Payroll and Benefits Specialist

Location: Takoma Park, MD
Date Posted: 04-08-2018
Office of Human Resources

Position is open until filled
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.


WAU is seeking a detail-oriented, self-motivated and organized Payroll & Benefits Specialist to join the HR team. The primary focus of the position is to process payroll and time and attendance data in a timely and accurate manner and to process benefit plan enrollments, changes, and terminations. This position requires an ability to learn quickly, "ownership" of all payroll and benefit duties, and the incumbent must maintain a high level of professionalism and confidentiality. The desired candidate will be a team player, provide great customer service, be a problem solver with critical thinking skills, possess great communication skills in both verbal and written form, have a keen eye for detail, and be experienced with HR and Payroll systems.  

  • Responsible for handling the payroll process: collecting and checking timesheets and deductions, processing stipends, data entry of payroll info, coordinate with Accounting and IT to process payroll and resolve problems, create various payroll-related files and reports, responsible for check preparation and distribution.
  • Provides assistance with gathering payroll and HR documents to respond to audit requests.
  • Completes all benefit and payroll reconciliation on time and accurately.
  • Provides data for the preparation of quarterly 941 reports, MD unemployment Insurance Quarterly Reports, end-of-year tax reports, and W-2’s.
  • Uses ERP system to run various reports and processes.
  • Prepares payroll timesheet packets for department heads.
  • Maintains payroll and benefit records and associated filing systems.
  • Assists in the communication of details of benefit plans.
  • Responsible for benefits enrollment and processing, including ensuring accurate information in the various benefit databases.
  • Assists with gathering and maintaining needed documentation, such as checklists, benefit packets, etc.
  • Resolves employee inquiries about payroll and benefits by interpreting appropriate policies and procedures.
  • Supports and affirms a culture of distinctive excellence and exceptional service.
  • Attends University events and, required meetings (including weekly Convocation)
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Bachelor's degree required in related field
  • Two years of related experience, preferably in higher education
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience with processing of payroll
  • Understanding of database structure and the inter-relation of fields and tables within the system
  • Must have hands-on  experience with an ERP system, preferably Ellucian Colleague
  • Demonstrated knowledge of generally accepted principles and practices related to payroll, taxes, and benefits
  • Possess exceptional MS-Excel skills and experience working in Excel with large data sets with accuracy and speed
  • Excellent customer service, organizational, communication (verbal and written), analytical, and interpersonal skills
  • Willingness and ability to work long hours during payroll processing weeks, as needed 
  • Ability to make presentations in front of small and large groups 
Benefits package includes:
  • Healthcare, including vision, dental and prescription drug
  • Flexible Spending Plans
  • Competitive 403B plan Retirement Plan
  • Tuition assistance for employees, spouse, and dependents
  • Life insurance including supplemental and accidental death and dismemberment policies
  • Long Term Disability
  • AFLAC insurance
  • Legal Insurance Benefits
  • Employee Assistance Program


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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