Payroll Operations Manager – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

Capitalizing on over 140 years of history and tradition in downtown Los Angeles, the University of Southern California (USC) has embarked on an unprecedented period of expansion. USC is now poised to take its place as the preeminent research institution of the 21st century and we are looking for skilled, motivated professionals to help forge the future of higher education.

USC Payroll Services is seeking a highly experienced and customer service-oriented Payroll Operations Manager with supervisory expertise to join its team!

About the Opportunity

The Payroll Operations Manager oversees the efficient functioning of payroll processing for USC by implementing and maintaining effective administrative policies and procedures tailored to payroll operations. Communicates clearly and diplomatically with internal stakeholders of all levels and other agencies to resolve payroll-related issues and ensure compliance with regulations.  Sets short-term and long-term objectives to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of payroll processes. Directly supervises a team, ensuring they are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to perform their duties effectively. Demonstrates empathy in addressing employee payroll inquiries and concerns, fostering a supportive and customer-centric environment. Actively leads and implements changes to payroll processes, serving as a catalyst for continuous improvement. Coordinates payroll-related initiatives to support organizational goals.

The Payroll Operations Manager:

  • Develops relationships with and acts as liaison between central payroll team and field payroll stakeholders of all levels. Serves as central information resource and advises on departmental and University policies and procedures as they pertain to payroll. Researches information, as requested, and relays official interpretations. Maintains currency on revisions to department and/or University policies and procedures. Serves as senior expert and consultant to senior management officials. Assists senior management in overseeing adherence to University policies and procedures and training others in administration of such policies and procedures.

  • Manages the preparation and coordination of production schedules, for payroll input and processing, in conjunction with master processing schedule, federal and states requirements and schedules of other departments.

  • Oversees the preparation and distribution of USC payroll checks and advice slips according to the assigned schedules. Oversees check stock. Monitors and enforces strict internal check preparation and distribution procedures.

  • Oversees the maintenance of payroll records, logs, and files in accordance with university policy and state and federal laws and regulations.

  • Ensures effective administrative policies and procedures are in place. Establishes short-term and long-range directional goals for department operations. Researches and identifies needs and establishes program directions accordingly. Recommends changes in operational procedures, as necessary. Implements and ensures continuous quality improvement initiatives.

  • Supervises full-time staff and/or the equivalent. Recruits, screens, hires, trains, and directly supervises all assigned staff. Evaluates employee performance and provides guidance and feedback. Counsels, disciplines and/or terminates employees as required. Recommends departmental goals and objectives, including workforce planning and compensation recommendations. Reassesses or redefines priorities as appropriate in order to achieve performance objectives.

  • Fosters a continuous improvement and customer-oriented approach to supporting University communities, recognizing the importance of faculty, students, and administrators. Develops short and long-term plans for improving customer service.

  • Reviews, prioritizes, analyzes, and responds to correspondence and incoming calls directed to director/chair. Serves as principal point of contact between director/chair and subordinate staff. Manages special projects for the director/chair. Acts as liaison between director/chair and sensitive, confidential, or high-profile contacts outside of the department.

  • Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Job Qualifications

The ideal candidate for the position of Payroll Operations Manager meets the following preferred requirements:

  • Master’s degree in Business Administration

  • 10 – 15 years of experience in payroll operations with a minimum of 10 years of supervisory experience

  • Has valid/active Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) accreditation

  • Experience with Workday highly desired

  • Experience in payroll operations/administration within a healthcare environment is a plus

  • Demonstrated exceptional written and oral communication skills with the ability to empathize with the customer viewpoint to provide exceptional customer service

  • Ability to work with all levels of stakeholders and establish positive working relationships

  • Ability to build, develop and manage positive working relationships and rapport with diverse, high performing teams

All candidates for the position of Payroll Operations Manager must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree; however, combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

  • 5 years of related experience; however, combined experience/education as substitute for minimum work experience

  • Experience in supervising administrative operations of multi-faceted department, preferably within a university setting

The annual base salary range for this position is $91,415.41 – $125,000.00. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

About USC Payroll Services

The USC department of Payroll Services is responsible for processing and distributing pay for over 29,000 USC employees. In addition, USC Payroll Services:

  • Withholds and remits state and federal taxes, as well as other mandatory and optional deductions

  • Ensures distribution of accurate W-2 tax forms

  • Provides payroll related customer support to the University community

  • Manages Nonresident Alien payments

  • Responds to unemployment claims and income verification inquiries

Learn more about USC Payroll Services at   

The USC Payroll Services department values integrity, excellence, well-being, open communication, accountability, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Join us – apply today !


Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree; combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education.

Minimum Experience: 5 years; combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience.

Minimum Field of Expertise: Experience in supervising administrative operations of multi-faceted department, preferably within a university setting.

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