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Director of Payroll

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Job Type:
Job Status:
Full Time
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Northern Illinois University
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Job Details

As part of a comprehensive human resource team, the Payroll Director provides leadership in the area of payroll. Under the general supervision from the Associate Vice President, this position is responsible for the administration of all NIU payrolls, including planning, managing, directing, and coordinating activities related to developing and preparing a semi-monthly payroll. Oversees all necessary tax reporting for payroll and reviews certain taxable fringe benefits for proper W-2 reporting. Also serves as functional lead for payroll with regard to PeopleSoft updates and projects. The employee is expected to communicate effectively and to use sound judgment to keep management properly informed. 

  • Oversees university payroll and payroll tax operations. Develops strategy, planning, communications and training related to payroll policies, procedures, processes, functions, activities, and related services. Ensures all university employees are paid accurately and on-time, taxes and other required government withholdings are executed, collected, deposited and reported on a timely basis to federal, state, and local authorities.  
  • Ensures compliance with all federal, state and local laws as well as university policy regarding payments of wages, tax withholding for US citizens, permanent residents and non-resident aliens, as well as other payroll deduction and reductions as mandated by federal, state, local authorities (wage assignments) or those which are voluntary requested by employees. Ensures compliance and required reporting is completed for all collective bargaining agreements.  
  • Directly or indirectly supervises or manages all staff assigned to the department, usually through a subordinate supervisor. Determines staffing needs based on short and long-term plans and goals. 
  • Recommends enhancements and changes to the university’s PeopleSoft system. Plans, designs, and tests new and enhanced payroll changes to the PeopleSoft system, including tax updates and W-2 changes. Works closely with programmers to ensure payroll systems integrity and compliance with all federal, state and local laws, and university policies. 
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures related to payroll and time and attendance systems. Ensures policies and procedures comply with federal, state and local laws.
  • Oversees the department training component and ensures campus is informed and trained on new and existing policies and procedures that effects payroll processing.  
  • Oversees all necessary payroll tax reporting for payroll including any necessary out of state taxation. Directs the preparation and filing of all required payroll forms.  
  • Reviews certain taxable fringe benefits for the university (e.g. University Provided Vehicles, relocation packages, telephone stipends, etc.) and reports accordingly for the W-2.
  • Maintains current with, understands, and ensures core compliance with all tax codes as they pertain to payroll.  
  • Maintains the PeopleSoft HR & GL system calendar coordination and establishes Campus HR Payroll deadlines.
  • Administers the vacation and sick-leave benefits accrual programs.
  • Administers the extended illness leave benefits to qualified employees.
  • Administers the sick leave bank programs.
  • Manages all retro pay transactions and processes including those created with university-wide increments.
  • Responsible for all federal and state payroll reporting including, but not limited to: Illinois Department of Employment monthly and quarterly reporting, Federal and State tax withholding payments and quarterly 941 reporting, Annual U.S. Census Bureau survey of public employment statistics report, State University Retirement System reporting and processing, verification of social security numbers with the Social Security Administration etc.
  • Coordination of death benefit payouts.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

Minimum Educational Requirements:  

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Accounting, Finance, or other related field.

Minimum Experience Requirements:

  • Minimum of seven years’ experience in high level payroll position at an institution of similar scope and complexity.
  • Thorough knowledge of federal and state wage and hour laws as well as significant knowledge of US federal and state taxation. 
  • Knowledge/experience in auditing of payroll.
  • Possess strong issue recognition, be proficient in tax research, and have excellent presentation skills.  
  • Complex data analysis skills and attention to detail; management of confidential and sensitive information.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize competing demands and manage expectations.
  • Project management skills and experience. 
  • Complex data analysis skills and attention to detail; management of confidential and sensitive information.
  • Significant management experience with abilities to handle high-stress situations. 
  • Superior written and verbal communication, customer service and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to maintain composure and work effectively in a dynamic, high pressure, and time-sensitive position.
  • Demonstrated aptitude in the MS Office suite of products including advanced Excel skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters in Human Resources, Accounting, Finance, or other related field.
  • Prior PeopleSoft or related ERP experience strongly preferred.


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In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.


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