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Office of Finance
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Posted: 05/18/2023
Assistant Controller

Title: Assistant Controller
Department: Office of Finance
Supervisor: Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Status: Full-Time; Exempt
Staffing Level: Director
Location: Washington, DC
Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed as received, with priority given to applications received on or before June 4, 2023.


The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is seeking an Assistant Controller to oversee key accounting and finance functions and support the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with the organization’s overall financial management. Overseeing a team of three and working closely with the program staff, the incumbent is responsible for managing APLU’s accounts payable and accounts receivable function as well as its grant management, administration, and reporting.  In addition, the Assistant Controller works closely with the CFO to implement finance and accounting procedures and policies across the organization, prepare quarterly financial statements and schedules, and support budgeting and reporting.  The position requires at least eight years of experience managing grants in a non-profit, university, and/or audit firm, excellent accounting skills, a keen attention to detail, and strong management skills. This full-time position is based in Washington, DC. The incumbent must reside in DC, MD, or VA, be up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations, and pass standard background checks. The incumbent is eligible for a hybrid work arrangement.


APLU is a membership organization that fosters a community of university leaders collectively working to advance the mission of public research universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  The association’s membership consists of more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations focused on: increasing access, equity, completion, and workforce readiness; promoting pathbreaking scientific research; and bolstering economic and community engagement. Drawing on the powerful collective action of its members, the association’s advocacy arm helps shape federal policy that maximizes the positive impact of public and land-grant universities. APLU’s members span across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada, and Mexico. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.4 million undergraduates and 1.4 million graduate students, award 1.5 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $51 billion in university-based research.



  • Plan, direct, and coordinate the accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll functions, and donor financial reports, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. Prepare the SF 425 Federal Financial Report. Prepare federal invoices, including the proper backup.
  • Ensure the timely and accurate month and year-end close, including approval of bank and other reconciliations and preparation of financial statements. Advise the CFO on notable variances from the budget.
  • Oversee compliance with federal and funder requirements, serving as APLU’s expert on requirements and regulations and developing systems and processes to ensure that APLU is in full compliance. Develop and implement compliance resources and training.
  • Develop, implement, and oversee procurement process and sub-awards. Review and manage the administration of all sub-awards, consultant agreements, and contracts, ensuring they are well-written and compliant with organizational, legal, and grant requirements as appropriate. Manage the procurement process and sub-agreement execution in collaboration with program staff to ensure compliance. Identify any concerns/issues and recommend actions to resolve them.
  • Ensure APLU’s revenue, deferred revenue, and overhead allocations are correctly recorded.
  • Manage the federal compliance aspect of the audit and take the lead for the audit of financial statements and preparation of the 990.
  • Support the CFO with annual budgeting, financial planning, and reporting and preparation of ad-hoc schedules and reports. Develop, review, and monitor program budgets. Ensure staff receives monthly budget updates analyzing year-to-date expenditures. Review and approve budgets for new proposals.
  • Oversee the staff payroll and timesheet allocations. Prepare monthly, quarterly, and YTD reports detailing staff funding sources and duration.
  • Prepare APLU’s Indirect cost proposal for submission to the cognizant agency and negotiate a NICRA.
  • Support the CFO in developing and implementing policies and procedures to improve financial business planning and ensure compliance with GAAP, IRS, federal, and organization policies.
  • Oversee APLU’s financial software system and grants and contract record management in APLU’s Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), ensuring all information is up to date. Coordinate with the Chief of Staff to ensure that systems are communicating with one another.
  • Work with the CFO to ensure that APLU adheres to the highest ethical standards by maintaining accuracy, transparency, and accountability for all grants. Bring any concerns immediately to the CFO, President, HR Vice President, or other appropriate individual.
  • Promote a diverse, inclusive, effective, and positive team environment within the office, supervising staff, and providing coaching, support, training, and development opportunities as needed.
  • Participate as an integral member of the Finance Team and APLU employee, and contribute to an inclusive, welcoming, and collegial workplace.
  • Perform other duties as requested.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in accounting or finance (CPA, a plus).
  • At least 8 years of experience managing grants in a university, non-profit, or audit firm setting.
  • Excellent financial management and accounting skills, including developing and monitoring budgets.
  • Strong leadership and management skills, with successful experience in building and maintaining positive, supportive, diverse, and inclusive work environments.
  • Superior presentation, interpersonal, and written communication skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to strategize financial and budgeting issues.
  • Strong knowledge of federal grant reporting requirements and regulations.
  • Ability to prioritize, work under pressure, meet deadlines, and produce quality results.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, establish priorities and exercise sound judgment in response to complex and sensitive situations. Problem solver that seeks out solutions and new issues that may arise.
  • High ethical standards for self and colleagues.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, Dynamics 365 (CRM), Zoom, and Teams. Knowledge of Paycom Payroll system, Great Plains, and Management Reporter software a plus.
  • Strong commitment to furthering the work of public universities.
  • Ability to travel domestically as needed.

To Apply

Please send a letter of interest and resume to APLU’s Human Resources Department at resume@aplu.org with the subject line of Assistant Controller. Applications will be reviewed as received until the position is filled, with priority given to completed applications received on or before June 4, 2023. APLU provides a generous benefits package.


APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment and promoting a sense of belonging, which includes recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.