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Payroll Assistant

Job ID: 7016

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Finance/Accounting


About Kirkland & Ellis

At Kirkland & Ellis, we are united in our ambition and drive to move forward. We share core values that help us achieve excellence: collaboration, talent empowerment, service, inclusion, respect and gratitude. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in the brightest talent and encourage a diversity of perspectives and strengths to create dynamic teams that operate at the pinnacle of their field. Our talented professionals show up every day knowing they will engage in meaningful work, continuous learning and professional development.
As one of the world’s leading law firms, we serve a broad range of clients with market-leading practices in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions; investment fund formation and management; restructurings; high-stakes litigation and trials; and government, regulatory and internal investigations. We handle the most complicated and sophisticated legal matters because we don’t just meet industry standards, we create them. We bring innovation and entrepreneurialism to every engagement and, as a result, have long-standing client relationships with leading global corporations and financial sponsors. With 6,500 employees (including 3,000+ lawyers) operating from 18 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions

The Payroll Assistant supports the preparation of the Firm’s semi-monthly U.S. payroll and interacts with employees at all levels. Responsibilities include accurate and timely payroll processing, performing established internal control activities, and responding to inquiries/requests in a timely and professional manner.  The candidate will also learn and gain exposure to many aspects of the Firm’s Accounting and Human Resource operations, along with actively participating in departmental improvement initiatives.

Essential Functions: (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

  • Assist in processing semi-monthly payroll, ensuring compliance and accuracy.
  • Understand/monitor the flow of information between Human Resources and the payroll system, ensuring that all changes submitted to payroll (including W4 and direct deposit changes) are processed correctly.
  • Review computed wages ensuring the accuracy of earnings and deductions.
  • Process all garnishments and wage assignments.
  • Review payroll documentation for accuracy using audit reports and make any necessary adjustments (after obtaining all required approvals).
  • Prepare various management reports and process manual checks as requested.
  • Maintain supporting documentation in the Firm’s document management system.
  • Prepare payroll journal entries, general ledger reconciliations, communications regarding stale dated checks, as well as special projects as requested.
  • Print, sort, and distribute payroll checks for on-cycle and off-cycle check runs.
  • Respond timely to inquiries and requests while safeguarding the confidentiality of payroll information.
  • Work cooperatively with colleagues in Human Resources and Accounting to provide quality seamless customer service on all payroll related issues.
  • Follow-up effectively with all clients/customers.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • The Payroll Assistant will have a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance, or Business. Previous multi-state payroll experience in a law firm of professional services company is preferable but not essential. Training will be provided to the extent required.  
  • A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related fields is required; CPP certification is a plus.  
  • Strong customer service orientation and a commitment to excellence are required. The candidate must be motivated, proactive, and self-confident.
  • Able to adapt to changes in priorities and displays a sense of ownership as it relates to their responsibilities.
  • A candidate must have meticulous attention to detail in addition to strong analytical, organizational, and written/verbal communication skills.
  • The ability to work with all professional levels and maintain confidentiality is critical; must be a team player who can also work independently.


  • MS Office with emphasis on Excel and Word skills
  • Payroll software (PeopleSoft preferred)


  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  To complete an application and submit your resume, please click "Apply Now."

Equal Employment Opportunity

All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Closing Statement

The job postings and recruiting mailbox are for candidates only. If you are a recruiter, search firm or employment agency, and do not have a signed contract with Kirkland & Ellis LLP ("K&E") and have not been asked specifically to submit candidates, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if K&E hires the candidate. Direct contact with K&E employees in an attempt to present candidates is inappropriate and will be a factor in determining any future professional relationship with the Firm. #LI-Hybrid #LI-AR1