The Office of the Controller is responsible for managing the general accounting and financial operations IT of the University. It contains several departments that provide a wide range of financial services on behalf of and for the University community. Accounting Services ensures that financial data is appropriately gathered and recorded, provides financial reporting, and recommends policy for the University. As stated in the FY 2015 Report of the Executive Vice President:
The University’s strong financial position will be crucial in moving us to even greater distinction in our academic position among the best global universities. Our ability to make key investments will allow us to further advance our goal of continued academic and research excellence.
Investment assets reported in FY 2015 exceeded $10 billion and represent one of the largest college endowments in the country.
The Senior Accountant Investment Assets role includes the following:
- Responsible for managing investment asset accounting: investments, investment related bank reconciliation, and pool pricing. Coordinates with Gift & Endowment accountants on other restricted assets and investment data for Fundriver and pool pricing.
- Works closely with internal areas of Investment Office, Alumni Relations & Development, Depository Services/Treasury, and Controller; maintains relationship with external asset trustees.
- Responsible for performing complex financial account analysis, reporting on investments to management, and the internal investments system used to reconcile investment activity.
- Integral in providing support for the compilation of financial statements, including quarterly, interim reporting, and ad-hoc.
- Applies industry and professional standards, interprets University policy and procedure, federal or state laws, and other regulations, and recommends accounting policy for the University.
- Currently supervises one employee in the same functional area to oversee daily investment transaction activity.
- Manages a university accounting-related area or program.
- Manages daily, monthly, quarterly and annual financial processes for the area or program.
- 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.
Areas of responsibility below:
- Accounting policy & procedure
- Bank and balance sheet acct
- Chart &/or account coding
- Creating new accounts
- Investment asset accounting
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 workpapers.
- 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.
- Preparation of audit workpapers (including investment cash flow and fair value of investment schedules) and schedules for financial statements, and other external reporting.
- Maintaining investment and endowment records; monthly reporting to management, reports for the Board, and meeting special reporting needs or requests.
- Oversees accurate, efficient and compliant workflow of all transactional processes across areas/units.
- Provides optimal customer service and financial guidance to areas/units.
- Oversees processing of all daily financial transactional activity.
- Managing investment accounting.
- Ensuring the accurate recording and reconciliation of all investment activity to the University’s general ledger.
- Investment reporting, oversight and management of access database/subsidiary ledger.
- 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.
- Ensures that service level goals are met.
- Maintaining communication and informing decisions on investment procedures and processes with internal Investment Department and external bank personnel.
- 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.
- 4 years of accounting experience.
- Excellent computer skills including proficiency in the use of spreadsheet, database and word processing software.
- Strong understanding of financial reporting.
- Familiarity with FASB requirements.
- Strong conceptual understanding of accounting theory and financial systems; proven ability to perform account reconciliations and/or perform analyses; proficient in MS Office applications and creating reports.
- CPA-Certified Public Accountant.
- Experience in accounting, investments and financial analyses.
- Experience with accounting in non-profit and/or private university environment.
- Supervisory or project leader experience.
- Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with others; self-starter and ability to work independently.
- Experience with (Oracle) PeopleSoft Financials.
- Experience with Microsoft Access and/or understanding and experience with database concepts.
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.