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Payroll Lead

Northbrook, Illinois

FosterThomas, Inc. is a leading HR Management and Consulting firm. We are supporting our client, an international pharmaceuticals company, with US headquarters in Northbrook IL, in their search for a Payroll Lead. This is a full time, permanent role with our client.

The Payroll Lead position is a hands-on, “roll up your sleeves” position that will lead all corporate payroll activities to ensure transactions are processed timely, accurately and in compliance with federal, state and local requirements, established SOX controls and company policies.

Key Payroll Responsibilities:

This position will work closely with the Corporate Human Resources Department

  • Lead domestic payroll operations and processing to ensure all payrolls are processed and transmitted timely, accurately and in compliance with legislative requirements (federal, state and local wage and hour laws), established SOX controls and company policies. Also ensure ongoing compliance with payroll and payroll tax regulatory changes, inclusive of social security, Medicare, etc.
  • Provide support to ensure payroll runs adhere to pre-defined schedules, are reconciled timely and all errors/issues are identified and resolved timely. Error resolution will oftentimes require working closely with the Human Resources Department on master data. This would include, but not be limited to, validating and auditing human resource master data updates/changes (e.g. payroll changes, pay calculations, deductions, merit increases, relocations, stock options, bonuses, and open enrollment changes)
  • Lead year end payroll and payroll tax activities, including preparation of Forms W-2, fringe benefit reporting, year-end reconciliations, and reporting
  • Assist in providing guidance on Success Factors Employee Central payroll module, ADP Smart Compliance and reporting, ADP Workforce, including but not limited to, system upgrades/conversions and the ongoing evaluation of outsourcing/optimization opportunities and future implementations.
  • Review and analyze current payroll and tax procedures in order to recommend and implement changes leading to Payroll best-practices.
  • Lead payroll unemployment and garnishment processes to ensure compliance and remittances are processed timely and accurately
  • Lead working relationships with agencies regarding payroll taxes, including quarterly/annual taxes, state and local taxes, IRS requests/inquiries and other company audits
  • Support corporate finance and treasury department on payroll funding/bank interfaces, reconciliations and general ledger mapping and journal entries
  • Work closely with various stakeholders, especially the Human Resources Department, on process and master data issues and provide support for issue resolution when identified.

Other Responsibilities

This position will also provide assistance to the Corporate Accounts Payable department and work closely with the Corporate Procurement Department and our domestic plant locations. These efforts will include, but not be limited to, assisting with invoice processing and automation efforts, accounts payable problem resolution, procurement master data resolution, etc.


  • Hands-on, “roll up your sleeves” – type approach
  • Ability to take initiative, adapt, prioritize and problem solve with strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Energetic, strong work ethic, resilient, collaborative, ability to juggle multiple projects at once and personally committed to achieving success
  • Ability to determine escalation requirements and ensure key issues are put in front of key stakeholders with recommendations for resolution
  • Attention to detail and continuous process improvement mindset
  • General understanding of end-to-end HR/payroll, payroll information flow is required
  • ADP Workforce Now experience highly desired
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) certification is a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent work experience
  • General Accounts Payable experience is a plus

EEO Statement: FosterThomas is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to equal employment opportunities in recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation and disciplinary action with regard to the terms and conditions of employment.  FosterThomas does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, age, sex, disability, marital status, gender identity genetic information, sexual orientation, or sex, including pregnancy and childbirth, veteran status or any other legally protected characteristic.

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