University of Waterloo

  • Financial Coordinator

    Requisition ID
    2018-3640
    Job Category
    Finance
    Department
    2400 - Management Sciences
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $49,965 - $62,456
  • Overview

    The Financial Coordinator (FC) oversees post-award administration for all Faculty research grants and assists the Administrative Officer with operating financial activities in the Department of Management Sciences. This role is the key point of contact for financial and procurement support.  The FC manages the operating and research accounting of all faculty members; responsible for the review of research grant transactions before they are approved and processed to ensure compliance with University and granting agency financial policies and procedures; provides guidance; and reporting, to reduce the liability to the department and University by proactive financial management.  The grants/contracts can include but are not limited to any federal, provincial, institutional, corporation/business, association/society, foundation, or any other agency/organization.  The incumbent will assist the Faculty (PI) to understand the constraints of specific granting programs; forecast and recommend strategies to maximize the use and leverage of the research funding.

    Responsibilities

    Research Financial Administrative Compliance

    • Responsible for the financial administration of all operating and research grants/contracts for faculty members in accordance with relevant university policies, granting agency guidelines, and negotiated sponsor agreements

    • Delegating signing authority up to $20,000.00 on assigned accounts

    • Provide advice to Principal Investigators (PI) concerning University and/or granting agency’s policies and procedures (e.g. eligibility of expenses, preparation of forms) and comprehension of financial reports

    • Provide guidance to faculty members on University financial rules and policies

    • Ensure researchers and relevant research personnel are compliant with UW research finance policies and procedures, including external granting agencies

    • Monitor, review and reconcile accounts monthly, and advise PIs of discrepancies

    • Review expenses for approval and ensure budget allocations are appropriate and adequate

    • Confirm eligibility of expenditures against agency guidelines and University policies and procedures

    • Assist with the procurement of research goods and services to ensure compliance with Procurement policies and procedures including determination of independent contractor status

    • Monitor spending levels on research project grants and provide PIs with budget and financial information enabling them to manage their accounts

    • Ensure funds have been collected or returned, overspent balances have been transferred and grants/contracts have been inactivated

    • Identify overspends and work with the PI to resolve through re-allocation of expenses

    • Make recommendations to respective faculty members, the Administrative Officer and Office of Research regarding deficit resolution strategies

    • Prepares custom financial reports based on researcher needs and interprets financial data to answer queries from PIs, identifying potential issues and anomalies

    • Responsible for financial reporting as required including data analysis and create detailed and summary reports as appropriate to the funding agency, industry contract or auditors

    • Review purchase of equipment and supplies for research groups, including the sourcing and procurement of major equipment and is compliant with Policy 17

    • Forward financial reports e.g. form 300’s received from Office of Research to PIs and obtains approval signatures by stipulated deadline date

    Financial Administration

    • Review and process out-of-pocket expense and faculty professional expense reimbursement claims in financial system (Concur)

    • Assist Faculty with understanding various financial reports, financial policies/procedures, financial terminology, and standard accounting practices

    • Advise on budget and cost-recovery requirements

    • Process all financial transactions including purchasing payables, and invoicing both internal and external

    • Create and review journal entry transactions, including interdepartmental billings and ensure transaction is in compliance with the University’s policies on fund transfers, applicable tax rules and expense transfer approvals

    • Reconcile general ledge accounts including accounts receivable, advances, etc. as assigned

    • Analyze details of budget, actual expenditures, encumbrances, and prepare reports as required

    • Provide guidance to others on the use of financial systems including procurement (Unit4) and expense claims (Concur)

    • Assist students (Undergraduate and Graduate) with the preparation of Expense Claims for travel and out-of-pocket expenses

    • Update, maintain and verify information in a variety of spreadsheets and databases

    Human Resources Administration

    • Review research funding (105) requests for non-faculty appointments (post-doctoral fellows, research associates, etc.) and ensure sufficient funds are available and eligibility is being met

    • Ensure that contract end dates do not exceed the grant end date and prepare revised salary allocation forms as required

    • Review Graduate Research Studentship and Graduate Research Assistants payment for available research funds

    • Prepare and coordinate payroll for Research Staff, Casual Employees and ensure sufficient funds are available and eligibility is being met before processing; including change of salary allocations

    • Liaise between PIs, the department and Human Resources on issues relating to research staff personnel

    Other

    • Act as backup to the Administrative Officer during absences or as required

    • Stay current on changes in granting agency regulations, University policies and procedures, research administration best practices, and new technology or programs

    • Attend all training on new systems and procedures, and meetings as required

    • Assist with internal and external audits as required

    • Special projects analysis, reporting, or other duties as assigned by the Chair or Administrative Officer as required to meet the research goals and strategic objectives of the department

    Qualifications

    • University degree in accounting, post-secondary accounting diploma, or equivalent education and/or experience
    • 3 years of financial experience including financial monitoring and analysis, preferably in a university environment

    • Research finance experience working with grants/contract administration an asset

    • Experience in financial reporting, internal control, financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting and accounting preferred

    • Experience with reconciliation, troubleshooting and resolving variances, and reporting on the same

    • Strong computer skills with advanced experience with MS Excel including pivot tables, look-ups, macros, scenario analysis, etc. is an asset

    • Experience using University internal systems (Concur, Unit4, Workday) are assets

    • Experience with online financial reimbursement and procurement systems, and databases

    • Working knowledge of online human resource management and payroll systems desirable

    • Sound knowledge of accounting principles and financial judgement

    • Strong decision-making and critical thinking skills

    • Demonstrated ability to interpret policies, financial statements and apply guidelines and procedures

    • Demonstrated problem-solving skills with the ability to identify issues; investigate and seek creative solutions

    • Ability to analyze financial data and present it in an appropriate format

    • Strong client-service orientation with a focus on providing exceptional customer service in a team environment

    • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact professionally and effectively with diverse constituencies of the university and external partners

    • Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential

    • Excellent organizational and time-management skills

    • Ability to work accurately, efficiently and effectively both independently and as part of a team

    • Ability to manage multiple demands with excellent attention to detail

    • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information with discretion and tact

    • Ability to adapt to changing administrative and financial systems

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