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Finance Director, Capital Planning
at Ascend Learning
Ascend Learning; LLC (http://www.ascendlearning.com/) is a leading provider of technology-based educational, curriculum and assessment solutions for high-growth careers in a range of industries, including healthcare, fitness and wellness, and insurance and financial services. We provide outcomes-based solutions aimed at helping people enter, sustain and succeed in their chosen fields. Ascend employs more than 1,300 employees, with headquarters in Burlington, Mass., and offices in Kansas City metro, Phoenix metro, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Ann Arbor, Michigan, New York, and the U.K.
Ascend Learning is hiring a Finance Director, Capital Planning for our Leawood, KS office.
• Partner with CTO and PMO leader to drive appropriate cash and capital investment allocation for Ascend and generate insightful investment returns analysis.
• Prepare financial reporting and analysis for Ascend Learning Technology and Operations (T&O) organization, including make vs. buy analysis, ROI analysis, cost and headcount productivity analysis and other ad-hoc analysis.
• Create cash basis view of technology spend and identify opportunities for improving spend efficiency and effectiveness. Perform financial analyses at multiple levels of complexity, including calculations of capital and expense performance comparison. Through analytics, identify cost leverage and savings opportunities across Ascend Learning. Partner with T&O sourcing and BU finance leaders to deliver on potential savings opportunities.
• Partner with CTO to drive regular refreshes of relevant benchmark analyses on our technology spend and capabilities and help generate insights for enhancing Ascend’s competitive positioning.
• Through close collaboration with the T&O PMO leader, define metrics for planning, tracking and reporting projects for on-time and on-budget performance. Support corrective action planning and progress reporting.
• Lead standardization of ROI analysis of organic projects including developing a standard operating model to evaluate projects. This also includes creating a standard process to collaborate with BU’s on business case input and establishing a follow up cadence to assess actuals against business cases and tracking corrective actions as needed.
• Develop appropriate reporting/dashboards to provide visibility into capitalization rates, trends and KPIs for early warning indicators on capitalization activity from a plan, prior year and policy standpoint.
• Provide overall coordination for the newly implemented “controllable P&L” assignment of T&O expenses to the BU’s. This includes planning, forecasting, variance analysis and corrective action planning.
• Provide direct line leadership for T&O finance manager including guidance, support and development. Provide influential leadership across BU FP&A teams of Ascend. Act as finance business partner for Chief Technology Officer of Ascend Learning.
• Strong results orientation with an ability to manage multiple deliverables and overcome obstacles. Agile learner with ability to combine analytics with business acumen to identify issues and opportunities.
• Excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate with all levels of the organization. Change management knowledge/skills will also be important as new processes are introduced.
• Advanced excel and Powerpoint skills required. Experience working with data warehouses and visualization tools strongly desired.
• Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or other quantitative area. Professional qualifications such as CFA or CPA a plus.
Ascend Learning, LLC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer (M/F/Vets/Disabled). No agency or search firm submissions will be accepted. Applications for U.S. based positions with Ascend Learning, LLC must be legally authorized to work in the United States and verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire.