Careers at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst COVID-19 Response: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is currently re-examining open positions as our campus monitors and responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic. At this time, hiring priority is being given to positions that are critical to academic, research, and business continuity. Searches for current openings may be placed on hold or cancelled. Candidates will be contacted directly by the hiring department with regard to the status of their current application(s). We appreciate your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times and thank you for your interest in the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Assistant Controller

Apply now Job no: 505051
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Controller's Office
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Business & Financial Services

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under the direction of the Controller, primary responsibility for the overall financial accounting of all campus funds in conformance with university policies, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Governmental Laws and Regulations.  Administer the operations of accounting services area of the Controller’s Office including General Accounting and Accounts Payable.   Directs ongoing development and analysis of strategic computing plans for the Controller’s Office.  Acts in place of Controller as requested.


Essential Functions

  • Management of accounting services of the Controller’s Office including General Accounting.  Recommends staffing, budget and procedures for the area.  Establishes procedures and guidelines for all funds to ensure expenditures are in conformance with University policies, Governmental Laws and regulations.  Works closely with the Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST) to ensure compliance with and development of campus regulations over the purchase of goods and services. Works closely with the research accounting functions to ensure compliance to sponsor restrictions and proper recording of transactions.
  • Primary responsibility to ensure all sources and uses of funds are properly classified.  Research complex accounting issues and recommend campus policy to implement them.  Recommends policy to assure campus compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Represents Controller and campus on accounting related matters as requested.
  • Provide financial management to administer the student health benefit program to include reconciliation and analysis to support proposed rates.
  • Develop and implement quality assurance processes to reconcile and ensure the timeliness and accuracy of recorded financial data.  Recommends changes to accounting system, methods or procedures to management utilizing knowledge of accounting principles and practices. 
  • Oversee campus post audit functions including purchase order, recharge and gifts/endowment restrictions.  Ensures automated and manual transactions including purchase orders, journal entries, recharges and travel/human subject advances are appropriate and consistent with State and/or University policies and procedures. Prepares and reviews complex journal entries to record and correct edit and budget error transactions in the general ledger/MMARS; monitors State and University suspense accounts along with University Intercept transactions in MMars. Writes complex data retrieval programs to create accounting transactions, update account attributes, satisfy reporting and reconciliation needs, etc. Act as Data Control Supervisor for all fund types including data retrieval from State Information Warehouse.
  • Responsible for controlling State and Trust funds for expenditures and capital and non-capital budgets, maintaining accounting records, recommending budget changes on State MMARS/general ledger appropriations and accounts. Interprets official financial records to authorized personnel in reference to proper maintenance of accounts. Assist faculty and staff on appropriateness of expenditures and budget status of accounts. Work with vendors on status of payments. Financial analysis and research for a variety of purposes (problem solving, planning, complying with requests from depts., auditors, agencies, etc.) -must be prioritized, must meet deadlines.
  • Primary tax liaison to the University President’s Office in tax matters including unrelated business income (UBIT), qualified fringe benefits, private business use and sales/meal tax.
  • Develops and implements quality assurance processes to reconcile and ensure the timeliness, accuracy and appropriateness of recorded financial data. Oversees recharges, post-audit endowment and gift restrictions.
  • Develops and implements internal control policy and procedures to strengthen the overall protection of the University’s resources and to ensure those resource are properly directed to the University’s mission.
  • Implements financial system upgrades for functionality, efficiency and cost benefits.  Participates in fitgap analyses and implementation teams of new and upgraded financial systems making recommendations. Coordinates implementation of new or upgraded software in the Controller’s Office.
  • Prepares complex institutional financial reports and analyses utilizing ad hoc queries and downloads for campus administrators, President’s Office, Trustees, state agencies, federal agencies, independent auditors, internal auditors, state auditors and external organizations.  Prepares certain financial statement schedules to support the annual external audit.
  • Responsible for training Controller and campus department professional staff on accounting procedures, preparation of forms and interpretation of accounting reports and computer system screens. Participates in workshops for University employees on related accounting procedures. Provide assistance to departments in developing and interpreting financial reports and University, State and Federal regulations. Advise faculty and staff on appropriateness of expenditures and cash/budget status of accounts.  Work with office teams on short and long range planning (policies and procedures, reorganizations, renovations, etc.)
  • Acts in the place of the Controller upon request.


Other Functions

  • Understands, is committed to and supports affirmative action and non-discrimination goals and customer- focused quality services.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.
  • Performs other duties as required or requested.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Requires CPA or MBA or other related Master’s degree and minimum 5 to 7 years related experience or a Bachelor’s degree in Business or other related field and 7 to 10 years related experience. 
  • Demonstrated significant experience in management of complex automated financial systems, financial statement preparation and budgeting/financial controls.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and supervisory experience.


Preferred Qualifications

Preference will be given to candidates with experience in higher education.


Salary Information

Salary commensurate with skills and experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with your application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 professional references by March 18, 2020 in order to ensure consideration; however, the position may remain open until filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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