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Payroll Specialist/Accountant

Takoma Park, Maryland
Job Title                   Payroll Specialist/Accountant 
FLSA Classification: Exempt
Department:              The Accounting Department
Reports To:                Controller
Date of Posting:        03/15/2023
Washington Adventist University (WAU) is a Christ-centered institution of higher education that supports a culture of excellence where all feel valued.  Nestled in a desirable residential community in Takoma Park, Maryland, WAU offers its faculty and staff an environment where professional expertise is valued and lasting connections between co-workers are formed as we work together to ensure the success of our students.  Regardless of title, every employee supports WAU’s vision of producing graduates who bring moral leadership and competence to their communities.

Washington Adventist University is seeking a highly qualified applicants for their Payroll Specialist/Accountant position.  The Payroll Specialist/Accountant is the member of the Financial Services Division. This person will oversee and manage the payroll functions of the University, ensuring payroll is processed timely, accurately and in compliance with Federal and State employment laws and the University policies and procedures. This person will be responsible for a variety of highly sensitive and confidential payroll information. This person should be able to work both independently and collaboratively while also prioritizing a diverse workload. This position will use the Ellucian  Colleague financial system for both Payroll and General Ledger processing.

Includes the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Job Duties

  • The Payroll Specialist/Accountant is primarily responsible for coordination and management of payroll operations and transactions at the University
  • This position works in conjunction with Human Resources to ensure correct processing, reconciling and verifying data including discrepancies, determining correct account numbers and codes to use in entering payroll transactions into the system.
  • The Payroll Specialist/Accountant will be responsible for filing all payroll related reports such Federal tax, Multi-State taxes, unemployment reports, W-2’s, W- 4’s and 941s. This person will also be responsible to reconcile the quarterly 941reports to the General Ledger.
  • This position will also perform other accounting duties related to payroll including preparing journal entries and entering to the accounting system
  • Collect and review paper and electronic timesheets and process accurate semi-monthly payroll. Maintain and track paid time off (PTO) accruals and other leave programs and check for accuracy
  • Verify all amounts both before and after payroll checks are processed on the computer
  • Must maintain accurate employee information in the payroll software program to include contract amounts, payroll deductions, fringe benefits, vacations etc.
  • Provide information and clarification for any employee and student questions related to timesheets, salary calculations, and leave balances, tax withholdings and payroll deductions.
  • Participate in internal and external audits. Assist external Auditors with payroll related matters and reports
  • Development and review current payroll policies and procedures in accordance with generally accepted principles.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance, or Business Administration from an accredited university.
  • 1+ years of experience working with payroll and payroll related tax laws.
  • Payroll certification preferred and familiarity with payroll laws
  • Strong accounting background with demonstrated analytical, problem solving, and reporting skills
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), non-profit/fund accounting, college or university accounting, and payroll laws
  • Preferred experience with Ellucian Colleague payroll systems.
  • Ability to create and run reports from a database and reconcile balances and makes corrections
  • Advanced Microsoft Office skills, particularly in Excel and Word
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills to support effective interaction with various levels of faculty, staff, students, and other constituents
  • Strong management and supervisory skills that include hiring, training, evaluating, and developing staff
  • Demonstrated high degree of ethics, integrity, honesty, and respect for confidential information
  • Ability to maintain a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, as needed, with limited supervision
  • Ability to work with a highly diverse staff and student body and to communicate effectively with those of a different background with tact, diplomacy, and discretion
  • Strong work ethic with the ability to excel in a demanding, outcome-oriented, and dynamic work environment

Title VII Exception Notice
Washington Adventist University is a religiously qualified Equal Opportunity Employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  As such the University has the legal right to prefer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist ("SDA") Church in its hiring process. In the event that a qualified SDA candidate is not identified, the University will give the opportunity to candidates who must understand and respect the mission, purpose, and identity of Washington Adventist University as a condition of their employment.
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