The Lease Accounting Specialist acts as liaison between Darden and landlords and is primarily responsible for remitting all payments in accordance with the lease. This role is responsible for ensuring accuracy for any accounts that fall within the Lease area of responsibility for restaurants/brands, as well as ensuring timely communication to brand finance teams of any impacts to their P&L.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
-Utilize information systems and processes to remit accurate payments to landlords on a monthly basis; ensure that payments are made in accordance with the lease, and at the applicable federal / state tax rate.
-Process Common Area Maintenance (CAM) reconciliations within the system, and research (e.g. review applicable lease excerpts and prior year reconciliations, and work with the legal department as needed) any costs that appear unreasonable.
-Communicate with landlords directly on payment status and CAM reconciliation disputes/status. Coordinate with other departments as needed (AP, Tax, Legal, Asset Management) on resolution.
-Identify higher-risk / higher-dollar locations with potential cost savings or credits to the Company, including aged accruals, and work directly with Lease Supervisor in pursuing.
-Process one-time payments to landlords for miscellaneous expenses; ensure that costs are reasonable and in accordance with the lease, by communicating with restaurant management and/or the legal department.
-Review month-end rent and CAM exceptions and prepare correcting journal entries to ensure accurate financial reporting
-Pro-actively communicate, as well as research and respond to internal inquiries, regarding P&L impacts to brand finance and restaurant management.
-Prepare general ledger accounting reconciliations for accruals and misc.
-Maintain and cultivate relationships internally (Accounts Payable, Tax, Legal, Asset Management, brand Finance, restaurant management) and externally (landlords, consultants), by providing timely and accurate deliverables.
-Scan and index documents.
-Work on other special projects as needed.
-Self-starter requiring minimal supervision.
-Detail-orientated and the ability to perform all work in an accurate and timely manner
-Strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize a high volume workload.
-Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
-Exhibits a sense of urgency, understands the importance of month-end closing deadlines.
-Excellent attendance record.
-Helpful attitude, demonstrates teamwork.
-Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
-Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of field and Support Center team members as well as landlords.
-Strong follow-through on problem resolution.
-Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, including ability to create V-Lookups.
-Proficiency with other Microsoft programs including Word and Outlook.
-Demonstrated knowledge of accounting processes and practices.
-Experienced with Oracle and Discoverer, or equivalent systems & reporting tools.
-General accounting knowledge including preparation of journal entries and understanding of balance sheet/income statement relationship.
-High school diploma or equivalent required.
-Undergraduate degree in accounting, preferred.
-Minimum of three years of experience in accounting (e.g., processing invoices and requisitions, payroll processing, vendor accounts, stop payments, journal/ledger maintenance and posting, etc.).