Financial Affairs is responsible for financial strategies and monitoring the overall financial health of the University. Financial Affairs supports unit level and consolidated financial records development aligned to McMaster’s mission and vision reflecting Forward with Integrity, which highlights key priorities also embedded in the Strategic Mandate Agreement held with the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities.
The Financial Affairs supporting strategic plan is developed with broad team input and is based on FWI, President and Vice-Presidents strategic priorities, recommendations from reviews, customer effectiveness surveys, and employee engagement results.
With a focus on simplification, standardization, integration, communication, and education goals are set to support strategic objectives organized by four strategic pillars, also referred to as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) responsibility quadrants.
Financial Affairs Responsibility Quadrants
- Ensure financial information supports government understanding (e.g. improve disclosure on collaborative buying practices and reserves)
- Mobilize support teams around government priorities (e.g. opt-out fees, increased collaborative buying, and T2202 changes)
- Support research spin-off organizations with space development, where possible, in exchange for equity, debt or other reasonable arrangements
- Progress two public-private partnership residences with updated business cases/models that enhance University financial health
- Ensure ancillary operations prioritize initiatives around community stakeholders (e.g. affordability/accessibility, cultural diversity, dietary/allergy) needs with best practice information across Canadian and North American related sustainable operations
- Partner with public relations to ensure meaningful communications are issued routinely based on Faculty, staff, students, or community information requests using social media channels
- Support development of a reporting framework that works to streamline which tool(s) will be used for ongoing report development and dashboards
- Collaborate with financial information users (including student account users) to ensure reports/summaries are available timely and deliver upon user needs, while working to sunset reports with low usability
- Focus on role-based systems access and align resources and training around developing expert users who have a depth of system, policy, and process understanding and work to minimize infrequent users
- Monitor ancillary business operations quarterly results against financial targets
- Collaboratively develop and track employee engagement actions related to the 2018 results with a focus on: staffing, work stress, and opportunities to advance, mindfulness and wellness opportunities
- In connection with succession plans provide opportunities for individual development discussions, career advancement, and ensure job opportunities are equity and accessibility focused and supported by selection committees that have undertaken bias training
- Support the surrounding community with local and sustainable sourcing whenever possible
- Provide clarity across teams about benchmarking data, evidence of change opportunities, and customer effectiveness survey results connected to key projects, like MacBill, MacBuy, new Research Reports, and more
- Work across the University to advance technology and support models to modernize the student experience
- Provide broadly business process maps for all major financial transaction streams with an aim to consult widely in business improvement opportunities
- Host annually a comprehensive Financial Forum that provides the higher education financial landscape/outlook from a Canada and Ontario lens down to local McMaster strategy with an additional focus on University-wide business process improvement sharing
- Continue investment pool activities, including increased social responsible investing, further advancement on environmental, society, and governance considerations grounded on the sustainable development goals framework, continued annual carbon measurements, and action planning, and increased transparency with annual open invite Investment Pool Town Halls