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University of Rochester Staff Accountant - 226036 in Rochester, New York

Staff Accountant

Job ID



School of Medicine & Dentistry

Full/Part Time


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Full Time 40 hours Grade 051 Dermatology M&D




Position Summary:

This position will work closely with the Senior Financial Analyst, Program Administrator, and other support staff in the department to run efficient and effective academic, research, and clinical programs. With minimal direction and latitude for independent judgment this position will perform professional accounting work, including but not limited to ledger reconciliation, financial reporting, cost analysis and distribution, classification of accounts and funds, study of accounting systems and sponsored research accounting. Maintains complete and systematic records of department financial transactions in accordance with Sponsor and University policies. Able to prioritize and complete tasks with competing demands/deadlines ensuring compliance and best use of financial instruments. Requires excellent interpersonal, communication, be able to multitask, and work well in a team environment. This position requires a dynamic personality, someone not willing to stop short of a job well done, detail oriented, and excellent organizational skills. Strong ability to quickly learn new systems, processes, programs/software and workflows. Excellent interpersonal skills; written and verbal communication skills essential.


This position will be responsible for reconciling and analyzing monthly ledgers, analyzing expenses, researching and resolving issues with unknown expenses, and developing and preparing financial reports. Ensure back-up documentation for expenditures is appropriate, with adherence to policies and procedures, and for audit purposes. Archive non-grant accounts and fully closed grants on an annual basis. Manages payroll forms in conjunction with the Senior Financial Analyst. Set up accounts in shadow encumbrance and reconciliation system for new department/clinic accounts and for sponsored research accounts using sponsor’s notice of award. Review and manage data in shadow encumbrance and reconciliation from various payment mechanisms for numerous accounts, double-checking appropriateness of expenditures, account, and spend category designations. Identifies accounting and reporting discrepancies and initiates corrective action or recommends solutions as appropriate and ensures follow through. Obtain and file source documentation account reconciliation ensuring transactions are properly supported in accordance with University policy and procedures; Identifies when corrective action is needed and initiate appropriate response or recommends solutions as appropriate; prepares summary reports supporting findings and recommendations.

Organizes and supervises the work of other staff engaged in a variety of purchasing procedures and prepare and process payment-related forms. Review for allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of expenditures on sponsored research and institutional accounts prior to purchase approval, and ensuring they are in accordance with sponsor and institutional policies. Advises on difficult problems and on the interpretation of accounting related policies and procedures. Develops and recommend policies and procedures for accounting systems, financial reporting and systems of controls then continuously reevaluating enduring maximum efficiency and consistency. Identify areas of cost savings (ex. wasteful spending, quantity discounts, error correction, etc.), research alternatives, and implement change. Prepares and documents instructions for changes in accounting systems, interprets data, trains other departmental personnel in accounting related matters, procedural and policy matters relating to purchasing, finance, audit, general account/award and spend category use, and various practices for the proper management of accounts. Meet with research faculty and laboratory and clinic personnel to review departmental policies and procedures for the management of funds. Maintains relationships with MFG, SMD, SMH, Accounts Payable, Purchasing, HR, Auditing, and other service departments, as well as funding agencies to be able to execute the department’s needs.

Design and prepare financial reports and statements, in conjunction with the Senior Financial Analyst, reflecting fiscal operations of specific programs (e.g. operational). This will include reports for status of funds, projections, sponsor projects, budgets, etc. Analyze and interpret data, trends, and reports for accuracy, spending projections, reasonableness, and adherence to university and agency guidelines. Confirms completeness and accuracy of data and reports; uses judgment as to whether account balances are reasonable. Analyzes problems and makes recommendations regarding accounts, records, reports and controls then initiate corrective action. Distribute and review reports with clinic leaders, Principal Investigator, Program Administrator and Senior Financial Analyst. Where error trend indicates system defects, determine recommendations and seeking guidance as to the course of action to be taken. Recommend and implement improvements, adaptation and changes in policy and procedures in the accounting system. Consults with internal auditors on matters such as definition and classification of accounts, accounting activity in research programs and other technical aspects of the accounting system. Present recommendations and seek guidance as to the course of action to be taken and advises and interprets accounting and budgeting relationships. Maintains an in-depth awareness of financial accounting and reporting, and analysis, with expertise in decision support and University systems. Stays abreast of ongoing changes in University and related parties’ changes, identifying areas of immediate impact and initiating appropriate action in response to changes.

Supports faculty members with grant applications and sponsored project progress reports, including designing and developing budgets, justifications and financial reports in accordance with Sponsor requirements. Calculates costs by project and prepares and analyzes budgets and justifications for grant applications. Review internal funding materials for accuracy based on source documents, initiating corrections when needed. Interprets University and Sponsor policies, procedures and guidelines of funding for projects to ensure compliance. Process subcontract invoices and ensure billing is current. Responsible for monthly and quarterly invoices to sponsor and ensuring that charges are approved by the sponsor, reconciled and billed for in a timely manner. Facilitate closeouts, ensuring awards are completed properly and timely. Maintains liaison with University central offices including Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) and Office of Research Accounting and Costing Standards (ORACS) for grant related activities and requirements. Attend post-award related user groups and administrative meetings, and Research Administration and Research Accounting (RARA) meetings. Participate in special purpose meetings, such as audits, meetings with central administrative departments, etc. Attend grant certification training program (CLASP) and maintain certification.

Other projects and responsibilities as needed/assigned.


Bachelor's degree in Accounting, and 3 years of professional accounting experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.Preferred Qualifications: One year or more in an academic research setting and /or experience with grants desirable. Strong analytical ability and proficiency with Microsoft Office especially excel. Knowledge of Workday, Peoplesoft, and on-line procurement systems preferred.