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Job ID: 198236

Finance Manager, (CS3)
Columbia University in the City of New York

Date Posted Oct. 31, 2022
Title Finance Manager, (CS3)
University Columbia University in the City of New York
New York, NY, United States
Department School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Finance/Investment Management

Position Summary

Reporting to the Managing Director of the Center for Smart Streetscapes (CS3), the (grant funded) Finance Manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day financial transactions and the Center's accounting operations in The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). The Manager administers the $3.5-6M annual Center budget, implements and enforces internal controls, provides reporting and analyses on financial activities, budget projections, and burn rate, and collaborates closely with internal financial offices of SEAS and Columbia University. The Manager will work closely with the Managing Director to administer all financial and budgetary affairs of CS3 and oversee related budget transfers and salary distribution requests. As a member of a collaborative staff for the Center, this person contributes to event planning and implementation.


  • (50%) Budget Administration, Financial Controls, and Reporting:

    Budget Administration and Reconciliation. Under the direction of the Managing Director, actively administers the Center's administrative operating budget. Performs monthly reconciliation of Center accounts, actively monitors Center expenditures to prevent overdrafts and provides projection to the Center. Investigates and resolves variances and recommends budget modifications to adjust levels of spending.

    Internal Controls.  Assists in developing, and is responsible for implementing and enforcing, the Center's financial transaction- and accounting-related standard operating procedures (SOPs).  Monitors the Center's financial activity to ensure compliance with departmental, SEAS, and University policies and procedures. Coordinates with SEAS Finance, CU Internal Audit, SPA/SPF, and other internal stakeholders, including sub-awardees, to comply with any audit requirements. 

    Closing and Reporting. Provides data analysis and reporting and works in close collaboration with the SEAS Finance team to complete all monthly, quarterly and year-end transactions for the Center. Prepares monthly budget projections and burn rate and provides budget reports for the Center's annual report, as well as post-award reporting to the NSF.  Works closely with the Finance team to complete variances analyses, quarterly financial updates in the budget tool, clearing suspense and other financial transactions and analyses to meet school and University deadlines.

    Internal Collaboration. Serves as a liaison with A/P, Procurement, and Sponsored Projects Awards and Finance teams, the Dean's Office, and other internal CU stakeholders on financial and operational matters.

    External Collaboration. Serves as a liaison with external partners and their financial professionals on financial and operational matters, which are funded through sub-awards. Monitors and processes sub-award to the Center partners.

    Annual Requests for Proposals (RFP). Assist the Managing Director in administering and renewing the annual RFP, which will serve as the internal funding mechanism for the Center's research activities.

  • (20%) Daily Transaction Approvals and Oversight:

    Approval of Transactions.  Provides approval of Center finance transactions, including Travel and Business Expense Reimbursements (TBERs) and Purchase Orders (PO).  Reviews supporting documentation and ARC system entries to ensure accuracy and manages the workflow of the departmental finance support staff to provide timely, accurate, effective processing of expenditures and purchases.

    Initiation of Transactions.  Initiates and or reviews financial transactions associated with procurement, budget updates, accounts payable, general ledger activities, and allocation of expenses.  This includes payroll cost transfers and salary distribution requests (SDRs), journal vouchers, and internal transfers / journal entries to ensure proper allocation of expenditures within the Center, department's, and Dean's Office accounts. Manages the Center's casual and work-study payroll.   Initiates budget tool transactions and budget modification forms to update the Center budgets. Creates projects and chartfields as needed.

  • (15%) Event and Facilities Support

    Event planning support. Assist with events organization and event support.

    Service Tickets.  As needed, initiates service tickets and works with SEAS Facilities and CU Facilities to follow-up on facilities-related needs within the Center.

    Travels.  Support travel reimbursement and funds advance.

  • (10%) Interfacing and Development:

     Hands-on Leadership. Demonstrates day-to-day leadership and guidance to staff by proactively managing and providing clear, timely, and University-compliant solutions on a wide range of financial and other administrative matters. 

    Diversity, and Culture of Inclusion (D&CI). Receives training on D&CI in the workplace.

    Interfacing. Interfaces with other parts of the Center (research, education, D&CI, and innovation) requiring budget allocation.

    Development and Documentation of SOPs.  Works with staff to document workplace procedures and processes and optimize efficiency through standardization.

    Innovation, Transparency, and Continuous Improvement. Identifies and recommends process improvements and promotes a culture of innovation, advancement, and continuous improvement. Provides appropriate summaries of budget spending on a public platform (e.g., Github) for budget transparency with the Center and funding agencies and partners.

  • (5%) Perform related duties and projects as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree is required, with a preference for training in Finance, Accounting, or other relevant fields.  Advanced degree desirable

  • 3 to 5 years of hands-on experience in financial administration and supervisory/management experience required.

  • Detail-oriented and possess quantitative skills with a high degree of proficiency in spreadsheets using Excel.

  • Experience in higher education or other large, complex institutions is preferred. Familiarity with Columbia financial systems, particularly the Accounting at Columbia (ARC) system, is desired.

  • Experience running a financial report for project reconciliation and budgeting; experience in the University Budget Tools, handling labor accounting in People @ Columbia (PAC), working in TLAM and RASCAL systems desired.

  • Must have, or be able to acquire quickly, detailed knowledge of university policies, procedures, and systems.

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, organizational, and leadership skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to establish priorities, work under pressure, and exercise independent judgment and discretion is necessary; ability to react quickly and effectively to other inquiries from various management levels with comprehensive and accurate information in a wide variety of contexts and changing priorities is needed.

  • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion and evidence of contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment

  • Must have strong proficiency with MS Office.  Skill and experience with large datasets and advanced functions in MS Excel desirable.   Experience with Linux is desirable. 

  • Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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

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