Wilkes County Schools

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Human Resources - WCS Job Descriptions » Payroll Specialist

Payroll Specialist


An employee in this class performs technical bookkeeping and fiscal-clerical work in the Finance Department.  Work involves administration and preparation of employee payroll records and related payments and withholdings.  Employee is also responsible for maintaining personnel files related to payroll, leave and retirement programs; and answering inquiries pertaining to payroll programs. 



Preparing, verifying and entering data for monthly, semi-monthly and special payroll payments, computing proper payment according to employees’ status (i.e., 10-month, 12-month employee) and showing all statutory and voluntary deductions, special payments, such as ABC incentive bonus, retroactive salary adjustments, forfeited annual leave, longevity, summer school and compensation bonus payments, contributions, and special withholdings; processes checks and/or direct deposits, including bank transit and account numbers; contacts financial institutions, as necessary, to resolve problems or discrepancies pertaining to direct deposit.

Maintains employee payroll records, including data such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, retirement numbers, employment anniversary, years of state service, deduction information, direct deposit requests, and tax forms, entering data into computer records and updating as necessary, including verifying changes in salaries and employment status as authorized by Personnel; records 12-month salary option for salaried employees, as appropriate.

Maintains accounting of employee sick, personal, bonus and annual leave balances, and certifies leave balances for employees transferring employment to other state agencies.

Prepares and distributes payroll “turnaround” work sheets.

Verifies employee salaries on employment withdrawal forms of employees terminating state employment, calculates and provides employee salary projections for retiring employees, and submits to State Employees’ Retirement System.

Verifies employees’ salary and years of employment for financial institutions, as requested.

Answers employees’ inquiries pertaining to payroll calculations, checks, payroll policies and procedures and related matters.

Verifies, distributes and answers inquiries regarding employee W2 forms.

Opens and distributes incoming mail for the office.

Performs other related work as required.



Graduation from high school supplemented by college-level course work in bookkeeping or accounting and 1 to 2 years of experience in technical accounting or bookkeeping work, preferably dealing with payroll; or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required combination of knowledge, skills and abilities.



Must be physically able to operate a variety of equipment including computers, copiers, calculators, printers, check stuffers, etc.  Must be able to exert up to 10 pounds of force occasionally, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. 

Requires the ability to read a variety of correspondence, reports, forms, statements, etc.  Requires the ability to prepare correspondence, reports, forms, evaluations, statements, etc. using prescribed formats.

Requires the ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagrammatic form.

Requires the ability to record and deliver information, to explain procedures, to follow oral and written instructions.  Must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in a variety of technical or professional languages including insurance, personnel and governmental terminology.

Requires the ability to deal with people beyond giving and receiving instructions.  Must be adaptable to performing under stress and when confronted with emergency situations.

Requires the ability to talk and hear ideas by means of spoken word.  Must be able to communicate via telephone.



Considerable knowledge of Federal, State, and local laws and School System policies and procedures governing payroll administration.

Considerable knowledge of employee benefit programs.

Considerable knowledge of accounting and office practices, methods and procedures used by the school system.

General knowledge of organization and operational policies and procedures.

Skill in preparing and maintaining payroll records, deductions and withholding reports through data processing means.

Ability to use a variety of common office machines, including a computer terminal, calculator and facsimile machine.

Ability to understand and apply laws, regulations and policies to the maintenance of financial records.

Ability to verify documents and forms for accuracy and completeness.

Ability to prepare standard payroll reports from the books and records.

Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

Ability to understand and follow written and oral instructions.

Ability to explain payroll and related personnel matters to School System employees.

Ability to exercise independent judgment, discretion and confidentiality in handling confidential personnel records.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships as necessitated by work assignments.


REPORTS TO:      Director of Finance

FSLA STATUS:    Non-Exempt


The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees in this job.