Careers at UMass Amherst

Accountant I - Electrical and Computer Engineering (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 520715
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Elect & Computer Engineering
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Accounting/Finance/Budget

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

In support of Electrical and Computer Engineering department (ECE) financial activity, prepare reports for Principal Investigators (PIs), departments, and Department Head including the centers within the department. Develops and prepares budgets and documents for proposal processing following federal and OMB guidelines. In contact with OPAS and OPAM to assure compliance and timeliness of proposal budget processing. Management of all post award activities on sponsored grants.


Essential Functions

  • Complete management of research accounts in various fund types including grants, contracts, gifts and RTF:
    • Prepare budget projections based on fiscal, academic, and grant years. Prepare financial status reports for faculty. Interpret spending rules for each fund type and inform faculty of spending guidelines and policies. Review budgets to ensure compliance with funding agency regulations and institutional requirements. Ensure that all grant expenditures are reasonable, allocable, and allowable according to OMB and agency guidelines.
    • Prepare overall budget forecasting to meet the principal investigator’s needs in budget planning and projections for their research, tracking encumbrances, expenditures, and indirect costs. Work with faculty to identify and resolve budget and compliance issues. Verify and reconcile all account activity; resolve conflicts and problems associated with financial transactions.
    • Monitor and assist in the budgeting of the financial accounts within the department and direct oversight of department activities in various fund types, including grants, contracts, gifts, RTF. Manage re-budgeting of funded grants with the Controller’s Office /research accountants. Prepare Contract for Services including sole source justification as applicable.
    • Collaborate with department business manager on joint accounting activities, such as overhead transfers, split-funding, gifts, President's Office grants, etc. Act as liaison with sponsors, program managers, subcontractors, other universities.
  • Extensive contact with OPAS, OPAM, UPST, Controller’s Office, Human Resources and other university departments. Act as liaison with sponsors, program managers, sub-contractors, and industry.
  • Apply university personnel policies and procedures, particularly as they apply to grants and contracts. Prepare personnel budgeting forecasts, applying changes to salaries, fringe rates and indirect costs as appropriate. Initiate and track appointments, re-appointment and compensation for faculty, research assistants, and undergraduate student hires. Process financial documents for REU’s (Research experience for Undergraduates). Use People Soft System to track personnel information, hire, and fund student employees.
  • Understand and interpret University accounting and UPST procedures and requirements (including University and MHEC contracts). Using the University purchasing system (PS), prepare purchase orders. Prepare contracts for services, including sole-source justification where needed, obtain signatures, process and track invoices. Process accounts payable including invoice and voucher processing, order and payments, follow-up, problem resolution and return processing with vendors. Procard Records Manager for self: assist in reallocating expenses, reconcile statements, and understand requirements, restrictions and procedures associated with the card. Reimburse faculty and students for university related purchases; prepare disbursement vouchers and business expense forms. Research prices, encumber funds for and order equipment, supplies and services. Extensive contact with vendors and contractors, UPST, and the Controller’s Office.
  • Inform new faculty of policies for the University, OPAS, OPAM, grants, proposal preparation, travel, and reimbursements. Arrange travel, including flight, hotel, transportation and registration for graduate students and visitors, to workshops, conferences. Organize conferences on and off site: process registration payments, coordinate with local and off-site hotels for hotel room blocks, rooms for meetings, equipment for meeting, and food on site for meetings and off site at restaurants, as required. Research and prepare contracts and purchase orders with hotels and restaurants for their services. Prepare post conference paperwork: W9’s, payments to vendors, speakers, attendees, and participants. Plan, schedule and prepare for on-site meetings and workshops with federal and industry sponsors. Serve as Certified Travel Preparer. Assist faculty and students in foreign travel online authorization system.


Other Functions

  • Attend training sessions, workshops, and meetings to develop and maintain skills and knowledge of policies and procedures.
  • Hold signature delegation and authority for several PIs.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


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

  • 1 years of accounting experience or related business functionality.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment.
  • High degree of organizational skills and knowledge of office administration; ability to prioritize and balance work tasks in a demanding environment.
  • Ability to track and manage multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to write, coordinate and compile reports, correspondence, etc. using correct policies and procedures.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision, and to exercise independent judgment.
  • Decision-making skills.


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

  • Ability to take initiative in carrying out assignments, and in understanding and applying Departmental, University, Commonwealth and/or funding agency policy and procedures.
  • Ability to work effectively with both on-campus offices, such as OGCA, UPST, HR and the Controller's Office as well as off-campus organizations: federal and state agencies, collaborating institutions, vendors, and industry sponsors.
  • Ability to learn and use new software and hardware in a rapidly changing environment.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • 37.5 hours per week.
  • Monday - Friday.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee's work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the University Staff Association, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University Staff Association collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information

  • Grade 15 USA/MTA.
  • Benefitted, temporary position for 1-year, possible extension/renewal of contract after 1 year will be determined by availability of funding.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please complete online application, submit a resume, cover letter and provide contact information for three (3) professional references to ensure consideration; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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