Staff Accountant, General Accounting

Apply now Job no: 520758
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Controller's Office
Pay Grade: 26
Categories: Professional Staff Union (PSU), Accounting/Finance/Budget

Job Summary

Performs all General Accounting, Accounts Receivable, Billing, and ChartField Maintenance functions within the Controller’s Office.  Supports federal sponsor letter of credit (LOC) activities, other sponsored billing activities, accounts receivables (A/R) processing, and collections efforts.  Responsible for ChartField creation and continuous maintenance.  Creates complex data extracts for interfaces with PeopleSoft, Access databases, and other systems. Ensures the accuracy of the organization's accounting and database records.  Fulfills various general accounting responsibilities, including journal entry review and audit, budget error resolution, and other reporting. Exercises independent judgment to maintain conformance with University, State, and Federal guidelines, as well as GAAP accounting requirements.


Essential Functions

  • Utilizes judgment when assisting departments in developing and interpreting financial reports and University, State, and Federal regulations.  Advises faculty and staff on appropriateness of expenditures and cash/budget status of accounts, in accordance with University policy. Confers and collaborates with other staff to develop and improve support and training to meet all customer needs across the campus.
  • Creates ad-hoc queries of accounting data in PeopleSoft for use in preparing financial analyses and reports for monitoring journal entries, budgetary issues, error resolution, billing and A/R inquiries, sponsored project and ChartField closeouts, trend analysis, etc. 
  • Facilitates the endowment management process across campus, including working with President’s Office and UMass Foundation to create new accounts.  Works with departments to determine spending estimates and assists if any funds need to be encumbered or returned.  Reads and interprets complex endowment agreements in order to conduct a quarterly attestation on selected endowments, and to ensure endowment funds are used in accordance with the agreement.
  • Prepares Letter of Credit (LOC) Draws and fulfills federal reporting requirements utilizing Federal Payment Systems in accordance with Federal Regulations including OMB Uniform Guidance.  Prepares LOC financial reports.  Prepares and generates non-LOC sponsor billings, tracks accounts receivable, assists with solicitation of payments on overdue accounts and other collection efforts and reporting.  Works with Research Accounting to resolve any issues. 
  • Writes complex data retrieval programs to create accounting transactions, update account attributes, and satisfy reporting and reconciliation needs which involve an in-depth understanding of system elements.   Develops, tests, and troubleshoots file uploads, including file transmission using secured FTP, for journal entry data.
  • Performs ChartField Maintenance including creating, updating, and inactivation of ChartField strings within PeopleSoft.  Verifies accuracy and allowability of departmental requests.
  • Processes recharge uploads for departments across campus.  Verifies that data provided to us is accurate and allowable prior to working with UITS to process the batch files. 
  • Assists with the fiscal month-end, and year-end close process.  Processes journal entries related to adjustments to sponsored projects, ChartField closeouts, fund balance transfers, and cross campus transfers. Assists with review and processing of departmental journal workflow transactions, including allowability of transactions and error and issue resolution.  Assists with budget issue resolution related to purchase orders, vouchers, bankcard, and expense transactions.
  • Communicates with Treasurer's Office, Research Accounting, sponsors, and staff to identify and apply cash and electronic receipts.  Posts sponsored research receipts, completes deposit slips, verifies transactions, reconciles sponsored projects and general ledger balances.
  • Assists with Internal and External Audit and any FOIA data requests.  Works with AFIT & UITS for any Software Implementation testing needs.  Assists in the continuous development and implementation of Controller’s Office policies and procedures for general accounting, billing, collections, A/R reporting, receipt application, and cash handling.


Other Functions

  • Understands, is committed to, and supports affirmative action and non-discrimination goals and customer- focused quality services.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and complies with the law and with University policy.
  • Creates a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university-related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others. 
  • Performs other duties as required or requested to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s Degree in business or related field with 1 to 3 years of relevant financial experience. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of financial systems or quantitative analysis and strong computer and technical skills. 
  • Knowledge of automated financial systems, database management systems, financial analysis, and auditing.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and written and oral communication skills.  Experience working in teams. 


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree in accounting or related field
  • Client service experience
  • Experience with research grants and contracts



Reports to the Manager of General Accounting.



  1. Number of non-student employees directly supervised: 0
  2. Number of non-student employees indirectly supervised: 0
  3. Average number of student employees supervised at any given time: 1 to 4


Work Schedule

Monday through Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

In addition the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, & contact information for three (3) 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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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.