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Finance Officer

Date: October, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): AVP, Advancement Services
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Advancement Services


Main Campus


USG 11
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Finance Officer is accountable to the Associate Vice-President, Advancement Services for financial and management reporting of philanthropic & campaign gifts, and has a dotted line accountability to the Vice-President Advancement for the consolidation, reporting and oversight of departmental operating and campaign budgets within the Office of Advancement. The incumbent is the primary contact with Finance, and ensures acceptable financial controls and audit practises are maintained with all cash-handling processes across Advancement and is the central person responsible for providing tax advice and interpretation of CRA tax issues in relation to donations.

Key Accountabilities:


Financial Management and Internal Control

  • In collaboration with the Associate Director, Advancement Operations, verifies that all CRA guidelines pertaining to the receipting and reporting of donations are met.
  • Conducts periodic audits on financial processes within the office evaluating the adequacy of financial controls and compliance with established financial procedures while improving the effectiveness of risk management.
  • Identifies the need for and develops strong internal controls.
  • Acts as primary contact with Finance and Faculty Finance Officers in the initial stage of gift agreement set up (including setting up new fund codes on Raiser’s Edge) and other areas to ensure accountability in spending and reporting on impact to donors.
  • Reviews complex financial histories for donor stewardship reporting; may offer input to donor agreements being developed; ensures signed terms and donor agreements are received, details are recorded, and are held in a central repository.
  • Handles reconciliation and disbursement of gifts received/receipted from the Friends of the University of Waterloo Foundation, and the Hong Kong Foundation, to the University of Waterloo, performs monthly bank reconciliations and works with agents in these countries regarding banking and business matters.
  • Works with and liaises with Finance and both internal and external auditors to complete scheduled audits and as need arises.
  • Receives, consolidates and analyzes summary information for annual budget planning and forecasting, for multi-year campaign budget planning and tracking, and provides regular budget and expense reporting to management. Advancement has a combined operating budget of over $9.5 Million.
  • Monitors, audits and clears suspense accounts (unearned revenue) in collaboration with gift processing manager and according to University policy and GAAP.
  • Identifies, recommends, and implements efficient and effective process improvements--may review business processes across the office to examine workflow, and control measures.


Management and Philanthropic reporting

  • Prepares a variety of reports for both internal and external audiences which may be routine, or ad-hoc in nature, statistical or narrative, complex or simple, and from a single or a variety of sources from both Advancement and the broader University.
  • Applies generally accepted accounting principles to reporting of financial data and related information.
  • Prepares and develops management reports for the Office of Advancement including monthly and annual reporting packages.
  • Ensures philanthropic reporting follows relevant internal and external guidelines including CCAE, CASE, etc. Manages the preparation of financial information for summaries the University participates in such as peer surveys, VSE, CASE, etc.
  • Philanthropic reports include fiscal results by gift designation and donor constituency; gifts received by category: to endowments, scholarships, buildings, professorships; special government matching programs; donations through the USA Friends of the University of Waterloo Foundation, and the UW Hong Kong Foundation; gifts/pledges to specific fund-raising appeals, etc.
  • The incumbent works closely with Advancement Information Systems to develop comprehensive financial reporting systems. The Finance Officer will be expected to use creative analysis, and develop an excellent working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge and Business Intelligence reporting.
  • The Finance Officer regularly compiles and distributes reports to the VP, AVP’s, Managers, Development Officers, Deans, Department Heads, Senior University Management, and Board of Governors on a routine basis.
  • Oversees financial procedures to ensure the accurate and consistent recording and reporting of all financial matters including budgeting, external financial reporting, internal financial reporting, capital funds tracking, project cost accounting and analysis, periodic reports to the Board of Governors, internal cost per dollar raised calculation and analysis.
  • Provides year-end reporting documentation for government charity returns.


Strategic Planning and Advising

  • The Financial Officer provides strategic input to senior management regarding financial matters and coordinates the financial planning and budget process for the Office of Advancement.
  • Notifies and reports to senior management concerning any trends that are critical to the organization's financial performance.
  • Develops, analyzes and models financial, statistical and budget information leading to recommendations to Advancement Executive Team on annual and long-term strategic planning and staffing decisions.
  • Provides expertise about the charitable tax aspects of making a donation and is a specialist in this sector in order to provide consul to fund raisers and others across the university. 
  • Is expected to develop comfort with charitable tax issues in other jurisdictions in which the University operates.
  • Communicates financial information, such as policies, guidelines and procedures, to staff.
  • Provides expertise to multi-functional teams, actively collaborates on identifying and implementing business process improvements.

Position Requirements


Undergraduate degree in Accounting or Business or equivalent. Recognized accounting designation (CMA, CA, CGA) required.


More than 5 years experience in financial analytics preferably in an Advancement environment with proven track record in preparing management accounting reports and auditing financial transaction processing.  Strong analytical, technical and problem solving skills.  Exceptional attention to detail.  High degree of discretion, judgement, sensitivity, tact and diplomacy. Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment. Knowledge of charitable tax law required.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Advanced Intermediate Fundraising database (Raiser’s Edge preferred); Financial

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, this position interacts with senior, professional and administrative staff from other units across campus including, but not limited to, Finance, Office of Research, and Faculties. This position is required to present information to senior management within the Office of Advancement for decision making purposes. The incumbent must be a positive and supportive contributor to a collaborative work environment and effectively interact with co-workers.  Externally this position will have contact with external auditors and other agencies. Excellent interpersonal skills will be used to influence and motivate administrative staff to ensure adherence with generally accepted accounting principles and the university’s financial policies, procedures and guidelines.     

Level of Responsibility:

This position provides leadership and guidance to others about their areas of expertise. This position requires the ability to take initiative where minimal direction is provided and to work independently to achieve results.

Decision-Making Authority:

This position provides expert advice and is responsible for problem solving issues relating to all aspects of financial management within Advancement. Responsible for escalating issues to the Associate Vice-President, Advancement Service as required. Senior management relies on this position to provide information for budget allocation and strategic planning purposes. Further judgement is exercised in identifying and implementing financial process improvements.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of an administrative position within an office environment. This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in moderate fatigue, strain or risk of injury as a substantial amount of time is spent sitting at a computer with repetitive keyboard movements.

Working Environment:

The university operates in a decentralized environment in terms of decision making and a centralized environment in terms of establishing standards, policies, procedures and financial systems. Consequently, the accounting and technical skills across university units of those dealing with financial matters vary significantly. Due to the nature and the complexities of the university business activities, disagreements and contentious issues and situations may arise from time to time due to differing interpretations of policies and procedures. Diplomacy and tact are required in all situations. This role entails coping with irregular high volumes and multiple, often tight, deadlines as well as frequent interruptions (e.g. phone, e-mail, staff support).