COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19, we are temporarily freezing our hiring process. At this time, we will only post limited and essential roles. Existing applicants who are scheduled for interviews or have received a job offer should contact their hiring manager or recruiter. For the latest updates, visit Columbia's COVID-19 Guidance. 


Search for staff jobs. You will create a profile with your first application submission. Questions? Ask HR.

Associate Director, Finance

  • Requisition no: 508093
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Medical Center
  • School/Department: Institute for Genomic Medicine
  • Grade: Grade 105
  • Categories: Finance/Accounting
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • Hours Per Week: 35

Position Summary

Reporting to the Department Administrator (DA), the Associate Director, Finance, will be responsible for oversight of all financial management and reporting functions of the Institute. The position will be responsible for day-to-day financial activity, payroll transactions, monthly, quarterly, and annual closing process, in-depth financial analyses, annual budgeting, quarterly forecasts, financial reporting (monthly reports and department-level P&Ls), monitoring actual results to budgets, auditing, and dissemination of important financial data, guidelines, and policies. This position will evaluate current processes and systems (including billing) and financial reporting and will implement improvements, including automation, with the goal of aligning with the needs and growth of the department. He/she will supervise Finance team personnel and perform other duties as assigned.

An ideal candidate must be able to quickly learn and understand critical institutional drivers and perform analysis of financial reports and data, and prepare subsequent narrative analysis for management inclusive of recommendations. Perform predictive analysis. Develop detailed financial models to aid in annual budgeting, payroll reconciliations, projections, and reporting. This individual must have strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to work independently to achieve departmental goals, deadlines, and desired outcomes/results.  In addition, they are expected to collaborate and engage key stakeholders of the financial planning, payroll, and analysis process.

This position is a hands-on finance management position that requires a detailed understanding of various aspects of finance operations at the line-item level, as well as ability to see “big picture”. This position will interact extensively with the Grants and Contracts Manager and Project Manager. The position will also interact with department faculty, HR core team, and serve as the primary financial liaison with other offices throughout the University. Experience with sponsored projects and post-award grants management skills preferred.


  • Manages monthly, quarterly, and year-end financial close-out processes. Acts as the department’s primary reviewer and approver for ARC transactions, including procurement transactions, funding transfers, and revenue entries. Follow up on transactions with other offices and departments, as necessary, to ensure any additional approvals and processing steps are completed. Prepare quarterly accrual reports. Serve as the departmental expert resource on financial transaction process and review transactions submitted by others to ensure compliance with institutional policy, grant/funding source requirements, and accounting best practices.
  • Act as a departmental resource on all types of procurement transactions. Interact with Principal Investigators (PIs), lab managers, and other lab personnel on matters related to procurement and expenses for research labs. Provide guidance to lab managers and point people within research units; assist with management of service contracts and other agreements; and monitor expenses and financial activities for compliance, including PI approval of expenses where required. Directly supervises staff involved in the procurement process and works closely with other departmental supervisors as appropriate to ensure that all staff engaged in procurement and accounts payable activities are properly trained and that purchasing takes place smoothly and in a compliant manner. Ensures timely reporting, compliance, and best practices are adhered to within the procurement function. Serves as the primary approver for the following ARC transactions: purchase requisitions/POs, office and lab supplies ordering, vouchers, check requests, travel and business expense reports (TBERS), and pcard transactions.
  • Manages cash receipts and bank deposits to ensure accuracy and timeliness. Serve as primary reviewer and approver. Partnering with Development, initiate donor-sourced gift deposits. Manage collections where applicable.
  • Prepare the department budget submissions and forecasts (both annual and quarterly) and ensure reasonability, consistency with operating trends and compliance with P&S budget guidelines.  Coordinate the creation and update of each team’s annual budget template, including in-person meetings. Provide support and training to various teams in their preparation of budgets. Continuously monitors and communicates actuals versus budget expenditures to identify problematic trends for further analysis. Performs quarterly variance analysis for the controller’s office. Monitor budgetary compliance and update projections throughout the year using Budget Tool, FDS, and other financial systems. Act as a Departmental point person to the VP&S Finance office.
  • Assist in the development of multi-year financial estimates.
  • In partnership with the DA, prepare business plans to support the sustainability of new business opportunities and special projects. Manages modeling to assist the DA in the evaluation of new ventures. Provides strategic financial planning and forecasting by capturing and analyzing data to inform financial decisions and recommendations to the DA. Assist in developing and implementing turnaround plans when needed. Report, analyze, and interpret financial data for the DA.
  • Prepare annual core rate applications, including compiling and assessing volume information, equipment schedules, and various sequencing costs. Understand and document the methodology and assumptions used.
  • Review and document existing department financial reporting/budget monitoring systems identifying shortcomings and inconsistencies with COB & FDS reports, make recommendations for improvements and assist in the implementation of any changes with the goal of automating as much reporting as possible.
  • Manages the chart of accounts of the department to ensure coding that aligns with reporting needed. Evaluate the Department’s account coding and implement changes to facilitate improved financial reporting and carry out accounting functions within it. Ensure departmental P&L reporting initiatives to include reporting by division, lab, project, etc.  Request creation of new chartfields and maintain listing of departmental chartstrings.
  • Review and evaluate cost allocations.
  • Maintain labor distribution schedules for faculty and other employees. Determines and advises on appropriate salary and additional compensation allocations for faculty and staff, in partnership with grants manager, project manager, and DA. Process salary distribution and cost transfer transactions. Review and approve transactions submitted by others. Set up charging for new personnel; verify funding availability, create combocodes, and coordinate charging with other departments as needed. Processes Labor Accounting transactions in a timely fashion.
  • Regularly and timely clears suspense, monitor fund balances to prevent overdrafts and take corrective measures when needed (flagging concerns for follow-up or escalation where appropriate), and perform liquidation of open commitments.
  • Ensure faculty members’ funding portfolios (grants, contracts, gift funds, endowments, and discretionary funds such as start-up funding) are properly managed. Attend and participate in meetings with PIs. Act as a departmental point of contact and resource.
  • Assist with the coordination between the Department and the Pre-Award Core to ensure that PIs receive seamless and comprehensive support.
  • Assist the Department Administrator with a range of other financial and administrative tasks within the Department to ensure appropriate support and cross-coverage
  • Assist the DA with standardization of forms and templates as well as dissemination of standardized information to appropriate parties and assist with the automation of financial statements, and other frequently-used reporting.
  • Collaborate closely with various central finance offices within the University to ensure compliance with all internal and external regulations, guidelines, and deadlines. Performs audits of financial functions at regular intervals to ensure quality control
  • Supervise and provide training and growth opportunities for Finance team personnel
  • Primary point of contact for all financial matters with other departments. Escalates as necessary to the DA
  • Gathers information, conducts research, performs analysis and provides solutions to questions and issues as they arise
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Requires a bachelor's degree and plus four years of related experience or equivalent in training, education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Degree in Accounting or Finance. CPA designation or Master’s Degree in Healthcare Finance, Accounting, or Business Administration.
  • Experience creating financial models.
  • Ability to analyze and coalesce data from multiple systems and present it in a concise and straightforward format.
  • Able to work through complex issues, elevating as appropriate
  • Experience working in an academic medical center or scientific research environment.
  • Management experience.
  • Grants management experience

Other Requirements

  • Must possess excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills. Self-starter with ability to work independently and manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment. Excellent customer service skills. Strong follow-up skills and ability to keep track of a long and complex to-do list in the face of tight deadlines and competing priorities.
  • Very strong Excel skills, including familiarity with data analysis features such as pivot tables.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

Back Apply Share

Share this via:

| More
Back to Top