Vanderbilt University Accounting Manager - HR Finance in Nashville, Tennessee

Accounting Manager - HR Finance (Job Number: 1701926)


About the Position:

The Accounting Manager for Human Resources Finance is responsible for managing and supervising the financial functions and human resources administrative processes for Vanderbilt University Human Resources, which is part of the university’s Division of Administration. In this role you will directly assist and support the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief HR Officer (CHRO) and serve as a member of the university’s Finance Team. VU Human Resources has unit operations of more than $5M and 60 employees. In collaboration with the HR Directors of HR Benefits and HR Payroll, you will also provide oversight for the university-wide expenditures and account reconciliations that flow through HR for employee benefits and payroll activity. The university’s total annual payroll volume is approximately $475M and benefits expenditures are approximately $80M.

In addition this position will cultivate and foster relationships within VU HR in order to effectively assess key performance indicators. Insights and recommendations will be clearly communicated for action to senior leadership. You will also have the opportunity to provide input into strategy aligned to HR’s and the University’s strategic plans.

About Vanderbilt University:

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, TN. The university’s students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville as one of the perks of Vanderbilt. VU is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #1 in the Princeton Review at among 382 top colleges and universities for “happiest students” - as well as #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

Duties and Responsibilities:

Lead the annual budget planning for the Human Resources operating budget.

Define and apply best practices for financial and human resource administrative support functions to assure compliance with departmental and university policies, procedures and timelines.

Perform regular analysis of operations, initiatives and project work.

Develop and communicate recommendations for corrective action in those instances where operational and/or financial results are below expectations or not in compliance with policies, procedures and timelines.

Manage HR’s day-to-day financial operations and functions.

Manage the department’s human resources administrative processes that include tracking of filled and vacant positions, position classifications, payroll processing, and personnel status and change transactions.

Manage HR’s budget forecasting process, including the provision of quarterly and ad hoc budget projections, to ensure timely identification of variances and financial accountability.

Collect and analyze data from a variety of sources to create regular and ad hoc reporting.

Validate results prior to submitting for incorporation into the Division of Administration’s consolidated totals.

Develop clear and concise analyses of HR’s performance against budget.

Prepare standard and ad hoc reports, models, presentations, surveys, etc., for operational leadership and key stakeholders.

Demonstrate a leadership style that is facilitative and collaborative in support of HR.

Provide leadership in the development of business plans for new initiatives.

Promote an environment of openness, transparency, approachability, and support.

Provide leadership in helping to set goals and priorities and measuring outcomes.

Participate as a key contributor to operational leadership and proactively demonstrate problem solving skills which are creative and strategic.

Contribute to the development of the university’s annual IRS Form 990.

In collaboration with the CHRO and the Controller’s office, support the university’s confidential executive compensation budget, including appropriate accruals and payments.

Collaborate closely with the leadership of the university’s Benefits, Payroll, and Accounting departments to monitor expenditures and reconcile university-wide benefits and payroll activity against the university’s general ledger.

Perform periodic audits of benefits-related expenditures, including payments to the university third-party claims administrator, to ensure fiduciary responsibility.

Review/oversee journal entries; collaborate closely with Payroll on payroll-related accounting functions to ensure that all necessary journal entries, including payroll-related accruals, are made accurately and timely.

Facilitate the annual external audit process, providing requested support and explanations to external audit firm as needed.

Serve as a content expert and collaborate with other campus stakeholders, including Grants Accounting, Benefits, Budget & Planning, and HR leadership in the analysis of benefit cost trends and the setting of the annual fringe rates. Analyze and report variances in fringe projections vs. actual.

Participate in benefit vendor SLA metric setting and evaluation to ensure cost effective services.

Participate on departmental and/or interdepartmental committees to address issues that arise and facilitate information exchange about programs, problems, etc. Provide high-quality information to others (oral or written) to explain/clarify problems, issues or requests.

Provides functional oversight, expertise, and guidance for staff involved in operational, payroll, and benefits accounting activities.

Lead annual fringe benefit costing process and report to fringe benefits committee regularly on financial results of fringe portfolio.

Qualifications and Experience:

Bachelor's degree with at least 4 years of experience in a financial and administrative functional management position

An advanced degree (MBA or Master's degree in an Accounting/Finance-related field), CPA preferred

Strong background and expertise in the use of financial, accounting, budget planning and HR systems

Demonstrated knowledge of GAAP, accounting work flows and transactions

Demonstrated knowledge of sponsored-project funding and its impact on university payroll and benefits activity

Demonstrated knowledge of administrative functions including human resources transaction workflows

Unwavering intellectual curiosity and desire to continually enhance financial


Rigorous focus on process improvement with an inquisitive nature

Demonstrated team player capable of building and sustaining collaborative partnerships

Demonstrated ability to develop executive level presentations and summaries, including

written prose recommendations and analyses

Willingness and desire to continually improve past practice

Excellent communication and negotiation skills and ability to work collaboratively

Strong interpersonal skills – team building, mentoring and change management skills

are essential

Demonstrated ability to set the standards for leadership and service in a

complex organization

Demonstrated Initiative and creative problem-solving skills, willingness to go beyond the

call of duty, share knowledge and expertise

Strong integrity with high ethical standards

Sense of humor and perspective


In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, VU offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at

This position requires Bachelor's and 5 years of experience or the equivalent.

Primary Location: TN-Nashville-Baker Building

Organization: Univ Svcs Exec Admin 155700

Job: Accounting and Finance