Manage and Foster Relationships with Internal and External Stakeholders
- Key point of contact between researchers and research administrators for financial advice, guidance and queries pertaining to research accounts
- Communicate regularly and proactively with researchers in person, by e-mail or by telephone to discuss progress on their accounts
- Provide advice and assistance to researchers and their departmental/faculty administrators on sponsor guidelines or university policy as it pertains to research.
- Communicate with external research sponsors regarding interpretation of guidelines or reporting requirements and resolution of specific project needs/concerns/issues.
- Key point of contact with collaborating research institutions to ensure appropriate financial reporting of research funds.
- Liaise with Office of Research pre-awards colleagues regarding clarifications or amendments to research agreements/contracts
- Liaise with other UW academic support units to ensure appropriate management of research funds
Financial Administration and Management of a Portfolio of Research Accounts
a) Set up of new research accounts
- Review, gain an understanding of and approve new research projects through the research awards management system (InfoEd)
- Liaise with Office of Research pre-awards colleagues regarding new or unusual areas of the research agreement
- Set up a print and/or electronic project file structure for each new research project
- Set up the project on the Research Finance Access database to allow tracking of key reporting invoicing and auditing dates
- Set up budget, overhead and encumbrance journal entries in accordance with specific requirements of the award agreement
- Notify the Principal Investigator (PI) of the key financial reporting requirements and sponsor guidelines of the specific research project
b) Financial administration and management of research accounts
- Ensure that reporting schedules are met by proactively tracking project schedules and reporting deadlines for assigned accounts to ensure that reporting deadlines are met
- Prepare invoice requests in accordance with invoicing schedules in the award agreement
- Prepare financial reporting in the format stipulated by each individual research sponsor
- Collate appropriate supporting documentation to accompany reports
- Liaise with representatives of collaborating institutions to ensure that all data/reporting/supporting documentation for a specific project is received on a timely basis
- Liaise with PIs and/or research project managers and administrators to ensure that any in-kind supporting documentation has been collected from external partners
- Review in-kind provided by external partners to support research projects to ensure that the documentation provided is appropriate and calculated in accordance with the specific sponsor’s requirements
- Maintain accurate, well organized financial project files
- Conduct budget variance analysis to identify areas of concern and in conjunction with PI’s take appropriate action
- Analysis of PI’s research accounts to assist them in efficiently managing their portfolios and in appropriately spending their research funds
- Monitor outstanding invoices to ensure that researchers are advised on a timely basis if payment may be an issue so that appropriate action can be taken
c) Closing Research Accounts
- Monitor accounts that are coming close to their end date to ensure that all funds will be spent appropriately by the end date or that an extension request submitted
- Ensure that all reporting requirements have been met and all funds have been received
- Provide advice to PIs over options for resolving surplus or deficit account balances to an alternative eligible account
- Prepare journal entries to close out the project account ensuring that appropriate PI authorization and supporting documentation is retained
- Finalize the print and/or electronic research files ensuring that all appropriate documentation is kept according to record retention guidelines
Facilitation of audits on research accounts
- Key point of contact with sponsor, UW or collaborating institution auditors during the audit of research accounts in their portfolio.
- Provision of an overview of sponsor program details and UW policies and procedures to the auditors.
- Preparation and reconciliation of audit support listings to auditors
- Provision of supporting documentation for transactions being audited
- Co-ordination and reconciliation of supporting documentation from collaborating institutions
- Responding to audit queries