Lyric Opera of Chicago | Payroll Manager

Submitted by ttuckett on Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:01am

REPORTSTO:Director, Payroll Operations

STATUS:         Full-time, Exempt


Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera.

We are searching for an experienced payroll manager to be responsible for supervising Lyric’s payroll processing and payroll accounting activities. Lyric Opera has multiple Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with its orchestra, chorus, stagehands, etc.  These agreements play a significant role in the payroll function.  The position is responsible for weekly and bi-weekly payroll supervision, administration of CBA work rules as they relate to payroll and benefit administration for administrative and theater employees. It requires accounting for complicated payroll and benefits transactions and a high degree of interface with employees and union groups.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Payroll Manager will ensure legal and contractual compliance while championing contemporary pay practices across the Administrative and Labor employee populations at Lyric.



General Payroll Management

  • Responsible for ensuring 2 weekly and 3 biweekly payrolls are processed on time and with   accuracy.
  • Ensure timely submission and accuracy of all payroll data.
  • Ensure compliance with government regulations, labor and tax laws, company policies and procedures.
  • Accurately prepare monthly payroll journal entries for accounting books and records, ensuring that monthly financial statements are issued in a timely manner. 
  • Assist in the reconciliation of payroll-related balance sheet accounts, and resolve discrepancies in a timely manner. 
  • Ensure accurate distribution of payrolls in the general ledger.
  • Submit for payment to third parties all payroll withholdings (eg: union dues, child support, retirement deferrals, etc).
  • Ensure payroll taxes (federal, state, FICA and unemployment) are paid on a timely basis and all government reporting is processed correctly and timely.
  • With the Director of Payroll Operations, serve as primary liaison to payroll service provider.
  • Ensure verifications of employment are responded to in a timely manner.

Collective Bargaining Agreements Administration

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of all union collective bargaining agreements as they relate to compensation and benefits. Make decisions, which may be precedent-setting, related to CBA interpretations.
  • Set up accurate payroll control sheets and pay based on the union contracts.
  • Calculate, submit for payment, and report all union benefits on a timely basis.
  • Supervise process for all media payments in compliance with collective bargaining agreements.

Benefits Administration

  • Oversee reconciliation and distribution of year-end W2s and related tax filings.
  • Ensure accurate paid-time off accruals and reporting for CFM and AGMA groups. 
  • In coordination with the Benefits Director, maintain financial reconciliation of medical/wellness benefits and COBRA payments.

Artistic Compensation Administration

  • Supervise principal artist payroll, including applicable federal tax withholding, per diem/expense payments. Timing of payments is irregular. Knowledge must include expert knowledge of taxation for non-resident aliens, work visa rules, etc.
  • Ensure timely filing of 1042S tax payments, 1042S filing/distribution.
  • Process benefit remittance for the American Guild of Musical Artists on a monthly basis.


  • Ability to occasionally oversee evening or weekend functions, deployments or performances.
  • Sitting for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, and to handle other office equipment.
Skills & Qualifications: 


  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in business administration or equivalent experience.
  • More than five (5) years of payroll experience with three (3) years of supervisory experience.
  • Expert knowledge of and comfort working with:
  • Financial accounting software, preferably Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics or Navision
  • Payroll Software (ADP)
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Customer service philosophy and focus:  Outstanding communication skills with the ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from a variety of managers and employees.
  • Broad knowledge of payroll processing systems, concepts and methodologies.
  • The ability to quickly learn, analyze and apply new compensation law.
  • Demonstrate ability to work and think independently, a motivated self-starter who also works well in a larger team.
To Apply: 

If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to denoting position of interest.