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.
Areas of responsibility:
Accounting policy & procedure
Chart &/or account coding
Creating new accounts
Endowment and gift accounting
Procurement card program
Maintains & tracks individual budget accounts.
Coordinates annual budget process including tasks associated with the open/close processes.
Updates calendar, spreadsheets, templates & forms; monitors submissions.
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May analyze open encumbrances that are no longer valid & recommend appropriate modifications to ensure smooth processing of financial transactions.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.
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.
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.
Assists with maintaining inventory.
Assists with training of students and faculty on procedure for submission of expenses for production and travel awards.
Creates & provides financial training on practice, procedure, policy &/or laws & regulations to students and faculty.
Provides guidance to junior employees.
Performs other duties as assigned.
High school diploma or the equivalent.
3 years accounting &/or bookkeeping or other relevant 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.
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.