Head of Corporate Accounting and External Reporting

Chicago, IL, US
27 Sep 2022
27 Oct 2022
Contract type
Full time
Experience level

Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust is one of the world’s leading financial institutions. We specialise in providing asset servicing solutions and asset management to both institutional and personal clients. The delivery of products and services to this client base is supported through a network of offices around the globe.


This high profile senior management position will lead the Corporate Accounting, Close and Consolidations and SEC Reporting teams. The role has direct responsibility for ensuring that monthly and quarterly financial results are prepared in compliance with US GAAP and that all SEC filings for Northern Trust and audited financial statements for many of its subsidiaries are submitted on a timely basis, completely and accurately. The focus of the role is technical expertise, oversight, review and co-ordination of the team in addition to process improvements and enhancement of controls over the processes. This individual shall also have strong interaction and working relationships with other finance teams and external regulators.  The successful individual will report directly to the Corporate Controller and shall have a team of approximately 45 people.


Leadership and Management

  • Provide leadership and guidance to the planning, organisation, direction and control of the team;
  • Manage and develop a highly efficient, high performing and robust Corporate Accounting and External Reporting Team;
  • Working closely with the Corporate Controller, continue to develop and build the team structure required to the support the expanding and increasingly complex requirements;
  • Set clear and measureable goals and objectives for the team and individuals, ensuring performance assessments are completed in line with corporate requirements; and
  • Present to the Directors and Executive Management;


  • Obtain and maintain a thorough understanding of Northern Trust’s legal structures, general ledger and consolidation systems;
  • Ensure accurate and timely completion of month-end, quarter-end and year-end accounting close tasks;
  • Ensure the timely production of all external reporting;
  • Manage the Company’s external financial reporting: 10Qs, 10K, Annual Report, 401(k) FS, including iXBRL where applicable;
  • Manage the Company’s quarterly Disclosure Committee agenda and deliverables
  • Maintain external reporting and disclosure controls, including review of the disclosure checklist and benchmarking peers;
  • Develop and maintain effective controls and monitoring systems;
  • Develop and maintain a strong relationship with internal and external auditors;
  • Interact with external auditors to complete their respective audit requirements and SOX compliance activities;
  • Manage SEC comment letter process;
  • Support Investor Relations reporting and shareholder needs and partner with Legal; and
  • Ensure compliance with the corporate policies and guidelines.

Technical Accounting / Accounting Policy

  • Provide the technical and operational expertise for compliance with U.S. GAAP and SEC reporting requirements;
  • Provide financial and/or accounting guidance to decision makers within the firm;
  • Actively monitor recent accounting pronouncements and impact to disclosures; and
  • Engage with Financial Controls Team and provide input to discussions related to technical accounting issues both from a US GAAP and International perspective


  • Review, recommend and implement standardised process improvements identified in day to day activities ensuring improvements are in line with best practice;
  • Ensure there is proper documentation to support all processes;
  • Understand the end to end flow of transactions from initiation to reporting;
  • Strengthen and enhance internal controls;
  • Provide oversight to the annual audit process as defined for each audit cycle;
  • Demonstrate the ability and the desire to share the knowledge in the form of training, mentoring or coaching others;
  • Provide technical input to systems and business process projects as required, for example as a subject matter expert; and
  • Lead Finance initiatives through the project life cycle ensuring delivery to achieve stated objectives as applicable.

Required Skills

  • CPA (or equivalent) preferred with at least 15-20 years of relevant experience in a multi-currency financial services environment;
  • Extensive experience within Corporate Accounting, Close and Consolidations and/or External Reporting (Financial and/or Regulatory);
  • Experienced background in a corporate financial control environment with a sound knowledge of accounting, reporting and financial control requirements as well as statutory and audit requirements;
  • Experience with US GAAP and SEC Reporting Requirements; and
  • Experience with projects

Required Competencies

  • Strong management and influencing skills with a proven management track record;
  • Ability to partner effectively with peers, senior management, and overseas partners;
  • Self-starter with an ability to self-motivate;
  • Strong planning and organisational skills;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including experience of presenting at board level;
  • Highly numerate with strong organisational and problem solving skills with attention to detail;
  • Ability to proactively assess issues, identify solutions and problem solve;
  • Ability to react and respond on a timely basis;
  • Ability to adapt and react positively in a changing and dynamic work environment;
  • Flexible approach towards changing work methods, deadlines and variable workloads;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deliver to tight deadlines; and
  • Strong business skills

Please note that this role will require the successful candidate to travel to other NT locations as required

Working with Us:

As a Northern Trust partner, greater achievements await. You will be part of a flexible and collaborative work culture in an organization where financial strength and stability is an asset that emboldens us to explore new ideas. Movement within the organization is encouraged, senior leaders are accessible, and you can take pride in working for a company committed to assisting the communities we serve! Join a workplace with a greater purpose.

We’d love to learn more about how your interests and experience could be a fit with one of the world’s most admired and sustainable companies! Build your career with us and apply today. #MadeForGreater

Reasonable accommodation:

Northern Trust is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please email our HR Service Center at MyHRHelp@ntrs.com.

We hope you’re excited about the role and the opportunity to work with us.

We value an inclusive workplace and understand flexibility means different things to different people.

Apply today and talk to us about your flexible working requirements and together we can achieve greater.

For further information, and to apply, please visit our website via the “Apply” button below. 

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