June 1, 2010 — In 1980, with a newly minted accounting degree from Old Dominion University, Dave Boling's first job was as an accounting intern in the University of Virginia Comptroller's Office.
In the 30 years since then, he has worked his way up to associate comptroller and leader of the Financial Reporting and Analysis group, one of four main units in the Comptroller's Office.
"During that time he has grown from a young college student to a senior finance professional, and a key one for the University," said his boss, Steve Kimata, university comptroller and assistant vice president for finance, in nominating Boling for a Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award.
"I was lucky to have ended up in an area that is of great interest to me, that I've enjoyed," Boling said. "It's been a good match."
Boling and his staff are responsible for the vast majority of U.Va.'s financial reporting, fulfilling both internal requests and requests from external entities like bond rating agencies and the Commonwealth of Virginia. His staff also produces U.Va.'s consolidated financial statements, which include detailed accounting of the University's roughly $2.1 billion worth of fixed assets (like buildings, equipment and library books), and more than $2.5 billion worth of investments held by more than 1,800 separate endowments.
Thanks in part to a long tradition of excellent accounting practices, U.Va. is one of only two public universities to have the highest possible (AAA) bond ratings from all three of the bond rating agencies, Kimata said. "Dave's work lays the foundation for the confirmation of these ratings."
"Dave is one of those exceptional behind-the-scenes people who sets the highest standards for himself and his organization," said Gary Young, director of fixed assets accounting, who works under Boling.
In the past two years, Boling has led the adoption of a new financial reporting software tool that has saved hundreds of hours of processing time and provided greater accuracy for the entire Comptroller's Office, Young said.
"We're constantly looking for better and more efficient reporting and analytical tools," Boling said. As a result, a report that 20 years ago might have required two or three days to prepare can now be put together in a couple of hours. "I take pride in being able to be responsive."
Boling performs his duties quietly, never seeking recognition, Kimata said. Other institutions have tried to lure him away, but he enjoys his work and is "tremendously loyal and dedicated to the University."
As a testament to his office's success in thoroughly and precisely accounting for U.Va.'s facility and administrative costs (building and equipment depreciation, maintenance, debt costs, etc.), Young said, the federal government recently agreed to increase U.Va.'s reimbursement rate for those costs, from 51.5 cents to 54 cents for every dollar awarded to U.Va. through federal grants and contracts.
The adjustment means U.Va. recoups an extra roughly $1.6 million every year, Boling said, quickly adding, "I have a tremendous staff who did most of that work and they deserve most of that credit."
But that's not the full story, as Kimata explained. "His staff has a saying, 'When the going gets tough, the tough go to Dave' for answers and support. They appreciate his personal integrity and know they can count on him for direct and constructive input."