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Payroll Director

Avidity Biosciences

Avidity Biosciences

Accounting & Finance
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2024


Job Title:

Payroll Director


San Diego, CA / Hybrid

Position type:


Full time




Strive to Bring a Profound Difference to our Patients

At Avidity Biosciences, we are passionate about the impact of every employee in realizing our vision of improving people’s lives by delivering a new class of RNA therapeutics. Avidity is revolutionizing the field of RNA with its proprietary AOCs, which are designed to combine the specificity of monoclonal antibodies with the precision of oligonucleotide therapies to address targets and diseases previously unreachable with existing RNA therapies. If you are a committed, solution-oriented thinker, join us in making a difference and become part of our growing culture that is integrated, collaborative, agile and focused on the needs of patients.

Avidity Biosciences, Inc.'s mission is to profoundly improve people's lives by delivering a new class of RNA therapeutics - Antibody Oligonucleotide Conjugates (AOCs™). Utilizing its proprietary AOC platform, Avidity demonstrated the first-ever successful targeted delivery of RNA into muscle and is leading the field with clinical development programs for three rare muscle diseases: myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Avidity is broadening the reach of AOCs with its advancing and expanding pipeline, including programs in cardiology and immunology through internal discovery efforts and key partnerships. Avidity is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information about our AOC platform, clinical development pipeline, and people, please visit and engage with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Opportunity

Avidity Biosciences is currently seeking a dynamic payroll leader to join our finance team. The Payroll Director will oversee and manage the company’s global payroll operations. This role includes providing strategic direction for payroll projects, ensuring compliance with tax regulations, and collaborating with human resources and finance. Key responsibilities include processing payroll accurately and timely, handling tax activities, and maintaining effective internal controls.

The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with a deep understanding of payroll systems (specifically ADP), global payroll regulations, and the ability to lead a team in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, having successfully built and led payroll teams through a period of hypergrowth, with experience covering North America and EMEA.

This role is based in San Diego, CA. We use a hybrid work model of 2 days in the office per week.

What You Will Contribute

Initially, you will manage the company’s transition to in-house payroll. Working closely with the HR team, you will lead the implementation of ADP Workforce Now for the finance team. After the implementation is complete, you will manage the ongoing payroll department. You can also expect to manage the administration of the company’s employee stock plans.


  • Develop and implement a global payroll strategy that supports the company's growth and ensures compliance with international payroll regulations
  • Manage and optimize the use of payroll systems to ensure efficient and accurate payroll processing
  • Lead, mentor, and scale the payroll team to meet the needs of our growing organization
  • Collaborate with HR, Finance, and IT departments to streamline payroll processes, integrate solutions that address Avidity’s goals, and enhance system integrations and SOX compliance
  • Directs and manages payroll organization for providing accurate and timely processing of the payroll for ensuring the integrity of financial and accounting system.
  • Oversees tasks necessary to accomplish payroll processing objectives, including relationships with human resources, accounting, operations, legal, internal/external auditors, and state and federal agencies.
  • Oversees the timely and accurate processing of payroll, earnings and deductions. Ensures the accurate deduction and remittance of garnishments, child support, IRS levies and court orders as administered
  • Responsible for all payroll tax activities, compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, and ensuring timely filings of each jurisdiction’s periodic returns. Addresses/resolves non-resident alien tax issues. Reports state and federal payroll quarterly taxes in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Oversees and coordinates the processing of payroll with our international PEO organization.
  • Responsible for remaining current on new legislation and regulatory ruling impacting payroll.
  • Designs, maintains, and documents effective internal controls and operational excellence for the payroll functions.
  • Develops, maintains, updates and communicates organization-wide payroll policies and processes regarding earnings, deductions, and time keeping, including company training thereon, as well as government compliance reporting.
  • Ensures compliance with all federal, state, and local laws as well as Institution policy and procedures regarding payroll-related activities.
  • Collaborates with IT resources to prioritize and resolve IT support for all components of our payroll systems, as well as multiple inbound and outbound interfaces. Communicates systems issues with management (ADP).
  • Develops and maintains effective relationships with payroll-related vendors, banks and government agencies.
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned.

Stock Plan Administration

  • Responsible for the administration of the company's stock plans for all employees in the U.S. and globally, which includes working closely with the company's transfer agent and outside service providers
  • Provide a superior level of service and prioritizing and satisfying multiple requests from employees, management and others supporting employee understanding of stock plan services, enrollment and transactions
  • Assist efforts to develop and scale the stock administration function, including evaluating stock plan services and software providers, implement best practices with controls, and automate routine work streams and paperwork processes to better enable efficient, accurate processing of stock administration matters and reports
  • Partner effectively and proactively with human resources, legal, and accounting to implement equity compensation initiatives/matters
  • Review or maintain recordkeeping of our equity data using Equity Edge Online and Computershare
  • Prepare equity reports and assist in the review and reconciliation of equity information
  • Maintain supporting documents for audit and support data requests
  • Perform other duties and ad hoc requests as needed

What We Seek

  • Proven track record of being able to balance the strategic with the tactical: must understand how the payroll strategy impacts the business, and be able to articulate and implement a strategic vision for payroll
  • 10 years experience in payroll, including 6 years in management demonstrating a track record of implementing transformational payroll initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability and proven track record in driving payroll process and efficiency improvements
  • Deep knowledge of end-to-end payroll systems and processes (Prefer a CPP designation - program underway or completed)
  • Experience processing state payroll for exempt and non-exempt employees
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with focus on quality and integrity
  • Must be effective in communicating at all organizational levels
  • Work requires the ability to ensure adherence to all policies and procedures of the company
  • Work requires the ability to effectively interpret and apply organizational policies, procedures, and systems.
  • Work requires proven supervisory, customer service, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Work requires proven ability to handle multiple complex assignments.
  • Work requires the ability to plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise the work of employees as necessary to ensure desired results are achieved.
  • Relevant experience in administration of employee equity plans (Prefer a CEP designation - program underway or completed)
  • Eagerness to develop the skill-set required to administer equity plans and the various equity types, which includes working directly with major third-party equity software systems and brokerage firms
  • Work will require contact with all levels of internal and external personnel and organizations.
  • Work requires the ability to work with confidential information as appropriate.
  • Excellent time management and prioritization skills.
  • Superior attention to detail and adaptability with new/evolving processes will be key.
  • Positive outlook, willingness to learn and contribute, and a team-oriented attitude.
  • Advanced working knowledge of the ADP system and Microsoft Office products, Adobe, DocuSign, and Excel.

What We will Provide to You:

  • The base salary range for this role is $191,800 - $212,000. The final compensation will be commensurate with such factors as relevant experience, skillset, internal equity and market factors.
  • Avidity offers competitive compensation and benefits which includes the opportunity for annual and spot bonuses, stock options and RSUs, as well as a 401(k) with an employer match. In addition, the comprehensive wellness program includes coverage for medical, dental, vision, and LTD, and four weeks of time off.
  • A commitment to learning and development which includes a variety of programming internally developed by and for Avidity employees, opportunities for job-specific training offered by industry, and an education reimbursement program.