The “ME / MnRI / CSE Hub Accountant” is a member of the CSE Hub ‘Floating’ support unit in CSE. It is responsible for accounting and financial management for Mechanical Engineering and the Minnesota Robotics Institute. The position may also assist with other transitional needs that arise in the College. The “ME / MnRI / CSE Hub Accountant” will work closely with the Dean’s Office Chief Financial Officer Finance Team – including the CSE Hub Administrator, Center/Collaboration Principal Investigators, Departmental Staff and the Research and Grants Administration team in managing its funding sources of state, federal, county, income and gift funds, and sponsored projects. This position will provide knowledge and guidance on all financial aspects of grant (pre/post) activities. Hybrid (remote / in-person) work arrangement.
In times of transition throughout the college, this position may support other units as needs arise.
Duties include supporting financial and administrative needs as follows:
Financial – 60% (Nonsponsored and sponsored accounting)
Complete a variety of accounting functions, which includes capitalizing assets, reconciling account strings; transferring funds; setting up new accounts and/or grants; monitoring fund balances and preparing status reports. Activities may involve data from multiple departments or colleges.
Advise managers and staff on proper accounting procedures in the purchase, sale or exchange of goods and services. Attend monthly departmental staff meetings as necessary.
Reconcile and maintain University general ledger ensuring that financial transactions meet all university, federal and sponsor guidelines.
Investigate and correct discrepancies.
Process journal entries and rebudget between expenditure categories.
Maintain departmental files for project awards with supporting documentation and grant correspondence.
Enter budgets into PeopleSoft and position budgeting.
Maintain working knowledge of dept. non-sponsored accounts
Create monthly financial reports, including projections for multiple funding types including sponsored, non-sponsored and donated funds incorporating accruals and projections.
Assist Administrator/PIs in report interpretation and identify trends and possible solutions.
Assist grant leadership and faculty to develop financial plans. Forecast and analyze areas of business in departments. Develop comprehensive funds picture for department to include non-sponsored and sponsored activities. Assist units with external reporting requirements.
Contracts, sales, billing: Ensure compliance through audits. Provide analysis and recommendations. Maintain accounts receivable for external sales, perform rate calculations, and calculate sales tax. Act as primary billing specialist for team by preparing all external and internal billings for the service team.
Provides accounting guidance and support to related student groups
Provide expert advice to investigators on all aspects of grant management.
Forecast annual direct and indirect expenditures; project annual academic salary savings.
Prepare grant financial status reports including award amounts, transfers, carry-over, expenditures, personnel detail and projected commitments for PIs.
Provide primary accounting support for the entire life-cycle of assigned sponsored projects.
Analyze and identify projected budget and revenue shortfalls, personnel commitments, pending fixed-price transfers, and other grant related issues.
Advise principal investigators (PI) regarding issues, explain financial policies and recommend solutions to problems.
Manage spending of cost share funds per requirements of cost share sources
Manage re-budget requests. Monitor burn rates per sponsor requirements and make changes to budgets-based research plans. Work with SPA, investigators, Director, accountants at UMN or at sub-award/partner institutions, and sponsor to re-budget when needed. Suggest options to recalibrate budgets that are outside of compliance. Understand the policy to know when a re-budget is required and advise investigators when once is needed and when one is required.
Manage and track effort commitments in relation to project requirements; interact with effort coordinators on requirements, certification, and reporting.
Coordinate close-out of projects.
Preaward Grants Management Support – 30%
Support PIs and Project Managers in Grant Proposal Development
Meet with PIs to review proposal guidelines and deadlines and to set timelines for review and submission
Provide feedback on writing, organization, and alignment with agency and funding opportunity goals
Work with PIs and/or project managers to develop a budget that is in line with funding opportunity, University guidelines, and project needs
Draft budget justifications and support PIs and project managers in writing compelling, compliant justifications
Prepare and edit other administrative documents
Stay up-to-date on all funding agency rules for administrative documents
Submit proposals through application systems and University approvals.
Route Proposal Routing Forms (PRFs) and ensure that PRFs are fully signed before submission
Upload proposal pieces into application system, review for compliance, and submit to UMN Sponsored Projects Administration
Work with Grant Administration Team at UMN Sponsored Projects Administration on all corrections to proposals
Facilitate submission of collaborative grant proposals within and across departments
Administration - Other: 10%
Build relationships with other University departments, CSE and greater UMN staff, clients, and outside funders to coordinate administrative expertise and maintain working relationships with regulatory agencies.
Participate in professional development opportunities and special projects that contribute to the ongoing improvement of the department and college.
Attend training, meetings and workshops to keep up-to-date on changing policies and procedures.
Ensure unit events involving faculty, students, alumni, donors and the broader community are welcoming for all attendees. Oversee event details/logistics.
Other duties as assigned.
BA/BS degree with a major in accounting, business administration, or related field and 4 years professional accounting experience OR a combination of related post-high school education and closely related work experience totaling at least eight years.
Accounting experience must include public institutional accounting, auditing methods and practices, budget management and development, forecasting and reporting, creating and implementing business procedures, grant preparation and working within a financial structure and fiscal policies.
Demonstrated customer service experience.
Highly organized and detailed-oriented; capable of handling multiple projects simultaneously while meeting deadline objectives.
Degree in accounting, business, or related field.
Familiarity with University of Minnesota financial system (EFS), policies, and procedures.
Experience in managing public funding sources, managing provider and vendor services.
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.