Reporting to the Managing Director of the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute (McDonald Institute), the Financial Officer is responsible for providing expert advice, financial accountability and management of all McDonald Institute grant funds.
The Financial Officer will perform a wide range of complex financial duties in the analysis, preparation and maintenance of financial records and reports, provide oversight and stewardship of the McDonald lnstitute's financial control systems, and work closely with funding agencies, Research Accounting, Strategic Procurement Services, the Faculties, partner institutions, and University Research Services (URS) to ensure adherence to funding guidelines and policies.
The incumbent will coordinate the lnstitute's annual and long-term budgets and provide advice to the Managing Director on matters related to budget, financial strategy and management.
• Performs routine to complex financial and accounting duties, including processing financial transactions, monitoring cash flows and expenditures overseeing account management, budgeting, financial reporting and planning for the Institute.
• Liaises with partner institutions to ensure timely transfers of funds to, and receipt of financial reports from, all partner institutions, and monitors the budget for activities supported outside of Queen's.
• Ensures accuracy and integrity of related data within the financial system.
• Adheres to compliance and financial reporting requirements as required by the University and the funding agencies through the preparation of summary or detailed financial management reports.
• Provides financial reports to the Managing Director and the Board of Management's Finance and Audit Committee, reviewing status, identifying issues and making recommendations when required. Ensures all planning activities are aligned with the lnstitute's priorities.
• Verifies claims and expenditures to ensure they are processed in accordance with Queen's financial policies or procedures and generally accepted accounting practices.
• Prepares all documents for external audit purposes and supports the audit process.
• Prepare financial forecasts to meet operational and strategic planning requirements for the Institute and the funding agency.
• Review financial policies, internal controls and systems and recommend changes to improve efficiency, standardization and effectiveness.
• Function as the primary liaison with Financial Services, Procurement Services, University Research Services, and the Board of Management's Finance and Audit Committee.
• Monitor and flag to the Managing Director any areas of potential internal control issues and/or financial or other risks to the Institute.
• Monitors and ensures eligibility of expenses, and collection of revenues.
• Assists in identifying and implementing best practices and key performance indicators to improve the McDonald lnstitute's operations and financial position.
• Supports the development and implementation of an effective operations management plan, identifying opportunities for improvement and making recommendations to the Managing Director based on analysis and research.
• Acts as primary support to the Scientific Director for special projects and initiatives related to financial management.
• Provides regular supervision to Program Officer and helps that position forecast, monitor and manage competitive research funds awarded by the institute to applicants from across Canada.
• University degree (preferably in Business Administration), and completion of a professional accounting designation preferred.
• Proven experience in the development, management and administration of a large, complex budget. Several years of progressively responsible management experience, including financial management, planning and project responsibilities, and best practices and processes.
• Satisfactory Criminal Records Check required.
• Proficiency in enterprise-wide data systems is an asset.
• Excellent organizational and planning abilities, well-developed written and verbal communication skills to effectively work with a diverse group of people. Must foster a climate of inclusion and be a team player.
• Advanced skills in Microsoft Office Applications, specifically Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
• A sound knowledge of PeopleSoft (or similar Enterprise Resources Planning system) is preferred.
• Sound knowledge of internal controls/auditing principles.
• Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Superior interpersonal, organization and time-management skills with the ability to cope with multiple demands, manage competing priorities, meet multi-faceted deadlines and deal with confidential material on a regular basis with discretion.
• Ability to interact with a diverse range of people at all levels of the University with the highest professional standards of conduct and with acute sensitivity to the politicalenvironment.
• Excellent judgment and clear and precise communication skills, written, verbal listening and presentation, including a high degree of diplomacy and confidentiality.
• Demonstrate strong analytical and problem-solving skills through researching and analyzing complex problems involving multiple relationships and interactions, where information is incomplete, missing or ambiguous, and pulls diverse information together into a proposal that provides possible solutions.
• Sound project management skills with the ability to plan and coordinate multiple project/work initiatives effectively and simultaneously.
• Ability to present financial information clearly to audiences with varying levels of financial sophistication.
• Ability to generate analyses and financial reports using data from financial accounting systems. Ability to draft policies/proposals and present reports /findings.
• Strong organizational and financial management skills as demonstrated by enrolment in a professional accounting program at a senior level.
• Ability to work with complex software and run a wide range of queries with a corresponding ability to interpret the results.
• Self-starter with the ability to work independently or with little supervision
• Possesses knowledge of best practices in equity and diversity and inclusion objectives in a variety of research-relevant areas, including but not limited to recruiting and staffing, organizational development, and performance management.
• Ability to create insights on how diversity and inclusion contributes not only to people and human resources strategies but to the Institute results as well.
• Assess implications of changes in the financial landscape of the University, or its partners, that will have influence on the McDonald lnstitute's strategic direction and operation, and decide which changes are required for the McDonald Institute budget structure or financial processes as appropriate.
• Determine the most effective approach for complex financial planning and management, and work in consultation with the Managing Director on matters relating to financial strategy and practices.
• Decide on best alternatives or a range of solutions to a given problem, identifying potential risks and benefits to each.
• Determine content and appropriate format of correspondence, reports and proposals.
• Decide on work prioritization and time-management.
• Determine appropriate methodology and analysis in the preparation of financial reports to meet financial standards, reporting requirements, and maximize clarity.
• Make budgetary, reporting and control decisions/ recommendations based on understanding of the Institute objectives.
• Determine proper accounting for project and operations financial transactions based on application of generally accepted accounting principles.
• Prioritize time and duties to ensure that work is completed in a timely fashion to ensure deadlines are met.
• Find solutions to unanticipated problems, decide whether complexity of the problem warrants the involvement or more senior staff.