Staff Accountant (Payroll), Managed Organizations (AA)

Arabella Advisors

Chicago, IL

Looking for some excitement in your work? Join us and help one of the fastest growing nonprofit organizations with its accounting operations and financial controls.  We are looking for an organized self-starter to support the full-cycle accounting procedures for several nonprofit projects that the firm manages. The work is rewarding and requires a strong understanding of nonprofit accounting practices. You will work closely with our clients, or the external individuals that run the fiscally sponsored projects, to provide accurate accounting and reporting. The right candidate has strong client service skills and is able to work well in a fast-paced environment.  

About Arabella Advisors

Arabella Advisors helps foundations, philanthropists, and investors who are serious about impact achieve the greatest good with their resources.  We help our clients imagine what’s possible, design the best strategies, learn what works best, and do the work necessary to realize their visions.

Our staff is a team of passionate problem-solvers—mission-driven and action-oriented—with a unique combination of experience in philanthropy, business, nonprofits, government, finance, law, and other fields. We combine creative, strategic thinking with knowledge and networks developed through decades of hands-on experience. 

The fastest-growing philanthropic advisory firm in the nation, Arabella is also a certified B Corporation. Our leadership team, advisors, colleagues, and staff are fundamentally concerned with social change. We share a desire to make a difference and apply an outcomes-focused approach. Our internal culture supports employee passions, enables continuous learning, and fosters innovation, risk taking, and fun—even as it emphasizes excellence.

About the Managed Nonprofit Organizations

This position supports the work of our Managed Organizations team.

Arabella Advisors provides operations and management support to multiple public charities, including the New Venture Fund, the Windward Fund, and the Hopewell Fund—all 501(c)(3) public charities—and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4).These managed organizations house new and innovative public interest projects and nonprofits, as well as coordinate collaborative initiatives between donors and administer grants programs. This type of structure is commonly referred to as fiscal sponsorship, and candidates are highly encouraged to research fiscal sponsorship prior to a first interview.  The managed organizations provide support to a diverse range of projects, including many focused on conservation and global health.  The organizations have also provided fiscal sponsorship to projects focused on voter registration, public policy, education, disaster recovery, and music and the arts.

Essential Responsibilities

Payroll Responsibilities

  • Responsible for coordinating with the Human Resources (“HR”) and Managed Organization Account teams on the preparation and processing of semi-monthly payroll for over 300 employees;
  • Responsible for reviewing payroll change reports for each semi-monthly pay period
  • Record monthly payroll related journal entries in regards to salary, taxes, 401(k), FSA/HRA activity, garnishments and other special payroll deductions
  • Responsible for the coordination efforts between HR and account teams to ensure proper flow and maintenance and reporting of employee data
  • Responsible for coordinating with the HR department to ensure that all payroll and benefit providers submit accurate billing invoices and accompanying underlying billing support schedule for the preparation/distribution of detailed reports, allocation of expenses across multiple projects and multiple nonprofit entities
  • Prepare entries to ensure that all payroll related costs are accurately recorded in the general ledger including lobbying allocations on a periodic basis for our 501(c)(4) entity, and allocating expenses across projects and nonprofit entities
  • Research and advise finance staff and account teams concerning the accounting treatment of complex payroll transactions
  • Develop and document best practices and processes in regards to payroll documentation


Accounting and Other Responsibilities

  • Prepare monthly bank reconciliation related to payroll account activity
  • Assist with annual audit, donor audits and other special projects as assigned
  • Work closely with client services team to ensure client service standards are met

 Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Strong skills using and understanding the flow of transactions in an integrated and automated payroll accounting system
  • Four years’ payroll experience in a Payroll Office or Department performing all payroll functions
  • Experience and adequate knowledge of processing payroll across multi-state jurisdictions
  • Proficiency with accounting software, report design, and Excel Experience with full-cycle GL
  • Understanding of internal controls and system controls related to Payroll and HR management
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Solid analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to manage and meet deadlines for multiple projects simultaneously
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work within multi-functional teams

Other Highly Preferred Skills and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting preferred
  • Experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management or consulting
  • Excellent skills using Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Experience with Microsoft Dynamics


A Career with Arabella Advisors

We are committed to having a passion-driven, inclusive, fun, transparent, collaborative, and healthy culture.  We invite you to visit our careers website to learn more about our people, culture, and work. However, we thought you should know that Arabella is committed to providing excellent benefits to our employees.  For you and your eligible dependents, we provide a competitive package that includes health, vision, dental, and prescription insurance. We also provide you disability coverage; life insurance; personal and volunteer leave time; a 401K match that you are eligible to receive when you start; funds for professional development; and a fitness benefit.

We also are committed to building a firm that is diverse and inclusive. We invite our clients and employees to be fully themselves. By integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work, we benefit from increased knowledge, creativity, flexibility, and organizational and individual growth. We expect all Arabella staff to share this commitment.


Candidates must submit a resume and one-page cover letter to be considered for the position. The cover letter must address your experience in nonprofit accounting as well as with payroll accounting. We will disregard candidates that do not submit the appropriate materials.

While Arabella is open to individuals from various locations applying to join our team, please note that we generally are unable to pay for relocation expenses.

Please apply here.

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