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University of Massachusetts Amherst Research Accountant - Controller's Office in Amherst, Massachusetts

Research Accountant - Controller's Office

Apply now ( Job no: 514140

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Controller's Office


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

Responsible for all aspects of post-award management of Research Grants and Contracts including preparation, review and approval of budgets, transactions, billings, and reports of expenditures. The position requires interpretation of complex grant and contract terms in conformance with Federal, State and University guidelines. The Research Accountant collaborates with the team of research accounts as well as departments on campus. The Research Accountant exercises professional judgment in areas of the allowability of grant expenditures, grant close-outs and budgeting decisions. Performs a wide range of detailed and complex accounting advisory functions related to the Research Grants and Contracts being managed.

Essential Functions

  • Manages the interface of pre-award data and automated billing for assigned grants and contracts. Interprets grant and contract requirements, assigns appropriate budget levels, and authorizes spending on awarded grants. Creates billing profiles in conformance with sponsor billing requirements to prepare timely and accurate invoices and financial reports to sponsors. When required, prepares billings manually according to sponsor specifications.

  • Ensures that all expenditures, including cost sharing, are in conformance with Uniform Guidance and/or sponsor restrictions. Communicates with external granting agencies, faculty and staff on matters of allowability and appropriateness of charges and other related accounting matters such as interpretation of budgets and reporting requirements.

  • Reviews grants and contracts at close-out to ensure that billing and financial requirements are met. Makes independent decisions regarding the refund of unspent funds, approvals of transfers and final reporting of expenditures. Works independently with external and internal auditors on examinations of grant activity.

  • Creates ad-hoc queries of accounting data for use in preparing complex financial analyses and reports. Responsible for processing intricate journal entries related to adjustments to Research Project Grant Accounts. Participated in system implementation efforts, recommends courses of action to management on new systems.

  • Financial Responsibilities:

  • Applies and conforms with internal financial policies to ensure transactions are processed properly (e.g. Tax, HR, Legal, Federal).

  • Ensures accuracy of recorded data through the use of analytical reports and reconciliations.

  • Utilizes financial databases and systems to manipulate and analyze financial data for internal and external reporting and decision making.

    Other Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

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

  • Bachelor’s Degree in accounting or related field.

  • More than one year of relevant accounting or grant management experience.

  • Strong interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.

  • Strong computer and technical skills (i.e. Microsoft suite).

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

  • Master’s Degree in accounting or related field.

  • Experience with research grants and contracts.

  • Experience with grants and contract compliance.

  • Client service experience.

    Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (37.5 hours a week).

  • 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 Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.

  • The office is currently working in a hybrid working environment (3 days on-site and 2 days remote) for the foreseeable future.

    Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Salary Chart (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with your application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. 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.

Advertised: May 10 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: