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Director of Tax & Payroll-Benefit Accounting

Job description

DescriptionThe Office of University Controller (OUC) is responsible for managing the university’s system of record – the Financial System – and its interfaces with purchasing, payables, human resources, and other subsystems, including the Cognos Reporting System. It works closely with the campus controllers, the state controller, and the state auditor’s office to ensure that fiscal practices comply with external and internal rules and regulations and generally accepted accounting principles. The OUC communicates fiscal policies and procedures to the university community through its news blog, website, and training programs, and provides direct assistance to faculty, staff, and other individuals through the Finance & Procurement Help Desk. The office also administers a Continuing Professional Education program and the CU Innovation & Efficiency (CU I&E) employee recognition program.

Position Summary:

The Director of Tax & Payroll-Benefit Accounting has two key responsibilities: (1) preparation of University of Colorado (CU) tax filings; application/interpretation of University tax policies and practices; and, management of appropriate safeguards for University tax compliance; and, (2) administration of payroll-benefit accounting functions (involving over 35,000 University employees and a large number of retirees); monitoring of appropriate financial controls to support and sustain these functions; and, implementation of related policies and best-practice procedures. The nature and responsibilities of this position require extensive coordination and collaboration with the CU System Administration office of Employee Services and with campus-based financial and human resources personnel.

The Director works in the CU System Administration Office of University Controller (OUC) and supervises the Payroll-Benefit Accounting team as well as student workers. The Director has a dotted-line relationship to provide guidance to the international tax accountants in the CU System Office of Employee Services.

The Director of Tax & Payroll-Benefit Accounting reports to the Associate Vice President & University Controller and is exempt from the State of Colorado Classified System.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to: 


  • Assures University compliance with local, state, federal, and international tax laws, regulations, and court rulings
  • Oversees the University-wide effort to identify taxable transactions (e.g., reviewing sales tax processing requirements and unrelated business income activities, including University contracts and cost allocation methods as appropriate)
  • Ensures proper preparation and timely submission of University income tax returns and proper handling of taxable compensation
  • Directs and coordinates all aspects of tax audits and related communications, including representing the University on tax matters in discussions and negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service, the Colorado Department of Revenue, legislators, external tax consultants, and others
  • Performs technical tax research and analysis of tax laws, regulations, and cases in areas of federal and state taxes, including (but not limited to):
    • Unrelated business income tax
    • Sales and use taxes (Colorado and out-of-state)
    • Income taxes (Colorado and out-of-state)
    • Payroll and compensation taxes
    • Fellowship and scholarship taxes
    • Federal and state excise taxes
    • Tax matters of all kinds that affect international visitors to the University of Colorado
    • International sales tax, value-added tax, and income taxes
    • Private Use compliance
  • Conducts tax compliance reviews and provides tax avoidance planning consulting with University System Administration and campus management in the areas listed above
  • Serves as the primary resource for University financial staff with tax-related operational responsibilities and for human resource staff with employment classification responsibilities, including providing guidance through training sessions and website/other communications
  • Acts as liaison between the University and various higher education tax groups
Payroll-Benefit Accounting

  • Oversees payroll-benefit accounting activities, including ADP payroll tax processing, benefit collections, overpayment collections, cash receipt processing, garnishments, retiree and active receipt processing/reconciliation (including managing the aging process to adhere with University receivable policies), retirement plan reconciliation and funding, workers compensation and other reporting, and general ledger account reconciliations
  • Leads the Payroll-Benefit Accounting team, 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 financial report, assembly of data for OPEB (Other Postemployment Benefits) and the University’s Alternate Medicare Plan actuarial valuations, and response to external confirmation and census requests
  • Ensures timely and accurate payment of commitments funded through the payroll deduction process
  • Analyzes subsystems, business processes, and employee training programs to improve internal controls, safeguard University assets, and ensure accurate financial reporting, automating processes as possible to increase productivity and reduce occurrences of human error
  • Supports the financial oversight process by identifying and responding to reporting needs, revising procedures, and ensuring that new program accounting/reporting structures meet designated requirements
  • Serves as the primary contact for internal and external auditors as they review the accounting procedures of the payroll-benefit process
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, but System Administration is not considered a campus. We provide diverse opportunities for professional development, innovation, and collaboration with talented staff and faculty.  Learn more about CU System Administration.

The University of Colorado has been proactive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information.

What we offer:

Salary: The salary has been established at $130,000. 

The University of Colorado has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and has issued furloughs for select employee groups. This position may be subject to furlough. You can visit our furlough FAQ for more information.

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

  • Medical: Multiple plan options
  • Dental: Multiple plan options
  • Additional Insurance: Disability, Life, Vision and Wellness
  • Retirement 401(a) Plan: Employer contributes 10% of your gross pay
  • Paid Time Off: Accruals over the year
    • Vacation Days: 22
    • Sick Days: 15
    • Holiday Days: 10
  • Tuition Benefit: System employees have the benefit on all campuses 
  • ECO Pass: RTD Bus and light rail service
  • Additional Perks & Programs: Click here to access a few more Perks and Programs
Click here to access our Total Compensation Calculator to see what your total rewards could be at CU. This position is a University Staff position.

More information on benefits programs, including eligibility, is available at www.cu.edu/employee-services/.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

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

  • Knowledge of accounting and tax methodologies, principles, and best practices
  • Knowledge of current and proposed federal, state, and local tax laws and statutes
  • Oral, written, and listening communication skills, including the ability to accurately interpret what others are saying and convey messages, information, concepts, and details clearly
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills, including the ability to examine and summarize data and trends in order to work out issues and produce results
  • Evaluative and objective critical thinking skills, including the ability to identify problems, questions and assumptions, establish significance, and understand logical connections between ideas
  • Personnel management skills, including the ability to plan and direct employees, processes, and projects as well as manage conflict, reward good behavior, and establish and maintain accountability
  • Leadership skills, including the ability to effectively manage various personalities and persuade others to take particular courses of action
  • Interpersonal skills, including the ability to facilitate interaction, communication, and teamwork between others
  • Ability to effectively summarize and present information to a variety of constituents
  • Ability to work under pressure, manage multiple concurrent and competing tasks and responsibilities, and adapt to changing priorities while maintaining personal effectiveness
  • Ability to deliver a high level of commitment to customer service

QualificationsMinimum Requirements:        

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in accounting, finance, or related field
  • Seven (7) years of combined experience in tax, tax preparation, and accounting
  • Three (3) years’ experience in a supervisory or managerial role, which includes:
    • Managing personnel, developing/mentoring direct reports, and completing performance reviews to ensure continuous improvement, high performance, and employee retention
  • CPA license (Colorado or other state certification)
Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in taxation, or a Juris Doctorate (JD) with additional LLM in Taxation
  • Ten (10) years of tax experience, as indicated above
  • Five (5) years’ experience in a supervisory or managerial role, as indicated above
  • Experience with unrelated business income tax, employment tax, or international tax issues
  • Professional experience in public higher education, or at a complex, not-for-profit organization
  • Experience with PeopleSoft enterprise software (e.g., Finance, HCM)
  • Documented successful project management experience

Job Category: Finance and Accounting
Primary Location: Denver
Schedule: Full-time
Posting Date: Sep 11, 2020
Unposting Date: Ongoing




Diversity Profile: University


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Job No:
Posted: 9/19/2020
Application Due: 10/6/2020
Work Type: