The Senior Financial Administrator manages a university accounting-related area or program. The Senior Financial Administrator manages financial operations &/or analysis in support of the IIN mission & in coordination with central offices such as HR, Budget, Financial Aid, Facilities, Purchasing, IT, Provost, etc. Reviews a portfolio of multiple schools/depts' financial operations comprised of work that involves some extremely difficult problems &/or decisions. Manages daily, monthly, quarterly and annual financial processes for the Institute. Applies industry and professional standards, interprets university policy and procedure, federal and state laws, granting agency guidelines, and other regulations (as applicable); recommends accounting policy for the university. Represents &/or guides business area on internal & external financial affairs by recommending alternatives & suggestions. Leads and performs all aspects of post-award financial management for sponsored projects.
- Experience in the following areas:
- Accounting policy & procedure
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Additional/special pay
- Appropriation charges
- Bank and balance sheet acct
- Bank deposits
- Benefits accounting
- Business continuity planning
- Capital spending
- Cash receipt
- Chart &/or account coding
- Cost accounting
- Creating new accounts
- Endowment and gift accounting
- Expense reimbursement
- Financial Statements
- Grants &/or awards
- Investment asset accounting
- Journal &/or ledger
- Petty cash
- Plant, debt & loan acct
- Procurement card program
- Purchase orders
- Risk accounting
- Salary administration
- Student accounts
- Student funding
- Student loans
- Transfer charges
- Wire transfers
- Serves a primary role in the development & implementation of annual budget including fiscal resource allocation of appropriated, discretionary, endowment & gift revenues & expenses.
- Manages budget & provides timely, accurate financial status for the current fiscal & future plan.
- Guides units of responsibility through university budgeting and forecasting processes, reviews budget and forecasting submissions.
- Acts a Budget Office expert on units and functions within portfolio of responsibilities.
- Coordinates & completes all associated fiscal year close/open processes.
- Reviews & reconciles actual expenses to budget per NU Audit guidelines.
- Approves funds reallocation within budget as necessary & appropriate.
Analysis, Statements & Reporting
- Measures individual net performance of all areas/units as well as consolidated area/unit income statement & balance sheet with the use of pre-defined analytical financial tools.
- Recommends changes to tools to improve analysis, forecasting, modeling & reporting & ultimately quality of financial information & analyses provided to management for planning, evaluating & controlling operations.
- Establishes proper accounting & audit trails for revenue & expenses related to programs & initiatives.
- Oversees monthly reconciliation & reports on current financial performance, impact on year-end forecast & opportunities & risks.
- Prepares area or program financial statements and regulatory reports.
- Acts as the key contact for external auditors; prepares financial statement and audit work papers.
- Prepares sections of the university's annual financial report.
- Performs complex financial account reconciliations, statement analysis, and transaction research.
- Builds, maintains, and updates financial models and associated financial analysis.
- Oversees accurate, efficient and compliant workflow of all transactional processes across areas/units.
- May serve as primary Level III school approver for NU Financial transactions.
- Provides optimal customer service and financial guidance to areas/units.
- Oversees processing of all daily financial transactional activity.
- Reviews exceptions forms and reimbursements that require special attention.
- Requests new chart strings.
- Prepares faculty salary recovery & summer salary.
- Creates & monitors recharge centers.
- Monitors open encumbrances & deficit chart strings; &/or stop an expense that is inappropriate or against deficit chart string.
- Reviews status of related university unit accounts and processes; troubleshoots issues as needed.
- Leads and provides support for internal &/or granting agency audit requests.
Grants &/or Awards
- Typically involved in the budget management of numerous research grants.
- Oversees &/or completes pre- & post-award research administration.
- Utilizes established systems (effort reporting, direct cost charging/SDA, & financial reporting) to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.
- Interacts with Principal Investigators (PIs) to build relationships, transfer knowledge & provide advice on research policies & procedures.
- Oversees payroll for research appointments.
- Ensures faculty completion of effort certification.
- Provides appropriate training for staff & PIs.
- Monitors commitments and expenditures to ensure compliance with granting agency guidelines.
- Verifies accurate set up of sponsored project accounts.
- Identifies current & future resource planning & allocation issues & develops, leads, & supervises complex studies & analyses that will assist senior staff in reaching resource planning and allocation decisions.
- Processes & presents associated data & information through the application of sophisticated database, graphic & spreadsheet tools.
- Negotiates with vendors for purchases & leases.
- Acts act as project manager for design and implementation of regulatory and system changes.
- Manages operation of a computer system or system processes that support the area or program.
- Ensures that service level goals are met.
- Provides training and support to related university units or program participants.
- Develops and maintains website content and training materials.
- Supervises employees.
- Trains employees.
- Hires employees.
- Evaluates employees' performance.
- Provides work direction to other employees.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as accounting, business administration, finance, or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
- 5 years financial, budgeting &/or preparing account reconciliations or financial statements along with financial analysis or other relevant experience.
- Critical and analytical thinking: Using logic and reason to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Ability to review and dissect information and apply analytic concepts and calculations.
- Being receptive to feedback, willing to learn, embracing continuous improvement.
- Internally motivated to excel.
- Being helpful, respectful, approachable, and team oriented, building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.
- Excellent computer skills including proficiency in the use of spreadsheet, database and word processing software.
- Strong understanding of financial reporting.
- Familiarity with FASB requirements.
- Energetic, flexible, collaborative and proactive.
- Superior organizational and communication skills
- Works well autonomously as well as part of a group.
- CFE-Certified Fraud Examiner.
- CIA-Certified Internal Auditor.
- CISA-Certified Information Systems Auditor.
- CPA-Certified Public Accountant.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.