Willamette University 8 reviews - Salem, OR

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Job Description Summary

Willamette University invites applications for the position of Controller .

Reporting to the Vice President for Financial Affairs, the Controller position manages and continually improves the accounting operations of the university, including the production of periodic financial reports, maintenance of an appropriate system of accounting records, and a comprehensive set of controls and procedures designed to mitigate risk. Responsibilities include but are not limited to general ledger, accounts payable, accounts and loans receivable, cashiering, endowment and life income accounting, plant fund accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, audit coordination and accounting systems operations. The position has overall responsibility for a system of compliance with laws, regulations, and reporting requirements, including development of policies and procedures. In addition, the Controller will be assigned other related tasks and projects.

Willamette University (WU), founded in 1842, is a nationally recognized liberal arts school with graduate programs in law, business and education. WU has earned a national reputation for its academic standards and exemplary citizenship, values that have defined the culture of this campus for more than 160 years. The Willamette University motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born,” captures the essence of this distinguished university. It speaks to our commitment to community service, to the extraordinary collaboration between faculty and students, and to the tradition of service and civic engagement that is typical of our alumni. WU is in Salem, the capital city of Oregon, one hour from Portland, the Pacific Ocean, and the Cascade Mountains. To learn more about our university, mission, faculty, staff and students visit us at .

This is a full-time, year round position. This position is eligible for the University’s generous benefits package that includes: medical/dental insurance, sick and vacation accruals, 10% employer contribution to defined contribution retirement plan with immediate vesting, tuition remission benefits, and paid holidays. Salary is commensurate with experience and education.

Believing that diversity contributes to academic excellence and to rich and rewarding communities, Willamette University is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body. We seek candidates, particularly those from historically under-represented groups, whose work furthers diversity and who bring to campus varied experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.

Duties & Responsibilities


  • Maintain a documented system of accounting policies and procedures
  • Oversee the operations of the accounting department, including the maintenance of an organizational structure adequate for achieving the department’s goals and objectives
  • Develop and oversee internal control and compliance systems
  • Oversee cash operations and manage university cash flow needs

  • Ensure that accounts payable are paid in a timely manner
  • Ensure that accounts receivable are collected promptly
  • Ensure that payroll and student accounts are processed in a timely manner and accurately
  • Monitor and review all funds for transactional accuracy and reasonableness
  • Ensure that periodic bank reconciliations are completed
  • Maintain the general ledger
  • Maintain orderly and efficient accounting records
  • Maintain a system of controls over accounting transactions

  • Issue complete financial statements on a timely basis
  • Recommend benchmarks against which to measure performance
  • Calculate and issue financial and operating metrics as appropriate
  • Participate in the design and production of management reports
  • Provide financial information as required

  • Manage the university’s relationship with external auditors and coordinate the provision of information for the annual audits
  • Monitor compliance with debt covenants
  • Comply with local, state, and federal government reporting requirements and tax filings.
  • Develop and oversee a compliance system for the entire university.
  • Monitor compliance with grant requirements, especially federal grants.

  • Supervise all accounting and payroll staff.
Required Qualifications

The ideal candidate should have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business administration, and at least 5 years of progressively responsible experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Full knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, as well as accounting processes and procedures necessary to manage all accounting functions of the university.
  • Understanding of and facility with related information systems and software.
  • Knowledge of a wide variety of processes and procedures used in the financial management activities of the university.
  • Ability to supervise multiple projects and multiple staff members involved in these projects in accordance with financial affairs department objectives as well as university policy and procedures.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and implement special programs related to the operations of the accounting and financial functions of the University.
  • Ability to interact effectively with a wide variety of people in a manner that reflects positively on the university and its programs, personnel, and philosophies.
  • Ability to analyze problems and develop practical solutions.
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the university, in presentations, orally, and in writing.
  • Ability to conceive and implement innovations to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the function.
This position is subject to criminal and credit background check.

Preferred Qualifications

A CPA with a Masters in Accounting or MBA , higher education experience, and supervisory experience are strongly preferred.

Special Instructions

Thank you for considering an administrative position within Willamette University (WU). Please note that you will need to create an account in order to apply, if this is your first time applying online with WU.

You will be asked to submit the following documents as part of your application materials:

  • Cover letter addressing the required/desired qualifications and presenting any other applicant characteristics which deserve emphasis.
  • Current Resume
  • As part of the online application, please include at least three references.
Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin early January 2013, and continue until finalists are selected. Desired start date is Mid-February 2013.

Please contact Linda Flamenco, or 503.370.6210 if you need assistance with the application process.

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