Payroll Specialist

Ellensburg School District   Ellensburg, WA   Full-time     Finance
Posted on May 15, 2024
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POSITION TITLE:  Payroll Specialist

 POSITION LOCATION:  District Administration Building

 POSITION REPORTS TO:  Executive Director of Operations and Finance



The job of District Payroll Specialist was established for the purpose(s) of processing employee payroll; providing information to new and current employees, providers and/or administrators which support the day-to-day operations of the Payroll Department. Resolving payroll discrepancies, employee benefits, retirement, reporting and reconciliation issues; monitoring projects and/or activities, and communicating with a variety of district and non- district employees.



  • Assists other personnel as may be required for the purpose of ensuring an efficient and effective work environment.
  • Processing monthly payroll and providing supporting documentation and reports.
  • Attends meetings, trainings, in services, etc., for the purpose of maintaining skills, receiving and conveying information on new and improved procedures, as well as complying with District requirements.
  • Compiles, calculates, verifies and enters data from a variety of sources (e.g. time sheets, supplemental contracts, leaves of absences, optional day requests, coaching stipends, substitute activity, employee pay plans, etc.) for the purpose of generating payroll reporting purposes; verifying information; and/or complying with financial, legal and/or administrative requirements.
  • Completes employee required training for the purpose of maintaining current knowledge regarding specific job and/or district, state, and federal rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Coordinates the District’s external billing process for the purpose of ensuring timely payment to the District for services rendered.
  • Distributes payroll checks, documents, forms, etc. (e.g. retirement forms, VEBA declarations, sick leave buy back and sick leave cash outs) for the purpose of providing information.
  • Prepares a variety of reports and composes written materials (e.g. state and federal reports)
  • Processing additional payrolls in the case of an error and the accrual payroll in the months of September and October.
  • Processing and reporting W2’s.
  • Maintains a wide variety of fiscal information, files and records (e.g. payroll, time cards, history, withholding information, employee records, etc.) for the purpose of documenting activities and providing an up-to-date reference and audit trail.
  • Presents information (e.g. staff, new employee orientation, classified trainings) for the purpose of providing information and knowledge related to the District’s fiscal functions, services, software, and/or procedural activities.
  • Processes requests from outside agencies/parties (e.g. retired and transitional employees; court ordered adjustments, job verifications, garnishments, subpoena of payroll records, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring timely and accurate compliance with request.
  • Process payroll vendor invoices for the purpose of ensuring timely payment.
  • Reconciles trip ticket reports for transportation driver worked hours for the purpose of ensuring accurate payment information and complying with contract provisions.
  • Reconciles program enrollment forms and billings to employee records (e.g. COBRA, disability, retirement, health, MLA, TSA, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring accurate eligibility and payment information and complying with contract provisions.
  • Resolves discrepancies with payroll and/or benefits information and/or documentation (e.g. payroll, benefit provider/s, withholding versus W-4, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring accuracy of records and employee payments.
  • Responds to inquiries (verbal and written) from a variety of sources regarding various procedures and requirements (e.g. hours worked, wage levies and garnishments, savings, contributions, direct deposits, etc.) for the purpose of providing necessary information for making decisions, taking appropriate action and/or complying with established fiscal guidelines, resolving problems, and/or referring to appropriate personnel.
  • Serves as a member of the District’s payroll team for the purpose of providing timely customer service and ensuring payroll functions are accurately completed on a monthly basis in compliance with federal, state, District, and collective bargaining requirements.
  • Utilizes the automated substitute system to upload employee information into the District’s fiscal system for the purpose of accurately verifying and processing absence records.
  • Competent understanding of the Washington State Retirement System reporting regulations.
  • Calculate and track all garnishments
  • Manually enter time sheets for anytime worked beyond a contract/pay plan
  • Tracks long term substitutes and verifies rates of pay
  • Complete quarterly and annual payroll taxes
  • Balances quarterly and annual time and effort reports
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Accounting, Purchasing, and Payroll Director.


  • Ability to handle confidential matters in an ethical manner.
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships and interact successfully with all school district staff and patrons.
  • Ability to work independently, multi-task, and accept the responsibility of providing effective workmanship in a fast paced environment.
  • Ability to be flexible and adjust when priorities change.
  • Ability to assess, organize and prioritize work load.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • High level of computer proficiency (particularly with Microsoft Office), and application of technology.
  • High level of skill in operating office equipment, including 10-key calculator.
  • Ability to produce and maintain accurate records.
  • Bilingual skills preferred.


  • BA Degree in Business, accounting or related field preferred. A combination of college course work, technical training and related work experience may be considered in lieu of degree.
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience in a business office preferred. 
  • Payroll processing experience preferred.
  • Certificated Payroll Professional (CPP) designation by the American Payroll Association or willingness to obtain.


  • Willingness to work additional hours as needed.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License and proof of liability.
  • WSP/FBI fingerprint background check.
  • Washington State Sexual Misconduct Release Form.
  • Authorization and Release of Information form relating to prior employment.


  • The current opening will be a classified, non-represented, FLSA Non-exempt, administrative payroll coordinator position with for a total of 40 hours per week, 260 days/ year, with holidays, vacation, sick leave, and salary in accordance with the Ellensburg School District Pro-Tech Terms and Benefits Agreement. 


  • The usual and customary methods of performing the job functions require the following physical demands of occasional lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling, and significant fine finger dexterity. 
  • Generally, the job requires sitting, walking and standing.
  • The position is generally performed in a clean and healthy environment.

BENEFITS:  Health insurance benefits for employees working 630 hours or more per year include medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability plans through the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB).

School employees | Washington State Health Care Authority 

Retirement benefits provided through the WA State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS).

 State of Washington: Department of Retirement Systems

 Full time positions are 8 hours per day for 260 days. 

260 Day Employees - Paid leave benefits to include 12 days of sick leave, three personal leave days


This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. Ellensburg School District administration has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice.  The statement contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the primary functions of this job, the level of knowledge and skill typically required and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements.  Individuals may perform other duties as assigned including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, or equalize peak work periods or otherwise balance the workload

Ellensburg School District

1300 East Third Avenue
Ellensburg , WA