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Department Business Manager - Accountant I
University of Massachusetts Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts
Date Posted 05/13/2021
Admin-Business And Financial Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.



Job Summary

The Economics Department Business Manager provides comprehensive financial management and administration to ensure the smooth operation of department business functions.



Essential Functions

  • Provide budgetary planning information for the department to forecast account balances, revenues, expenses, and department needs for General Operating Funds (GOF), Continuing and Professional Education (CPE), Gift, Research Trust Funds (RTF), Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), Endowments, and Start-Up accounts, as well as federal, state, and private grants.
  • Work with Director of Administration & Research and Department Chair to prepare budget allocations for each fiscal year, determine appropriate spending categories and accounts, and prepare appropriate systems for tracking balances, expenditures, and revenues.
  • Forecast long- and short- term budget projections to ensure appropriate financial coverage for department needs and to offer suggestions for increasing revenue or managing expenditures.
  • Prepare ad hoc, mid-year, and year-end financial reports to analyze spending patterns and trends, to assess adherence to budget expectations, and to forecast future spending. Prepare monthly financial status reports to fault on individual departmental and grant accounts.
  • Provide financial oversight for departmental accounts to ensure accuracy of data and compliance with departmental and University policies. Archive financial documents and transactions according to University, federal and state guidelines.
  • Act as liaison with vendors, subcontractors, and other external agencies to prepare, maintain, and process necessary documents for purchase orders, contracts for services, and sole source documentations. Act as liaison to Procurement, Controller's Office, Office of Grants and Contracts, and other relevant departments on campus.
  • Investigate, research, and analyze financial problems; provide troubleshooting assistance for faculty, staff, and students regarding fiscal policies and procedures.
  • Serve as departmental Certified Travel Preparer and One Card (formerly Procard) Records Manager. Manage Department Card and related expenditures. Process a high volume of travel and research expense reimbursements. Administer financial databases.
  • Advise faculty on policies and procedures regarding internal grant and departmental allocations, external grant accounts, budget restrictions, and set-up of accounts. Advise faculty on travel and One Card procedures and policies.
  • Review, process, and approve daily expenditures via credit card and purchase order; monitor and track encumbrances for undergraduate and graduate student employees, ensure the timely processing and payment of invoices; collect appropriate documentation to enter vendors into vendor system; set-up and monitor established contracts; and update departmental financial calendar to ensure the correct and timely processing of standard transactions.
  • Attend training sessions, workshops, and meetings to develop and maintain skills and knowledge of financial management and fiscal policies.


Other Functions
  • Complete special projects as assigned by the Department Chair or Director of Administration and Research.
  • Serves in a back-up role for other department staff as needed. Performs other duties as assigned by supervisors.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)
  • Three(3) years of experience in accounting or financial management.
  • Excellent ability to work both independently and to be part of an effective team with a highly cooperative and collaborative work style. Ability to adapt and work effectively as the situation changes with independence, competent judgment and discretion.
  • Excellent knowledge of statistical analysis and report creation that adds value to data informed decision-making. Must be able to understand the current practices and strategic goals of the department and use that knowledge to inform data gathering and the development of reports.
  • Extensive knowledge of best financial practices. Expert computer usage skills including spreadsheets (including formulas, graphs and charts), word processing, and databases. Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students and off-campus constituents.
  • Flexibility to work with initiative and willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation and administration of the unit.
  • Extensive organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects.
  • Ability to investigate a situation, seek out additional information and resolve discrepancies. Ability to think through problems, organize information, identify key factors and underlying causes to generate solutions.
  • Must be able to understand, apply and explain rules, regulations and policies/procedures related to duties.


Preferred Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree (in Accounting or a closely related field of study) is preferred.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions:
Typical office environment activity.


Work Schedule
8:30 am – 5:00 pm (37.5 hours per week)


Salary Information
Grade 15



Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply for the position, please submit your application along with a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references.



UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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