This position serves as an Accountant Level I in the Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) unit. This department provides financial administrative service to the research community for post-award functions and coordinates closely with the Office of Research and Engagement. Sponsored project and agency fund expenditures financially reported and collected by this unit totaled $500M in FY2018. Accountants within SPA are responsible for the financial management of millions of dollars per individual portfolio; financial compliance reviews; submitting financial reports; providing financial guidance to Principal Investigators, Business Managers, Budget Directors, and others within UT departments; serving as financial point of contact with outside sponsors; and accounts receivable collections. SPA accountants for the flagship campus are responsible for more accounts, more externally-funded dollars, more unique sponsors, and a more diverse customer mix than accountants at any of the sister campuses state-wide. SPA accountants also provide services to these other campuses, such as training, compliance-monitoring, and letter of credit draws. At the Knoxville campus, SPA accountants manage seven times more sponsored accounts and externally-funded dollars than departmental accounting personnel. Each SPA accountant manages, on average, over $40 million in external funding and is responsible for mitigating institutional risk related to these funds. This is a very fast-paced, high volume environment in which one must be able to manage multiple deadlines; exercise good judgment and decision making skills; apply knowledge of UT fiscal policy, federal regulations, and sponsors' terms and conditions; and conform to those requirements to reduce the risk of loss of funds for the University. The Accountant Level I has substantial accountability, independent decision making capabilities, and handles numerous sponsors. This position performs financial tasks with minimal supervision, has extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment, and draws conclusions on financial and compliancerelated issues. SPA Accountants provide exceptional service to faculty, staff, administrators, and sponsors regarding the fiscal management of sponsored funds; the mitigation of potential compliance risks and liability; the navigation of research administration tools and systems; and the overall management of sponsored accounts. This position is part of the career path program within SPA involving increasing levels of responsibilities from Accountant Level I, to Accountant Level II, to Accountant Level III, to Manager.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Post-Award Financial Administration: * Provides guidance and oversight to Researchers, Business Managers, Budget Directors, and others within UT departments in the fiscal management of sponsored funds. * Interprets and applies fiscal regulations and guidelines to ensure all Federal, State, University, and private sponsor requirements are met for effective financial reporting purposes. * Evaluates allowability and allocability of costs based on federal regulations, sponsor terms, fiscal policies, and other applicable guidelines to report to sponsors. * Analyzes and effectively resolves problems related to all aspects of financial compliance. * Evaluates sponsors' financial terms and conditions; departmental and sponsors' budgets and corresponding justifications; and financial reporting requirements of awards for efficient and compliant account management. * Monitors sponsor budgets, cost share, subawards, guidelines, and expenses for allowability and compliance. * Manages numerous and competing deadlines to ensure contractual terms and conditions are met and the University is not exposed to financial liability due to missed deadlines. * Proficiently utilizes an array of secure web-based federal, state, and private sponsor systems for financial reporting, letter of credit draws, and reimbursement requests per sponsor requirements. * Monitors accounts receivable to maximize the University's cash flow. Recommends referral of delinquent accounts to UT Legal Counsel. * Prepares reports quarterly, semi-annually, and annually for federal agencies and sponsors as required. * Annually reviews fund balances to properly classify revenues for University financial statements. * Develops, prepares, and maintains the closeout of reports, financial documentation, Schedules of Final Charges, and related work papers that accurately represent financial expenses to sponsors per University fiscal policy and sponsor guidelines. Work papers detail adjustments, reconciliations, justifications, cost share information, program income and all other facets involved in the accurate reporting of a sponsored project. * Manages the largest number of accounts in the office, with the majority being managed electronically or via a federal letter of credit. With promotion to Level II, accountants manage fewer accounts via letter of credit, which means the majority of their portfolio transitions to increasingly complex forms and a variety of sponsor portals. As accountants progress, they must also negotiate with a more diverse customer base to ensure financial and compliance requirements are satisfied and any disputes are mediated to facilitate prompt payment.
Compliance: * Conducts andmonitors compliance activities and accurately appliesrelevantfiscal policies and sponsorrequirementstomitigate the risks of financial liability that could result from Federal, State, University, and private audits. * Analyzes expenditure documentation to determine if allowable, allocable, and consistently applied. * Interprets and enforces award terms and conditions to ensure financial compliance. * Monitors applicable salary cap restrictions,timely effort certification, potential high-risk expenditures, and directs departments on corrective resolutions. * Reviews cost share expenditures, third party, and in-kind cost share to ensure compliance with sponsor requirements. * Participates and assists with internal and external audit relatedissues. * Monitorslimitation of fundsrequirements and advises Researchers, Business Managers, Budget Directors, and others withinUT departments when to contact sponsors for additional funding. * Stays abreast of Federal, State, andUniversity regulationsrelated to research issues by researching materials and attending conferences, among other methods, to advance knowledge and understanding of complex compliance risk-assessment and mitigation.
Collaboration External to Department: * Provides exceptional service to faculty, staff, administrators, and sponsors regarding the fiscal management of sponsored funds; the mitigation of potential compliance risks and liability; the navigation of research administration tools and systems; and the overall management of sponsored accounts. Assists in proactively identifying, proposing solutions, and working towards resolution of complex matters. * Coordinates with departments, Principal Investigators, Controller's Office, Treasurer's Office, General Counsel, and Office of Sponsored Programs for the accurate, timely, and compliant completion of closeout documents. * Serves as liaison with sponsoring agencies regarding fiscal and administrative matters. * Assists in the preparation of related training materials and the organization of workshops to provide guidance to Principal Investigators, Business Managers, and other departmental staff.
Collaboration Internal to Department: * Instrumental in the testing and implementation of innovative digital processes regarding research projects which will position SPA to more closely align with the University's goal to be a Top 25 public research organization and to become more environmentally conscious and cost-efficient. * Provides input and collaborative support to streamline operations, automate processes, formalize procedures, enhance customer service, and facilitate departmental goals. * Serves as a mentor to newly-hired Accountants to guide their professional development. * Collaborates to develop the SPA newsletter and internal training materials to provide guidance.
Internal Number: 208768
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