Assistant Director, Sponsored Research Audit

Princeton, NJ
Mar 29, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Requisition # 2017-7164
Department Audit and Compliance
Category Financial Services and Procurement
Date Posted 2/15/2017
Full-Time / Part-Time Full-Time
Application Deadline ..


The Office of Audit and Compliance (OAC) serves as a proactive partner and trusted advisor to University management and departments to assess and mitigate risks that may have a significant impact on the achievement of the University's objectives. The goal of the OAC is to promote a culture of risk and compliance awareness at the institution through the services it provides. The OAC is seeking a competent candidate with high professional and ethical standards who will provide quality audit and advisory services to the University.


The Assistant Director, Sponsored Research Audit will primarily perform and/or manage compliance, financial, and operational audits, and consulting projects related to sponsored research at the University, in accordance with IIA standards. The Assistant Director is responsible for taking a leadership role in the development and maintenance of the risk/audit universe and related risk assessments used to develop the Internal Audit and Compliance Work Plan for sponsored research, and other audit focus areas as assigned by the Director. Other activities will also include the development of audit planning documentation, execution of audit work papers, coordination and review of the work performed by external firms for co-sourced audits, communication with management throughout the audit process, and follow-up on the implementation status of management's corrective action plans. Additionally, the Assistant Director will assist the Director with certain administrative activities including the management of project budgets and the review of external firm contract and billing agreements.

The Assistant Director position requires the ability to independently manage multiple concurrent projects, collaboration with external audit firms as required, strong written and verbal communication skills, leadership ability and extensive relationship building at the University and within the industry. The Assistant Director must demonstrate superior problem solving talents, strategic thinking, good interpersonal skills, and unique technical competency in the areas of sponsored research and government funded activities as well as an aptitude and willingness to deepen expertise in other functional areas within the OAC.

Reporting to the Director, Internal Audit, the individual will:
  • Assist in developing the sponsored research compliance risk universe and audit plan. Ensure both are well scoped, discussed with management, and finalized for inclusion in the Internal Audit and Compliance Work Plan.
  • Assist management in the design of policies, procedures and systems in order to enhance compliance reporting and management of sponsored and government funded research related activities.
  • Plan audits by assessing the overall risk in the audit focus area, partnering with the auditee department management to define the audit scope and objectives, project resource requirements, timing, and budgets.
  • Design a detailed audit program, conduct interviews, document and analyze processes and apply critical thinking to evaluate risks and controls, and assess compliance with external regulations and University policies, related to sponsored research. Ensure audit documentation meets departmental and professional quality standards.
  • Communicate observations to auditee department management during the course of the audit; and partner with clients with a solution and service oriented approach to provide value added recommendations and monitoring tools.
  • Assist in coordinating and reviewing work performed in co-sourced audits. Work with external firms to ensure key compliance risks are appropriately identified, evaluated and documented.
  • Prepare professional audit reports for review by the Director and subsequent distribution to auditee department management. Ensure findings and recommendations are well developed, properly supported, quantified where applicable, reasonable and actionable.
  • Demonstrate foresight, superior judgment and the ability to develop creative solutions, using a risk based approach, in the performance and management of all tasks.
  • Maintain close working relationships with central University offices, sponsored research colleagues and leadership to continually endeavor to enhance the compliance environment.
  • Serve as the OAC representative on University-wide oversight committees for major sponsored research related initiatives.
  • Perform special projects and work in other audit and compliance focus areas, as required.
  • Network with colleagues from professional associations and other Universities to share information on industry risks and benchmark best practices.
  • Keep up to date with the latest regulatory requirements and federal guidance as well as develop and maintain a network in the sponsored research community to support the work performed in the OAC.

This role is Princeton-based and does not require travel outside of the area.


Essential Qualifications:
  • High ethical standards representative of Princeton University's commitment to excellence.
  • BA/BS or an advanced degree in accounting, business, or a related field.
  • CIA, CPA, CGMA or a related certification or commitment to pursue.
  • 5+ years of experience in, federal grants management, sponsored research accounting/auditing, internal auditing, or public accounting.
  • Knowledge of GAAS and IIA professional standards.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and apply complex federal sponsored research regulations, preferably within a University/non-profit or government agency environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and interpret contractual requirements from government agencies, and to work directly with agency representatives to support reviews, inquiries and audit plan completion.
  • Good understanding of business processes, ability to assess risks and recommend controls, outstanding verbal and written communication skills, and excellent interpersonal skills to deal with all levels of personnel throughout the University.
  • Strong organizational, project and time management skills.
  • Demonstrated experience leveraging technology, strong data analytic skills and the ability to interpret complex data with respect to regulations, policies and fraud related activities.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, as a functional leader, in a team environment.
  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and committed to quality and continuous improvement.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Operational knowledge of sponsored research; and experience in a non-profit organization. Academic institution or academic medical center experience is a plus.
  • Working knowledge of the COSO framework, OMB circulars and A-21, A-110, A-133 and/or Uniform Guidance.
  • Working knowledge of the DOE OIG Audit Manual.
  • Advanced degree in business, finance, or related field.
  • Knowledge of COEUS.
  • Understanding of financial, grants management, budgetary and/or travel and expense systems.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Salary Grade

ADM, 080

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


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