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Senior Accounting Specialist- Payroll 

Location Museum of Life and Science  
About the Organization The Museum of Life and Science, one of North Carolina’s top family destinations, has been a beloved Durham institution for 75 years. The Museum features 84 acres of exhibits, experiences, and outdoor exploration, including one of the East Coast's largest butterfly conservatories and a two-story science center. As an accredited zoo, the Museum is home to lemurs, black bears, endangered red wolves, and more than 140 species of live animals, butterflies, and insects. Readers of Durham Magazine, Indy Week, and Carolina Parent have repeatedly named us the top Museum in the Triangle. Charity Navigator rated the Museum, a 501(c3) nonprofit organization, 100 out of 100-- the highest possible score.

Our mission is to create a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world. The Museum serves our increasingly diverse community with interactive and accessible experiences that build and develop lifelong connections with science, nature, and critical thinking. The Museum partners with NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation, Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina on many research projects and programs.

In addition to an incredible team of co-workers, the Museum provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, as well as a full array of employee benefits for eligible positions, including a generous 403b retirement plan with employer contributions, health, dental, and vision insurance, flex-spending plans, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, nine paid annual holidays, employee appreciation events, and a family membership to the Museum.  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  

Do you love numbers and science? Can you ensure accuracy with the precision of a microscope and solve problems with the creativity of a dinosaur exhibit? If so, then the Museum of Life and Science has the perfect opportunity for you!

Make Every Paycheck a Joy: Join the Museum of Life and Science as our Sr. Accounting Payroll Specialist!

As our Sr. Accounting Specialist - Payroll, you'll be the behind-the-scenes hero who keeps the museum running smoothly.

We're looking for a candidate who is:

  • Highly organized and detail-oriented, with a passion for accuracy
  • Proficient in payroll software and systems
  • Employees' Benefits experience
  • A strong communicator who can explain complex financial concepts
  • A team player who thrives in a collaborative environment
  • Someone who shares our love for science, nature, and inspiring future generations

Here are just a few of the benefits you'll enjoy:

  • Competitive Benefits Package
  • Hybrid position (Remote and on-site)
  • Discounts on museum memberships, events, and programs
  • A fun and positive work environment
  • The chance to make a difference in the community

If this sounds like you, apply today!

Position Objective: Supports the Museum by assisting the Accounting Department in providing accurate and timely financial information to enable staff and leadership to advance the mission of the Museum.


  • In all activities, the Accounting Specialist – Payroll is expected to act ethically and with attention to detail that supports the integrity and the timeliness of financial reporting to management, board of directors, government agencies, and grantor organizations.
  • Work closely with HR Department to ensure employees’ data is correct in payroll system, including ensuring benefit elections and retirement deductions are entered correctly, as well as changes to employees’ schedules, FTEs, paid leave accruals, pay rates, and departments. Ensure employee terminations are entered correctly and timely, including having appropriate and limited payroll software access rights after termination.
  • Establish and maintain an understanding of the Museum’s benefit offerings to be able to assist People and Culture team with insurance benefits.
  • In collaboration with People and Culture team, ensure new and newly-eligible employees are enrolled timely in applicable benefit plans, and that terminated employees’ insurance coverages are ended for timely notification of COBRA.
  • Establish and maintain an understanding of the Museum’s retirement plan in order to determine eligibility for enrollment in the various plans. Administer plans according to the plan documents.
  • Process bi-weekly payroll, ensuring that timesheets are completed and approved in accordance with complex timekeeping policies.
  • Ensure payroll deductions reconcile to separate benefits system.
  • Export payroll data from payroll system, modify in Excel using macros, and import into general ledger system, paying close attention to coding and detail.
  • Enter 403(b) contributions into plan administrator's system and record in general ledger system.
  • Reconcile monthly all payroll withholding accounts in the general ledger.
  • Audit monthly invoices from benefits providers (medical, dental, vision, life, supplemental, and employee assistance program) and reconcile to deductions in general ledger accounts.
  • Develop and maintain documentation regarding appropriate payroll and timekeeping procedures. Train employees and supervisors in procedures. Obtain support from payroll vendor as necessary.
  • Prepare quarterly reports to monitor 403(b) compliance. Provide data for and serve as the lead on the annual 403(b) audit.
  • Deliver cash deposit to bank, scan checks to bank for remote deposit, and support Guest Relations and Retail Operations with cash change orders.
  • Provide crucial pay data for budgets and compensation studies.
  • Update various Excel spreadsheets and schedules with internal and external data.
  • Assist the Sr. Accounting Specialist and Controller with special projects and monthly reporting.
  • Back up the Accounting Specialist for Accounts Payable as necessary.
  • Always demonstrate adherence to Museum safety procedures.
  • Engage with Museum visitors in a positive and helpful way to support an enjoyable and safe guest experience.
  • Prioritize the Museum’s values of inclusion and kindness in all interactions with staff, volunteers, and guests.
  • Additional job-related duties as assigned.


Actual Pay Rate: $52,000.00 - $58,000.00 per year

Position Requirements
  • Three or more years of payroll experience
  • Employee benefits experience with a general understanding of benefit plan operations
  • Ability to perform tasks with a high degree of accuracy and independence
  • Very strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Excel
  • Proficient with accounting software, understand accounting concepts, and comfortable working in a paperless, digital environment
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality with personal information
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Knowledge of general ledger systems and procedures, financial chart of accounts, and generally accepted accounting principles
  • Thorough knowledge of payroll and time and attendance concepts and procedures
  • Ability to troubleshoot, follow up, and resolve problems with staff from other departments
  • Strong planning, multitasking, and organizational skills to balance and prioritize duties
  • Willingness to stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies in payroll and benefits administration
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Enthusiasm for supporting staff across the organization


  • Non-profit or government experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field
  • Associate degree in accounting plus five years of experience in lieu of Bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrated ability to improve workflows and enhance efficiencies
  • Experience with advanced payroll solutions, such as Paychex, UKG, or ADP
  • Experience with non-profit general ledger software solutions, such as MIP, Sage Intacct or NetSuite


Work setting:

Hybrid work


Shift Days  
Pay Range $52,000.00 - $58,000.00 per year  
EOE Statement The Museum of Life and Science is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, we will provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities to participate in the job application or interview process, perform crucial job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. As an equal opportunity employer, we value the differences and benefits that a diverse culture brings. Join us!
Category Accounting/Finance  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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