City of Des Moines Washington
  • 28-Nov-2018 to 27-Jan-2019 (PST)
  • Finance
  • Des Moines, WA, USA
  • $62,652 - $76,152
  • Salary
  • Regular Full-Time

The City provides an attractive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life and long term disability insurance, Washington State PERS retirement, 401(a) Social Security replacement plan, 457 retirement plan contribution, and paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave.

Nature of Work

Under the direction of the Finance Director, but reporting directly to the Finance Manager and will work closely with the Human Resources Director, this position is responsible for the technical, administrative and accounting duties in the administration of payroll operations.   The Payroll Accountant will lead the payroll function, while complying with all applicable employment laws and accounting standards, including performing technical-related payroll duties, development of processes and recommendations that facilitate accurate and efficient payroll, configuration, operation maintenance, upgrades, testing and training of the City's payroll system, Additionally, the incumbent must work with complex, manual and automated processes, and apply union contract language and policy language to all payroll aspects.  Innovation is rewarded and the incumbent must be able to use reasoning skills to interpret: union contracts, benefit deductions, tax withholdings, specialty pays, shift conversions, etc. as the work requires considerable judgment, confidentiality and human relations skills.  Although this position will focus primarily on payroll, the incumbent will perform other accounting duties requiring judgment in applying generally accepted accounting principles such as cash management, project accounting/job costing, and other accounting duties as assigned. 

To Apply:  Complete the City's online application at 

Closing Date:  Open until filled. First review of applications on December 12, 2018.

Essential Functions

  • Performs timely and accurate preparation of City semi-monthly payrolls. Process payments to employees, state and federal deposits, WA State Department of Retirement systems and other benefit providers.  Prepares monthly and annual balancing procedures in order to facilitate 941 and W-2 reporting pursuant to appropriate laws. Responds to garnishment inquiries and tracks disbursements appropriately to facilitate reporting requirements.
  • Reviews/monitors employees' timesheet data in order to ensure conformance with appropriate labor agreements, policies and regulations; and administration of leave policies. Coordinates and provides information/data to HR as necessary to ensure compliance with City policy and state and federal benefit law.
  • Maintains electronic and, if necessary, manual payroll changes for new, terminating, and active employees. Maintains electronic and/or manual leave requests and associated accrual files.
  • Coordinates and performs payroll accounting operational functions; evaluates accounting procedures and fiscal practices and recommends and assists in implementing new or revised payroll accounting systems, procedures and records; participates in developing computer programs for payroll accounting analysis.
  • Compiles payroll statistics and costs pursuant to varying management and/or Union requests. Coordinates applicable information and/or requests with Human Resources (HR) to maintain compliance with City policy, collective bargaining agreements and state and federal laws.
  • Provide technical assistance regarding the processing of payroll and resolving payroll issues; serves as the payroll/timekeeping liaison with department timekeepers; answer employees' inquiries regarding payroll procedures and calculations; responds to verbal and written inquiries from supervisors, department heads and outside agencies; prepares handbooks and manuals related to payroll procedures and conducts training related to payroll processing.
  • Coordinates and assists with required payroll audits, reviews, and public records requests including but not limited to data collection and compilation.
  • Designs standard and ad hoc payroll and benefit reports utilizing the payroll system report writer software and assists with salary budget and variance analysis, as requested.
  • Identifies the need for and notifies the Finance Director of payroll related accounting system problems and works with the IT department and vendors in the revision/replacement of payroll systems.
  • Enters all enrollment changes on vendor websites; adjusts and processes payroll premiums accordingly; coordinates annual open enrollment changes with HR staff to ensure accurate and timely implementation of benefit changes. 
  • Reconciles monthly employees' paid benefit billings to payroll records; calculates and submits payment for City-sponsored benefits; identifies and resolves billing and/or payroll discrepancies that may arise. 
  • Coordinates with HR to monitor state and federal benefits legislation, regulations and laws to establish integration into the payroll system to maintain compliance.
  • Prepares detailed accounting, statistical and narrative financial statements and reports, as assigned, requiring analysis and interpretation of source data; administers designated accounts and programs; performs account reconciliations and prepares related work sheets.
  • Assists with the annual budget process by developing salary and benefit forecasting. Prepares complex research and develops reports for management as requested. Performs, and or supervises cash receiving, accounting for, and safeguarding as required.  Issues receipts, classifies and codes transactions. 
  • Assists in the preparation of the annual financial report.
  • Establishes and maintains cooperative, effective working relationships with co-workers, other City employees, and the general public using principles of good customer service.
  • Reports for scheduled work with regular, reliable and punctual attendance.
  • Performs other duties as assigned, including but not limited to being assigned to work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, equalize peak work periods, or balance the workload.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • An Associate's degree in accounting or finance or related field;
  • Three (3) years' experience in accounting or accounting/payroll activity; or
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skill and abilities to perform the essential duties listed above.
  • CPP (Certified Payroll Professional) certification is desired.
  • Public sector experience, preferred.

Special Requirements

  • Possession of and the ability to maintain throughout employment a valid Washington State Driver's License with a good driving record.
  • Successful completion of a pre-employment background and criminal history check.
  • Because of the known effects of tobacco use, the City of Des Moines does not hire applicants who use tobacco products.

Working Conditions and Physical Abilities

  • Works indoors in a climate-controlled office environment with low noise levels. Constant use of sight, hearing, and speech abilities necessary to perform essential functions and to communicate with others. Constant fine finger manipulation and use of hands and arms in reaching/handling/ fingering/grasping while operating office equipment and computers, preparing written documentation, handling paperwork, etc. Frequent sitting, may be extended at times, while doing desk activities. Frequent bending/twisting at waist/knees/neck while working at desk, worktable, or moving from sitting to standing position. Frequent standing in combination with walking (short distances) throughout work shift in office areas. Occasional lifting/carrying up to 25-pound documents, materials, file boxes, etc. Occasional pushing/pulling force up to 10 pounds opening doors, drawers, and moving materials. Requires mental acuity to ensure thorough mental analysis of situations in a fast-paced environment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

  • The City of Des Moines is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and all qualified applicants, including all ethnic backgrounds and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
  • In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability. In general, it is the responsibility of the applicant or employee with a disability to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed to participate in the application process, to perform essential job functions or to receive equal benefits and privileges of employment.

General Information

  • The statements contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the principal functions for this job description and 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.
  • The physical abilities described above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • The provisions of this job description do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice. 
  • Updated November 2018.


City of Des Moines Washington
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