Associate Director, Payroll

  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Nov 19, 2020
Full time Accounting

Job Description

The Associate Director, Payroll is responsible for all aspects of the partner and staff payroll functions including the efficient and effective use of Firm resources to ensure timely and accurate processing of semi-monthly payroll, related payroll tax payments and filings (quarterly and annual), wage garnishments, issuance of W-2's and general ledger postings to the Firm's financial system. This role will lead in the identification of opportunities to enhance the current payroll processes.


  • Manage the Firm's semi-monthly partner and staff payroll processes, including review of for accuracy, authorization compliance, and supporting documentation
  • Review and approval of partner compensation activity to ensure the accuracy of earnings and deductions
  • Understand and manage the flow of information between the various functions involved with payroll processes and the payroll system to ensure that payroll is processed correctly
  • Keep abreast of Firm payroll and distribution policies, as well as current legislation that could potentially impact the payroll function; ensure the Firm is in compliance and liaise with the Firm's Human Resource department, as needed
  • Critically review the Firm's payroll processes and work with the Finance management team to implement changes that strengthen controls and create efficient processes
  • Collaborate with various members of the Firm's administrative management team (Treasury, Partner Services, Tax, Human Resources, Benefits, etc.) to provide excellent customer services to individuals regarding payroll inquiries and enhance the efficiency, quality, and costs associated with payroll preparation
  • Approve payroll related journal entries; work with other members of the Finance department in resolving reconciling items on cash/balance sheet reconciliations in a timely manner
  • Manage, develop, and coach the Payroll team members to ensure effectiveness and growth of the team; maintain awareness of employee morale by creating an environment of open communication
  • Manage the review of all electronic and hard copy payroll records to ensure compliance with the Firm's record retention policy
  • Respond to internal and external requests for payroll data
  • Main point of contact for all external and internal audits
  • Willingness and ability to work extended hours to ensure successful execution of the Firm's payroll processes
  • Special projects as requested by the Finance leadership team

Qualifications & Requirements

  • A minimum of 10 years of payroll experience in an international, multi-state professional services organization; preferably a law firm
  • A Bachelor's degree in a Business or related field as well as payroll professional certification (e.g. CPP with APA) is required
  • At least 5 years of management responsibilities of a payroll team with a demonstrated track record of successfully leading, and mentoring a team; able to engage staff while driving innovation and productivity
  • Extensive experience and knowledge of PeopleSoft payroll software
  • Knowledge and awareness of expatriate payroll, including knowledge of related international payroll laws and regulations are necessary
  • Demonstrated high level of diplomacy, confidentiality, and excellent judgement in navigating sensitive issues; influential with the ability to lead and engage teams with the objective of distinctive client services
  • Able to facilitate discussions to enable people to collaborate with each other independently as well as promote collaboration across multiple parties.
  • Proactive with excellent critical thinking and decision-making skills; able to identify unique solutions to complex issues
  • Ideal candidates will be able to to multi-task and effectively prioritize and operate in a fast paced and dynamic environment


  • PeopleSoft Payroll
  • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel


  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.
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