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Financial Operations Specialist

American University
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Apr 10, 2024

American University is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, DC, with highly-ranked schools and colleges, internationally-renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Learn more about American University


School of Public Affairs

Time Type:

Full time

Work Modality:

Hybrid 01 (On Campus 3-4 Days/Week)



Job Description:


The Financial Operations Specialist is responsible for the day-to-day business in the School of Public Affairs. This position serves as the primary contact for SPA faculty and staff for general financial administration and various procurement and expense management issues to ensure that the needs of the SPA community are met. Additionally serves as the main point of contact for SPA departments and programs as well as central offices (Accounts Payable, Procurement and Contracts, etc.) regarding financial inquiries and assistance.

The position requires general supervision.

Essential Functions:
  • Financial Administration- Manage all internal award allocations for the School of Public Affairs faculty, staff, and students. Create and maintain databases to track spending on individual awards. Provide guidance to faculty members on appropriate spending for awarded funds. Track and report on spending and income in endowed and internally restricted accounts in order to provide assistance to Chairs, Program Directors, and Deans as needed. Conduct regular reviews of operating and non-operating accounts to ensure that financial transactions are completed successfully and accurately, using Workday. Run Workday budget reports for programs, centers, institutes, departments, and internal offices upon request. Proactively identify and address potential issues, and notify supervisor in the event of new or unusual problems or issues that arise.

  • Financial Transaction Review- Review, approve, and occasionally initiate financial transactions actions such as: disbursements, expense reports, and requisitions prior to submission to Accounts Payable. Review and ensure financial transactions are in compliance with University and SPA policies, procedures, and best practices. Responsible for reviewing financial transactions for budgetary compliance, proactively addressing and resolving potential issues with customers, and providing recommendations to a number of different stakeholders.

  • Part-Time Staff and Student Personnel Support- Initiate payment actions related to Graduate Financial Aid (GFA) awards and hourly student hires as necessary. Support units requiring assistance with creating part-time and student staff positions. Serve as a resource for SPA manager requiring assistance with hiring and onboarding part-time and student staff members.

  • Finance and Administration Support and Training- Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with faculty and staff within SPA. Provide training to full time staff, graduate assistants, and program staff on processes and procedures necessary to incur and record financial transactions and to understand necessary budget reports for managing unit and program budgets.

  • Other Duties- Supports the SPA Budget team as needed. Performs other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:
  • Full-Time.

  • Specialist A.

  • Non-Exempt.

Salary Range:
  • $24.75-27.50/hour (equivalent to $45,000-50,000/year), commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience:
  • Associate Degree in Business, Accounting or other relevant field, or equivalent in education, training and experience required.

  • 2-4 years’ relevant experience in an academic or office setting required.

Preferred Education and Experience:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Accounting, or other related field preferred.

  • 1-3 years’ budget and administrative experience preferred.

  • <1 years’ experience in expense transaction review and tracking preferred

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential

  • Intermediate experience with Microsoft Office, especially Excel, Word, and Outlook required.

  • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail required.

  • Strong time management skills with the ability to organize and plan work to deal with multiple competing priorities and tasks is essential.

  • Ability to recognize potential problems and address them proactively is required.

  • Must be able to work both independently and as part of a highly collaborative team.

  • Knowledge of academic institutions and familiarity with the various divisions and offices within (and the respective functions of) large organizations preferred.

  • Prior experience in a university setting a plus.

  • Familiarity with financial and personnel software and databases, including Workday, Colleague Financial, MicroStrategy Business Intelligence, and SharePoint preferred.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options .

Other Details
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.

  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.

  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

  • American University is an E-Verify employer.

Current American University Employees

American University current employees must apply through their employee Workday account. If you are a current employee at American University, please log into Workday and select the Find Jobs report which will take you to our internal career listings.

Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email .

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

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