Department: Office of Human Resources Salary/Grade: EXS/5
The Benefits Financial Specialist administers benefits financial transactions with discretion, ensuring accuracy and appropriate validation, and using prudent judgment on departmental matters. The incumbent: reconciles monthly payroll benefit contributions for active staff, reconciles and verifies billing information for individuals who are on leave of absence, ACA, COBRA or retired from the University, and develops reports to issue payments to vendors. Incumbent works with the benefits team to help update the tuition benefit plans’ documentation, website content, and application database for accuracy and consistency. Reviews submitted tuition benefit applications, and assists with tuition benefit related questions and processes.
Billing and Data Management
Analyzes, reconciles, and resolves discrepancies with enrollment and eligibility data for active and inactive employee benefits. Works with the Financial Analyst in resolving discrepancies between Northwestern and the vendors. Prepares schedules for payments. Works with the Benefits team in resolving issues as they arise. Works with the Benefits Specialist and Benefits Operations Supervisor to resolve discrepancies with billing administrator and enrollment vendor.
Reporting and Analytics
Regularly queries the database of payroll deductions and use billing-administrator-reported inactive payment reports to facilitate accurate vendor payment. Monthly summaries and reports on payroll deductions (using pivot tables and spreadsheets), benefit plans and bills, and uses controls to validate accuracy; process vendor payments accordingly. Conducts ad-hoc analyses as needed.
Reconciles monthly balance sheet benefit clearing accounts to ensure accounts are properly stated and transactions accurately reported and discrepancies identified and corrected.
Tuition Applications Level 1 Reviewer
Reviews submitted applications (dependent portable, employee portable, employee certificate applications) for completeness and accuracy. Communicates expectations to employees with incomplete applications. Explains reasons for denial to employees with denied applications. Works cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service. Moves reviewed applications forward to Level 2 Approvers.
Database Quality Assurance
Records, compiles, and reports errors, issues, and system improvements in the tuition database. Consults with HRIS as needed, to resolve HRIS/PeopleSoft errors within the tuition database. Tests requested tuition database enhancements for accuracy, user experience, etc. Performs annual quality assurance testing of new tuition benefit plans to verify the database matches all of the tuition benefit plans including benefit award percentages, service year requirements, plan availability, etc.
Demonstrates continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, and streamline work processes. Contributes to internal development of policies and practices that have a broad impact related to tuition benefits.
Subject Matter Expert
Demonstrates a strong knowledge of provisions in the plan document for the various tuition benefit plans. Proactively responds to employee complaints/problems in a way that the employee is satisfied with and understands the answer. Offers alternatives to employee issues by thinking creatively. Remains current in profession, staying abreast of proposed laws and regulations, which may affect plans.
Processing and maintaining miscellaneous invoices through NU Financials.
Backup for posting checks to update accounts and verifying receipts for accuracy. Process Backup for reduced tuition paperwork.
Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired. Education with a related coursework in accounting coursework or experience.
One or more years work experience in benefits, accounting or related area.
Bachelors Degree in Accounting or Finance
Two or more years work experience in benefits, accounting or related area.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 38337
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.