Controller - Adler University in Chicago Illinois

Unfortunately, this job is expired as of 6/2/2015.

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Adler University

Chicago, Illinois 60602

United States


Detailed Job Description

Why Adler?

It’s a great time to join Adler University.  In the past 10 years, we have experienced significant growth in our program offerings, student enrollment and employee population.  In September 2015, we will open an Online Global Campus to meet the future needs of education.

Position Summary:

Reporting to the CFO, the Controller is responsible for all accounting activities of the school including consolidated financial reporting, grant accounting, cash management, and maintaining internal controls and procedures.  The Controller is the primary point of contact overseeing the annual financial statement audit, defined benefit plan audit, Form 990 filing and other compliance reports. The Controller works closely with the Director of Financial Aid to assist with the annual OMB Circular A-133 Audit (Single Audit) for Financial Aid.  The Controller manages four direct reports:  two Senior Accountants, Payroll Administrator, and a Bursar (who supervises a cashier).  The Controller has a great deal of interaction with the CFO and should be adept as both hands-on manager and a strategic thinker. The Controller is expected to offer ideas for process improvement, resource utilization, and financing strategies.  Growing at a fast pace, Adler University will launch a 3rd campus in September 2015.  The Controller will help establish accounting policy and procedures for the new campus which integrate into the existing two campus structure. 


Applicants must have the following competencies:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance or required; Master’s degree preferred
  • CPA required
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressive management experience with significant experience in higher education
  • Solid understanding of non-profit GAAP accounting principles and internal controls
  • Experience in accounting for state and private grants required
  • Must be a self-starter, accountable for the entire deliverable
  • Superior analytical skills with a proven ability to work with financial data.
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple projects
  • Highest level of professionalism and integrity with the ability to manage confidential information. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to build strong relationships at all levels with confidence 
  • Strong team building, coaching and mentoring skills to develop team
  • Excellent computer skills with strong proficiency in Microsoft Excel
  • Proficient with a variety of accounting systems

Competencies preferred:

  • Experience with Ellucian’s Colleague ERP system (formerly Datatel) preferred 
  • Experience with accounting for foreign subsidiary and financial reporting with multiple currencies
  • Experience with multi-state payroll and Ultimate Software (payroll system) a plus
  • Experience with filing Form 990 and regulatory reports for higher education (EZ-audit, HLC, IPEDS) preferred

Must pass a pre-employment background check, which includes a credit check.  




  • Approves all manual journal entries, and oversees monthly close and balance sheet account reconciliations
  • Oversees that Financial Aid Receivables account reconciliations are completed as part of the monthly close process. Works closely with Director of Financial Aid to recommend corrective actions, as needed
  • Ensures accurate recording of monthly activity for our Canadian subsidiary, foreign currency conversion and translation
  • Manages accounting for all grant activity; collaborates with the Office of Institutional Advancement and two internal institutes to develop a robust process
  • Works closely with the Manager of Financial Analysis and Budgets in analyzing monthly variances to budget
  • Collaborates with the Payroll Administrator and Department Chairs with respect to processing overage payments in compliance with internal policies
  • Manages registration process for payroll taxes and SUTA for out-of-state employees
  • Approves student refunds
  • Maintains sufficient cash balances in respective banking accounts, oversees accounts payable
  • Directs day to day accounting flow, and serves as mentor and coach for the accounting team; is subject matter expert on accounting for the entire organization




  • Assigns interim and year-end audit schedules to individual team members, verifies their accuracy and uploads them onto the audit platform website. Responsible for preparation the pro-forma financial statements, SEFA, and answering to follow-up questions from the auditors
  • Involved in communication with Vancouver auditors during the annual review
  • Fosters effective relationships with HR and 403b provider’s personnel to obtain audit packages and furnish the auditors with the information pertaining to the defined benefit plan audit
  • Prepares the IRS Form 990 and addresses related questions from the auditors
  • Oversees issuance of 1099-MISC forms and works with the Payroll Administrator to resolve any issues
  • Prepares external compliance reports: EZ-audit, Higher Learning Commission Financial Reports, IPEDS
  • Oversees issuance of 1099-MISC forms and works with the Payroll Administrator to resolve any issues
  • Works with Ultimate Software personnel to ensure robust issuance of the W-2 forms and closing the calendar year in the system
  • Performs monthly and annual close in the Ellucian accounting system




  • Supports the development of accounting policies and procedures
  • Responsible for reviewing procedures on annual basis to ensure relevance




  • Maintains the chart of accounts, which includes opening new accounts, re-naming accounts, maintaining the fixed asset module and project accounting module
  • Manages the chart of conversion for Vancouver accounts
  • Defines criteria for development of new reports in Business Object suite and Business Intelligence Ultimate Software Module. Tests for accuracy and completeness
  • Maintains an orderly filing system, and designates documents for storage




  • Assists in automating and improving existing accounting processes
  • Other duties, as assigned

Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of Adler University that all persons are entitled to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) protection. Adler University does not discriminate against any individual for employment because of age, religion, race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status (including unfavorable discharge from the military), or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

Adler University is the leading academic institution advancing socially responsible practice, healthy communities, and a more just society.  Adler University was founded on an important idea: Our health resides in our community life and connections. This is what drives our groundbreaking curricula and commitment to social responsibility, from our campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver and through Adler Online. We work with those courageous enough to want to change the world.  Our doctoral and master's programs—many of them nationally recognized in fast-growing fields—prepare students to lead social change in the fields of psychology and mental health, criminal justice and public safety, business, public policy, and advocacy. 

We are committed to quality through continuous process improvement and personal accountability.  As a result, we seek professionals, who embrace life-long learning, present proactive solutions and drive results to support social responsibility from the classroom to the community. 

Keyword Phrases

  • CPA
  • accounting systems
  • non-profit GAAP accounting principles
  • Colleague
  • state and private grants
  • UltiPro
  • multi-state payroll
  • process improvement
  • foreign subsidiary and financial currency
Employment Type:Administrative Staff
Degree Required: Masters
Experience: At least 10 years
Level of Job: Director
Salary: Commensurate with Experience
Type of School:2 - Year Institution / Technical
Application Requirements: CV/Resume