Job Location:
San Francisco

The Associate Director, Payroll Services oversees and directs all aspects of payroll administration while maintaining operational effectiveness and support services for 1,700+ employees including faculty, staff, and student workers. Reporting to the Acting Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, the associate director leads the maintenance of compliant & efficient payroll operations to ensure the accurate and timely bi-monthly payroll process. A systems-minded and detail-oriented team player with an aptitude for continual improvement and compliance, this is a great opportunity for someone looking to provide exceptional support to our employees.


Payroll Systems – 45% of time

  • Manages the processing of multiple semi-monthly payroll cycles, including iterative and final reviews of payroll data; system integrations with payroll vendors, and coordination of check distribution.

  • Manages special payrolls as required.

  • Maintains appropriate payroll records, ensuring regulatory compliance. 

  • Prepares journal entries for posting to the general ledger, and supporting reports.

  • Coordinates processing of all required payroll-related paperwork for international visiting faculty and scholars. 

  • Researches and sets up new tax jurisdictions for payroll tax filing.

  • Ensures payroll tax payments are in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local tax laws.

  • Performs regular audits of HR/ADP/Workday system data to ensure accuracy.

  • Serves as a key resource for payroll preparation, and primary contact for inquiries related to annual fiscal and benefit plan audits.


Cyclical Payroll Duties – 40% of time

  • Prepares semi-monthly work-study wage analysis reports.

  • Runs quarterly state and federal tax integrations and reviews output from 3rd party vendors.

  • Coordinates year-end W-2 processing

  • Oversees preparation of annual 1042S forms and all mandated filings.

  • Oversees preparation of pay period reports detailing employee and employer contributions to 403(b) and 457(b) plans.  

  • Oversees transmission of employee contributions to flexible spending & commuter spending plans to plan administrators.

  • Prepares monthly workers compensation wage reports; coordinates annual plan audit with carrier.

  • Prepares payroll related financial reports as requested.

  • Works closely with HR and Technology Services  to manage the implementation and maintenance of payroll calendars and payroll-related systems.

  • Collaborates with HR on employee-related deductions and payroll adjustments related to HR activity (e.g. leaves of absence, changes in benefits, etc) including managing and reviewing the Tristar leave of absence payroll spreadsheets

  • Prepare relevant semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly and year-end reports including summaries of earnings, deductions, leave, disability, and nontaxable wages, and reconciliations as required.

  • Track and classify payroll and 403(b) processing errors in order to develop, then implement and document internal controls to prevent future errors; make continuous improvements to payroll processing by the addition of cross-checks, tie-outs, better formats, formulas, etc.

Non-Cyclical Payroll Duties – 15% of time

  • Provides day-to-day assistance and information to employees regarding payroll related matters, ensuring timely responses to inquiries. Researches and resolves all queries and requests.

  • Develop and maintain payroll guidelines and process manuals by writing and updating policies and procedures to ensure standard, equitable, and correct treatment for all payroll scenarios.

  • Ensures accurate processing of all garnishment orders.

  • Prepares and calculates off-cycle checks and/or on demand checks for terminating employees, etc.

  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues in ADP and Workday related to any system errors.

  • Lead multiple external audits and provide all auditors and third parties with the information required to issue timely financial statements (403(b) audit) and support pricing (Worker’s Compensation audit).

  • Collaborate with the Finance team as required to ensure that the college is compliant in its payroll tax withholdings and wage reporting. 

  • Adjust and prioritize fluctuating work streams accordingly to time of year to ensure timely payroll process & key deadlines are met; manage the usage of payroll temps as needed

  • Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, studying existing and new legislation etc.

  • Oversee Escheated Check project and implement appropriate protocols to ensure state compliance

Supervisory Responsibility

  • This position supervises the Senior Payroll Specialist.


  • At least 8 years of progressive work experience; 4 years of progressive HR generalist, payroll, or accounting experience with a minimum of 4+ years directly focused on payroll management in a supervisory capacity.

  • Experience working in small, lean teams and a desire to lead a payroll team of one

  • Prior experience streamlining payroll and payroll processes, leveraging systems and technology, required.

  • Advanced working knowledge of ADP Workforce Now or a similar payroll software.

  • Excellent Excel and analytical skills (must be proficient in v-lookups, complex embedded formulas, and linked multi-tabbed spreadsheets)

  • A high level of attention to detail and ability to self-manage, prioritize, organize, and work autonomously in a hybrid environment.

  • Strong problem solving and critical thinking skills with a passion for continuous improvement.

  • Experience writing or improving written documentation such as process manuals. 

  • Strong organizational and communication skills with a service-oriented mentality

  • Experience preparing payroll in a higher education or not-for-profit environment is highly desired.

  • Experience with Workday preferred.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, or another related field, or BA or BS with a quantitative or logical reasoning focus


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Knowledge of accounting and financial reporting

Working Conditions

  • Campus Hybrid. Position requires a regular, on campus schedule with certain days of the week on campus.

  • Occasional evenings and weekends required.


  • The range for this position is $115,000 – $120,000 annually.

  • CCA offers a comprehensive benefits package, including the choice of five medical plans, generous holiday, sick & vacation time, a retirement match and tuition remission. CCA covers an average of 91% of the medical plan cost for the employee only and an average of 82% for employees with dependents. More information can be found here: https://portal.cca.edu/working/office-human-resources/employee-benefits.


  • CCA considers a full-time work week to be 37.5 hours per week.

  • Work Mode: Hybrid

Please note that in an effort to keep the CCA community safe, the college encourages all staff, faculty, and students who are on campus to be fully vaccinated, including to have received a booster shot (if eligible). Please note CCA on campus COVID-19 protocols. Please reach out to hr@cca.edu with any questions.


San Francisco



Additional Locations

Application Instructions

Applicants are required to attach a cover letter and resume. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Recommended document file formats are Word or PDF.  If there are multiple attachments, we recommend compressing/zipping your files into a zip format file. There is also a place in the application for you to provide a link to large documents. Please submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions.

Application Deadline

For staff positions, screening begins immediately and continues until the position is filled.

EEO Statement

As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education.

We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability.

California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity. In alignment with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records for employment. If a background check is required for a position, it will be noted in the job posting.


Please address any questions to hr@cca.edu.