The Financial Assistant works as a member of the Finance team of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) to provide comprehensive financial administrative services to the School's faculty, staff and students. S/he prepares, processes, troubleshoots and reconciles a wide variety of non-payroll related financial transactions and advises clients, including all SIPA student groups, on related policies and procedures. S/he also supports data collection and reporting functions and performs related duties.
Reporting to the Assistant Director of Business Operations, the incumbent prepares purchase requisitions, purchase orders, service contracts and consultant contracts, creates and updates vendor profiles, processes and reconciles interdepartmental invoices and performs and reconciles University Purchasing Card transactions. S/he submits transactions to the Procurement Office, Accounts Payable, and Vendor Management offices and acts as liaison with those units to do follow up and troubleshooting as needed. Prepares transactions for tracking and paying of bills, invoices, travel advances, check requests and petty cash vouchers; prepares correspondence related to accounts payable and receivable; performs related data entry into and retrieval from the University's financial accounting system, Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC); with the assistance of student employees, files paper copy per the University's records retention policy for the Assistant Director of Business Operations as requested/needed. Advises faculty, staff and students at SIPA and affiliated departments on non-personnel and non-payroll procedures, including invoice processing, expense reimbursement and purchasing. Acts as the primary liaison for the Business Office with over 50 student groups, advising them on financial procedures and providing them with fund balance information and monthly reports on financial activity. Maintains and updates the student group database and website. Approves student groups' requests for electronic vendor authorization using the Business Office's website link. Assists the Assistant Director of Business Operations in reconciling approximately $2M in financial transactions annually. Assists the Assistant Director of Business Operations in researching and compiling financial data for SIPA's annual budget and the University annual budget submission. Performs related duties as needed.
High school diploma or equivalent required. Must have at least two years of related full-time administrative experience, including significant experience in financial administration.
Bachelor's degree highly preferred. Substantial prior experience in financial administration in a higher education setting highly preferred. Familiarity with Columbia University's financial system (ARC), or similar financial system, a plus.
Must be thoroughly proficient in MS Office applications, with expertise in using Excel. Must have exceptional time management skills and be highly organized, motivated, and able to triage and balance multiple demands in a high volume, deadline driven environment. Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills, judgment, and initiative essential. Must be able to effectively communicate University policies and processes to a diverse client base. Strong, professional customer service orientation essential. Must be reliable, responsible, and flexible. Must be a team player and self-starter with demonstrated ability to work in a complex environment that requires confidentiality, discretion, diplomacy and tact.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 498839
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.