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Assistant Director, Sponsored Research Accounting Cash&Compliance

Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

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Assistant Director, Sponsored Research Accounting Cash&Compliance


Job ID: 2021-13091
Type: Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Financial Services and Procurement

Princeton University


The Office of Finance & Treasury at Princeton University seeks an an experienced financial manager with familiarity with Sponsored Research (SRA) landscape to fill the Assistant Director, Sponsored Research Accounting Cash and Compliance role. The Assistant Director plays a leading role in the SRA Department and its responsibility to perform the central office post award accounting and financial administration functions for the University’s sponsored awards, which exceeded $300 million in sponsored research expenditures for FY19.

The Assistant Director will work independently to develop and implement financial compliance review and monitoring processes to help ensure sponsored projects are compliant with applicable laws and regulations, research terms and conditions, and University policies. The position will be responsible for analyzing performance trends across high risk activities and testing sample transactions to strengthen compliance and oversight. This role will prepare and disseminate reports to academic chairs and deans that identify departmental and principal investigators’ performance in high risk compliance areas such as effort certification, cost transfers, and subaward invoicing.

The Assistant Director will collaborate regularly with the SRA management team and the Office of Finance & Treasury’s Finance Technology team to update business processes and systems as necessary to maintain compliance with evolving laws and regulatory changes that affect the University’s research enterprise. This position will play an important role in identifying financial compliance risk areas through regular participation and engagement in COGR (Council on Governmental Relations) and FDP (Federal Demonstration Partnership) meetings in Washington D.C.

The Assistant Director will supervise the Cash and Compliance analyst and assistant positions to ensure optimal management of the University’s cash flow and compliance with costs claimed from federal and non-federal sponsors. The position is directly responsible for cash management oversight which include authorizing federal agencies’ letter of credit draws, approving financial billing and reporting, and overseeing accounts receivables and collection efforts. This position will also analyze exception reports for cost allowability and lead trainings for the academic grants community and SRA staff.

The Office of Finance & Treasury actively searches for staff members of exceptional ability and promise who share in Princeton University's commitment to excellence, and who present a diversity of viewpoints and cultures. We offer varied professional opportunities spanning all aspects of financial management, analysis, and processing in support of the teaching and research mission. As part of the University community, we respect the dignity and individuality of each member while trying to foster a sense of shared experience and common purpose. We are unwavering in our commitment to both diversity and community and embrace the variety of talents, backgrounds, and perspectives of all of our colleagues.


The Assistant Director will work closely with the Senior Associate Director of Sponsored Research Accounting to plan, develop, implement, modify, and maintain a comprehensive compliance operation. This position will work with minimal supervision in a fast-paced, high volume, and heavily-regulated environment and must be able to resolve problems and effectively engage with internal and external stakeholders including auditors, sponsors, principal investigators, and colleagues at all levels within the University.

Compliance Monitoring, Analysis & Reporting

  • Plays an active role in creating and maintaining research administration business processes and systems to ensure compliance; embraces a continuous improvement mindset and contributes to developing and implementing process improvements aimed at streamlining research administration work while enhancing the level of service provided and improving oversight.
  • Works with related University offices and liaises with department administrators and researchers as needed to raise awareness on compliance risks
  • Partners with ORPA (Office of Research & Project Administration) on subcontract financial management activities.
  • Manages the post-award small business and diversity subcontracting reporting process by ensuring reports are submitted into the electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS). The reporting process includes the review and analysis of the awardees performance against, and efforts to achieve, the goals identified in the small business and diversity subcontracting plan.
Cash Management Oversight and Supervision

  • Manages a staff of two and evaluates performance along with regular feedback and coaching that are aligned with training and developmental goals.
  • Ensures all cash management activities are performed accurately and in accordance with University policies and award terms and conditions.
  • Oversees the monthly billing process including the letter of credit drawdowns for federal awards and the generation of invoices for awards set up as cost reimbursable, prepaid, fixed or scheduled.
  • Provides oversight to the accounts receivable collection process administered by the Controller’s Office Accounts Receivable team, as well as monitors for potential bad debt issues and fluctuations in foreign currency valuations.
University Sponsored Research Audits

  • Functions as the subject matter expert for audit principles and the COSO internal control framework
  • Creates financial population files so that the external auditors can make appropriate sample selections in the various testing areas including allowable costs, cash management, equipment, cost sharing, period of performance, procurement and debarment, reporting, sub-recipient monitoring, and special tests
  • Leads and coordinates the process of gathering supporting documentation from the financial systems and academic departments for the Single Audit as well as emerging audits


Essential Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or 7-10 years of related experience, including managerial
  • Excellent financial and accounting skills
  • Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Excel and other electronic databases and financial systems
  • Excellent oral and written communications, organization and problem-solving skills, along with a high level of attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer relations skills.
  • Familiarity with government and non-government sponsored research rules and regulations such as OMB Uniform Guidance
  • Ability to understand and interpret government rules and regulations and complex grant and contract language
  • Knowledge of online government and non-government grants management systems
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality
  • Ability to balance multiple assignments and adjust readily to changing organizational priorities

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting or relevant field
  • CPA
  • Knowledge of PeopleSoft Grants, Coeus, Cognos
  • Experience with the administration and accounting for federal sponsored research grants

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



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