Assistant Director for Accounting - Big Ten Academic Alliance (140952)

Job description


Assistant Director for Accounting

Big Ten Academic Alliance

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Big Ten Academic Alliance, the consortium of the Big Ten universities, has an opening for an Assistant Director for Accounting. Under the direction of the Director of Operations, and in close concert with other Big Ten Academic Alliance Program Staff, the Assistant Director for Accounting uses independent judgment in leading financial operations and reporting, as well as data collection and analysis. The Assistant Director acts on behalf of the Director in his/her absence, assists the Director in creating efficient and effective operations within the organization, and also supports the organization’s employee and team development. This position is physically located in Champaign, Illinois, and will work out of the Big Ten Academic Alliance headquarters office in Champaign.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance is the nation’s preeminent model for effective collaboration among research universities. For more than 60 years, the Alliance has helped the world-class institutions of the Big Ten advance their academic missions, generate unique opportunities for students and faculty, and serve the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and collaborating on innovative programs. For more information on the Big Ten Academic Alliance, visit

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Financial Reporting—manage financial reporting activities generated from $30M in annual expenditures and including an annual audit, grant administration, and other special projects. Specific areas include:
    • Financial Accounting – manage any annual external audits and participate in reporting to the Audit Committee of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Board of Directors.
    • Purchasing – oversee purchasing activities for the office. This includes managing accounts payable related to workflows.
    • Policy Development – develop and manage processes and policies that directly impact financial operations under the guidance of the Director.
    • Sponsored Program Administration—manage the portfolio of large-scale collaborative research and professional development sponsored projects, including NSF grant reporting. Oversee processes that clearly articulate the financial status of the projects.
    • Service Provisioning—assist the Director in developing relationships with the University of Illinois and other financial providers who support the organization with a wide array of services. Act as a liaison to various campus entities such as Financial Accounting & Reporting, University Payables, Grant Administrators, and more, meeting periodically with representatives to maintain relationships that encourage goodwill and efficiency.
    • Technology Management – Maintain and manage the current Sage accounting system to record accounts receivable activity and generate financial reports in concert with the University of Illinois Banner system of record.
  • Data Management & Analysis—manage data collection, analysis, and reporting activities for the Big Ten Academic Alliance Headquarters, program activities, and grant administration.
    • Develop and manage relationships with the Big Ten Academic Alliance Institutional Research Officers and participate in meetings as necessary.
    • Develop ad hoc data reports, Return on Investment reports, strategic metrics, comparative data reports, and various other data analysis activities in support of the Director and others on the leadership team.
    • Manage annual reporting that supports programmatic activities of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and its stakeholder groups via both print and web interface.
  • Team Management – supervise support staff and manage the accounting operations team.
    • Responsible for mentoring, professional development, and performance management.
    • Divide responsibilities to maintain proper financial internal controls, while capitalizing on individual strengths and interests, and balancing workloads.

Required education, experience, and qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, management, or a field related to the position.
  • Five (5) years of professional-level accounting, managerial, and/or business experience, including one year at an administrative level.
  • Demonstrated professional experience in financial reporting and data analysis.
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience in a team environment.

Preferred education, experience, and qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience in manipulating large datasets, understanding complex data relationships, and providing reports that clearly articulate these.
  • Previous grant administration and accounting experience within higher education.
  • Five (5) years of demonstrated professional experience in financial reporting and data analysis.
  • Current or prior CPA certification.

Successful candidates will have:

  • Attention to Detail— thoroughness in accomplishing a task through concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small. Monitors and checks work and information. Plans and organizes time and resources efficiently.
  • Collaboration— develops cooperation and teamwork while participating in a group, working toward solutions that generally benefit all involved parties.
  • General Management—a thorough understanding of finance, systems, and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, human resources, and communications.
  • Initiative— does more than is required or expected in the job; does things that no one has requested that will improve or enhance programs and operations, avoid problems, or develop creative opportunities. Plans for upcoming problems or opportunities and takes appropriate action.
  • Open Communication— creates an atmosphere in which timely and high-quality information flows smoothly up and down, inside and outside of the office; encourages open expression of ideas and opinions.
  • Professionalism—thinks carefully about the likely effects on others of one’s words, actions, appearance, and mode of behavior. Selects the words or actions most likely to have the desired effect on the individual or group in question.
  • Organizational Loyalty—Understanding of, and genuine appreciation for, the Big Ten universities, and the academic and research missions driving them.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills that demonstrate the ability to lead a diverse and creative team.
  • Determination, creativity, sense of humor, loyalty, and the ability to think and act strategically.
  • Current knowledge of GAAP and nonprofit financial reporting is preferred.
  • Knowledge of Tableau or other data visualization tools is preferred.
  • Ability to travel to meetings and to other member university campuses as needed.

Salary and Appointment Information:
This is a full-time, benefits-eligible Civil Service Business/Administrative Associate position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the close date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To Apply:
Applications must be received by January 20, 2021. Apply for this position using the “Apply for Position” button below. If you have not applied before, you must create your candidate profile at If you already have a profile, you will be redirected to that existing profile via email notification. To complete the application process:

Step 1) Submit the Staff Vacancy Application.

Step 2) Submit the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability forms.

Step 3) Upload your cover letter which details all qualifications noted above, resume (months and years of employment must be included), academic credentials for every degree attained, Bachelor's degree and higher (unofficial transcripts or photo of the diploma may be acceptable), and names/contact information for three references.

All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position using the “Apply for Position” button below. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, contact Jennifer Steiling at 217-300-2734. For questions about the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

College Name or Administrative Unit:Office of the Provost Category:2-Administrative Title:Assistant Director for Accounting - Big Ten Academic Alliance (140952) Open Date:01/06/2021 Close Date:01/20/2021 Organization Name:Big Ten Academic Alliance




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Job No:
Posted: 1/7/2021
Application Due: 1/20/2021
Work Type: Full Time