Senior Accountant, Reconciliations

Stanford University

Senior Accountant, Reconciliations

Job Number:

**This is a 2-year fixed term position.**

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description

Stanford University is one of a select group of American universities that have achieved eminence in both undergraduate and graduate education and in a broad range of academic disciplines. The University is internationally recognized for the quality of its teaching and research, its distinguished faculty and its outstanding student body. Our mission is to educate future leaders and promote interdisciplinary, world-class research and teaching. This passion makes Stanford an intensely creative, rewarding, and challenging place to work.

Over the past 10-15 years, the business, technology and political environments have become more complex, faster paced, and litigious. Stringent accounting requirements have arisen to address the transparency of investments and keep pace with other areas of concern. New accounting standards have been issued for leases and not-for-profit accounting and reporting. In addition, other regulations and rules we need to comply with are more complex, e.g., international compliance considerations and banking regulations, and a new internal control framework - COSO - has been adopted. Heightened scrutiny from our external auditors has resulted in more extensive requests for information in an effort to understand non-profits' business activities and related controls. Additionally, technology continues to change rapidly and the underlying tools further add to the complexity and riskiness of the environment.

Within the Financial Management Services (FMS) organization, the Financial Analysis and Information Reporting team (“FAIR”) is part of the Controller's Office (CO) and is responsible for financial reporting, the coordination of our external audit, financial analysis, and a variety of general accounting activities. FMS's goal is to lead, drive and model best practices in financial management for the campus community, while maintaining proper controls and compliance with internal and external policies. FMS brings together the Controller's Office, Procurement, Office of the Treasurer, Global Business Services and Financial Management Consulting and Support. The Senior Accountant, Reconciliations reports to the General Accounting Manager.

In this new role, the Senior Accountant, Reconciliations will be primarily responsible for overseeing the University's Account Reconciliation and Attestation Program. Stanford's chart of accounts includes approximately 250 balance sheet accounts (“object codes”), with several hundred more sub-accounts (“awards”) underneath. On a quarterly basis, there are approximately 300-400 reconciliations prepared across the University. This role requires an understanding of the complex underlying principles of University accounting, including the applicable systems, and the ability to apply those principles in carrying out projects and completing work. The position also uses appropriate query and analytical tools (e.g. SQL, OBIEE and Excel) to perform financial analysis. These responsibilities include determining appropriate procedures for accounting records, analyzing financial data, and maintaining accounting process controls.

Specific responsibilities of this position include:
  • Performs various activities related to internal controls, including preparing and reviewing reconciliations, testing and supporting the implementation of new internal control related processes and systems.
  • Analyzes accounting transactions and information for integration into the University's BlackLine account reconciliation software application.
  • Oversees and implements a comprehensive reconciliation review program Reviews reconciliations and analyses prepared by others (including complex and detailed reconciliations), probes for understanding, assesses their quality, and challenges unusual or unresolved reconciling items. Partners with reconciliation preparers and reviewers to structure reconciliations appropriately.
  • Collaborates with the General Accounting Manager on the finalization and distribution of a comprehensive Account Reconciliation and Attestation policy for the University.
  • Develops a risk ranking profile for all balance sheet accounts, as well as a reconciliation review procedure and schedule to periodically review all balance sheet account reconciliations for quality and completeness.
  • Collects reconciliation completion data and tracks for compliance and training use. Serves as SME (Subject Matter Expert) on BlackLine account reconciliation tool for other University users.
  • Maintains and reviews accounting process controls; recommend and implement any approved modifications; perform preliminary analysis and recommend solutions.
  • Empowers action, removes obstacles and enables constructive feedback/support from BlackLine users, as well as the overall account reconciliation program for the University.
  • Serve as a resource to central and local units and departments to resolve reconciliation-related issues, as needed.
  • Assists the General Accounting Manager with projects as needed. JOB PURPOSE: Perform complex accounting functions including designing and performing ad hoc analyses, developing and maintaining complex data models, analyzing large data sets, and reconciling complex accounts.

  • Research possible solutions and make recommendations to department leadership based on audit / report reviews and identified accounting issues; advise leadership regarding business activities; provide cost analyses; plan studies; and determine business activity costs.
  • Assess client and business needs, formulate recommendations to determine approach for managing and completing processes. Make recommendations to department leadership based on reviews of reports and audits; provide cost analyses and plan studies; determine costs of business activity.
  • Develop complex financial data and metrics, reports for a variety of internal and external audiences.
  • Develop, design, or modify solutions for major segments of a program or accounting system; develop, recommend, implement and document new or revised policies and procedures.
  • Review, design, and implement appropriate internal control programs, research new regulations, and implement approved changes.
  • Manage compliance program for area of responsibility, interpret internal policy and external regulations, and create and/or review complex compliance reports.
  • Design an effective system of internal controls for area of responsibility utilizing strategic analysis of interrelationships of financial processes, policies, and procedures; implement and ensure compliance programs.
  • Lead and support unit and organization strategy and change management initiatives. Analyze existing systems and processes; identify greater efficiencies and improved internal controls opportunities; incorporate new regulations; recommend solutions that may require policy changes or new processes.
  • Develop, recommend and implement new or revised policies and procedures for better controls and efficiencies. Participate in critical analysis of existing systems and processes, identifying and implementing process improvement opportunities.
  • May act as a lead, train, coach, and review the work of other staff, as needed. Contribute primarily through applying individual expertise. * - Other duties may also be assigned MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
    Education & Experience: Bachelor's degree plus eight years of applicable experience, or an equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
    • CPA preferred. Preference given to CPAs with a combination of Big 4 and industry experience.
    • Strong understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the ability to interpret and apply advanced and complex accounting rules.
    • Solid understanding of COSO, compliance and internal controls.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Ability to communicate and impart technical accounting knowledge and information in an easy to understand manner. Ability to communicate decisions while educating at the same time. Establish good working relationships with a diverse population.
    • Strong sense of service orientation, with a proven ability to balance controls and compliance. Ability to develop solutions in situations where many variables are constrained and initiative to constantly improve the department.
    • High level of professionalism and integrity with a demonstrated ability to work productively with, and gain confidence of, many levels of an organization. Ability to maintain focus, successfully execute plans, bring closure to activities, tasks and projects. Proven track record of getting things done.
    • Advanced proficiency in business applications, such as Microsoft Office; advanced Excel skills and accounting systems (e.g., Oracle Financials). Preference given to candidates with experience using the BlackLine account reconciliation tool.
    • Other skills necessary for this job is excellent organizational, analytical, and problem solving skills, an attention to detail, an ability to work independently, and the ability to work in a fast paced environment as an agent of change.
    • Demonstrated project management skills and ability to contribute/lead as part of a multi-functional team.
    • Flexibility to perform other functions as directed
    • Advanced proficiency in business applications, such as Microsoft Office; advanced Excel skills.
    • Advanced knowledge of accounting systems and the internet; computer literacy.
    • Ability to interpret and apply advanced accounting knowledge and understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
    • Strong communication skills, including the ability to clearly and effectively communicate information to internal and external audiences and client groups.
    • Demonstrated project management skills and ability to contribute/lead as part of a multi-functional team.
    Certifications and Licenses: None PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS*:
  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sit, sort, file paperwork or parts, grasp lightly, and use fine manipulation, lift, carry, push and pull objects that weigh 10 pounds or less.
  • Occasionally write by hand, twist, bend, stoop and squat.
  • Rarely stand, walk, reach or work above shoulders and use a telephone. * - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

  • May work extended hours during peak business cycles. WORK STANDARDS:
    As a member of the Controller's Office, actively support and initiate efforts to achieve the Controller's Office mission and vision. This includes:

  • Maintain a Controller's Office and university perspective in day-to-day activities as well as longer term initiatives and strategies.
  • Represent the Controller's Office as a whole in interactions with others.
  • Develop relationships and provide high levels of service to customers, partners, and staff.
  • Develop and promote relationships among Controller's Office departments and staff.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide, Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

    Job: Finance

    Location: Business Affairs: Financial Management Services (FMS)
    Schedule: Full-time
    Classification Level:

    To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

    Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.