Payroll Implementation Specialist

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Payroll Implementation Specialist to join the Finance & Accounting Department.  This position is a temporary position with a payroll project specific focus.  This position will report to the Senior Director, Finance working closely with the Director, Accounting and Payroll Manager. This position will be a key voice and stakeholder integral to documenting & streamlining payroll for 1000+ employees, and integrating a best practice, payroll process into a new managed payroll system:  responsible for evaluating and re-engineering the current internal Institution payroll system and processes in order to streamline and facilitate a smooth and effective transition to a new external managed payroll business partner model.  Candidates for this role must have an in-depth understanding of, and extensive experience in payroll processing and improvement redesign – both in house and external models. This position can by on-site or hybrid.

Essential Functions

  • Experience with:
    • Integrating and maintaining database of personnel information and accurate payroll records
    • Time and attendance systems, biweekly integration to payroll, and ability to trouble shoot and resolve timecard variance as needed
    • Employee expense reimbursement
    • Computing wages, deductions, loans, accrued vacation and other benefits deductions
    • Ensuring compliance with US federal, state and local tax laws, including remittance of payroll taxes, to include initial set up where applicable
    • Ensuring compliance with foreign taxes and 1042S filings where applicable
    • Trouble shooting variances with various claims, payments, and garnishments as needed
  • In depth review and evaluation of all current payroll business processes and systems
  • Collaborate with payroll team, Finance & Accounting management, selected External Payroll Provider, and other internal stakeholders to gather end user feedback
  • Identify best practices and industry leading improvement recommendations that would streamline work processes and drive increased automation, accuracy and speed
  • Prepare documentation and communication materials including “as-is” and “to-be” process diagrams and models to support recommendations and present findings to internal stakeholders
  • Work with selected External Payroll Provider and internal WHOI teams to ensure a smooth and effective transition to this new payroll model
  • Develop, document, and provide guidance/training to internal teams to ensure future standardization and maintenance of new processes within this new model

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • In-depth understanding of and extensive experience in Payroll processing, including process improvement redesign
  • Experience guiding an organization through a Payroll implementation from an Internal to an External Provider model
  • Hands on experience with payroll for employees of 1000+ (incorporating several pay types, company benefits, multi state withholding & other taxes, employee expenses, accrued vacation & other accrued leave types)
  • A passion for challenging the status quo and improving existing systems with a collaborative, communicative and intelligent approach
  • Proven ability to incorporate customer/stakeholder insights and translate them into technical deliverables for process re-engineering recommendations

Non-Essential Functions

Performs other duties as assigned 

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, with direct experience in the payroll field with at least 7-10 years’ experience.
  • Certification in the payroll field: American Payroll Association (APA) or Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Social skills necessary for teamwork and management
  • Working knowledge of payroll management software for 1000+ employees
  • Facilitate a respectful work environment
  • Plan and prioritize assigned tasks
  • Possess effective communication skills
  • Possess intermediate to advance capabilities with Microsoft Office products
  • Knowledge in compliance with payroll rules and regulations

Special Requirements

WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status [vaccination plus booster] in order to begin your employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records, or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason. Evidence of full vaccination or request for an exemption process can be sent to our confidential email of All questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination mandate must be emailed to

Physical Requirements

This position is mostly sedentary, and works with and around others as well as working alone at times.  We welcome all to apply to this position.


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