Skip to main content

Payroll Director


About Tides 

Tides is a nonprofit and philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing social justice. We work across the social sector to shift power to leaders, communities of color, and other historically excluded groups who face systemic barriers. Applying our equity-centered lens and leveraging our vast network of changemakers, we work to strengthen the impact of our partners by offering services like fiscal sponsorship, donor advised funds, impact investing, and grantmaking. For more information, please visit


The Role 

Tides is seeking a Payroll Director to be responsible for its payroll function including payroll operations, tax reporting and auditing, system improvements, and management of the payroll team.  


Tides is a $1B family of five nonprofit entities serving over 130 fiscally sponsored projects with 1200 staff. Based in our San Francisco office, this position will manage timely, accurate, compliant payroll across multiple entities, projects and states, for both union and non-union staff. This role will report to the Senior Director of Finance and manage a team of two payroll staff which may grow in the future to meet the organization’s needs. 


We are seeking an experienced professional to work closely with the organization’s leadership in developing payroll strategies that align with the organization’s vision and support its initiatives and shared services. This role requires a strong customer service orientation to align with the Tides’ culture of open communications and drive for excellence. 


What you will do 

  • Managing and maintaining Tides’ payroll functions to ensure timely and accurate wage payments for 1,000+ union and non-union employees across multiple entities and states. 
  • Leading and developing payroll team to ensure optimal accuracy and efficiency throughout payroll processes; training staff through mentorship to become subject matter experts and points of contact on all payroll inquiries.  
  • Collaborating with organizational leadership and cross-functional stakeholders to identify any necessary system changes to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the payroll function and mitigate risk; implementing and supporting the change management process. 
  • Managing, supporting and auditing payroll and tax balancing, payroll reconciliations, quarter end and year end activities. 
  • Monitoring and ensuring compliance with generally accepted accounting principles, organizational procedures, federal and state regulations and FLSA standards.  
  • Preparing and managing taxes and reports; ensuring accuracy of W-2s, 941s and all payroll tax filings; resolving monthly discrepancy reports; developing and modifying special calculations including retirement plans, Workers’ Compensation, union dues, shift differentials, and accruals; facilitating the proper tax calculation of cash and non-cash fringe benefits. 
  • Accurate and timely filing of agency notices by implementing a strong governance and audit model with our third-party payroll vendor. 
  • Managing payroll component of financial audit, 990s, workers compensation and retirement plan audits.  
  • Ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local legal requirements by studying existing and new legislation, enforcing adherence to requirements; advising management on needed actions. 


What you will bring

  • Commitment to supporting Tides’ values and goals: ability keep large-scale systemic thinking in mind while managing day-to-day workflow. 
  • Proven problem-solving capability: collaborative and proactive approach to identifying areas for improvement and refining processes for optimal accuracy and efficiency; ability to negotiate, influence and resolve conflicts. 
  • Customer service orientation and strong communication skills: ability to explain and rectify any issues staff may have with payroll administration.  
  • Demonstrated ability to hold information confidential with excellent judgment and maintain consistent, high-level work ethic in all relationships and duties. 
  • Exposure to and/or experience with payroll tax regulation related to non-profit organizations, philanthropic work, and fiscal sponsorship, a plus. 


Education and Work Experience 

  • Degree in Accounting, Finance, HR, or equivalent work experience.  
  • Ten or more years’ experience in a payroll-related position, with at least three years in a leadership role. 
  • Five or more years’ staff management experience, including proven ability to lead a team to excellence by delegating responsibilities and develop talent through ongoing mentorship. 
  • Working experience in payroll tax and accounting including multi-entity, multi-state and union staff payroll.  
  • Experience handling payroll tax regulation and audits for a remote workforce. 
  • Extensive working knowledge of ADP and/or similar payroll systems. 
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP), strongly preferred. 
  • Experience with payroll system upgrades and implementation projects, preferred. 
  • Must be within commuting distance of Tides’ San Francisco office and available to work onsite two days per month plus occasional team meetings and retreats. 


Life at Tides   

Working at Tides connects you with world-class teammates, enduring relationships, and an inspired sense of purpose - while our employee benefits support our team’s talent and well-being. This is an exciting time to join Tides. In the past, Tides staff have worked predominantly from our offices in San Francisco and New York. Today, our hybrid work model supports staff with remote work from anywhere in the United States.  

Salary Range   

Tides is committed to providing a competitive compensation package. The starting salary for this role ranges from $154,600 - $193,200 based on geographic location, years of experience, and ensuring pay equity within the organization. The recruiting team is committed to sharing more details regarding compensation based on the candidate's experience and location during the interview process. Tides offers a generous benefits package including: comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance, paid time off, life and disability insurances, retirement plan, educational assistance, confidential counseling and life balance resources designed to support the passion, commitment and energy that is vital to our team members.   

Important Information   

Any Tides Network employee who wishes to use the office or travel to the office must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and boosted. You are required to submit proof of vaccination to the Human Resources Department at least 2 days before your first visit to the office. Employees who do not have vaccination information on file will not be permitted in the building.   

Application Instructions   

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.   


Equal Employment Opportunity   

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.  


Applicants with Disabilities   

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. If you seek an accommodation, please advise in writing at the time you apply.   


San Francisco, CA 94129
United States

Full Time