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Controller – Harvard Graduate School of Design

Position Description:

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) educates design, research, and scholarship leaders to make a resilient, just, and beautiful world. The GSD offers degree programs across a range of design disciplines—architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, urban design, design engineering, and real estate—as well as advanced research programs that cut across these disciplines and a robust public program of lectures, exhibitions, and publications. The immense variety of people, programs, and ideas at the School sustains a vibrant and rich environment for learning, inquiry, and collaboration, unlike any other design school.

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Graduate School of Design (GSD) is seeking an experienced and ambitious financial professional, ready to provide financial leadership to the GSD community.  The Controller is responsible for the strategic direction of accounting, payroll and control activities within the Finance Office at the GSD.  They will assist in the four general areas of internal controls, operational management, compliance, and by participating in strategic planning discussions as a member of the senior leadership team in the Finance Office. The successful candidate has a strong understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, has a passion for innovation and continuous improvement, and is a strong manager of people. With a keen eye for efficiency, the Controller will be an effective communicator, creating and advocating for streamlined financial processes while maintaining effective controls.


-Works with finance colleagues across the School and University to ensure high levels of customer service by providing professional, timely, and accurate financial services.
-Manages and develops a staff of three responsible for accounts payable, payroll, chart of accounts, capital project tracking, general accounting, quarterly closing and reporting.
-Develops, implements and monitors accounting control processes and procedures that ensure compliance with University and GSD.
-Ensures accurate and timely financial reporting and adherence to GAAP, including quarterly and annual close reporting. Adheres to University interim reporting requirements and approves year end and quarterly flux analysis.
-Advises GSD leadership on all aspects of financial matters including regulatory and compliance issues.
-Manages administration of GSD payroll and accounts payable, accounts receivable, expense report and other reimbursement processing.  –Establishes protocols to ensure Departments and Units process financial transactions in a timely and accurate manner.
-Leverages reporting and process to routinely audit financial condition and provides information to internal and external auditors.
-Revises and updates internal reports to be more useful and efficient as necessary.  Serves as a resource within the GSD in the extraction of data and in the development of useful management reports.
-Administers the GSD chart of accounts.
-Represents the GSD at the University level in development of new financial systems and reporting capabilities and designs and manages their local implementation.
-Protects assets by establishing, monitoring, and enforcing internal controls.
-Maintains equipment inventories and fixed asset subsidiary ledgers.
-Guides and trains faculty and staff across the GSD with regard to financial policies and procedures
-Works closely with the GSD Financial Planning and Analysis team to share information about revenue sources and spending including funding from tuition, endowments, gifts, sponsored research, publications, and Executive Education.
-Supports financial systems evolution and implementation, collaborating with colleagues at other Schools and in Central Administration.

Typical Core Duties :

-Responsible for effective staff management for a group or team of employees, including hiring and orientation, training and development, workflow and performance management, and the promotion of an inclusive and innovative work environment
-Guide financial decisions by monitoring and enforcing policies and procedures
-Prepare and provide leadership, auditors and regulators with monthly, quarterly and annual reporting as required
-Oversee financial budgeting process and prepare and maintain budget to actual reporting throughout the year
-Prepare budgets by establishing schedules, collecting, analyzing and consolidating financial data
-Serve as a key resource for systems, policies, and procedures; may provide training to clients and staff
-Ensure data integrity and mitigate risk
-Ensure financial compliance with University policies and procedures, audit and accounting disclosure requirements, and applicable legal rules and regulation

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

-Bachelor’s degree required
-Minimum of 8 years of financial administration experience working in a complex organization
-Supervisory experience

-CPA and/or MBA highly desirable but not required
-Direct experience in University accounting and reporting preferred
-Direct experience with Oracle and PeopleSoft systems preferred
-Understanding of GAAP reporting and regulatory requirements with knowledge of how these relate to a higher education environment preferred
-Strong quantitative and financial reporting skills, and expertise in data extraction, analysis, and report presentation
-Ability to effectively communicate at all levels and with multiple constituents and to deliver difficult messages with tact and diplomacy
-Organized, flexible and able to manage multiple, challenging projects simultaneously in a fast-paced work setting
-Customer service orientation, with emphasis on collaboration and creative problem solving while balancing the need for internal control

Certificates and Licenses :
-CPA Preferred

[Full-Time (Salaried)] Salary Range: 110000-120000

Schedule Requirements:

Minimum Requirements:
Level of English Required: Advanced/Fluent

How to Apply:
A cover letter and resume are required with the submission of your application.

Apply Online

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