Montclair State is New Jersey's second largest university. It offers the advantages of a large university - a broad undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a wide variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body - combined with a small college's attention to students.

Posting Date June 15, 2017

Position Title Controller

Vacancy # V-1306

Department Controller's Office

Division Treasury And Finance

Job Description


The Controller serves as the chief accounting officer for the University, a public institution of higher education having assets of $1.2 billion, annual revenues of $477 million, and 20,987 students. The Controller has functional responsibility for accounting, financial reporting, financial services, post award administration of externally sponsored programs, compliance, and internal controls over the University's use of financial assets and resources. With guidance from the Associate VP for Finance, supervises and mentors a staff of 23, including an Assistant Controller and three directors.



The Controller provides direct supervision to the Assistant Controller and the department's accounting and administrative assistant. At his/her discretion the Controller may supervise any one or more of the department's directors: the Director of General Accounting, the Director of Grants Accounting, and the Director of Financial Operations.

Policies, Practices, and Accounting Standards

The Controller is responsible for ensuring financial transactions are recorded in accordance with accounting principles general accepted in the US (US GAAP) as established by the GASB and FASB.

• As the chief accountant the Controller remains knowledgeable of current accounting standards applicable to higher education institutions. He/she is able to assess and evaluate the impact of new standards on the University's accounting practices, results of operations and its net position. The Controller is able to effectively share this knowledge with leadership and staff.

• Creates and maintains the University's accounting policies and procedures.

• Strengthens internal controls by ensuring the segregation of duties and where that is limited by staff resources developing mitigating controls.


The Controller is responsible for the timely processing of financial transactions in their source system and the recording of those transactions in the General Ledger.

• Ensures timely and accurate monthly and annual closings of the University's financial records in conjunction with other departments. Develops a year end closing schedule with the Directors of Procurement, AP, General Accounting, Student Accounting, and the Budget Office for campus-wide distribution.

• Achieves a monthly close cycle by the 1oth business day of the following month for previous month's activities. Ensures no more than a one month lag in approved account analysis and reconciliations. Completes all audit work papers, including draft financials prior to the start of auditor's fieldwork.

• Reviews various control audits conducted by the Internal Auditor, Asst. Controller or other assignees, including but not limited to: P card, charge cards and petty cash.

Financial Reporting

The Controller is responsible for preparing and submitting financial reports required by statute or regulatory authorities.

• Oversees the timely and accurate completion of the University's annual audited financial statements, including footnotes and MD&A and the Single Audit of Federal and State. Presents and reviews the draft audited statements with the AVP and the VP of Finance.

• This includes facilitating the completion, review, and submission of financial data for the CAFR, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, NJ State Treasurer, Federal Clearinghouse, and the US Department of Education.

• Provides analysis and technical assistance to the AVP and VP of Finance as needed.

Additionally, the Controller prepares ad-hoc reports and analysis as needed/requested by university leadership and departments.

Financial Services

Ensures timely and courteous services to the university community in each area of operations, including but not limited to accounts payable and vendor payments, accounts receivable and customer receipts, billings, cash receipts, general and grants accounting, travel and expense reimbursements, corporate card administration, PeopleSoft technical and functional support, and reporting.

• Maintains a thorough working knowledge of the University's financial management system and insures that staff have the required knowledge to discharge their responsibilities effectively and timely.

• Provides leadership in the effective daily and ongoing use and updating of the University's financial management systems.

• Develops, maintains, and documents appropriate procedures, work flows and forms to insure operational effectiveness.

• Strengthens internal control procedures for processing payments and receipts.

• Oversees the development of Policies for AP and AR by the Assistant Controller and Director of Financial Operations.

Post Award Administration of Externally Sponsored Programs

Ensures timely and accurate financial reporting and billing to program sponsors for over 153 active grants totaling over $10 million. Supports researchers and other principal investigators of the University in the financial management of their grants.

• Reviews the status of Grants Reporting with the Director on a monthly basis to achieve a current status for all grant reports, billing invoices, and drawdowns.

• Collaborates with the Director of Grants Accounting to develop and negotiate F&A rates with the University's cognizant agency, DHHS.

• Ensures F&A revenue (indirect cost recovery) is allocated to departments in accordance with University policy.

• Oversees the development and negotiation of Fringe Benefit Rate proposal.

• Collaborates with the Budget Office to ensure the accuracy and frequency of Adaptive Grants Reporting.

Financial Systems

The Controller leads daily and ongoing use of the University's financial management system.

• Partners with the IT business analysts and programmers to plan and support system maintenance and versioning upgrades

• Supports other departmental data processing and integrations from third party systems.

• Ensures FMS chartfield mappers used by other systems are current.

Staff Development

The Controller recruits new staff, identifies their training needs, and arranges the same.

• Supervises, evaluates, and mentors team members.

• Provides training for new/revised accounting standards and procedures.

• Creates opportunities for staff to improve their proficiency in the use of software applications, such as Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Project, analytics.

Financial Administrator Trainings

The Controller identifies the technical and functional training needs of other department financial administrators and collaborates with IT for training development and delivery.

• Actively participates in training for the campus community.

• Participates in FMS Advisory Meetings and leads the Financial Administrators Group (when formed) for collaboration and information sharing between the Controller's Office and departmental financial administrators.


The Controller is responsible for performing other duties as assigned.

The above statements reflect the general details considered necessary to describe the principle functions of the job as identified, and shall not be considered as a detailed description of all work requirements that may be inherent in the position.

Qualifications & Requirements

Successful candidate must demonstrate having the following requirements of the position:

• Demonstrated progressively responsible hands-on experience and supervisory roles in a college or university I not-for-profit environment. Five or more years as an assistant/associate controller or controller is preferred.
• Extensive knowledge of accounting principles, reporting requirements, and the business operations applicable to colleges and universities.
• Knowledge of the PeopleSoft Financial Management System- version 9.2or higher is preferred but experience with a similar integrated ERP will be considered.
• Strong supervisory and leadership skills.
• A baccalaureate degree in accounting from an accredited college or university. A master's degree in accounting or finance is a plus.
• Licensure as an active CPA.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Excellent analytical abilities.
• Excellent skills in the Microsoft Office suite of applications are required. (Skills in other reporting I
productivity tools are a plus.)

Salary Range
Commensurate with Experience

Send cover letter and resume to
(include vacancy # if above)

Apply here

Organizational Marketing Statement:

Building on a distinguished 105-year history, Montclair State University is proud to be a leading institution of higher education in New Jersey. The university's six colleges and schools serve more than 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students in 300 majors, minors, concentrations and certificate programs. Situated on a beautiful, 250-acre suburban campus just 14 miles from New York City, Montclair State combines the instructional and research resources of a large public university in a dynamic, sophisticated, and diverse academic environment.

EEO/AA Statement:

Montclair State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution with a strong commitment to diversity. Additional information can be found on the MSU website at



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