employees expend extra effort, work additional hours, or stay open when other offices may close in order to fulfill this objective.  It is important that the individual in this position understand and be committed to the Payroll Office objectives.
  • This position requires a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Finance Division

Background Checks: Criminal and Education Verification

In order to maintain 90% or greater universal vaccination rates on campus, all newly hired employees at Brown University must receive the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they begin work, unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption. For more information, please visit the Healthy Brown site. 

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Payroll Operations Specialist

Office of the Controller

Grade 8

Worker Type:

Worker Sub-Type:

Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Classification:
Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Vaccination Requirements:
In order to maintain 90% or greater universal vaccination rates on campus, all newly hired employees at Brown University must receive the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they begin work, unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption. All employees must also receive a COVID-19 booster within thirty (30) days of becoming eligible. For more information, please visit the Healthy Brown site.

Still Have Questions?
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EEO Statement:
Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

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