RTI International, an independent research organization with its global headquarters in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (“RTP, NC”), is conducting a search for an experienced, well-rounded and highly qualified Vice President and Assistant Corporate Controller (“Assistant Controller”).
RTI International’s $1 Billion plus in research revenue is mostly funded by long-term US government research and assistance awards. Its independent Board of Governors is comprised of accomplished individuals from industry, academia, and research. RTI International was founded in 1958 by Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. While close ties remain with these three founding organizations, RTI International is financially self-sufficient and it routinely reinvests into its programs, staff and facilities.
The Assistant Controller’s role will be based at the RTP, NC global headquarters campus, and it is a key leadership role that is highly determinant to the overall success of the Chief Financial Officer and Controller’s organizations. The Assistant Controller will serve on the Controller’s senior leadership team and will have world-wide responsibility for the majority of the accounting and reporting operations. This role will be equally and highly visible across its internal and external constituencies. The successful candidate will be a growth minded and customer focused accounting professional that possesses a conglomeration of demonstrated skills, abilities, and experience (including operations, quality assurance, policy and transactional) that have been well polished over a successful and substantial career. The successful candidate will be an executive that has the demonstrated the ability to effectively communicate and persuade highly motivated and passionate staff, from both the scientific, professional and general & administrative fields.
The Assistant Controller will have three direct reports and a total of approximately forty-five staff that oversee the following areas: (1) Corporate Accounting\General Ledger, US GAAP Financial Reporting, Revenue Assurance, and Financial Statement Audits (including the Single Audit); (2) International Accounting, Global Payroll & Taxation, and Travel & Expense and (3); Accounting Information Systems. With respect to item (3), the successful candidate must have significant demonstrated experience in the areas of accounting process redesign and ERP implementation. The Assistant Controller will be a forward-looking financial systems technology leader who can think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, set priorities and make critical decisions to drive operational effectiveness and efficiencies that impact the day to day accounting operations and control environment for a global contracts research organization. This position will work closely with the Controller and the leadership of Global Technology Systems in the furtherance of the aforementioned goals and objectives.
The successful candidate will operate at a high visibility day to day and will need to quickly establish and nurture collaborative working relationships across a large number of varied constituencies. Finally, the Assistant Controller will, as needed, support and or attend the following corporate executive or Board level committees: Employee Benefits Committee, Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, and Finance Committee.
Responsibilities to include, but not limited to:
- Responsible for the global corporate accounting operations, controls and procedures for a $1B global contract research organization.
- Maintenance of monthly, quarterly and year-end closing schedules and the associated reconciliations.
- Preparation of monthly, quarterly and year-end management reporting packages.
- Preparation and review of the audited and unaudited consolidated financial statements, in accordance with US GAAP.
- Maintains and adheres to the internal control environments for financial reporting and government contracting.
- Maintains the documentation and application of accounting policies and procedures, including the evaluation and adoption of new FASB pronouncements.
- Responsible for identifying and implementing improvements in work processes.
- Leads the development of the role’s various functions ensuring sufficient resources and needed skill sets are present to meet the needs of RTI International.
- Establishes and maintains strong working relationships with various external auditors.
- Partners with the research unit finance leadership and all of the general and administrative functions.
- Ensures practices are in place to ensure/drive towards a high level of staff morale and retention.
- Manages staff performance planning, development and the evaluation process.
- Ensures staff development and career progression.
- Guides the promotion and succession processes.
- Participates in the design, training and implementation of a newly identified ERP system, including other digitization initiatives.
Education and Experience:
- Undergraduate degree in Accounting and a graduate degree in Accounting or Business Administration.
- Licensed Certified Public Accountant with at least 15 years of total experience, comprised of multinational industry and Big 4 CPA firm experience.
- Ten years of demonstrated management experience, attained in a progressive manner that includes successively larger roles, including the management of large teams that are geographically dispersed.
- Demonstrated ability to successfully manage a diverse global workforce.
- Experience leading and managing a project based or contract research organization’s accounting operations, including controls over cash, cash disbursements and procurement, in international locations utilizing multiple accounting systems.
- Strong US GAAP technical accounting knowledge is required and a working knowledge of the government contracting environment and its related compliance (FAR, CAS, and Single Audit) is preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgement in the application of accounting standards, regulations and requirements across a contract research portfolio comprised of federal government and commercial awards.
- Technical writing experience, including the preparation and review of briefs, memorandums, opinion letters, training materials, and or operations manuals.
- Significant participation and experience with mergers and acquisitions, and their associated due diligence, structuring and integration activities.
- Demonstrated ability to design, implement and maintain internal control processes for financial accounting and government business systems in a decentralized and global organization.
- Proven track record of balancing a strong control environment while providing meaningful support to the contract research units in the attainment of their goals and objectives.
- Proven experience in the adoption and use of new ERP systems, including artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, from design to implementation.
- Proven track record of success facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing and complex global organization.
- Demonstrated experience with identifying and nurturing the growth and success of key talent and staff, and their promotion to successively higher roles.
Skills and Abilities:
- Exceptional written, oral, and presentation skills and the ability to communicate effectively to all constituencies and explains complex issues in a manner appropriate to the intended audiences.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to collaborate successfully and effectively with the other members of the senior management team and within the corporate staff and the research groups.
- Strong organizational and leadership skills with the demonstrated ability to attract, retain and develop global talent.
- Superior management skills, including the ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers.
- Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical accounting, finance and administration initiatives.
- Promotes a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
- Promotes and understands how to effectively lead and manage in a diverse work environment.
- Possesses the highest level of integrity and trust.
- Strong curiosity and learning nature.
- Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
- Entrepreneurial team player who can multitask, that is self-reliant and a good problem solver. Provides strong mentoring and coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise and experience.