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Senior Accountant - 100877 

EOE StatementCarnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran.

Position SummaryThis position reports to the CERT Financial Analyst (FA) and is responsible for providing financial and administrative support in the financial management of these programs with annual funding of ~$91M. The duties include: prepare budgets and financial planning; develop, formulate, and maintain financial summary, trends and variance reports; collect, organize, and in-load budget data; perform budget and forecast analysis; handle monthly account reconciliation; determine accounting errors and process and track payroll redistributions and journal entries; review purchase and travel requests to ensure that sufficient funds are available and appropriate; assist in the development and improvement of financial reporting processes; support collection, interpretation, and production of CERT monthly Project Management (PM) financial snapshots and financial model charts.  Assist with Quarterly Financial Reviews, Internal Reviews, and Project Management Review.

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements:

Education/Training: The qualified candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree as well as familiarity with databases (i.e. Oracle or Hyperion) and word processing packages (i.e. Microsoft Word), and spreadsheets (i.e. Microsoft Excel).

Experience: The qualified candidate must have a minimum of two to four (2-4) years of accounting or financial analysis experience working in a budget or financial planning office (preferably in a fast-paced technical environment that includes interactions with internal and external customers) and working knowledge of financial reporting methods, budgets, and financial practices and procedures.  The candidate should have a skilled, in-depth usage of spreadsheets (Excel), databases and word processing packages.  The candidate should have working knowledge of the OMB Circulars.

Skills/Abilities:  The qualified candidate must have strong analytical, reasoning and problem solving abilities; be able to maintain and understand complex spreadsheets and accept responsibilities for accuracy; have the ability to pay close attention to detail while meeting tight deadlines; be a self-starter and work independently to prioritize responsibilities to meet the goals and objectives of the financial services team as well as provide information to help CERT staff meet their goals. Additionally, the candidate must have strong verbal and written communication skills for presenting and discussing reports with staff of all levels.

The qualified candidate must be able to:

  • Work closely with all levels of personnel including senior management inside and outside of the SEI
  • Enhance communication flow regarding financial matters throughout the institute
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as efficient organizational skills
  • Work independently and on teams
  • Perform complex mathematic and accounting processes
  • Willingly take on new tasks and assume responsibility
  • Streamline processes and suggest ways to make the job more efficient

The qualified candidate must also be skilled in:

  • Maintaining interpersonal relationships and communication
  • Having strong organizational, analytical, reasoning, and problem solving skills
  • Prioritizing work and handling multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Use of databases, spreadsheets (i.e Microsoft Excel) , and word processing packages

Physical Mobility: The candidate must be able to work in a normal sedentary position with some mobility (e.g. accessing internal SEI offices).

Environmental Conditions: The candidate must be able to work in a normal office setting in close contact with a CRT.

Mental: The qualified candidate must have the ability to meet deadlines, handle confidential data, deal with multiple projects, remain calm when dealing with difficult individuals or situations, and work under pressure with frequent interruptions, while maintaining the ability to focus on detail and produce high-quality accurate information.

Other:  The candidate must be able to work outside of normal business hours due to workload fluctuation.  U.S. Citizenship is required.  Applicants must be able to pass a background investigation.  If needed, applicants will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

Preferred Qualifications and Requirements:

Education/Training: The preferred candidate will have a Master’s degree or combination of training and experience as well as:

  • Familiarity with databases (i.e. Oracle or Hyperion) and word processing packages (i.e. Microsoft Word), and spreadsheets (i.e. Microsoft Excel).
  • Working knowledge of SEI financial reporting methods, budgeting, and financial practices and procedure
  • Familiarity with CMU financial accounting policies and procedures
  • Familiarity with OBM Circulars

Experience:  The preferred candidate should have experience and understanding of Carnegie Mellon and SEI financial policies and practices.

Skills/Abilities:  Oracle and/or Hyperion planning tools.


Accountability: This position is responsible for assisting CERT Financial Analyst as well as the Program Managers in the preparation of managerial and financial reports and making recommendations and offering solutions that support departmental/business objectives. This position will work with all levels of personnel to assist with budgeting and financial planning within schedules set by the Financial and Business Services Director. This position is responsible for developing, formulating, and maintaining accurate financial spreadsheets and charts and meeting time schedules in the preparation and distribution of monthly financial reports.

Direction: This position is directly responsible to the CERT Financial Analyst, and is expected to act with limited general supervision with all levels of SEI personnel, up to and including the Director’s Office. Must be adept at interpersonal communications, and must be able to prepare and present material for formal, informal, and informational purposes. Most work is completed independently with minimal supervision; this position is a point of contact for CERT with staff of all levels, assisting with developing specialized analyses in response to business needs.

Decisions: This position works directly with Members of the Technical Staff, Team Leaders, Account managers, Program Managers, Directors, Financial Analysts and others to gather customer needs and requirements and develop reports to fill those needs. This position assists in the preparation of special projects, reports, analyses, and provides recommendations and offers solutions that support departmental/business objectives and improve overall performance.

This position is responsible for monthly and quarterly accounting reconciliation by independently identifying and correcting accounting errors such as payroll redistributions and journal entries and determines which accounts and Oracle Grants Management charging strings should be charged.  This position will review and approve travel and purchase order requests for sufficient funding and correct Oracle Grants Management charge string.

Supervisory Responsibilities: This position does not directly oversee others.


Job Functions or Responsibilities:

30%  Monthly Financial Analysis & Reporting: Complete monthly and quarterly processes of CERT financial closing, working closely with FA each month to prioritize and divide responsibilities; prepare financial reports, summaries, trends and variance reports for internal and external distribution to Financial Services, Programs, and Campus. Liaise with Program staff to provide specialized analysis and answer inquiries, with minimal supervision. Make recommendations to FA and Program staff on courses of action. Provide assistance to FA in conducting and documenting moderate to complex financial analysis projects. Answer complex questions concerning accounting systems policies and procedures.

20%   Account and Expense Management: Work with minimal supervision to find and correct accounting errors and determine which accounts and projects, tasks and awards should be charged. Complete, process, and track payroll redistributions and journal entries. Monitor charge strings related to customer work, lead the process to close these strings and take surplus when work is complete. Make recommendations on which charge strings should be opened, closed, or combined.

15%   Budget Management: Gather, review and verify budget information and in-load the data into the SEI’s planning  system; perform budget and forecast analysis; and  run and verify Hyperion (budget/forecasting system) reports. Liaise with Program staff of all levels to determine customer needs and requirements related to the budget process; develop reports using data from multiple sources to fill Program requirements. Assist in annual budget process for CERT, providing reports on historical budget data and making recommendations for the future year.

10%   PM Snapshots: Assist in the collection, interpretation, and production of the monthly financial snapshots to support the SEI’s Project Management Initiative.

10%   Process Improvement: Assist with the development and improvement of financial reporting processes and the Monthly and Quarterly Reviews process. Assist EBS group with testing and improving the systems capabilities to make the Financial Services group more efficient.

10%   Expense Approvals: Reviews Oracle Grants Management accounts for sufficient funding for purchase and travel requests. Makes recommendations and offers solutions to Programs on appropriate charge strings to use.

5% Other duties as assigned.

100%      TOTAL EFFORT


Organizational Chart:  Chief Financial Officer and Director of Financial and Business Services < Manager, Financial Services < Manager, Financial Analysis < CERT Financial Analyst < Senior Accountant

Carnegie Mellon University is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer – M/F/Disability/Veteran


Job Categories Finance & Accounting 

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