Job Location:
Marina Del Rey, CA

USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), a unit of the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering, is a world leader in the research and development of advanced artificial intelligence, information processing, computing, cybersecurity, and communications technologies. ISI’s 400 faculty, professional staff and graduate students carry out extraordinary information sciences research at three distinct locations – Marina Del Rey, CA; Arlington, VA; and Waltham, MA.

This position can be hybrid to fully remote and is based in Marina del Rey, California.

Job Summary:

ISI is seeking a team player with solid analytical and interpersonal skills to join the ISI Business Office team. A payroll accountant who is proactive, detail-oriented and able to work in a fast-pace environment.

The payroll accountant will be responsible for processing, reconciling, and validating ISI payroll and the related general ledger accounting transactions. Interacts with USC central payroll, ISI human resources, and ISI employees to facilitate the exchange of information and to assist in resolving payroll and accounting matters. Will help ensure ISI financials comply with federal requirements and university policies and procedures.

Job Accountabilities:

  • Manages the accounting and payroll records for the Information Science Institute. Monitors, reviews and reconciles the financial and payroll activity. Applies in-depth knowledge of accounting principles to analyze, and report financials for payroll, overhead billings and process any necessary accounting adjustments. Documents findings and recommendations for consideration by manager.
  • Prepares and processes a variety of payroll documents and reports for faculty, staff, and students. Determines the nature of transactions, the paperwork and the required approval process. Makes necessary computations, and gathers all pertinent data, including backup documentation as needed.
  • Ensures paperwork and reports are complete, accurate, appropriate, and processed by the pertinent deadlines. Ensures compliance with university policies, procedures and in accordance with governmental agency requirements. Follows-up to ensure incomplete paperwork or inappropriate requests are addressed in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Conducts internal reviews to ensure adherence to university policies and agency regulations. Recommends and assists in the implementation of improvements or changes. Helps develop or revise internal accounting procedures and systems to improve operating effectiveness.
  • Maintains currency with laws and regulations governing accounting policies and procedures. Advises on specific university policies, procedures, and compliance with federal laws and regulations. Provides ISI employees with guidance and interpretations of non-routine or complex situations. Investigates and helps resolves complex payroll and accounting discrepancies. Serves as a resource for other university offices and staff requesting information or assistance.
  • Act as a lead to other staff and accountants with work assignments, problem resolution and with special projects as needed. Collects and formats data for special projects and management studies. Assist with the review and collection of supporting documentation for internal and external audits. Assist with university year-end financial transactions and closing activity. Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.


Preferred Education:  Master’s degree in closely related field.

Minimum Education:  Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance or closely related field.

Preferred Field of Expertise:  3 to 5 years of progressively responsible experience and skills as an accountant

Minimum Field of Expertise:  Strong knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles including fund accounting

  • Directly related payroll, accounting, and budget administration experience in a university financial environment.
  • Knowledge of university financial policies, procedures, and systems such as Workday HCM and Workday Financials.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Must have effective written and oral communication skills. Ability to interact and effectively communicate with all levels of management and staff.
  • Ability to interpret and apply university policies and the applicable federal government regulations.Experience with federal post-award research administration a plus.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, including the ability to research, organize and analyze information.
  • Must be able to anticipate potential issues, be proactive in formulating solutions and resolve any discrepancies promptly.
  • Demonstrate analytical capability in financial analysis and reporting.
  • Highly organized with good time management skills, accuracy, and work ethics.
  • Must exercise a high level of confidentiality and discretion. A results-oriented focus with demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage time-sensitive transactions while meeting strict deadlines.

Required Application Documents:  Please attach a resume and cover letter

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree

Minimum Experience: 3 years

Minimum Field of Expertise: Strong knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles including fund accounting


USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance. We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources by phone at (213) 821-8100, or by email at [email protected].  Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.

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