Accounting Specialist

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) seeks an Accounting Specialist to support the organization’s accounting and finance team. The Accounting Specialist will provide assistance with reconciliations, invoices, deposits, allocations, preparations with financial audits, processing payroll and general support with other accounting procedures.  As part of the Development directorate, the Accounting Specialist will provide training to staff on CRL accounting processes, monitoring their adherence to CRL procedures.  

Based in Chicago, Illinois, CRL is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries which holds and lends over five million newspapers, journals, books, pamphlets, dissertations, archives, and government publications that support original research and teaching. CRL commits to the cultivation of open and equitable access to knowledge on a global level, and works against historic, systemic inequities by: advancing open knowledge policy, infrastructure, and analytics; engaging in collections work grounded in anti-racist and post-custodial frameworks that support communities historically under-engaged by the organization; supporting collections as data development that enables expanded forms of engagement with the scholarly record; and by committing to the responsible operationalization of technology. Learn more about us and our work here



  • Process bi-weekly payroll through automated payroll system 
  • Collaborate with HR to ensure changes in status and pay rates are accurately reflected in the automated payroll system and payment of wages are made in a correct and timely manner 
  • Possess strong communication skills and provide great customer service to CRL employees and external members 
  • Maintain a log and process all employee data (new hires, changes, withholdings, direct deposit, etc.) in automated payroll system 
  • Monitor paid release time accumulation, accrual and utilization calculations and make manual adjustments to the payroll system, as required 
  • Administer and distribute reports as needed 
  • Maintain and reconcile payroll work sheet and allocate expenditures to appropriate departments and grants where applicable 
  • Manage and track grant hours, calculating appropriate direct labor cost allocations for salary and benefits 
  • Deliver instruction and training to employees regarding the function of payroll-related systems including entry of timesheets, online access of pay statements, etc. 

Accounts receivable: 

  • Create and distribute all invoices for membership and subscriptions using Financial Edge accounting system 
  • Calculate, prepare and distribute membership and Area Materials and Global Resources Program cost share billings and communicate with member institutions regarding invoicing and cost share calculations 
  • Support accounting assistant by reviewing and reconciling mailed check deposits, electronic deposits ensuring that all payments are accurate and entered into the Financial Edge accounting system and Consortia Manager System 
  • Lead collection processes by initiating contact with member institutions and coordinating payment of outstanding invoices via email, phone or fax 
  • Provide accounts receivable open item reports, AR aging reports, and general ledger reporting 
  • Reconcile various accounts by identifying errors in posting or omissions and applying appropriate accounting standards. 
  • Prepare and maintain account schedules monthly for accounts receivable, salary, vacation accruals, deferred membership, 403(b) defined contributions 
  • Actively participate in yearly financial audit and serve as liaison for all testing requests related to A/R, and payroll 
  • Complete vendor forms sent to the accounting department and provide accounting specific documents such as W-9 or banking info 
  • Process all credit card payments on Virtual Terminal website and provide receipts to accounting assistant to enter in Financial Edge system. 
  • Post investment income and BMO payments as they appear retrospectively on bank statements 
  • Support the accounting and finance team with special projects 

Education and experience: 

A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in accounting, finance or related field and a minimum of two years of experience, or the equivalent combination of training, education and experience are required. Strong candidates will also possess: 

  • Strong communication and customer service skills 
  • Strong organization and time management skills  
  • Working knowledge of federal and state payroll and tax requirements 
  • Experience using automated payroll system to process payroll 
  • Experience using Salesforce
  • Value for collaboration, process improvement and new ideas 

Compensation and benefits:  
This is a full-time, permanent position with an expected starting salary of $55,000-$65,000. CRL offers competitive benefits including health, dental, life and disability insurance, and flexible PTO including vacation, sick, personal time, 2 floating holidays and 12 paid holidays per year. In addition, CRL offers generous retirement benefits with a monthly 10% contribution after a year of employment (immediately vested). Employees will receive funding for professional development activities.  

Application process:  
Expertise in each requirement listed above is not expected — instead, we encourage applications from those who demonstrate a mix of expertise in some areas, and commitment to learning and experimentation in others. Skills and relevant experience outlined in your application may be paid or unpaid, and can include internships, volunteer work, and practicums. We understand that experience, education and learning, and creativity take many forms, and expect that qualified applicants may bring additional skills to this position that we’ve not considered or listed here. If this role interests you, we encourage you to apply!  

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to Please include ‘Accounting Specialist’ in the subject line. Applications will be received until the position is filled. A hybrid work schedule is available, but candidates must have the ability to commute to the facility located in the Woodlawn neighborhood. 


Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity    

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. CRL is committed to actively promoting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion as key components for serving our members and advancing our global mission. As such, CRL enthusiastically embraces empathy, courage, self-reflection and respect of a multi-cultural, diverse, and inclusive workplace, and those who strive to incorporate those values in their work and interact. CRL complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding recruitment, hiring and employment and is dedicated to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at CRL are based on organization needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. CRL will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.