Payroll Specialist

Position:  Payroll Specialist

Position Type: Internal/External

FLSA Classification: Exempt 

Reports to: Controller

Start date: July 2024

Application Deadline: May 17, 2024

Location: Preferred within a OneGoal region: Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Boston, MA; New York City, NY; Bay Area, CA, but flexible within the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C.

Salary Range: $72,000-$78,000 is the hiring salary range (i.e. the range a candidate would be offered to start). Please note: OneGoal aligns salaries to Cost of Labor, so the actual salary offered would be dependent on the Cost of Labor in the candidate’s living location.



Given the large volume of applications, we are unable to respond to all inquiries about this position. The application deadline is May 17, 2024 and all applications will be reviewed shortly after this date. We expect to make final decisions on applicants moving forward in the process by the week of May 27, 2024 and will notify applicants shortly after.

About OneGoal                                                                                     

OneGoal transforms postsecondary advising and support so that every student can define their own future. Together with our partners, we’re building a movement to close the opportunity gap. We work side-by-side with partner schools and districts to build their knowledge and capacity. The result is more equitable and effective support for all students. Our unique approach, honed over 15 years, prioritizes strong human relationships. And it’s proven to deliver real student impact. 81% of OneGoal high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary institution, and 73% of those students persist one year after high school graduation. An independent study by the University of Chicago found that OneGoal students are about 40% more likely to earn their postsecondary degrees than students from similar backgrounds. We are looking for individuals to join us in our pursuit of equity. 

The Person

The Payroll Specialist will be responsible for managing the activities of the Payroll function, including: preparation of the semi-monthly payroll for over 200 employees, the associated payroll journal entries, payroll tax filings, interfacing with ADP on a weekly basis, payroll-related employee support, and generating a myriad of payroll related reports.  They will develop the necessary procedures and processes to manage payroll activity accurately and efficiently while maintaining appropriate internal controls.  The ideal candidate will have strong communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships across the organization and with outside partners (ADP, Principal, etc.).  The Payroll Specialist will also manage OneGoal’s 401(k) to ensure timely administration of the plan, and tight integration with payroll activities.


You will do this by:

  • Ensuring employees are paid accurately and in a timely manner (50%)
    • Perform daily payroll department operations including managing our Time and Attendance process
    • Maintain workflow to ensure all payroll transactions are processed accurately and timely.
    • Reconcile payroll prior to transmission and validate confirmed reports.
    • Process semi-monthly payroll for over 200 employees.
    • Audit employee payroll changes to ensure accuracy (including employee garnishments) and process monthly payroll true-ups
    • Complete quarter and year end payroll tasks
    • Process manual payroll checks and off cycle payrolls as required.
    • Manage payroll vendor relationship + partner with support team to resolve payroll errors
    • Provide strong customer service to employees who reach out for payroll-related questions/support
  • Leading efforts on payroll compliance and elevating payroll practices aligned to organizational growth (25%)
    • Assist the Accounting Department in the preparation of payroll journal entries and related accruals.
    • Maintain Quarterly reports – Federal 941’s for Internal Revenue Service  and other State quarterly payroll reporting.
    • Ensure appropriate payroll setup (i.e. department of revenue + unemployment  registration) for new states and maintenance of accurate state/local tax rates
    • Create annual payroll calendar and communicate payroll timelines with staff
    • Maintain and analyze Earned Time Off, including but not limited to earned time off, Worker’s Compensation, 401k payments.
    • Maintain and distribute annual Federal and State W-2 forms.
    • Preparation and distribution of labor reports.
    • Actively participate in external audit and reporting processes.
    • Process reports utilizing HRIS payroll reporting, and identify and operationalize ways we can further utilize our systems for payroll automation and efficiency.
    • Facilitate training around payroll and time-tracking procedures for employees and managers.
    • Support effective time card management for non-exempt employees
  • Facilitating strong 401(k) administration (20%)
    • Partner with our financial services advisor and Principal on 401(k) maintenance  including ensuring employee deferrals are updated on a monthly basis
    • Ensure timely processing of employee payroll contributions and employer matching contributions including approving contribution + loan deposits into our 401(k) plan each pay period
    • Ensure 401(k) compliance related tasks are completed timely, including distribution of employee notices, conducting 401(k) non-discrimination testing and processing requests for 401(k) loans + distributions
    • In partnership with the Controller, partner with external auditing firm to complete our annual 401(k) audit + file the form 5500
    • Audit employee deferral rates + account balances to ensure accurate deductions are being processed via payroll; partner with Human Assets as needed on staff 401(k) participation
  • Executing special projects/duties as assigned by manager (5%)


The Payroll Specialist is likely to see himself/herself/themselves in the following examples as they are designed to help you determine if this opportunity aligns with your own passion, purpose, skills, and experiences.   


You believe deeply in the brilliance of all students and in their ability to earn a postsecondary degree.

  • You believe that our Fellows face real systemic barriers to postsecondary completion and that empowering families, teachers, and students to own their unique path will help them to overcome those barriers.


You are organized and have a keen attention to detail.

  • Things don’t fall through the cracks with you because you understand what’s at stake.  You’re proactive in establishing personal systems and processes to ensure your ability to keep track of high volumes of information, to easily access it and to use that information to make data-informed decisions.  
  • You are a strong planner and are constantly assessing your priorities to manage self/up/out on diverse projects, against competing deadlines and around unanticipated requests. This allows you to be responsive to the needs of others and solve problems as they arise. 


You thrive in and enjoy behind-the-scenes work in an achievement-oriented, fast-paced environment.

  • You simultaneously manage a variety of projects toward ambitious outcomes.
  • You take pride in identifying and implementing high impact solutions that will support our staff and/or improve team efficiency.


You are a clear and direct communicator. 

  • You differentiate your methods and modes of communication based on the greatest potential for impact.
  • You strike a balance between messaging that requires swift and short clarity, as well as those that would benefit from greater detail and depth of explanation. 
  • You are proactively thorough and often follow-up to ensure that any missing information or clarifications are resolved and that messaging has been received as intended by your various audiences.


You value working collaboratively and innovatively.

  • You constantly strive to learn from and share learnings with your teammates, no matter your current knowledge or experience.
  • You know when and how to engage other key stakeholders that have the insight and positional authority to help you and others overcome obstacles and seize viable beneficial opportunities in a timely way.
  • You do not operate as a blind executor of pre-existing practices; instead, you thoughtfully evaluate ways to elevate our operational effectiveness.



  • Comprehensive knowledge of payroll and benefit reporting and payroll tax filing requirements (Required)
  • Comprehensive knowledge of state labor laws and payroll filing requirements (Required)
  • Master level proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets (Required)
  • Lived experience of the Fellows we serve (Preferred)
  • Bachelor’s degree (Required)  with an educational emphasis in business, finance, or accounting (Preferred)
  • Minimum three years experience processing payroll (Preferred)
  • Minimum three years experience working in ADP or Paylocity (Preferred)


Note: We currently process payroll in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Thinking Of Applying?

Research shows that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. If you are excited about the role and see connection with what we are looking for, but don’t meet every single requirement, we’d encourage you to apply anyway. Please on the “Apply For This Job Now” link below to submit your application.


Our Team 

Guided by a clear set of core values and beliefs, you will join an impressive group of more than 200 OneGoal staff across the country who believe in the untapped potential within students. The OneGoal team challenges themselves and others to regularly ask, “Is there a better way?” You believe in an inclusive and culturally competent society and the essence of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We believe that in order to create the change we seek, each person we hire brings a remarkable and diverse set of experiences, skills and characteristics that individually and collectively, will contribute to the radical change needed to move us towards a more equitable and just nation.


The Tangible Good 

OneGoal offers competitive compensation based on the market for nonprofits our size. Our benefits package* includes: over eight weeks of paid time off (or 43 business days), between vacation days, wellness time, and holidays; paid medical or parental leaves should you have need; medical, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability, and life insurance; as well as a 401(k) with a 3% match. 

We believe in compensating staff members fairly in relation to each other, their qualifications, and their impact on behalf of the organization, and take internal and external equity seriously. Given our commitment to equity, OneGoal does not negotiate salary offers; instead each salary offer is determined carefully using external and internal benchmarking. You will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the hiring process.

*OneGoal reserves the right to change benefits at anytime according to business need. 

If you require a reasonable accommodation to submit an application or to participate in the application or interview process, please reach out to our Human Assets Team to request an accommodation. Our Human Assets Team can be contacted at 773-321-2630 or [email protected]


OneGoal is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of actual or perceived sex, race, color, ancestry, citizenship, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, parenthood, genetic characteristic or information, military or veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected under federal, state, or local law.