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University of Massachusetts Amherst Accountant I Commonwealth Honors College in Amherst, Massachusetts

Accountant I Commonwealth Honors College

Apply nowJob no:506745

Work type:Staff Full Time

Location:UMass Amherst

Department:Commonwealth Honors College



About UMass Amherst

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

Develop and implement systems and procedures to improve business processes within Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). CHC is comprised of 12 units that fall under the CHC Major Budgetary unit. Under the direction of the Director of Administration & Finance, manage the business services in the CHC Dean’s office by processing all requests for purchases, reimbursements, travel, faculty grant access, and other business processes. This position processes all undergraduate and graduate student hires, is responsible for the accurate submission of weekly time reporting for all staff and faculty, orientating new CHC faculty & staff, and serves as a liaison to the Controller’s office and Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST). Also responsible for maintaining accounting records for CHC’s 12 units, ensures the seamless operation of CHC in its day to day business processes and operations, and assists with other HR processes as necessary.

Essential Functions

Human Resources:

  • Organize and conduct information sessions for new faculty each semester; this includes obtaining faculty signatures for contracts. Creates and writes informational handouts for reference to explain University policies and procedures.

  • Coordinate procedures for all new and departing employees to ensure seamless orientation to CHC. This includes setting up orientation session appointments for benefitted staff, initiating telephone authorization requests, processing key requests, setting up key card access, informing of University resources, including UCard office and Parking services.

  • Process all Graduate Assistantships for the Commonwealth Honors College and the units. Comply with all guidelines in the negotiated collective bargaining agreement between the University and the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO).

  • Assist the Director of Administration & Finance in preparing and submitting personnel forms for CHC. This includes personnel requisition forms, electronic personal actions, and any necessary related forms (for faculty, professional, classified, hourly).

  • Maintain Student personnel files. This includes maintaining records as required and processing pay increases and encumbrances each semester.

  • Responsible for the accurate submission of staff time each week; including all benefitted and temporary employees, hourly and work-study students, graduate students. Assist staff with questions or concerns in entering their timesheets, provide training when necessary, and run exception reports. Calculate and monitor leave accrual balances for staff when they are utilizing the sick leave bank and work with human resources as needed. Process weekly time and attendance reports as necessary.

  • Enter all CHC student employees into the HRMIS on-line payroll system. Verify identification for completion of I-9 forms, ensure completion of all related paperwork and hiring forms such as, Conditions of Employment, State and Federal Tax forms, or other necessary forms. Analyze and adjust student encumbrance balances. Update student payroll information (pay raises, increase/decrease encumbrances, account changes). Process any necessary changes to student payroll.

  • Provide assistance to new hires in completing necessary paperwork and ensure submission to central HR.

  • As requested by the Director of Administration, gather information, prepare and update spreadsheets, and distribute results. Create documents, reports, and other information as required by CHC, the Provost’s office, or Human Resources offices.

  • Ensure adherence to University and federal/state regulations and collective bargaining agreements on matters related to human resources.

  • Track and monitor personnel processes and actions to include but not limited to new hires, reappointments, federal medical leave act (FMLA), and employee evaluations.


  • Act as liaison between Commonwealth Honors College staff, UPST, and Controller’s Office.

  • Process Purchase requisitions in Buyways, for the college Dean’s office and 12 units within CHC.

  • Setup an internal bookkeeping system and track invoices and payments for units within CHC.

  • Ensure compliance with CHC and University guidelines when making purchases.

  • Advise on the appropriateness and documentation requirements of proposed expenses.

  • Solve complex payment problems by working with the Procurement Office, UPST, and the Controller’s Office Staff.

  • Verify vendor status on the Buyways system and establish vendor codes as necessary.

  • Increase/Decrease Purchase Orders as needed. Process Contract for Services forms if needed for vendor.

  • Maintain and update vendor records.

  • Serve as primary contact with vendors for maintenance and support of general office machines.

  • Provide support to authorized CHC staff “shoppers” using the Buyways punch-out to make purchases.

  • Exercise independent judgment on which vendors to use and which accounts should be charged.

  • Advise staff and make recommendations to faculty on purchase procedures for grants & fellowships

  • Process purchase request forms, recharges, disbursement vouchers.

  • Order college administrative and instructional supplies for CHC staff & faculty and keep stock of inventory.

Certified Travel Preparer:

  • Process all travel authorizations for the Dean, Unit Directors, staff, and faculty of CHC through the TRIP Program, verify travel payments made on UMass Cards, and process employee reimbursements.

  • Provide guidance and advice on travel policies, processes, and procedures to CHC staff.

UMass Card Manager:

  • Ensure accurate records of all CHC staff accounts following procedures established by the Controller’s Office.

  • Archive records annually. Keep all records in compliance with the UMass Card policy and have them available for auditing.

  • Prepare records at auditor’s request.

  • Notify staff of missing expense documents.

  • Responsible for Reallocation of each expense to the correct Unit and Class code within the 30-day available time period.


  • Maintain accounting records for all CHC accounts. There are 20 plus different accounts consisting of: GOF, Gift, and Professional Development Funds.

  • Assist the Director of Administration & Finance in ensuring adherence to budget guidelines by reconciling purchases against requests.

  • Track spending on individual grants and fellowships received by faculty; calculate balances, advise faculty on the policies for spending, and keep them informed of deadlines.

  • Process journal entries to reallocate expenses to the appropriate units, and non-payroll budget transfers as requested.

  • Assist the Director of Administration & Finance with the preparation of budget projections and statistical reports requested by the Dean, Executive Director, or Provost’s Office by providing historical information

  • Run & supply periodic or requested reports to Unit Directors regarding their respective budgets and expenditures.

Other Functions

  • Interpret the University Accounting System (PeopleSoft) to CHC staff in regards to procedures and policies; assist with training and questions on the use of the PeopleSoft financial systems (Buyways, Travel program, UPST).

  • Serve as cell phone contact: Work with IT to order and update cell phone needs of the CHC.

  • Attend training for PeopleSoft systems as needed and learn new computer systems as necessary.

  • Serve as the primary contact for any questions relating to procurement, purchasing, travel, or student hiring for all units and departments within CHC.

  • Develop, revise with approval of Director of Administration, and carry out work procedures in cooperation with other CHC units to ensure effective workflow.

  • Other duties as required.

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

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent

  • Minimum of five years office experience, including at least two years in a supervisory capacity.

  • Must be proficient in spreadsheets and word processing software such as Excel and Word, and have experience with HRIS, Finance, and Procurement systems.

  • Interest and ability to learn and use new software and hardware in a rapidly changing environment.

  • Ability to write, coordinate and prepare reports, publications, etc. in their final form.

  • Ability to analyze and evaluate administrative systems and recommend and implement revised and new procedures to increase efficiency.

  • Ability to interpret and apply HR and University policies and collective bargaining agreements.

  • Ability to speak and write clearly and concisely, work through problems, develop solutions and foster resolution and action.

  • Must have communications skills sufficient to clearly and concisely articulate ideas, concepts and proposals and to interact with a wide range of diverse faculty, staff, and students; critical thinking skills; and facilitation skills.

  • Ability to work effectively with both on-campus organizations including other academic departments and colleges, the Provost’s Office, the Controller’s Office, and various offices and units within Commonwealth Honors College.

  • Ability to balance numerous demands, evaluate competing priorities, weigh issues prior to taking action, and keep projects moving forward productively and efficiently.

  • Ability to handle confidential information in a discrete manner, accept direction, and work well with others.

  • Ability to work with a diverse group of student, staff, and faculty; and coordinate work with administrative staff to ensure tasks are completed.

  • Excellent numerical and mathematical ability (e.g., add, subtract, multiply and divide) with accuracy and reasonable speed.

  • Ability to maintain accurate records and reports in accordance with established policies and procedures.

  • Ability to understand the policies and rules regarding purchasing requirements.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical Office Environment.

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, 8:30-5

Salary Information

USA/MTA Grade 15

Link to salary scale here:

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please include with your online application, a resume, cover letter and the names and 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.

Advertised:Nov 19 2020Eastern Standard Time

Applications close: