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Associate VP & University Controller

Northeastern University

Northeastern University

Accounting & Finance
Boston, MA, USA
Posted on Monday, December 25, 2023

About the Opportunity

The Associate Vice President & University Controller is the chief accounting officer at the University and the strategic lead for all accounting policy discussions especially those arising from Northeastern’s continuing growth through creative partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and international growth. The Controller will have responsibility for all internal and external financial reporting and regularly supports reporting to the Board of Trustees and relevant Board committees. The Controller will manage, through subordinate managers, the areas of general accounting, investment accounting, fixed asset accounting, payroll, tax and liaise directly with research accounting. The Controller will be responsible for the overall system of internal control over financial information, safeguarding of the University's assets and for developing and maintaining accounting policies, processes and systems. The Controller supports the preparation and negotiation with the Federal government the University's indirect cost recovery rate and fringe benefit rate on sponsored activities working alongside research accounting. The Controller leads by action and coaching, and is responsible for developing, managing, and training the University's accounting and finance staff. The Controller position also plays a lead role in university wide risk and data governance, sitting on institutional committees representing the finance and administration functions.


Extensive knowledge of accounting, cash flow management, technology and financial analysis & reporting. Required skills include communication, negotiation, influencing, critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving and empathy. Knowledge and skills required are typically acquired through a bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years work experience in a financial management role, several of which should be in higher education controller or related positions. An MBA degree or a CPA certificate is strongly preferred.


1) Lead functional areas, through subordinate managers, including general accounting, investment accounting, fixed asset accounting, payroll, endowment funds accounting, and tax compliance. Direct the preparation of all university financial statements in accordance with GAAP. Serve as the primary liaison with the University's external auditors and is responsible for leading all external financial audits. Ultimately responsible for the consistency, accuracy, and timeliness of all required ad hoc, monthly and fiscal year-end reporting across the university’s global network. Responsible for the system of internal control over financial information and the accounting for the University's assets. Directs preparation of all university tax returns. Identify and implement opportunities to enhance service levels and/or realize cost efficiencies. Direct subordinate managers to achieve the objectives of the Accounting, and Payroll and Tax operations.

2) Contribute to policy development and execute changes to process and procedure within the span of responsibility. Serve on university wide committees in the areas of risk management and data governance.

3) Staff Development, Leadership and Recruitment - develop, and lead the management teams for Accounting, Payroll and Tax and foster growth of financial talent across the university. Formulate and maintain individualized development plans for direct reports. Assist managers as they formulate the development plans for their teams. Provide performance feedback during scheduled, informal check-ins with as well as during the formal, annual process. Guide management teams as needed for their day-to-day activities.

4) University Special Projects - contribute to special projects as an executive in a general capacity, or as the NU expert within areas of responsibility. Contribute the time of direct reports or team members to projects as available and within career development objectives. Represent the office to internal and external constituencies as needed. Identify and shape opportunities to enhance service levels and / or realize cost efficiencies at the University level.

Position Type


Additional Information

Northeastern University considers factors such as candidate work experience, education and skills when extending an offer.

Northeastern has a comprehensive benefits package for benefit eligible employees. This includes medical, vision, dental, paid time off, tuition assistance, wellness & life, retirement- as well as commuting & transportation. Visit https://hr.northeastern.edu/benefits/ for more information.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see www.northeastern.edu/diversity.