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Budget and Finance Manager

Company: University of Colorado
Location: Denver
Posted on: June 12, 2021

Job Description:

The University of Colorado System Administration brings together administrative departments and services centers that provide guidance and services to all of CU's campuses: CU Boulder, CU Colorado Springs, CU Denver and CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. As part of CU System Administration, the Office of Digital Education (ODE) lives at the intersection of education and technology and is committed to the success of all four campuses as we work to increase access to education for working adults and non-traditional students through high quality online degree offerings. As innovators, it is our goal to actively evolve the ways in which programs are designed, delivered and engaged with. We are passionate about improving access to education and connecting learners of all types with high-quality online degree programs and professional development opportunities. We are reimagining the ways a university supports online learning, faculty development and the implementation of technology. As a result, our work has the power to transform the way our world's learners interact with education as well as the way educators connect with students.

The Office of Digital Education (ODE) is on a growth trajectory to help CU scale the number of online student enrollments and increase revenue critical to the financial sustainability of the university. ODE assists the campuses with scaling and optimizing online programs through student acquisition support, retention services, and learning design services. The Budget and Finance team is responsible for financial forecasts and projections related to the growth of online programs within ODE's service portfolio and tracking progress against our stated goals and outcomes. The investment by the CU System in the Office of Digital Education, combined with recent commitments focused on online education by the University of Colorado Board of Regents, make this a rare and exciting opportunity to work with this team.

Position Summary

The Budget and Finance Manager will compile, review, and analyze financial information to assess whether revenues and expenses are on target to meet forecasts and will work closely with the Senior Director of Budget and Finance Administration to support implementation of the Department's financial and strategic plans. This position oversees all budgeting, accounting, and fiscal activity for ODE and serves as the system administrator for our new electronic budgeting and planning system. In a business partnership support model, the Budget and Finance Manager is expected to build high-trust and collaborative relationships with department partners, take initiative to identify and resolve financial challenges, and to explore the financial impact and opportunity of strategic initiatives. This position will also require skill in summarizing and visualizing financial information for executive-level reporting, including identifying key financial performance indicators for online higher education. The Budget and Finance Manager will represent the department in senior level meetings with internal and external key stakeholders.

This position reports to the Senior Director of Budget & Finance Administration and is exempt from the State of Colorado Classified Staff system.


Duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

The Budget and Finance Manager provides high quality, creative and solutions-oriented financial support, advice, and counsel at the department policy and operational levels. This position works independently and must have a thorough understanding of the department, its budget, and various CU and ODE policies, procedures, and guidelines to be successful. The Budget and Finance Manager will work collaboratively with internal department stakeholders as well as the budget and finance offices of the campuses, System Administration, the Procurement Service Center, and the Office of the University Controller.

Examples of Work Performed:

Budget Development, Monitoring, Analysis, & Reporting

  • Contribute to the development of ODE's overall budget and unit-level budgets, providing advice and analysis to increase the efficiency of the department's spending and meet departmental objectives, including stated financial goals and timing.
  • Manage the process of compiling individual unit requests and metrics-based forecasts to create the annual ODE department budget.
  • Assess and monitor budget performance and identify problem trends and solutions. Work with appropriate department partners to understand drivers of budgetary variances compared to actuals and recommend actions to adjust budget expectations, where appropriate.
  • Oversee departmental expenditures and execute based on planned budget, using a critical eye for efficiency and cost containment.
  • Forecast projected expenditures by unit and make mid-year budget adjustments or as needed.
  • Develop material necessary to analyze, review, and support budgetary needs, discussions, and reporting, including narrative summaries and visual presentation materials submitted to CU System Office and CU's Board of Regents.
  • Create monthly department-wide budget-to-actual reports, income statements, and other ad-hoc reports and analysis for senior management and CU's executive leadership. Compare to and analyze performance against strategic financial plan.
  • Serve as subject matter expert for on budgetary matters, providing information and training, as necessary.
  • Partner with the units to assist in collecting, analyzing, and developing appropriate workload and utilization metrics in order to plan out new staffing needs.

Finance Operations and Systems Improvement

  • Develop efficiencies and improvements and engage team members and department peers for help in solving issues that may arise. Implement process and system improvements in effective cost accounting and decision support functions using software systems and available tools. Create systematic methods for recording costs and revenues against ODE's portfolio of individual academic program pro formas.
  • Lead implementation efforts of new software system for budgeting, reporting and analytics, in collaboration with outside vendor. Collaborate with stakeholders at all levels to understand budget and analytics support needs, and how the software solution supports these needs.
  • Act as lead system administrator and perform ongoing system maintenance for budgeting, reporting and analytics software system, Axiom by Syntellis.
  • Manage processes and workflow
  • Maintain security
  • Train new users as needed
  • Run imports and scheduler
  • Update custom data fields as needed
  • Serve as point of contact for escalation of issues to Axiom Software support
  • Roll the system over from year to year
  • Understand release schedule, schedule software updates, and communicate enhancement requests

  • Develop, organize, and maintain files, documents, and materials relating to budgetary practices according to University policies.
  • Develop and maintain written internal processes and procedures.

Financial Management

  • Provide ongoing oversight of the financial operations of the Office of Digital Education. Oversee all accounting and financial transactions and purchasing activity for the department, maintaining proper controls, and ensuring financial management to ensure each unit's financial activity is in alignment with the strategic plan and stated financial goals.
  • Ensure the propriety of all transactions in accordance with State and University rules and regulations.
  • Oversee department-wide purchasing activities, including delegation of purchasing responsibilities.
  • Design and implement procedures using best practices to maintain internal controls.
  • Main point of contact for UIS (University Information Services) in purchasing IT equipment and vendor invoices; review and approve all IT goods and services purchases made by UIS on behalf of ODE and provide appropriate billing information.
  • Monthly and periodically, prepare invoices and/or journal entries and collect payment from the campuses and partner programs, as appropriate and documented in CU's Services Agreement and Program Sheets. Manage monthly accruals to enable monthly reporting of revenue.
  • Using available tools, create and implement process for informing marketing managers on their actual spend against budget by campaign on a weekly or more frequent basis. Oversee process for monthly digital media reconciliations, which includes verifying agency billing reports against invoices and resolving any discrepancies. Understand requirements for digital media purchase orders and invoice coding.
  • Oversee reconciliation of monthly financial statements against all records to ensure that all expenses and credits are appropriate and oversee journal entries to make corrections.
  • Ensure proper accounting protocol is met and that auxiliary and non-auxiliary funds are handled appropriately per Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • Oversee all year-end activities including communication, coordination, advising, and training.
  • Maintain internal controls to prevent fraud, prevent misstatements, and ensure all funds are spent and recorded in compliance with applicable rules and policies.
  • Manage department access to CU Marketplace, CU Concur System, CU-Data.
  • Collaborate with Procurement Service Center on new requests for proposal and other procurement actions from the department. Oversee activity to ensure procurement rules are followed and assist ODE departments with the process, serving as subject matter expert and consultant in achieving desired outcomes.
  • Manage speedtypes via set ups, maintenance, reconciliation, and close outs in collaboration with the System Budget & Finance office.


  • Train ODE team members, including software system(s), ODE processes, and new employee onboarding.
  • Develop processes and workflows and provides ongoing oversight of financial operations for the department.
  • Provide high quality, creative and solutions-oriented financial support, advice, and counsel at the department policy and operational levels.
  • Build positive relationships with employees, provide motivational support, and champion a work culture that challenges, respects, and engages staff.

Who we are: System Administration, which also houses the Office of the President, is located in the uptown neighborhood of Denver with a few smaller offices located on the campuses. However, this position is located in Denver, or may work remotely from anywhere in the U.S. Many of our departments support the educational and research missions of the four University of Colorado campuses, but System Administration is not considered a campus. We provide diverse opportunities for professional development, innovation, and collaboration with talented staff and faculty. Learn more about CU System Administration.

The University of Colorado has been proactive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can visit our COVID-19 webpage for more information.

What we offer:

Salary: The salary range for this position is $69,900 - $91,900.

The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

The above salary range (or hiring range) represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Benefits: The University of Colorado offers an excellent benefits package including:

  • Medical: Multiple plan options
  • Dental: Multiple plan options
  • Additional Insurance: Disability, Life, Vision and Wellness
  • Retirement 401(a) Plan: Employer contributes 10% of your gross pay
  • Paid Time Off: Accruals over the year
  • Vacation Days: 22
  • Sick Days: 15
  • Holiday Days: 10

  • Tuition Benefit: System employees have the benefit on all campuses
  • ECO Pass: RTD Bus and light rail service
  • Additional Perks & Programs: Click here to access a few more Perks and Programs

Click here to access our Total Compensation Calculator to see what your total rewards could be at CU. This position is a University Staff position.

Additional taxable fringe benefits may be available.

More information on benefits programs, including eligibility, is available at

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

To be successful in this position, candidates will need the following:

  • Understand finances related to online higher education programs including specialized knowledge of the business of online program management, related metrics, and program pro forma financial statements.
  • Finance and procurement expertise within the University of Colorado System including all financial systems (Concur, Marketplace, Peoplesoft, Cognos) or aptitude to learn new systems.
  • Understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the fiscal rules related to state public higher education. Understanding of CU policies and Administrative Policy Statements.
  • Ability to analyze financial data, determine its meaning and how the information connects to the business model and strategic plan of the organization.
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to perform detailed analysis, reconciliations, and creation of accurate reports.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to effectively communicate with both finance and non-finance professionals.
  • Supervision, team management, and leadership ability including motivating peers and subordinates.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills, including ability to set priorities, manage simultaneous projects, and complete projects on time.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office including Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Outstanding interpersonal relationship and customer services skills.
  • Ability to work independently with reliable professional judgment.
  • Demonstrated commitment and leadership ability to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Please ensure your resume includes any and all relevant experience to be accurately assessed against these qualifications. You must meet all minimum requirements listed at the time of application to be considered for this role.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in finance, accounting, business administration or related field of study, or equivalent professional experience (professional experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis).
  • Five (5) years of direct financial, budget and/or accounting experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A master's degree in finance, accounting, business administration or related field of study.
  • At least seven (7) years professional experience with a demonstrated knowledge of financial, budget and/or accounting practices including financial management of a complex, multi-million-dollar budget.
  • At least one (1) year of experience in a team lead or supervisory role, which includes assigning and reviewing the work of others, providing guidance to internal and external team members, and assisting management with performance reviews.
  • Experience with two or more of the following:
  • Experience with revenue-generating business lines including corresponding service agreements.
  • Experience in a financial role within a successful online program or online higher education environment.
  • Experience with electronic budgeting and planning software.

Keywords: University of Colorado, Denver , Budget and Finance Manager, Other , Denver, Colorado

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