Executive Director, Finance Application Support

Columbia University in New York

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted December 3, 2013
Type Executive
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

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.  Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting path breaking research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education. We are committed to attracting and retaining the best and brightest in the workforce to support our mission of excellence in higher education and research.



Reporting to the Assistant Vice President, Finance Service Management, the Executive Director, Finance Application Support is responsible for the overall management, guidance and operation of the Finance Information Systems (FIS) Application Support group, including daily support of the teams operational activities, delivery/release activities, relationship with users and stakeholders, staff personnel, as well as the development and maintenance of Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC), legacy financial systems, University Data Store (UDS) and related financial systems. This position serves as the primary contact for application management services and service level agreements between various client groups within Finance and across the University, supporting the Universitys business through configuration and development of Finance applications. 


Ongoing responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Collaborating with the Assistant Vice President, Finance Service Management serves as the lead of the Finance Information Systems (FIS) Application Support group responsible for application management services for Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC), legacy financial systems, University Data Store and related financial systems.  Serves as the primary application support contact for the user community, third party vendors, subcontractors, external community and customers.  Resolves incidents and service requests assigned to the Application Support Group; reviews and manages assignment of incidents and service requests, new and escalated; manages assignment of incident and service requests to the team based on skills, expertise and workload; provides technical assistance to Director, HR & Finance Service Center by analyzing the appropriate routing of system issues, questions and customer service requests via a customer relationship management (CRM) tool; regularly partners with the Director, HR & Finance Service Desk to ensure Application Support incidents are resolved appropriately and knowledge database information is continually refined; ensures application support team identifies root cause and long term solutions for all issues encountered; responsible for scheduling long term solutions accordingly based upon team availability and associated risk; facilitates communication to impacted stakeholders regarding the resolution of issues and service requests.


Works closely with representatives of diverse business functions University-wide to resolve issues, clarify service expectations and identify business requirements; accountable for responding to business needs; meeting, measuring and reporting against service levels and quality goals.  Serves as a consultant to functional leaders in the design, development and testing of business process and technical solutions in support of the business; builds functional expertise into workflow and business processes, how PeopleSoft supports the processes and how this work relates to departments goals, actively contributes to ongoing process improvement by assisting in the development and communication of policies, procedures and user support tools.  


Responsible for continued maintenance, development, testing and deployment of PeopleSoft and University Data Store work units, including both scheduled and ad hoc reporting, across all financial modules; translates functional needs into technical specifications; directs the response to management reporting and ad-hoc data requests; works closely with Finance and Information Technology to coordinate application development activities; engages with Information Technology application development and support teams in the construction and testing of work units; leads quarterly and routine application of patches and fixes, overseeing end to end testing in functional areas.


Establishes and monitors application / report development and testing procedures to be used by the FIS team; implements standardized protocols based upon proven methodology; ensures teams adherence to processes, especially documentation, deliverable review, and signoff; ensures all deliverables are high quality; accountable for maintaining a strong customer service, client focus in all activities and directing the team to do the same;  maintains awareness of upcoming support needs and focal points for leadership and end users (e.g., year-end, month end, etc.), shares this information with supervisor, other teams and user community as appropriate; performs other duties and special projects as assigned.  



Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree or other professional certification preferred. A minimum of 8 years PeopleSoft Financials functional and technical systems experience is required; Experience with PeopleSoft version 9.0 and PeopleTools version 8.5 or higher preferred.  Experience with Business Objects/Crystal Reports preferred.  Experience with Oracle /SQL required.  Demonstrated leadership/ supervisory experience supporting PeopleSoft is required.  Leadership experience on a prior PeopleSoft implementation, including conversion, migration, interfaces and deployment experience, preferred.  Must possess PeopleSoft technical architecture knowledge, as well as advanced PeopleSoft functional and technical design and configuration skills.  


Experience in higher education preferred. Functional knowledge of finance and accounting processes with respect to PeopleSoft systems and applications, including procurement, financial reporting, fund accounting, year end, etc. required. Experience with PeopleSoft process management/improvement preferred. 


Demonstrated ability to work in a high pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated excellence in a variety of competencies including: project management, teamwork, analytical thinking and client/customer awareness. Ability to work with changing priorities and multiple projects. Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills. Must be able to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of administrators. Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems and have strong influencing skills. The successful candidate must be able to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, have sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.


To be considered an applicant, all interested parties MUST apply through the Columbia University online employment application system. Paste the following quick link into your browser to access this position posting:




Columbia University is an Equal Employment / Affirmative Action Employer