Director of Payroll-Benefit Accounting

The Office of University Controller (OUC) is responsible for managing the University's system of record - the Financial System - and its interfaces with purchasing, accounts payable, travel expense, human capital management, financial reporting, and other subsystems. The office works closely with the campus controllers, the state controller, and the state auditor's office to ensure that fiscal practices comply with external/internal rules and regulations and generally accepted accounting principles; prepares the University's tax filings; manages payroll/benefit accounting functions; and oversees the certification of effort reporting on sponsored research. It communicates fiscal policies and procedures to the University community through blogs, website, and training programs, and provides 1:1 assistance through the Finance & Procurement Help Desk. The OUC also administers a Continuing Professional Education program and the CU Innovation & Efficiency Awards employee recognition program.

The Director of Payroll-Benefit Accounting administers payroll-benefit accounting functions for the University of Colorado, which includes over 30,000 employees and a large number of retirees. This position is responsible for monitoring and communicating the financial aspects of the University's payroll-benefit programs while assuring that appropriate financial controls are in place to support and sustain these programs, and identifying/implementing related policies and best-practice procedures. The nature and responsibilities of the position require extensive coordination with the office of Employee Services and other CU System units.

The Director of Payroll-Benefit Accounting position reports to the Associate Vice President & University Controller in the Office of University Controller (OUC), and supervises a staff of four Payroll-Benefit Accounting staff as well as student workers. The position is exempt from the State of Colorado Classified Staff system.

What you will need:

To thrive in this position, the individual must be an accomplished payroll professional with extensive management and accounting experience. The individual must be a creative and a self-motivating problem-solver, able to diagnose issues, and willing to figure out solutions for both technical (system) and personnel (team/individual staff) needs. He or she must have exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and must be adept at managing multiple competing projects/priorities.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Duties and Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead the Payroll-Benefit Accounting unit, including exercising direct responsibility for management of unit personnel, review of external reports and payroll tax returns, review of general ledger activity, preparation of payroll footnotes for the annual report, assembly of data for OPEB and AMP actuarial valuations, and response to external confirmation and census requests.
  • Oversee Payroll-Benefit Accounting staff activities, including payroll tax return preparation, ADP payroll tax processing, benefit collections, overpayment collections, cash receipt processing, garnishments, retiree and active receipt processing and reconciliation, retirement plan reconciliation and funding, workers compensation and other reporting, and general ledger account reconciliations.
  • Assure targeted, effective dissemination of Payroll-Benefit Accounting messages.
  • Investigate, determine, and implement accounting and management control procedures to safeguard University assets, including assuring that Payroll-Benefit Accounting team members are properly trained in the use of the CU financial reporting system, finance system, and HCM system.
  • Collaborate with team members from OUC Finance, OUC Accounting Services, and Employee Services to enhance system and technology use and to leverage best practices in Payroll-Benefit Accounting.
  • Analyze subsystems and business processes to improve internal controls and to ensure accurate financial reporting, automating processes as possible so as to increase productivity and reduce occurrences of human error.
  • Ensure that the receivable balances in the system are accurate through the reconciliation of payroll-benefit calculations and cash receipts, including developing and managing an aging process to adhere with the University's receivable policies.
  • Support the financial oversight process by identifying reporting needs, responding to reporting problems, revising procedures, and ensuring that new program accounting/reporting structures meet designated requirements.
  • Design and develop ad-hoc reports to serve all levels of management.
  • Conduct/oversee audits on payroll-benefit financial data to ensure compliance with accounting and IRS standards and best practices.
  • Ensure timely and accurate payment of internal and external commitments funded through the payroll and deduction processing.
  • Serve as the primary contact for internal and external auditors as they review the accounting procedures of the payroll-benefit process.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

To be successful in this position, candidates will need the following:

  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication abilities.
  • Advanced organization and teamwork skills, with ability to manage and collaborate with a variety of personality types and character styles.
  • Ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and accept changing priorities - all while maintaining personal effectiveness and strong customer service.
  • A solid background and professional experience with payroll-benefit accounting, including experience working with third-party vendors on outsourced activities.
  • Problem-diagnosis and problem-solving skills.
  • Exceptional customer service orientation and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to supervise and maintain effective relationships with subordinates.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in planning and directing employees, processes, and projects.

Who we are: System Administration, which also houses the Office of the President, is located in the uptown neighborhood of Denver with an office in Broomfield and a few smaller offices located on the campuses. However, this position is located in Denver. Many of our departments support the educational and research missions of the four University of Colorado campuses. We provide diverse opportunities for professional development, innovation, and collaboration with talented staff and faculty.

What we offer:

Salary: The salary range has been established at $94,500 - $105,000.

Benefits: The University of Colorado offers an excellent benefits package including:

  • Medical, Dental, Disability, Vision, Life and Wellness
  • Retirement: 10% Employer Match
  • Paid Time Off
  • Tuition Benefit
  • ECO Pass

For more information on benefits programs, including eligibility, is available at


Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or related field from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • CPA designation (Colorado or other state certification).
  • Seven (7) years' progressive accounting experience, to include at least three (3) years' experience with accounting for institutional payroll-benefits.
  • Two (2) years in a supervisory role.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in accounting, finance, or related field.
  • Professional experience in public higher education or other complex government organization.
  • Experience with PeopleSoft enterprise software (e.g., Finance, HCM).
  • Successful project management experience.
  • Strong presentation skills.

Special Instructions to Applicants:For full consideration completed applications must be submitted by October 2, 2017. However, this position will be open until filled. Reference checking is a standard step in our hiring process. You may be asked to provide contact information, including email addresses, for up to five references as part of the search process for this position. *Please note: All application materials must be submitted through CU Careers; emailed materials will not be considered.*

The University of Colorado is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial and/or motor vehicle history. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires a verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References

Application Materials Instructions:You must attach a cover letter, resume, and references to your application as three separate documents. Please identify the job specific minimum qualifications you possess in your cover letter. Also, ensure you check the "Job Specific Attachments" box next the each document on the "Required Documents" page of the application for the appropriate documents to be attached.

Job Category: Finance and Accounting

Primary Location: Denver

Department: S0001 -- System Administration - 50027 - University Controller

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Sep 8, 2017

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Kris Truesdale

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00002106


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