The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences is reimagining traditional arts and sciences education in ways that prepare our students for success in an ever-changing, complex world. The College is the most comprehensive of Northwestern’s 12 schools, offering 47 majors to approximately 4,300 undergraduate students. Our goal is to develop in students a Northwestern Mindset – a flexible, adaptable view of the world that seeks to understand the pressing issues of today and transform them into the promising new opportunities of tomorrow. Staff who work in the College think creatively, work collaboratively, and are dedicated to building a strong community.
The hallmark of our distinctive educational model is diversity in all of its manifestations. We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the breadth and depth of our course offerings and to ensuring the intellectual and experiential diversity of our faculty and students. In short, we believe that diversity is an essential value that lies at the heart of our community and one that needs to be actively encouraged and pursued.
The Department of Political Science is undergoing significant, positive change and this position will have a key part in determining new ways to conducting business processes. The Department has strong staff teamwork and is in a strong financial shape. The position will have a wide range of responsibilities and interacts with a wide swatch of people (undergraduates, faculty, graduate students, and administrators throughout the university).
The Financial Assistant provides day-to-day financial and accounting support using an advanced knowledge of applicable skills, methods and practices and some innovation, analysis, and reasoning to choose appropriate alternatives from among pre-defined policies and procedures to complete work that includes successive steps and involves some non-routine problems and/or decisions. This role applies industry and professional standards, university policy and procedure, federal and state laws and other regulations. Provides administrative and/or clerical support.
Maintains and tracks individual budget accounts.
Coordinates annual budget process including tasks associated with the open/close processes.
Updates calendar, spreadsheets, templates and forms; monitors submissions.
Provides reports to managers/PIs in tracking payment status and notification when balances and activities do not comply with policy, procedures or are inadequately prepared.
Creates reports and queries; reviews for incomplete records, data entry errors, and/or accounting mistakes.
May analyze open encumbrances that are no longer valid and recommend appropriate modifications to ensure smooth processing of financial transactions.
Completes and 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 and policy.
Performs vendor/account research as needed.
Obtains additional information from or provides instruction and guidance for customers/vendors; corrects or escalates.
Accesses multiple banking systems to process transactions, retrieve information, and/or initiate wire transfers.
Provides financial policy interpretation to determine the validity of customer requests and ensure compliance.
Contacts outside agencies, banks and/or banking systems to obtain clarification of rules and/or regulations.
Enters information into database.
Grants and/or Awards:
Provides assistance regarding grant financial administration such as preparing financial information for grant submission.
Completes post award accounting.
Sets-up sub-contracts and/or start-up research accounts.
Approves expenditures on travel, consulting and/or equipment, along with various forms, such as Intra Institutional Vouchers, Requests for Accounting Corrections, the Research Assistant and Scholarship Appointments, and/or payroll adjustments, in accordance with granting agency guidelines and University policies and procedures.
Processes subcontract payments according to rules and regulations of granting agencies.
Verifies payroll funding entries.
Corrects charges to various accounts.
Assist the Business Administrator and Research Administrator with the department checklist responsibilities associated with grant closeout.
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.
Provides administrative support in regard to HR matters such as hiring, onboarding, benefits, compensation, etc.
Completes other administrative and/or clerical activities such as organizing meetings; reserving AV equipment.
Assists with training of new staff members
Creates and provides financial training on practice, procedure, policy and/or laws and regulations to customers.
Performs other duties as assigned.
High school diploma or the equivalent.
3 years accounting and/or bookkeeping experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Excellent computer skills including proficiency in the use of spreadsheet, database and word processing software.
Familiarity with financial reporting.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
A bachelor's degree.
Experience working with financials.
Past work history involving working within a complex organization, ideally a research environment within a university.
Experience and familiarity in NUFinancials and COGNOS, and/or PeopleSoft systems.
Familiarity with sponsored projects (grants) and terminology.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Ability to see both the big picture and small details
Strong attention to detail
Ability to clearly communicate to different audiences while using proper grammar
Ability to explain complex information and processes in easy-to-understand language
Ability to summarize problems, develop solutions that adhere to school, university, state and federal guidelines and implement solutions
Ability to think creatively to resolve problems
Ability to prioritize
Ability to work with a broad range of constituencies
Ability to work efficiently and with multiple tasks with various deadlines
Ability to take initiative for projects
Ability to work with confidential information and maintain confidentiality
Ability to ask for help when needed as well as set parameters for department colleagues
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. 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.
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 highl...y collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.