Senior Payroll Accountant – Lookout Local Santa Cruz


LOCATION: Watsonville, California

JOB DESCRIPTION: The Senior Payroll Accountant is responsible for all activities necessary to support the accounting team and the payroll function. This position will assist with accounting duties and manage the full payroll cycle, as well as support and strengthen internal controls and processes. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining and reconciling general ledger and payroll accounts, posting journal entries, preparing reports, and providing detailed analysis as requested by management. .


  • Manage timesheet submission, manager approval process and maintenance of all payroll and timekeeping system configurations
  • Review and audit data imported from time and attendance systems, bonus payments, and other payroll-related data
  • Responsible for the timely and accurate processing of bi-weekly payroll and reports for over 150 non-exempt and exempt employees in multiple states
  • Review and reconciliation of payroll before transmission
  • Process payroll transactions in a timely and accurate manner, including salaries, benefits, manual checks, garnishments, taxes, deductions and time off
  • Responsible for various accounting transactions, accrued liabilities and journal entries
  • Maintain the completeness and accuracy of the general ledger for all payroll-related accounts
  • Assist with month-end close, reconcile various general ledger accounts and provide explanations for variances
  • Review and verify 401K and HSA employee contributions, as well as make contribution deposits to third-party administrators in a timely manner
  • Coordinate annual workers compensation audit
  • Audit the payroll information entered in accordance with the bank’s internal control requirements
  • Participate in external financial reports and audits
  • Provide HR with supporting documentation for 401k audits and reporting on Form 5500
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local payroll laws as well as best practices for employer-paid benefits and tax withholding in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Ensure monthly, quarterly, and annual payroll tax form filing meets federal, state, and local requirements and is submitted on time
  • Year-end audit of payroll and tax records to timely and accurately process annual W-2 entries and taxable benefits
  • Manage regulatory filings, notices, audits, and other communications from federal and state agencies related to the bank’s payroll and income tax accounts
  • Manage payroll policies and procedures to ensure appropriate internal controls and efficient processes
  • Identify opportunities for process improvement and automation and drive the implementation of solutions
  • Calculate equity-related income for equity grants and exercises, and reconciliation of equity transactions
  • Prepare various accounting and payroll reports as needed to support management


Education and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting
  • 5+ years of relevant experience required
  • Experience with payroll-related systems such as HR and payroll, and time and attendance; Paylocity experience a plus
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Advanced skills in Excel
  • Working knowledge of US GAAP
  • Detail oriented with the ability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Working knowledge of payroll policies and procedures, including federal and multi-state laws
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task to effectively meet challenges when managing competing demands
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to summarize issues, assimilate information and solve problems
  • Ability to effectively learn and apply new concepts in a fast-paced, challenging, dynamic and evolving environment
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to interact with third-party vendors and all levels of staff
  • Dependable, reliable and punctual presence

HOW TO REGISTER: If you are interested, please submit an online application here.


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