Morgridge Careers

Payroll and Benefits Specialist

Job ID
Human Resources
# of Openings

The Organization

As an independent research organization, the Morgridge Institute for Research explores uncharted scientific territory to discover tomorrow’s cures. In affiliation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we support researchers who take a fearless approach to advancing human health in emerging fields such as regenerative biology, metabolism, virology and medical engineering. Through public programming, we work to inspire scientific curiosity in everyday life.

The Opportunity

Job Purpose

The Payroll and Benefits Specialist is responsible for handling all payroll activities for the organization and for managing the benefit programs for the Morgridge Institute for Research, including implementing changes and communicating information to employees.  The person in this role serves as the primary point of contact for payroll and benefits questions from employees, and as the liaison between the Morgridge Institute and our payroll/benefits providers.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Complete payroll processing, including preparing the monthly payroll and preparing payroll journal entries for Accounting.  Process payroll changes including, but not limited to, new hires, terminations, garnishments, manual checks, leave requests, various payroll deductions, etc.
  • Prepare payroll-related reports, resolve payroll-related discrepancies and look for process efficiencies in the administration of both payroll and benefits.
  • Administer benefits plans including enrollments, terminations and changes related to medical, dental, life insurance; accident and disability; and pensions and retirement savings accounts.
  • Serve as the primary contact between the Morgridge Institute and the various payroll and benefits providers/vendors.
  • Act as a liaison between employees and insurance providers to resolve benefit related issues and ensure positive relations. 
  • Analyze current benefits through evaluating the usage, services, coverage, effectiveness and cost compared with industry trends through utilizing benefit surveys, other plans and resources. Develop recommendations for management review.
  • Ensure plans are administered under appropriate federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Assist with revision and review of organizational policies and procedures; select appropriate vehicles to communicate related information
  • Conduct new employee orientations to ensure employee understanding of the organization, benefits and related policies.
  • Advise and assist management and employees with benefit questions.
  • Administer, review, revise, and maintain employee benefits, human resources information systems and payroll systems. Work with end users to provide assistance and troubleshoot system problems.
  • Interface with Accounting to ensure accuracy of provider billing. Process required documents through payroll and insurance providers to ensure accurate documentation and proper deductions. Process monthly billings for all benefit plans from all insurance providers. Review bills for accuracy and complete reports as needed.  Advise and support the accounting department in the audits of worker’s compensation, payroll, and the pension plan.
  • Maintain employee benefit files and update of employee payroll records within deadlines and regulations.
  • Perform other HR and Employee Benefits related duties as required.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each primary duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the primary duties.

Education and Experience:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or equivalent education and experience in Human Resources required; CPP and/or PHR certification preferred but not necessary
  • Minimum 5 years professional human resources experience related to benefits administration, compensation, payroll and/or accounting experience, at least 8 years of experience preferred.
  • Experience working with HRIS or payroll software required, Orbit preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Knowledge of human resources principles and government reporting requirements including related federal and state regulations, filing and compliance requirements.
  • Ability to maintain high level of confidentiality
  • Strong accuracy and detail orientation
  • Ability to prioritize and handle multiple assignments at one time
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and familiarity with payroll software (Orbit preferred).
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to effectively communicate with tact and diplomacy across all levels of the organization
  • Ability to work independently and use sound judgment in decision-making
  • Excellent problem solving capabilities and organizational skills

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

  • Work is normally performed in a typical office environment
  • No or very limited physical effort is required
  • No or very limited exposure to physical risk


Qualified individuals interested in this opportunity are required to submit a cover letter and resume as one document.


The Morgridge Institute for Research is an equal opportunity employer.


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