Director Technical Accounting Research

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Job Description

The purpose and responsibility of the Corporate Accounting Research (CAR) group is to develop and oversee the GAAP and Statutory accounting policies of the Corporation. This responsibility involves monitoring and participating in accounting standard setting activities as well as interpreting final standards and ensuring that the standards have been appropriately reflected in both the accounting policies and financial statements of the company. In addition to maintaining the company's accounting policies, CAR provides accounting expertise in advising on accounting related to special projects as well as supporting acquisition and divestiture activities and capital transactions.

Job Summary

The Director of Accounting Research is responsible for technical accounting research, interpretation and implementation of new and existing accounting pronouncements - U.S. GAAP, IFRS, and statutory accounting. This position develops and documents proposed accounting policies for the organization. In addition, the Director of Accounting Research monitors and communicates the status of emerging accounting guidance and potential impacts to the organization as well as leads the implementation of new accounting standards and interpretations with the objective of insuring consistent and appropriate implementation. The Director participates in the development of accounting and reporting standards through direct interaction with standard setters through participation in industry groups, development of proposed comment letters, and direct dialogue with the standard setters. In addition, the position develops presentations for communicating to senior management, Audit Committee, as well as other personnel within the organization the status of new accounting developments as well as potential impacts to Allstate. The Director also serves as a primary contact for business units for accounting inquiries regarding appropriate and consistent application of the company's accounting policies.

The Director serves as a technical accounting expert responding to inquiries related to complex transactions, corporate initiatives, new investments, development of new products, and application of accounting and reporting standards (new and existing). The Director researches complex technical accounting issues and develops recommendations that comply with the company's accounting policies and practices as well as authoritative accounting standards. In addition, the Director serves as an advocate for Allstate's positions in discussions with the Company's external auditors.

The Director also monitors updates to SOX Section 302 and 404 (from PCAOB and auditors) and develops reports on the status for senior management. In addition, the Director compiles information to support the quarterly CEO and CFO SOX Section 302 regarding Internal Controls over Financial Reporting.

This position also supervises direct reports and reports to an Officer.

Key Responsibilities

This position is responsible for the following:

  • Lead the delivery of guidance and advisory services to stakeholders in connection with the application of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), international financial reporting standards (IFRS), and statutory accounting principles
  • Monitor development of accounting standards proposed by various standard setters (i.e., Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC))
  • Participate in the development of accounting and reporting standards through direct interaction with standard setters or through participation in industry groups, and development of proposed comment letters
  • Review new and proposed accounting standards and assess potential impacts to operational/reporting processes as well as financial results
  • Disseminate information regarding proposed and issued accounting and reporting standards and related interpretations including potential impacts to the business areas and shared services
  • Prepare presentations for senior management, business unit management, and the Audit Committee regarding matters on accounting standards developments
  • Research complex accounting issues and develop recommendations that demonstrate a clear understanding of potential impacts to the company
  • Provide expert accounting advice related to corporate initiatives (e.g., acquisitions/disposals, capital transactions) as well as proposed/new products or complex investments
  • Serve as a primary contact for business units for accounting inquiries regarding appropriate and consistent application of accounting policies
  • Monitor updates to SOX Section 302 and 404
  • Assess scope of new or modified accounting/reporting processes that affect internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR)
  • Assist in assessment of control issues/gaps affecting ICFR
  • Compile information that supports the SOX compliance process for the benefit of the CEO, CFO, and Audit Committee
  • Present periodic educational accounting updates to Business Units and Finance Shared Services (e.g., Back to School on US GAAP status and IFRS convergence)
  • Assist in special projects such as active participation in the development of capital standards for the insurance industry, both domestically and internationally, interacting with various regulatory bodies either individually or through industry groups
  • Review staff goals and evaluations and providing feedback
  • Manage staff development
  • Guiding staff through technical issue resolution

This position is also responsible for leading implementation projects and managing cross functional groups to effectively implement new accounting and reporting standards
  • Collaborate with various finance and accounting groups across the company to assess impact of new standards and identify actions necessary for successful implementation
  • Plan and manage projects to enable proper implementation of accounting standards and interpretations in a timely manner
  • Coordinate activities across functional groups in identifying and addressing potential issues in implementing new standards
  • Communicate implementation status to various stakeholders within the organization and externally (i.e., Deloitte & Touche)

Job Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree in Accounting and CPA required
  • MBA preferred
  • Public Accounting Experience - 5 to 10 years of Big 4 experience with insurance clients (banking acceptable).
  • Deep knowledge in U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), SEC accounting and disclosure rules and the standard setting process; knowledge of IFRS and statutory accounting preferred
  • Ability to research accounting issues and develop well-reasoned conclusions on complex accounting issues in accordance with current pronouncements and company policies
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills to converse with individuals at all levels of the organization on complex issues
  • Ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines
  • Excellent communication, planning, and leadership skills
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, mentor and develop staff
  • The following work experiences are not required, but preferred:
    • Accounting research experience
    • Insurance experience (Life and P&C, reinsurance, other insurance specific activities)
    • Exposure to accounting for: financial instruments, derivatives, structured transactions, acquisitions, divestitures, issued related to fair value measurements
    • Experience with developing comment letters to standard setters
    • Experience developing presentations to senior management and the Board of Directors
    • Exposure to SEC reporting

The candidate(s) offered this position will be required to submit to a background investigation, which includes a drug screen.

Good Work. Good Life. Good Hands®.

As a Fortune 100 company and industry leader, we provide a competitive salary - but that's just the beginning. Our Total Rewards package also offers benefits like tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance, as well as a robust pension and 401(k). Plus, you'll have access to a wide variety of programs to help you balance your work and personal life -- including a generous paid time off policy.

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Allstate generally does not sponsor individuals for employment-based visas for this position.

Effective July 1, 2014, under Indiana House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1242, it is against public policy of the State of Indiana and a discriminatory practice for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee on the basis of status as a veteran by refusing to employ an applicant on the basis that they are a veteran of the armed forces of the United States, a member of the Indiana National Guard or a member of a reserve component.

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