The Accounting Specialist is responsible for meeting the purchasing/procurement needs of multiple departments and centers within Basic Science Administration (BSA). Duties include reviewing and processing transactions (orders, invoice payments, expense reimbursements, etc.) and working closely with faculty, staff, students, and vendors. This individual serves as the primary point of contact for these departments/centers and is expected to become a subject matter expert in procurement. S/he will process requests in a timely and accurate manner, while providing exceptional customer service. In addition, the Accounting Specialist collaborates with the rest of the Financial Administration and Research Administration teams to ensure that labs’ purchasing/procurement needs are met.
The Accounting Specialist provides a variety of financial and accounting support using initiative and an intermediate knowledge of applicable skills, methods and practices and chooses appropriate alternatives from among pre-defined policies and procedures to complete mainly routine work that involves standard problems and decisions. This role applies industry and professional standards, university policy and procedure, federal and state laws and other regulations. This position provides administrative and/or clerical support.
Maintains, compiles and reviews data within spreadsheets and/or databases.
Completes standard reconciliation procedures.
Completes analysis and standard summary reports.
Coordinates and/or provides information for annual salary review process.
Completes functions/tasks associated with the annual budget open/close processes.
Analysis, Statements and Reporting:
Performs data entry in spreadsheets and/or databases.
Completes and maintains transactions in enterprise systems.
Reviews, ensures approval, prepares, processes, reconciles and provides receipts (as appropriate) for transactions.
Performs vendor/account research as needed.
Obtains additional information by phone, US- or e- mail from customers/vendors; corrects or escalates.
Maintains Chart of Account lists.
Prepares and delivers bank deposits.
Enters information into database.
Grants and/or Awards:
Assists school/dept and/or research administrator regarding grant accounting issues.
Monitors payments from sponsors.
Interacts with ASRSP and OSR for correct appropriation.
Implements study invoicing system and tracking of payments and accounts receivable.
Provides excellent customer service, over the phone and in person answering standard questions regarding status of requests, policies and procedures for processing transactions, and/or instructions for completing paperwork.
Instructs and advises regarding options and appropriate courses of action and follows-up inquiries to ensure customer satisfaction.
Completes other administrative and/or clerical activities such as filing, faxing, sorting, copying, organizing meetings; reserving AV equipment, etc.
Assists with training of new staff members
Supervises or leads temporary, part-time or work study students.
Provides guidance to junior employees.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications: (Education and experience)
High school diploma or the equivalent.
2 years accounting and/or bookkeeping or other relevant experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Education and experience)
Excellent computer skills including proficiency in the use of spreadsheet, database and word processing software.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
Prior experience working with sponsored research grant accounting
Experience working on high-paced, high-volume transaction organizations or front-line customer service center
Advanced Microsoft Excel Skills
Preferred Competencies: (Education and experience)
Excellent computer skills including proficiency in the use of Microsoft Excel, Access and Word software.
Familiarity with financial reporting.
Must have excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
Ability to work effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily and to adjust behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
Ability and willingness to explore alternatives solutions and identify opportunities to improve procedures and practices while remaining compliant to governing policies.
Display professional attitude; act diplomatically and handle challenging situations in a tactful and responsive manner.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 36642
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.