California State Controller's seal

Senior Payroll Specialist (7CO26)

Salary Range:

$3,977.00 - $4,980.00

Type of Examination:

OPEN - SPOT EXAM SACRAMENTO

Bulletin Release Date:

9/1/2017

Final Filing Date:

Continuous; the cut-off dates for this examination are September 30th and March 31st.

Who May Apply:

Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications as stated below may apply for this examination. Once you have list eligibility, you may not reapply for twelve (12) months from your examination’s cut-off date. All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this examination announcement. Candidates that are unsuccessful in the exam must wait six (6) months from the cut-off date before reapplying to take the exam.

Filing Instructions:

Applications (STD 678) must be postmarked or received no later than the final filing date. Applications postmarked, received via inter-office mail, or personally delivered after the final filing date will not be accepted. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. Applications postmarked after the cut-off date or received after 5:00 p.m. on the cut-off date will be held for the next administration of the examination. The examination title must be indicated on the application.

*File by Mail:
State Controller’s Office
HR – Examination Unit
P.O. Box 942850-5877
Sacramento, CA 94250-5877
Attn: Kelli Simpkin

*File in Person:
State Controller’s Office
HR – Examination Unit
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attn: Kelli Simpkin

*Candidates are responsible for obtaining proof of mailing or submission of their application to the Examination Unit.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you have a disability and wish to participate in one of our testing services, programs, or activities and require a specific accommodation, please mark the appropriate box for Question #2 on the Examination Application form STD678. You will be contacted to make specific arrangements. TDD users may contact the California Relay Service TDD line at 1-800-735-2929, Voice Line at 1-800-735-2922.

Identification for Examination:

Accepted candidates are required to bring their Notice to Appear and either a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification to each phase of the examination.

Requirements for Admittance into the Examination:

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements for this examination by the established cut-off date. Your signature on the application indicates that you read, understand, and possess

the minimum qualifications required, and that the information provided is true and complete to the best of your knowledge.

All applications must include: “to” and “from” dates (month/day/year), time base, civil service or private sector titles, the duties performed, and an original signature. Applications received without this information will be rejected.

Note: Qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as “Either I,” “or II,” “or III,” etc. For example: Candidates, who possess qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern I and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern II, may be admitted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirements.

Minimum Qualifications:

One year of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Payroll Specialist, Range D, Personnel Specialist, Range D, or Payroll Services Specialist II.

Click on the link below to review the CA State Personnel Board class specification that contains the requirements for admittance to the exam:

https://hrnet.calhr.ca.gov/CalHRNet/SpecCrossReference.aspx?ClassID=1315

Examination Information:

It is anticipated that the Supplemental Application Questionnaire will be mailed approximately two months after the cut-off date.

This examination will consist of a Supplemental Application Questionnaire weighted 100%. In order to obtain a position on the eligible list, a minimum score of 70% must be attained.

Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis. Testing is considered continuous, as new examination dates may be set at any time as departmental needs warrant. Each new cut-off date will be publicized to ensure that applicants have adequate time to complete and submit an application.  

Eligibility List Information:

A Departmental Open spot eligible list will be established for the State Controller’s Office in Sacramento County. The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the list in order of final scores, regardless of date. Competitors’ eligibility will expire 12 months after it is established unless the needs of the service and conditions of the list warrant a change in this period. For a classification with a merged list, it is the competitor’s responsibility to reapply for and be successful in the examination in order to maintain eligibility after 12 months.

Position Statement:

This series specification describes three classifications that perform specialized payroll duties at the State Controller's Office. Classes that perform general office or personnel transactions work have been excluded.

Incumbents in these classes are distinguished from other classes by being regularly required to apply State civil service and CSU laws, and departmental, control agency, and campus rules and regulations, and bargaining unit provisions pertaining to a variety of payroll transactions. Payroll Specialist incumbents work with a variety of payroll plans, voluntary deduction programs, retirement plans, income tax withholding requirements, and disability insurance programs. The predominant duties of positions in these classes require a thorough and detailed knowledge of appropriate laws, rules, regulations, and contract language pertaining to payroll transactions. Positions in this series are located in the Payroll Operations Unit of the State Controller's Office.

This is the expert journey level of the series. Under general direction, incumbents serve as the expert staff resource. As a staff specialist, researches critical transactions problems and recommends alternative solutions; develops and maintains specialized training programs; reviews various control agency letters, memos, and bargaining contract provisions, and develops/revises internal procedures as necessary; prepares management reports, spreadsheets, and charts; drafts correspondence; functions as a team member on payroll-related projects; are coordinators for a variety of statewide payroll programs; and may act in a lead role (i.e., training, workload, etc.) over lower-level staff.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

  1. Current office methods and procedures in order to function in an office environment.
  2. Basic math principles in order to perform transaction-related calculations.
  3. Federal and State laws, rules, and regulations concerning payroll transactions in order to ensure compliance with payroll program policies and procedures.
  4. Bargaining contract provisions concerning payroll transactions in order to ensure compliance with payroll program policies and procedures.
  5. Procedures and policies of the processing of payroll transactions in order to ensure compliant and efficient transactions.

Ability to:

  1. Think logically in order to diagnose payroll-related issues, identify potential solutions, and implement solutions.
  2. Multitask in order to complete work in a timely and accurate manner.
  3. Apply Federal and State laws, rules and regulations concerning payroll transactions in order to ensure compliance with payroll program policies and procedures.
  4. Apply bargaining contract provisions concerning payroll transactions in order to ensure compliance with payroll program policies and procedures.
  5. Independently interpret reference material in order to identify appropriate solutions to payroll issues.
  6. Independently use reference material in order to implement appropriate solutions to payroll-related issues.
  7. Provide and follow directions in order to ensure that work is completed in a timely and accurate manner.
  8. Gather data in order to research and evaluate payroll-related issues, provide recommendations, and implement solutions.
  9. Gather data in order to research and evaluate payroll-related issues, provide recommendations, and implement solutions.
  10. Communicate effectively in order to provide accurate information and function in an office environment.
  11. Operate a computer in order to complete assignments and function in an office environment.
  12. Work with departments, campuses, and employees on technical matters and sensitive issues in order effectively assist internal and external customers.
  13. Establish cooperative working relationships in order to effectively assist internal and external customers.
  14. Maintain cooperative working relationships in order to effectively assist internal and external customers.
  15. Organize work in order to ensure the timely and accurate completion of assignments.
  16. Prioritize work in order to ensure the timely and accurate completion of assignments.
  17. Draft correspondence in order to communicate information to internal and external customers.
  18. Provide technical assistance to staff in order to ensure the timely and accurate completion of assignments.
  19. Represent the department on intra/interdepartmental teams in order to meet the business needs of the agency.
  20. Coordinate a variety of personnel/payroll transactions in order to ensure the timely and accurate completion of work.
  21. Research complex transactions in order to provide appropriate recommendations and implement solutions.
  22. Recommend alternative solutions in order to resolve payroll-related issues.

Special Personal Characteristics:

None

Additional Desirable Qualifications:

Familiarity with automated systems.

Veterans Preference:

Veterans’ Preference will be applied to those competitors who are successful in this examination and who qualify for, and have requested, Veterans’ Preference through the CA Department of Human Resources. Veterans who have achieved permanent civil service status are not eligible to receive Veterans’ Preference.

Career Credits:

Career Credits will not be added to the final score of this examination.

Contact Information:

For more information regarding this examination, please contact the Examination Analyst Kelli Simpkin at 916-322-7368.

General Information:

For an examination without an advertised examination date, it is the candidate's responsibility to contact the State Controller's Office Examination Unit, (916-324-0811), three weeks after the final filing date if he/she has not received a progress notice

If a candidate’s notice of examination fails to reach him/her 3 days prior to their scheduled examination date due to verified postal error, the candidate will be rescheduled upon written request.

Examination Locations: Examinations will be administered in locations deemed appropriate for the examination type and in accordance with the candidate pool and departmental resources. Examinations may not be administered in all areas. Candidates may be asked to travel to the nearest examination location at their own expense.

Applications are available at https://jobs.ca.gov/pdf/STD678.pdf.  CA Department of Human Resources (CalHR) offices, local offices of the Employment Development Department (EDD), and the State Controller's Office.

If you meet the requirements stated on this bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirement does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in this examination will be compared with the performance of the others who take this examination, and all candidates who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Eligible Lists:  Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) Sub-Divisional Promotional, 2) Departmental Promotional, 3) Multi-Departmental Promotional, 4) Servicewide Promotional, 5) Departmental Open, and 6) Open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older list must be used first. Eligible lists will expire 12 months after established unless the needs of service and conditions of the list warrant a change in this period.

General Qualifications: Candidates must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, and ability to work cooperatively with others; and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Veterans’ Preference:  Pursuant to Assembly Bill 372, Veterans’ Preference will be awarded as follows, starting January 1, 2014:

  1. Any veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran, who achieves a passing score in an open examination, shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list.
  2. Any veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released is not eligible for Veterans’ Preference.
  3. Veterans’ Preference is not granted once a person achieves permanent civil service status (Permanent State civil service status means the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This includes permanent intermittent, part-time, and full-time appointments. In addition, individuals who at any time achieved permanent State civil service status and subsequently resigned or were dismissed from State civil service are not eligible to receive Veterans’ Preference).

Veteran status is verified by the CA Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans’ Preference are on the Veterans’ Preference Application (CalHR Form 1093) which is available at https://www.jobs.ca.gov/CalHRPublic/Landing/Jobs/VeteransInformation.aspx or from the CA Department of Human Resources, 1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95811 and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The State Controller’s Office reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all competitors will be notified.