Payroll Manager
LA Opera (LAO) is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that plays a significant role in the cultural life of Southern California. Hundreds of LAO employees and artists help bring to life world-class opera that preserves, promotes, and advances the art form while embodying the diversity, pioneering spirit and artistic sensibility unique to Los Angeles.   

Our productions are experienced by more than 100,000 audience members each year at our home at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. We reach many more through our community and school programs, Off Grand performances in venues across Los Angeles, and On Now digital content.  

About the opportunityLAO pays more than 1,000 individuals on an annual basis, across dozens of programs and performances. Salaries, benefits, and taxes account for approximately half of the company’s annual operating budget, making the Payroll Manager a very critical role.

The Payroll Manager is responsible for timely and accurate processing of the company’s weekly payroll for administrative and union-represented employees, as well as per-performance compensation for domestic and internationally contracted artists. The company is implementing a new payroll system, and the Payroll Manager will play a leadership role with this implementation.

This is a full-time, benefit-eligible position based out of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. The regular schedule for this role is Monday through Friday, with some remote-working flexibility via a hybrid work policy.  

Key responsibilities include the following: 

  • Process weekly payroll for approximately 100 administrative employees as well as hundreds of union-represented employees, performers, and artists
  • Initiate payments via check, direct deposit, ACH and wire transfer
  • Play a leadership role in implementing new payroll software, including general ledger integration
  • Respond to payroll-related inquiries from employees and department managers
  • Work closely with Human Resources Department to ensure accuracy of pay data, changes of status, accrual calculations, benefit elections, withholdings, and direct deposit information
  • Post payroll transactions and journal entries in the general ledger on a timely basis and reconcile payroll accounts monthly
  • Periodically audit and validate time off balances
  • Implement processes to standardize and streamline payroll processing & reporting
  • Submit union reports and remittances on a monthly basis, respond to questions as needed
  • Work closely with third-party payroll company to ensure tax filings are timely and accurate
  • Manage California non-resident backup withholding and filing
  • Coordinate with Accounts Payable Manager regarding independent contractor payments and filing of year-end 1099s
  • Report and remit employee 403b deferrals and company match on a weekly basis
  • Identify and resolve payroll errors and non-compliance with company policies   
  • Assist in identifying, resolving, or explaining significant payroll variances
  • Perform other duties as assigned 

Who we’re looking for:Successful candidates will have at least five years of payroll experience, preferably in a managerial role. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is preferred.  

Experience with ADP, Paychex, or similar payroll systems is required, as well as understanding of state and federal payroll taxes, California AB-5, and rules and regulations regarding engaging individuals as employees vs. individual contractors. Experience managing payroll in a company with a union-represented workforce is strongly preferred.

We are looking for a reliable and dedicated team player with excellent time management skills and demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines. Our Finance team members “roll up their sleeves” and work in a hands-on way to support one another and the organization, and we are seeking someone who will thrive in such an environment.

We are committed to a workplace in which everyone has equitable opportunities and experiences a sense of belonging, and we are seeking a Payroll Manager who champions and demonstrates this commitment. 

To apply:  Qualified applicants may submit an application here. Applications received by Monday, August 22, will receive full consideration.   

Vaccination policy:  LA Opera has a COVID vaccination policy for employees, which requires employees to be up to date on their vaccines (meaning an original vaccine series plus a booster when eligible, as determined by the CDC eligibility schedule). Further information about the policy will be provided to candidates in the interview process.