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Executive Director, Finance

  • Requisition no: 503206
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of Professional Studies
  • Grade: Grade 15
  • Categories: Finance/Accounting, General Administration
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

The Executive Director (Executive Director) is responsible for creating and maintaining a well-structured Finance office for the School, including accounting and finance operations, budget management and development, reporting, and day to day running of business operations for the School. The Executive Director will work closely with the Associate Dean to ensure the realization of the School’s target financial performance and to work with internal stakeholders to advance and enhance their reports and budget planning and management.  As part of the senior financial team, the Executive Director will work closely with department heads and program leadership to develop and execute the School’s central and non-central budget in-line with the University and Dean’s Office financial management policies and procedures. The Executive Director will also be the School’s main point of contact for internal financial needs. Working alongside the Associate Dean they will laisse with the University finance and business office related shared services and will work with these groups to implement best practices within the School and ensure effective communication between the School and shared services is maintained. The Executive Director will collaborate with the Executive Director of Strategy, primarily on the 5-year Long Term Plan and financial reporting within the School.


Accounting and Finance Operations 

  • Lead efforts to streamline reporting and develop processes to manage performance and track decision making
  • Lead accounting and finance operations, systematize, document, and ensure effective and efficient processes, appropriate controls, and visibility are in place for all accounting operations 
  • Direct and execute day-to-day management of accounting and finance operational functions, including transactions such as processing cost transfers, salary distributions, TBERs, invoices, additional compensation payments and internal transfers within Columbia 
  • Collaborate closely with the Human Resources and Faculty Affairs departments on issues related to processing all faculty, officer, casual, work-study and support staff payroll and appointments

Budget Development and Management 

  • Ensure annual financial budget targets for revenue and expense projections for each program and department are established, approved by the Senior Leadership Team, and realized
  • Work with account owners to ensure that line-item budgets are submitted, reviewed and revised as appropriate
  • Incorporate the School’s annual central and non-central budget into the Arts and Sciences budget submission
  • Ensure the realization of on-target financial performance through effective budget management and accounting operations
  • Provide successful and on-time month-, quarter- and year-end closing of the School’s budget in line with the University and Arts & Science policies and procedures
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director – Strategy on the School’s 5-year plan

Training and Tools  

  • Work closely with the Executive Director of Analytics and the Executive Director of Strategy to develop and continuously improve reporting/planning/audit tools and capabilities utilized by programs and departments to monitor/manage expenses
  • Work with program and department leadership to instill a culture of budget management and awareness through continuous education  
  • The Executive Director will develop and implement School-wide business operations policies and procedures, as well as training materials and methods for the School’s financial policies, procedures, and applications including regular monthly training of new employees
  • Coordinate across departments to develop and continuously improve processes

Perform other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree is desirable
  • 7 years related experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree strongly preferred
  • CPA and general fund accounting understanding preferred
  • Working knowledge of the University’s financial and administrative systems desirable
  • Strong preference for previous process improvement and project management experience

Other Requirements

  • Supervisory experience required
  • Must have a strong service-oriented attitude and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Must be highly computer literate with strong accounting and financial analysis capabilities - budget theory and accounting operations understanding required
  • Must be able to use discretion, maintain confidentiality, exercise sound independent judgment with the utmost integrity and perform detailed work with precision
  • Must be well organized, with exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • Must be able to create training methods for small and large groups
  • The ability to work well under pressure with short deadlines and changing priorities is needed
  • Attention to detail necessary
  • Strong leadership skills and an ability to take initiative required

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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