The Financial Assistant Provides day-to-day financial & accounting support using an advanced knowledge of applicable skills, methods & practices & some innovation, analysis, & reasoning to choose appropriate alternatives from among pre-defined policies & procedures to complete work that includes successive steps & involves some non-routine problems &/or decisions. Applies industry and professional standards, university policy and procedure, federal and state laws and other regulations. Provides administrative &/or clerical support.
This position directly supports the financial operations of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Clinical Research (CCR) in the NU Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS). The Financial Assistant provides financial analysis, and assists with transaction processing and general accounting services. These functions include compiling data, budget and account analysis, purchasing, accounts payable, and travel/business expense reimbursement processing. This position is also responsible for the general clerical and administrative tasks and applies accounting methods to handle day-to-day operations for the various department and sponsored accounts for the CCR including preparation of financial reports, maintenance of clinical trial databases, invoicing/collections, study close-out reconciliation, and other financial and clerical tasks as needed. Previous financial experience working within a CRO/Pharmaceutical company is highly desired.
Areas of responsibility below:
- Accounting policy & procedure
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Expense reimbursement
- Financial Statements
- Grants &/or awards
- Journal &/or ledger
- Procurement card program
- Purchase orders
- Transfer charges
- Maintains & tracks individual budget accounts.
- Coordinates annual budget process including tasks associated with the open/close processes.
- Updates calendar, spreadsheets, templates & forms; monitors submissions.
- Completes reconciliation procedures.
- Creates summary reports.
- Coordinates &/or provides information for annual salary review process.
- Analysis, Statements & Reporting
- Prepares account, budget, cost, expenditure &/or funds analysis.
- Provides reports to managers/PIs in tracking payment status & notification when balances & activities do not comply with policy, procedures or are inadequately prepared.
- Creates reports & queries; reviews for incomplete records, data entry errors, &/or accounting mistakes.
- May analyze open encumbrances that are no longer valid & recommend appropriate modifications to ensure smooth processing of financial transactions.
- Completes & maintains transactions in enterprise systems.
- Provides review and oversight of all types of financial transactions some of which may be complex in regard to size or duration of account.
- Reviews; ensures approval based on alternatives regarding practice & policy.
- Troubleshoots problems.
- Performs vendor/account research as needed.
- Obtains additional information from or provides instruction & guidance for customers/vendors; corrects or escalates.
- Accesses multiple banking systems to process transactions, retrieve information, &/or initiate wire transfers.
- Provides financial policy interpretation to determine the validity of customer requests & ensure compliance.
- Contacts outside agencies, banks &/or banking systems to obtain clarification of rules &/or regulations.
- Enters information into database.
Grants &/or Awards
- Provides assistance regarding grant financial administration such as preparing financial information for grant submission.
- Completes post award accounting.
- Sets-up sub-contracts &/or start-up research accounts.
- Modifies grant budgets.
- Closes grants.
- Approves expenditures on travel, consulting &/or equipment, along with various forms, such as Intra Institutional Vouchers, Requests for Accounting Corrections, the Research Assistant and Scholarship Appointments, &/or payroll adjustments, in accordance with granting agency guidelines & University policies & procedures.
- Processes subcontract payments according to rules & regulations of granting agencies.
- Reconciles subcontract payments.
- Verifies payroll funding entries.
- Corrects charges to various accounts.
- Provides excellent customer service, over the phone and in person answering standard questions regarding status of requests, policies and procedures for processing transactions, &/or instructions for completing paperwork.
- Instructs & advises regarding options and appropriate courses of action & follows-up inquiries to ensure customer satisfaction.
- Completes other administrative &/or clerical activities such as organizing meetings; reserving AV equipment.
- Coordinates office, lab &/or building repairs & maintenance.
- Maintains inventory.
- Assists with training of new staff members
- Creates & provides financial training on practice, procedure, policy &/or laws & regulations to customers.
- Provides guidance to junior employees.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- High school diploma or the equivalent.
- 3 years accounting &/or bookkeeping experience or the equivalent combination of education & experience.
- Excellent computer skills including proficiency in the use of spreadsheet, database and word processing software.
- Familiarity with financial reporting.
- Clinical trial financial experience.
- Bachelor’s Degree.
- Working knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, methods, and techniques.
- Trained/soon to be trained in NU Business Processes.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Solid interpersonal skills, diplomatic, maintains confidentiality.
- Efficient, able to multi-task.
- Assumes responsibility for one's work; takes initiative.
Previous financial experience working within a CRO/Pharmaceutical company is highly desired.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.