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Payroll Operations Manager

After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago public high school teens high quality, out-of-school-time opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond. Our hands-on, project-based arts, science, sports, technology, and communications programs are delivered at Chicago public high schools, at community locations throughout the city, and downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts.   


Summary of Position:

The primary function of the Payroll Operations Manager is to oversee all payroll functions for After School Matters under the direction of the Director of Finance.  The Payroll Operations Manager will supervise and develop Payroll staff members. Working in conjunction with senior staff and other department managers, the Payroll Operations Manager will provide support and assist in the development of procedures for processing new business operations.  The payroll process is data driven and requires a manager with a high level of expertise in data analytics and manipulation.  As an integral member of the Finance Department, the Payroll Operations Manager must ensure that the administration of payroll for staff, program instructors, teen apprentices, interns and assistants, and program liaisons is completed in a timely, accurate and efficient manner.  The Payroll Operations Manager is responsible for overseeing all payroll related initiatives and special projects.  In addition, this position is required to oversee the Teen Stipend Hotline Call Center.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the daily operations for all payroll functions including payments made to employees (staff, instructors, liaisons and interns), as well as the administration of teen stipends and program completion awards;
  • Provide leadership to payroll staff including providing transfer of knowledge, guidance on proper payroll practices and encourage staff to troubleshoot in a collaborative manner;
  • Manage the classifications for program payroll (instructor, liaison, intern and teen stipends) and ensure the data is transferred to other Finance staff to be uploaded in to the financial database accurately and in a timely manner;
  • Reviews performance of Payroll Data Analysts work, including reviewing report data prior to release to other internal departments 
  • Manage the logistics of the check distribution process
  • Oversee the daily operation of the Teen Stipend Hotline Call Center
  • Assist Director of Finance as liaison with HR on all payroll and employee benefit issues;
  • Ensure proper coding of all staff, instructor and teen payrolls;
  • Ensure timely and accurate reporting and payment of Federal, state and local payroll taxes, including issuance of Form W-2’s, 941’s, 940’s and other filing requirements. Ensure compliance with key internal controls and processes 
  • Responsible for all general ledger functions related to payroll processing, including but not limited to balancing accounts. 
  • Coordinate with internal and external auditors to assist with quarterly and annual audits as needed
  • Ensure payroll related technical assistance and training is provided to all employees;
  • Ensure staff build and maintain a reputation for excellent customer service;
  • Manage payment to benefit providers’;
  • Report on payroll-related data as needed, including supporting HR, where necessary with meeting federal, state or local compliance.
  • Communicates actively with Finance department, HR and department leads to review and monitor cross-departmental impacts of processes 
  • Oversees the budget for the Payroll department to ensure that expenses remain within budget;
  • Prepare external audit work papers;
  • Foster and maintain strong professional relationships with payroll providers; assist Finance Manager with negotiating contract terms on a regular basis or as needed;
  • Manage expired and reissued payroll check and the unclaimed property process, and ensure that data is received, tracked accordingly and reported accurately and in a timely manner;
  • Manage the accurate and timely distribution of 1099s and W-2s for the organization;
  • Demonstrate continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline processes and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality customer service; and
  • Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein as may be assigned or delegated by the Finance Manager or Director of Finance.


Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Payroll staff including Payroll Data Analysts and Payroll Operations Support


Physical Demands:

The physical demands here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to use a computer for long periods of time.


Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to weather conditions
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Exercise sharp attention to detail
  • Proven project management skills
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office Word and Excel including, pivot tables and v-lookups 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Working knowledge of payroll-related requirements and regulations
  • An understanding of Call Center protocols and management
  • Experience with recording, exporting and importing large amounts of payroll data and verifying accuracy
  • Proven problem-solving abilities
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff, clients and partners
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines and to organize work to meet deadlines both individually and in a team context 
  • Working knowledge of payroll and accounting systems
  • Able to exercise sound judgement
  • Energetic team player who works well in collaborative situations
  • A commitment to maintain strict confidentiality



  • Bachelor’s degree required (e.g. accounting, statistics, social policy, business, psychology, sociology, etc.)
  • A minimum of 5 years professional experience within an accounting, business or payroll environment
  • Knowledge of ADP’s Workforce Now preferred
  • Strong knowledge of federal and state wage and hour laws, as well as payroll and government reporting procedures, including knowledge of garnishment, levy and child support processing 
  • Knowledge of basic accounting principles as related to payroll processing 
  • 2-3 years of experience in managing diverse teams preferred
  • Cook County residency required


How to Apply:

Submit a cover letter and resume at



After School Matters is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, military discharge status, age, marital status, parental status, or source of income.

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