Associate Director - Research Accounting

Northeastern University

Associate Director - Research Accounting

Requisition Number: STFR004415

Division/College: Finance

Location: Boston Main Campus

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time


Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a private global, experiential research university. Grounded in its signature co-op program, Northeastern today provides unprecedented experiential learning opportunities around the world. Northeastern has roughly 16,000 full-time undergraduates and over 10,000 graduate and professional students that hail from all 50 states and 125 countries around the world.

The University's rapidly growing research enterprise is strategically aligned with three national imperatives: health, security, and sustainability. In the period FY2005 to FY2015, Northeastern has increased annual research revenues over 115%. This position is critical to support its current and future research growth.

Research Finance is responsible for the fiscal management of grants and contracts in accordance with government regulations, sponsor requirements, and University policy. RF establishes new grants and analyzes and processes financial data within the Banner general ledger. RF is also responsible for drawing funds from letter of credit agencies, issuing invoices to sponsors, and cash collections. RF prepares and submits financial reports as required by the sponsor.

The Associate Director - Research Accounting reports to the Director, Research Finance. This position will enhance sponsored activities by ensuring compliance with applicable federal regulations and good practices in research administration. The Associate Director oversees the daily work of the Research Finance Analysts, monitors the workload and priorities of the analysts and their productivity against performance measures. The Associate Director oversees the fiscal management of externally funded sponsored projects, from federal, state, foreign and private sources, identifies policies, processes and procedures needing refinement and/or enhancement and makes recommendations to the Director; trains staff and University personnel on established policies; reviews and analyzes the Research Accounting module in banner and makes recommendations on implementation and process improvement; maintains system data on sponsored projects within the Research Accounting modules; acts as a post-award liaison between sponsoring agencies, the university and the PI; ensures fiscal compliance with all federal guidelines on financial issues. The Associate Director delivers reports to the Director, assists on special projects, and serves as one of the main contacts for all audits including the annual Uniform Guidance audit led by the Controller's office. This position is responsible for annual external reports such as the NSF Survey, the SEFA schedule for the UG audit, and the quarterly HHS FCTR report. This position requires comprehensive knowledge of government and sponsor regulations including 2CFR200 (Uniform Guidance), FAR and University policies and procedures.

In FY17, the portfolio of university sponsored activity is approximately 1000 budget centers, $100 million in expenditures and is expected to grow dramatically. This position is critical in ensuring that the University is compliant with a wide variety of Federal regulations. The university is regularly audited to monitor compliance and non-compliance could lead to financial loss of current and future funding. Comprehensive knowledge of OMB Circulars and National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health grant policies is required. Familiarity and experience with other federal funding agencies (DOD, NASA, DOE, etc.), Commonwealth of Massachusetts and major foundations is important. The job requires the ability to manage multiple tasks and have flexibility to adjust to changing priorities and assist in other areas as needed. Experience with SunGard Banner is required. The Associate Director must possess strong analytical and technical skills as well as be effective in their written and oral communication. Other key skills include: interpersonal, organizational, time management, problem solving, decision making. A skill critical to success is one of customer service: the Associate Director must be committed to providing professional, prompt and courteous service to PIs and departments and be able to work effectively in a team oriented environment.

A Culture of Service:
The Associate Director leads, and develops a team of financial analysts supporting timely and accurate financial management of awards. A key success factor for this role is the timely invoicing, reconciliation and financial reporting. The ability to create and maintain a culture of service is essential.

Compliance and Stewardship:
In addition to a service-oriented culture, this role must treat effective compliance as an equal priority. Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations is essential, as well as leading the adoption of best practices to promote continuous improvement ensuring that the highest quality standards are met. The Associate Director has the overall accountability for all fiscal management of externally funded sponsored projects from federal, state and private sources. This includes the accurate invoicing and timely collection of funds due to the University. Recommendations and implementation of change to improve processes around financial management is led from the Associate Director's office, with efforts ranging from updates to university policy to process changes that ensure compliance with laws and regulations.


• Ten+ years direct experience in research accounting is required
• MBA is preferred
• Current knowledge base of all Federal OMB Circulars especially Uniform Guidance (2CFR200) and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) is recommended
• Familiarity with F&A rate proposal development and negotiation is desired
• Experience working with Federal agencies/departments in particular NSF,HHS, ONR, NASA, DOE, Homeland Security and with Commonwealth of MA as it relates to invoicing and accounts receivable
• Excellent managerial, analytical, problem solving skills with a high attention to detail
• Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to interact with both senior management and subordinates
• Demonstrated skills as a team builder who knows how to get the most from his/her team and develop team members for long-term, mutual success.

Additional Information:

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link: [email protected]

Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.


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