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Accountant I

Apply now Job no: 509005
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Food Sciences
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Accounting/Finance

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

The Accountant I position is responsible for managing funds of all types for the Department of Food Science in support of the Grants and Contracts Coordinator II. This position acts as the financial liaison for the Department with the Unified Procurement Services Team and the Controller’s Office as well as outside vendors. The Accountant I will be responsible for examining accounting data, preparing financial statements and reports, maintaining accounting records, and assisting the Grants and Contracts Coordinator II in maintaining a computerized financial management system to enable comprehensive budget reviews. The job includes acting as the Department bank card holder and coordinator of Certified Travel, and for checking finances for graduate students and summer salary for faculty, and setting up grant fund tracking in Excel. The Accountant also helps supervise the day-to-day main office operations in the absence of, or with direction from, the Grants and Contracts Coordinator II.


Essential Functions

  • Oversight of financial matters related to managing grant budgets and expenditures, and allocation and expenditures of funds for all account types.
  • Monitors sub-contract budgets and invoicing.  Analyzes and tracks budgets, expenditures, and expiration dates.
  • Monitors budgets and advises Principal Investigators in re-budgeting requests/activities as needed while expediting the process of new awards and account creations.
  • Creates, prepares, and maintain PeopleSoft Reports and Summit System queries to monitor accuracy of accounting transactions.
  • Apply University policies and procedures related to financial transactions.
  • Coordinate and maintain Pro-card users and record files, including re-allocation of Pro-card expenses and reconciliation of statements.
  • Assists faculty, researchers, and graduate students with travel and serves as certified travel preparer, reconciling payments and processing related forms, statements, and disbursement documents.
  • Assist with the financial accounting reviews needed for graduate student hires, and perform accounting reviews and paperwork for faculty summer salary.
  • Works with department Grants and Contracts Coordinator II and Department Head on joint accounting activities, such as overhead transfers; split funded expenditures, faculty teaching, and/or academic support awards, Start-Up funding, etc. 
  • As needed, may assist the Department Head/or designee and Food Sciences Human Resources Lead on matters related to hiring and promotion, including use of APWS and other systems.
  • Perform Departmental course scheduling duties (CAPS system) when needed.
  • Utilize interpersonal communication skills (both oral and written) to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships and effectively communicate with staff, faculty and students.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


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

  • 1-3 years of experience in accounting/financial management or related field.
  • Excellent ability to work both independently and to be part of an effective team with a highly cooperative and collaborative work style. Ability to adapt and work effectively as the situation changes with independence, competent judgment and discretion.
  • Demonstrated experience of computer usage skills including spreadsheets, word processing, and databases. Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students and off-campus constituents.
  • Experience submitting and following submissions through electronic workflows (such as BuyWays and travel reimbursements).
  • Flexibility to work with initiative and willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation and administration of the unit.
  • Extensive organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects.
  • Ability to investigate a situation, seek out additional information and resolve discrepancies. Ability to think through problems, organize information, identify key factors and underlying causes to generate solutions.
  • Must be able to understand, apply and explain rules, regulations and policies/procedures related to duties.


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

  • Proficiency with the use of PeopleSoft software and Summit for business process applications.
  • Knowledge of and proficiency with the use of agency forms.
  • In-depth knowledge of the University rules and procedures for Federal and State Grant Accounting.
  • Applications of electronic data processing functions to central offices.
  • In-depth knowledge of the University’s accounting processes, BuyWays, and Recharges.
  • Strong positive attitude to problem solving.
  • Knowledge of the methods of general report writing, using computer applications.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Remain flexible to reasonable faculty requirements for meeting deadlines.


Additional Details

This position will engage with the campus and local community.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm or 8-4 PM; could be 9-5 (37.5 hours per week)


Salary Information

Grade 15


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume and contact information for three professional references.  Apply by July 22, 2021 in order to ensure priority consideration


As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to embrace the sense of community that comes with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. (

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
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