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Associate Vice President, Financial Services – MacEwan University

THE ORGANIZATION

MacEwan University (“the University”) respectfully operates on Treaty 6 Territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/ Anishinaabe, Inuit and many others whose histories, languages and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

As the third largest university in Alberta, MacEwan University is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year.  The University inspires students with a powerful combination of academic excellence and personal learning experiences. MacEwan University has a connected culture that focuses on learner-centered teaching and on providing opportunities for students to grow and achieve. Known as Edmonton’s downtown University, MacEwan is a hub of creative, scholarly and cultural activity at the heart of the city — building, sharing in and contributing to Edmonton’s growth and prosperity.

Recognized under the Alberta Post Secondary Learning Act as an undergraduate university, MacEwan offers over 19,000 full and part time students a variety of programs and courses through several Faculties and Schools: Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications, Faculty of Health and Community Studies, Faculty of Nursing, School of Business and School of Continuing Education.

For further insight on MacEwan University, visit: https://www.macewan.ca/wcm/index.htm

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Job Title:Associate Vice President, Financial Services
Reports to:Vice President, Finance and Administration & CFO
Direct Reports:4 Direct Reports / Indirect 45
Location:Edmonton, Alberta

 

THE MANDATE

Reporting to the Vice President, Finance and Administration & CFO (VP), the Associate Vice President (AVP), Financial Services, is responsible for managing the University’s core business processes, including operating and capital budgets, treasury and investment management, controllership, procurement and financial operations.  As AVP, you will work closely and collaboratively with leadership in preparation of the University operating and capital budgets and with all faculties and divisions to provide sound financial operational support, ensuring consistency across the University.  Leading a team of finance professionals, you are an inspirational leader who creates an environment that fosters continuous improvement and innovation.

The AVP is responsible for building the culture and providing leadership to reporting departments providing financial reporting, resource planning and procurement services. This position acts as the second most senior financial role within the University, working closely with the VP to provide sound financial advice and guidance to the University and the Executive Leadership team and safeguarding its physical and financial assets.

 

Direct Reports:

The AVP will provide formal and direct leadership, to:

  • Director, Financial Services: Responsible for overseeing the financial management and transactions, external financial reporting to the University;
  • Director, Budget and Resource Planning: Responsible for the universities annual budget and quarterly forecast process and analysis;
  • Senior Manager, Expense and Purchasing Services: Responsible for overseeing the functions of procure to pay, including purchasing services, procurement, expense credit card program for the University, payment processing; and
  • Manager, Finance Administration Service.

 

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES

University Strategic and Operational Leadership

  • Provides strategic, financial and operational leadership to University-wide financial services including: Budget and Resource Planning, Financial Operations, Financial Reporting and Procurement; risk and control assessments and financial analytics;
  • Establishes objectives of campus-wide financial management in conjunction with the VP; provides financial and business leadership on all matters related to financial operations, financial processes, financial controls, as well as financial reporting and analysis;
  • Leads the development, assessment and implementation of financial objectives and operational policies, as well as the implementation of new initiatives and process improvements;
  • Leads and facilitates the capital budget planning process with Facilities, Information Technology Services and other departments as required; includes business case preparation, financial projections, financial risk analysis, etc.;
  • Oversees all financial reporting for the University, ensures timely and accurate reports and statements and integrity in financial data reported to various institutional users, government, external agencies and stakeholders;
  • Ensures compliance with policies, procedures and processes for effectively integrated internal controls in the department and across the University;
  • Leads the development, implementation, maintenance and oversight of financial policies, procedures, regulations and systems required for the effective controls and service delivery to the campus community;
  • Supports the VP with planning, analysis and reporting to ensure achievement of the University’s strategic and operational plans and objectives;
  • Develops and maintains strong working relationships with the Executive Leadership team, academic leaders, colleagues and staff across the institution; works effectively to provide advice, recommendations and resolution on a variety of finance issues;
  • Oversees the Procurement process, providing procurement services to the University community;
  • Supports Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) governance processes;
  • Develops and maintains strategic relationships and networks with external colleagues and key stakeholders within the post-secondary environment in Alberta; collaborates with other post-secondary institutions within Alberta and across Canada;
  • Working with the VP, provides support to the senior executive of the University, as well as various Board committees and sub-committees as required; and
  • Escalates issues, as appropriate, for resolution.

 

Department Leadership

  • In consultation with the Vice President, Finance and Administration & CFO, plans, forecasts and manages the departmental annual budget, including tracking and controlling all expenditures within assigned budget;
  • Oversees the effective development and delivery of short- and long-term department business and operational plans;
  • Leads development and maintenance of department operational and fraud risk registers;
  • Leads and directs the Finance leadership team; sets performance goals and key metrics for the team in relation to the identified plans and objectives; ensures the team is functioning at full capacity and effectively able to deliver the required services to the organization;
  • Provides direction to staff on issues falling outside of policy or requiring a high-level of interpretation related to financial management issues;
  • Directs, manages and administers department activities, ensuring that the organizational structure is designed effectively; that roles, responsibilities and expectations are well developed and understood; and clear and timely communication with the leadership team and department staff is being exercised and supported;
  • Manages and reports to the VP on the performance of the department; sets appropriate performance objectives for direct reports and holds them accountable for achieving objectives, taking appropriate action when necessary;
  • Provides the team with support, guidance, mentorship and professional development required to enable them to excel in discharging their respective responsibilities; and
  • Provides support to the VP office for divisional financial matters.

 

Financial Reporting and Analysis

  • Accountable for the University’s financial internal control framework to support the completeness and accuracy of financial reporting and to safeguard the University’s assets;
  • Leads the financial reporting processes for the University, including preparation for external audits, completion of various accountability reports for grants and conditional funding and preparation of financial analysis for special projects such as business cases for significant capital projects;
  • Prepares internal quarterly financial statements used by various stakeholders, as well as a variety of other financial analysis reports, variance analysis and requests for information;
  • Prepares documentation for various significant external University reporting requirements;
  • Provides expert guidance and interpretation of rules, regulations and guidelines in meeting the external reporting obligations, including comprehensive understanding of the intent/use of the reporting and how to appropriately present financial information;
  • Develops and leads Financial Analytics including program costing and benchmark comparisons;
  • Responds to inquiries from University leadership, Board of Governors and Alberta Advanced Education on financial analytics and metrics;
  • Oversees and ensures an effective integrated internal control environment including system configuration and access controls in the Financial systems and appropriate documentation;
  • Responsible for the execution of investment strategy and treasury management of University and endowment portfolios;
  • Responsible for cash forecasting and banking relationships; and
  • Researches and assesses various financial risks and opportunities to the University; provides advice and recommendations to the Vice President.

 

Budget and Financial Resource Planning

  • Leads the financial and budget planning and related reporting processes for the University;
  • Leads preparation of financial modelling and analysis for special projects such as business cases for new buildings;
  • Oversees regular forecasting for the University;
  • Leads scenario planning, what if analysis; identifies risks to financial plans and proposes solutions for consideration;
  • Oversees all financial planning reporting for the University; ensures timely and accurate reports and statements and integrity in financial planning data reported to various institutional users, government, external agencies and stakeholders;
  • Leads the operating budget planning process, including major planning assumptions and risk analysis;
  • Participates in long term campus planning operating and capital financial considerations; and
  • Working with the VP, provides support to the senior executive of the University, as well as various Board Committees and sub-committees as required.

 

Procurement

  • Oversees the Procurement process, ensuring compliance with all legislative requirements and trade agreements;
  • Collaborates with internal stakeholders (including legal, risk management, etc.) to ensure the integrity of all contracts across the University;
  • Ensures appropriate vendor management protocols and strategies are in place and reflects prudent financial and business practices;
  • Provides leadership to ensure appropriate competitive processes and contract management practices are in place; and
  • Oversees procure-to-pay processes, vendor management and analysis.

 

Audit

  • Oversees and manages the audit process with the Office of the Auditor General for the annual, interim and special audits;
  • Oversees projects and initiatives to address internal and external audit findings and addresses issues that have been identified;
  • Develops position papers and analysis as required;
  • Develops and maintains strategic relationships with internal and external auditors to ensure compliance with financial processes and controls; and
  • Oversees providing other audit functions including Canada Revenue Agency, PCI compliance, GST and NSERC and other grant audits.

 

FIRST YEAR DELIVERABLES / MEASURES OF SUCCESS

Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Develop strong and trusted relationships with stakeholders and gain the confidence of professional peers, the broader University and their own team;
  • Successfully oversee the efficient and smooth change in financial year end from June in 2021 to March in 2022;
  • Advance the planning of the fiscal planning/budgeting process that aligns to the year-end and more effectively engages the broader University;
  • Effectively collaborate with the AVP, Infrastructure Planning and Management with regards to a potential construction project.

 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The successful candidate will possess the following:

Education

  • A University Degree in Accounting, Business, Finance, or equivalent is required;
  • A professional certification (CPA) is considered an asset.

Experience

  • A minimum of 10-15 years of progressively responsible professional experience in a senior- or executive-level financial role, coupled with at least 6-8 years of responsible senior leadership/management experience;
  • Direct experience in a post-secondary or related public sector environment is preferred;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and sound understanding of risk management and internal controls;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of governance processes and procedures.

Knowledge

  • Excellent understanding and experience with public sector accounting standards and the impact of these standards on financial budgeting, recording and reporting;
  • Exceptional understanding of provincial and federal legislations, including regulations for charitable organizations;
  • Strong understanding of Goods and Services Tax for post-secondary institutions.

Decision Making & Problem Solving

  • Takes accountability for new accounting standards or complex and unusual transactions or business arrangements, such as land trust, finance lease of the Students’ Association building, environmental liability for contaminated sites;
  • Makes informed assumptions to be used in preparing annual operating and capital budget and identify possible solutions to balance the budget;
  • Addresses financial responses to year end forecasted estimates;
  • Responds appropriately to internal or external audit recommendations;
  • Delineates between operating expenses and capital expenditures;
  • Knows when to escalate significant issues or potential risks;
  • Leads and executes fiscal year end changes;
  • Identifies and makes adjustments to processes or procedures for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of financial services;
  • Addresses potential or identified breaches in policy, procedure, or an internal controls issue.

Competencies and Attributes

  • Highly developed strategic, analytical and problem-solving skills are required to address complex issues and manage a variety of situations;
  • Ability to work with a high degree of independent judgment;
  • Ability to apply sound business principles/professional judgment to a wide variety of situations and requests;
  • Ability to anticipate, assess and readily adapt to changing priorities, maintain resilience in times of uncertainty and effectively lead in a changing environment;
  • Ability to effectively interact, communicate, influence and collaborate with a variety of internal and external partners and stakeholders;
  • Excellent and effective communication, presentation, networking and facilitation skills;
  • Excellent financial/budgeting, human resource and change management skills;
  • Superior leadership skills in making sound decisions and leading teams.

 

EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

MacEwan University is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research environments and is essential to academic and institutional excellence. MacEwan University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application. In accordance with the provincial legislation, accommodation will be provided by Optimum Talent and MacEwan University throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.


How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: pies_edmonton@optimumtalent.com. Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
AUOE-587185 Associate Vice President, Financial Services – MacEwan University - AB - Edmonton and Area (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at optimumtalent.com as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.