The University of Minnesota's Institute for Global Studies (IGS) has an opening for an Executive Accounts Specialistto serve as the main financial preparer for IGS and the international research centers affiliated with the West Bank Administrative Hub (Hub). This is a 100%-time continuing staff position governed by the collective bargaining agreement between the University and AFSCME Locals 3800 and 3801 Council 5, AFL-CIO, which is available online at: https://humanresources.umn.edu/unit-6-afscme-clerical. IGS and the West Bank Hub are part of the College of Liberal Arts and are located on the West Bank of the Twin Cities Campus.
The Executive Accounts Specialist contributes to education, academic, and outreach missions of IGS/Hub by fulfilling the financial services and business functions associated with conferences, symposia, lectures, and related academic programs and events; international faculty exchanges and visiting faculty and scholars; and the day-to-day operations of the IGS/Hub. This position receives work from center directors, program and outreach coordinators, events coordinators, and other support staff. This position works in close consultation with the IGS director and program director, and reports to the administrative director.
This position requires a high degree of independence, motivation, attention to detail, and fiscal integrity. The successful candidate will have highly-developed critical thinking, time-management, organization, and problem-solving skills. This position is exposed to considerable financial data, as well as confidential and private human resources information, and must exercise appropriate discretion and professionalism at all times. This position offers an opportunity to work with flexibility and allows for a partially remote work arrangement.
Duties & Responsibilities
Department Financial Preparer (75%)
Serve as main preparer for the Institute for Global Studies and the international research centers supported by the Hub.
Initiate and troubleshoot financial transactions using the Enterprise Financial System; examples of transactions include: purchase orders, requisitions, vendor payments, supplier forms, contracts for professional services, honorarium payments, employee expense reimbursements, wire transfers, pre-paid gift cards, check and cash deposits, etc.
Complete and process travel authorizations, travel reimbursements, check requests and cash advances, etc. Prepare and troubleshoot payments to foreign suppliers, usually by wire transfer, and advise staff on process and documentation.
Reconcile IGS & Hub procurement cards for faculty and staff.
Consult regularly with staff on the content and preparation of financial documents and supporting materials; serve as financial policy and procedure subject matter expert and resource for IGS/Hub faculty and staff.
Consult and collaborate regularly with unit accountant and staff in CLA Fiscal Administration to ensure effective processing of financial transactions.
Ensure compliance with University, CLA, and IGS financial policies and procedures.
Serve as financial policy and procedure subject matter expert and resource for IGS/Hub faculty and staff.
Research questions and issues as needed and recommend best practices.
Develop and maintain internal forms and protocols to ensure smooth processing of financial and business operations.
Maintain IGS & Hub financial records according to University’s Records Retention Schedule, including all forms, attachments, and supporting documentation.
Develop, implement, and maintain digital financial records archive for IGS/Hub.
Participate in appropriate professional development, including the University’s Financial Systems Users Network, and CLA Preparers’ Forum and/or similar groups to maintain knowledge of University and college financial policies, procedures, and emerging trends.
Budgeting, Forecasting & Problem-Solving (15%)
Contribute to budget forecasting and projecting for IGS and Hub units.
Consult and interpret monthly budget reports, coordinate account reconciliation in consultation with accountant, program coordinators, and leadership.
Review, monitor, and/or reconcile accounts transaction activities; produce ad hoc reports to monitor budgetary spending; analyze data and design effective reports when necessary.
Develop spending plans in consultation with program coordinators, center directors, and IGS leadership.
Maintain knowledge of sources of funding (O&M, grants, endowments, etc), and engage in problem-solving when needed.
Department Administrative Support (10%)
Serve as the backup to the IGS/Hub front desk position when needed (i.e., during vacations and other absences).
Open and close the main office; answer general inquiries, route calls, make referrals as appropriate; receive packages and deliveries and notify recipients, etc.
Respond to routine facilities needs.
Monitor IGS main email account and make referrals.
Create and develop spreadsheets, reports, PDF documents and Powerpoint presentations to support unit operations. Provide occasional support for events when necessary (i.e., assist with set-up and take-down, etc).
Attend appropriate staff meetings, trainings, workshops and seminars, etc.
High School Diploma/GED and four years of general accounts transaction experience. Training may be substituted for some of the years of experience.
Demonstrated computer experience to include word processing, spreadsheets, databases.
Must be able to complete training and show proficiency with PeopleSoft HRMS/EFS and collegiate systems and processes within the probationary period (6 months).
Experience with the Enterprise Financial System.
Experience working in a higher education environment.
Demonstrated knowledge of and experience interpreting and applying University policies, procedures, workflows, and systems.
Demonstrated commitment to customer service, including effective verbal and written communication skills.
Demonstrated successful experience working with a high volume of transactions and multiple projects with competing deadlines, and the ability to prioritize effectively.
Resourceful team player who excels at building trusting relationships with customers and colleagues; ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
Experience with MS Office suite applications including MS Word and MS Excel; intermediate computer skills in spreadsheet creation and management, and web-based reporting.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.