University of Waterloo

  • Financial Officer

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    2425 - Mechanical & Mechatronics Eng.
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $59,433 - $74,291
  • Overview

    Term: 8 months


    The Financial Officer provides financial information to senior management to support effective management and strategic planning and is accountable for the financial management of the department. This includes administration and oversight of financial activity in all funds, monthly reconciliations; long and short term financial planning; and, other finance-related functions and special projects. The incumbent is also responsible for the integrity of financial processes and practices to ensure conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and UWaterloo policies and guidelines. 


    Budgeting and Financial Planning, which includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

    • Planning and coordinating the development of the department’s annual operating budget in consultation with the Chair, Administrative Officer, Associate Chairs, and Program Directors
    • Prepares multi-year projections of the Faculty’s financial position, identifying any concerns and proposing potential solutions
    • Identification of financial consequences of long term plans and proposals to facilitate effective strategic decision making
    • Regularly prepares financial documentation for the Administrative Officer to aid decision making (e.g. budget allocations for various departmental initiatives, teaching resource summaries)
    • Reviewing and advising on agreements and memoranda of understanding for relationships with internal and external agencies/institutes regarding management and internal control of research funds

    Financial Management of all funds including, but no limited to, the following activities:

    • Administering and reviewing the operating budget and expenses of the department, in consultation with the Chair and Administrative Officer
    • Reconciling expenses, including payroll of ongoing and temporary staff and faculty
    • Reviewing expenses to ensure compliance with university policies and procedures, including those imposed externally y donors and granting agencies
    • Liaison with other units where interdisciplinary or institutional activity are being performed
    • Has signing authority on all operating, trust, and endowment accounts within the department

    Implementing internal controls for financial activities and continuous improvement and innovation, including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Designing and implementing internal processes and documentation to ensure compliance with University and Faculty policies and procedures; identifying opportunities to make financial functions more efficient
    • Monitoring internal controls in respect of all funds and communicating improvements to affected faculty and staff
    • In collaboration with the Office of Research, ensuring that sufficient financial training and support is provided to researchers and administrative staff to allow them to manage their accounts
    • Co-ordinating the setup of financial structures to ensure activity is properly managed through its duration
    • Meeting regularly with the administrative staff to support effective financial planning, management and internal control and to encourage the sharing of best practices internally and external across other business units on campus
    • Document processes to ensure compliance and clarity; including, regularly reviewing and updating tasks within the financial team to ensure alignment with new Faculty and University initiatives
    • Providing accounting advice and support to individual researchers and research groups

    Leadership, Organizational and Human Resource Development

    • Fosters a collaborative environment between students, staff and faculty; and ensure Research Administrative Officers work proactively to provide a high level of customer service to faculty
    • Identifying or contributing to the identification, development and implementation of financial projects to improve service quality, relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff capability and performance
    • Oversee day to day activity and assignments of direct reports
    • Implements a performance review process for the research administrative team that encourages employees to meet their own career objectives and department objectives
    • Works with direct reports to build training plans aligned with staff interests, job needs and long-term goals
    • Ensure appropriate staffing levels, including back-up and cross-training support to balance workloads and meet the expectations required for smooth and efficient daily operations of the financial team


    • Bachelor’s Degree in Finance or Business related discipline or equivalent education and experience
    • Canadian Accounting designation (CPA) is required
    • Additional education or training in business and human resources administration preferred
    • An understanding of the academic environment, in particular research environments and engineering are preferred
    • A minimum of 5 years’ progressive and demonstrated experience in financial management, with a proven track record of implementing financial business practices and systems in a complex environment
    • Strong financial acumen, including financial planning and analysis, budgeting, and forecasting experience is required
    • Supervisory experience and outstanding interpersonal, communication (oral and written) and organizational skills
    • Excellent analytical skills and ability to problem solve
    • Strong planning and project management skills, focusing on executing and completing tasks under pressure and managing conflicting priorities and deadlines
    • Strong multi-tasking ability
    • Knowledge of research granting agencies and their programs is preferred
    • Tact, judgment, and diplomacy are essential while working with confidential information
    • Advanced experience with Microsoft Excel including experience with tools for data organization and analysis including pivot tables, look-ups, scenario analysis, etc.
    • Experience with online financial reporting systems
    • Experience with online human resource management systems
    • MS Word, PowerPoint: Intermediate
    • Excel: Advanced
    • Experience with SharePoint and FORE an asset


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