Under administrative direction of the U’s Associate Vice President of Financial Services, the Controller has the overall responsibility for the accuracy, integrity, and maintenance of the University’s financial records. They are responsible for ensuring the timeliness of financial transactions and the preparation of financial reports. The areas reporting to the Controller provide services, consultation and training to the campus community as a whole including faculty, staff, and students. The Controller develops and monitors the internal control environment; interprets and implements policies and accounting standards; develops and issues internal and external financial reports; and oversees financial systems. The Controller collaborates with various campus financial stakeholders, including University of Utah Health.
The Controller educates the University community on accounting matters and ensures fiscal accountability and adequate understanding of internal controls and financial policies. The Controller is responsible for the interpretation and assessment of new and revised Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) pronouncements and other guidance that constitutes generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for the University. They will actively participate in the broader higher ed accounting community to share information and benchmark best practices for accounting. They provide day-to-day oversight of the annual external audit and work with auditors to resolve issues. The Associate Vice President relies on the Controller’s acumen and knowledge of GAAP requirements, as needed. The Controller will also provide assessments and recommendations regarding legislative initiatives that may impact the University’s financial policies and practices.
The areas reporting to the Controller visibly demonstrate excellent customer service. The Controller works with managers of these areas to ensure high quality, value added services in support of the University’s mission and goals. The Controller supports the University of Utah’s goals and mission and acts as a catalyst between departments, faculty, staff, students, and external entities to ensure continuity and quality of service.
Areas of immediate focus for the Controller include the following:
Assess the University’s current tuition and fee structure and identify opportunities to streamline the schedule for leadership to consider.
Evaluate opportunities in various Controller’s offices to streamline, standardize, simplify, and automate business processes.
Assess the availability of training on relevant policies and procedures and develop a robust plan for improving skills and knowledge throughout the University on these topics.
Assess staffing and responsibilities in Tax Services to identify challenges and make recommendations for a more efficient and effective department.
Provide leadership for the Chart of Accounts redesign project while ensuring the participation and involvement of all key stakeholders including University of Utah Health.
The Controller will provide guidance and be a sounding board on these priorities.
Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Accounting, or equivalency, plus seven years experience in progressively more responsible financial and accounting positions, which includes a minimum of four years of supervisory experience, the ability to work in a highly complex business environment, and a commitment to provide excellent customer service required. A CPA is preferred, as is college or university experience.
Certifications and Desired Experience:
Master’s degree in Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, or related area preferred.
Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Certification must be active and good standing or have ability to re-certify if hired.
Experience in academic organizations and Academic Health Care is preferred.
Ten (10) years relevant functional and management experience in progressively more responsible financial and accounting positions, which includes a minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience, or any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.
Ongoing expectations include the following:
Provide excellent customer service to a broad array of internal and external customers including University leadership, departments, legislators, Board of Regents, other higher educational institutions, internal and external auditors, regulators, students and staff.
Build strong university relationships by making accounting and finance functions more transparent and accessible. Create opportunities for ideas and best practices to be exchanged at all levels of the organization.
Establish and maintain financial infrastructure and systems including policies for divisions, colleges, and departments of the University; Design and coordinate a wide variety of accounting and statistical data and reports needed for decision support.
Be a credible leader and knowledgeable business resource, a good listener and collaborator to all departments and divisions and help the Chief Financial Officer create a more comprehensive view of the University’s financial picture. Create a finance department with a focus on customer service and support to build stronger relationships across the University.
Oversee processing of the following financial transactions: registration fee billings and collections; receivable billings and collections; general cashiering services; student aid disbursements; travel claims processing; and general University disbursements.
Manage, mentor and develop a large customer service-oriented team and oversee management of multiple accounting and financial functions in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
The University of Utah has developed a strategic plan, Strategy 2025, that provides direction and opportunities for the Controller as well as for Financial Services. As a member of the Financial Services’ leadership team, the Controller will play a vital role in the success of the Plan. The Plan identifies a number of strategies that will benefit from the involvement of Financial Services, including the Controller. Examples below are representative of these opportunities:
Support strategic financial planning and enhance organizational and operational capacity and efficiency. Participate in development of a University strategic financial plan and operationalize and track the funding of the Plan.
Act as a change-agent in moving the organization from the current highly decentralized structure to one that supports the future financial and capital planning needs of the University. Central to this objective is the development of talent and skills throughout the University as well as the improvement of processes and procedures to ensure that administrative services are delivered efficiently and effectively.
Actively participate in the assessment of current PeopleSoft customizations to identify opportunities to move towards a more standardized environment.
Determine business requirements and resources required to guide and support the transition for the University to do all funds budgeting and forecasting.
Provide financial and analytical support for the multifaceted missions of the University; Provide leadership in financial planning and decision-making. Build effective and collegial collaborations and relationships with research, clinical and administrative groups as well as external relationships with regulatory bodies and other universities; Develop in-depth knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the organization.
Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending education workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, participating in professional societies.
Internal Number: PRN25026B
About University of Utah
The state’s oldest and largest institution of higher education, the University of Utah is the flagship university of the state. The University offers more than 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students (23,500 undergraduate and 7,500 graduate). The University is noted for its high research profile, its diversity of ideas and people, its stunningly beautiful setting and the warmth, friendliness, and collegiality of its faculty staff, and students.
The mission of the University of Utah is to create a learning environment that fosters discovery, refinement, and wide dissemination of knowledge. By integrating outstanding teaching, cutting-edge research, creative scholarship, and community involvement, the University investigates significant issues affecting and advancing the human condition, while preparing its students for important roles within a diverse and ever-changing society.
The University of Utah is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment where student citizens are provided the opportunity to develop the vision, perspective, skills, and integrity to become influential leaders and professionals. The University aims to achieve ...a nationally renowned scholarly and collegial environment for the generation of ideas, interdisciplinary research, and creative works that will contribute to the betterment of Utah and the world.
The University of Utah offers exciting, challenging and rewarding careers to those who seek opportunities to grow and succeed. Our vision is about people who share a set of professional values that define who we are and how we conduct our business. We have talented and dedicated people who are committed to making an impact every day. The University is known as A Great Place to Work