Senior Payroll Officer

Finance & Compliance Portland, Oregon


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long-term impact.

The Program / Department / Team

The Corporate Finance Department performs a vital function for Mercy Corps globally, interacting with all other departmental functions of the Agency in order to provide meaningful financial information to employees, management, donors, and regulators. Corporate Finance includes accounting, payroll, financial reporting, and global treasury management functions. The Corporate Finance Department also works closely with the International Finance Department to provide monthly consolidation of over 40 countries and several subsidiaries’ financial information.

The Position

This position is responsible for multi-state US and international payroll-related functions for a complex, rapidly changing workforce. In addition, this position provides support to the global Mercy Corps team and the Finance team in a timely and accurate manner with a spirit of teamwork and service.

Essential Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with others on the Global Finance team, identifies areas of opportunity to strengthen Global Finance and proactively offers recommendations to management.
  • Supports Payroll, Corporate Finance, and HR Department objectives.
  • Identifies a personal work plan, reflecting objectives that contribute to Mercy Corps objectives.
  • Owns and manages timely and accurate payroll.
  • Keeps up to date on payroll regulations and trends in payroll field in the humanitarian sector.
  • Consistently demonstrates flexibility, resilience, and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
  • Maintains high ethical standards and treats people with respect and dignity.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of personal strengths and development needs.
  • Demonstrates initiative and qualities of a self-starter.
  • Collaborates closely with Payroll Manager, peer Payroll Officers, and interdepartmentally.
  • Maintains productive relationships with all team members, stakeholders, vendors, etc.
  • Serves as subject matter experts and primary payroll point of contact for audits including internal audits, donor audits, SAIF, CHUBB, TCN audits, and external audits.


  • Responds to and addresses all payroll-related questions, audit inquiries or requests for information within three (3) days of receipt, which complies with the current service standard.
  • Accountable for payroll aspects of system and tax updates, enhancements, and compliance.
  • Partners in cross-functional initiatives to implement improvements to systems and processes.
  • Manages special projects and provides payroll expertise for special projects.
  • Responsible for all aspects of full-cycle semi-monthly and monthly payroll processing.
  • Responsible for integration between payroll systems and other related company systems.
  • Serves as liaison for employee complaints, questions, and/or concerns regarding payroll services and communicates those issues to Payroll Manager.
  • Accountable for the archives of all payroll-related documentation and relevant correspondence.
  • Resolves and responds to payroll issues; escalates to Payroll Manager when necessary.
  • Prepares any necessary tax amendments and follow-up on tax resolution issues.
  • Assists in the development of the Payroll Standards and Processing Manual.
  • In the absence of the Payroll Manager, crosschecks peer Payroll Officer’s payroll preview.
  • Responsible for ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of all payroll-related information.
  • Establishes and maintains a positive working relationship interdepartmentally and with employees.
  • Assists with other payroll tasks and duties as assigned or needed, including audits.


  • Maintains compliance through management of monthly taxable benefits.
  • Serves as backup to peer Payroll Officer.
  • Responsible for year-end W-2s, including processing W-2c’s if necessary.
  • Processes adjustments to earnings for designated team members on leave.

  • Prepares necessary semi-monthly and monthly payroll reports and ad-hoc reports as requested.

  • Ensures benefit-related payroll deductions are completed and processed in a timely manner.

  • Works closely with Benefits during various open enrollments.

  • Manages the 403(b), TCN, SAIF and Chubb annual audits.

Supervisory Responsibility

This position holds no supervisory responsibility.


Reports Directly To: Payroll Manager

Works Directly With: Payroll team, Corporate Accounting, International Finance and Compliance, HR Services, HCM team, and other People and Strategy team members.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • 5-8+ years of processing complex full-cycle payroll, that reflects increasing responsibilities in a medium to large complex organization with high volume of changes; required.
  • 5+ years of complex multi-state payroll, time and attendance reporting and G/L reconciliations experience; required.
  • International payroll experience and/or exposure to international HR and/or business; preferred.
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex payroll concepts and practices with ability to compute frequent and complex calculations accurately; required.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and reasoning ability, including taking initiative on resolution of complex payroll questions and situations; required.
  • Proven experience in providing exceptional customer service to team members and a proven ability to interact effectively with all levels of team members and management with high ethical standards; required.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical problem-solving aptitude and ability to recognize and anticipate potential problems; required.
  • Demonstrated initiative and proactive ability in owning the entire payroll process; required.
  • High level of attention to both large and small details with accuracy; required.
  • Must have strong mathematical skills and natural aptitude for numbers, excellent written and oral communication skills, ability to present and explain payroll information in an easy-to-understand manner; required.
  • Intermediate ability with Microsoft Office, including Word and Excel (v-lookup); required.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage time effectively and efficiently; required.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize and work according to deadlines; required.
  • Associate degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Business or Finance; preferred.
  • 5+ years of recent and extensive full-cycle payroll processing experience in ADP WorkForce Now; required.
  • Experience with Ulti Pro HCM and Data Basics Time Keeping System; preferred.
  • An understanding of and experience with duties beyond payroll.

Success Factors

The successful team member will be self-directed, innovative, action-oriented, and an avid learner. They must have the ability to work independently, employ effective time management skills, handle frequent interruptions, and shift priorities, exhibit effective customer service skills and work effectively with a wide variety of individuals. Additionally, the individual will thrive in a fast-paced environment prone to rapid change and will be willing to increase their responsibility level in the assigned areas. The most successful Mercy Corps team members have a positive approach, a strong commitment to teamwork and personal accountability, the ability to be flexible and ensure that effective communication is a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Portland.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient, and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening, and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.