Research Finance Accountant

Date: Nov 9, 2021

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University


Department: Finance 

Job Type: Continuing

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year) 

Campus: Waterloo 

Reports to: Manager, Research Finance  

Employee Group: WLUSA 

Application Deadline: November 30, 2021

Requisition ID: 2834 


Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact.  With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.


Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.


Position Summary:

The Research Finance Accountant contributes to the efficient and effective management of research funds by reviewing grant payroll expenditure requests for eligibility and available funds, as well as monitoring, tracking and preparing/reviewing/signing financial reports on these funds, reducing the risk and liability to the university by proactive financial management of external research funding. The incumbent will provide functional guidance to staff members and will assist in monitoring and reviewing their work. The incumbent liaises with university staff, faculty and external agencies for the purpose of exchanging financial data, and provides accounting procedure direction.  The incumbent works regularly with highly sensitive and confidential information from internal and external sources. This position has a university-wide mandate and is based at the Waterloo campus.  The incumbent provides subject matter expertise to all campuses, requiring regular interpersonal interactions and collaboration with departments at the Waterloo Campus, the Brantford Campus, and external partners. Special attention is given to ensure equitable service delivery across all locations.





  • Prepare, review and sign financial reports, inter-institutional agreements and invoices
  • Prepare grants and contracts financial reports for funding agencies in a timely manner
  • Prepare custom financial reports based on researcher needs
  • Prepare budget to actual and variance analysis reports
  • Update Millennium Research Finance module for research grant details and schedule/delegate monthly reporting tasks
  • Prepare inter-institutional transfer agreements for researchers wishing to transfer research funds to other institutions
  • Schedule reporting deadlines, as required



  • Review research grant payroll requests for eligibility and available funds
  • Provide backup compliance review for research Purchase Card transactions, online procurement system transactions and out of pocket expense claims, as required
  • Exercise judgement in deciding whether an expenditure is allowable based on an understanding of the funding agreement
  • Advising
  • Respond to a variety of queries from researchers, including but not limited to, transactions and balances in research grants, access to funds, eligibility of expenditures
  • Advise researchers on financial matters, funding agencies’ guidelines, financial terminology and standard accounting practices



  • Analyze details of budgets, actual expenditures and encumbrances
  • Prepare and process journal vouchers to transfer expenditures between research grants
  • Review new research grants and contracts, as requested
  • Monitor research grants for deficits, end dates and issues on a monthly basis



  • Provide functional guidance to staff members
  • Collaborate with other departments, particularly Financial Resources and Faculties, regarding issues encountered during compliance reviews, financial reporting etc
  • Special project analysis, reporting and other duties, as required


  • University degree (4 year), majoring in an accounting program
  • Professional accounting designation (CPA)
  • Research Finance experience in a post-secondary institution an asset
  • Three years of related experience
  • Relevant public accounting and auditing experience an asset
  • Advanced Excel skills (Pivot tables, VLOOKUP, macros) and knowledge of other MS Office products (Word, PowerPoint)'
  • Strong decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Experience and keen interest in continuous improvement around processes
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to interact professionally and effectively (oral and written) with diverse constituencies of the university and external contacts
  • Ability to analyze numeric and other data and present it in appropriate format
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in a complex environment
  • Demonstrated ability in providing functional guidance to staff members and monitoring/reviewing their work
  • Maturity of judgement
  • Self-motivator and self-starter


This position has not been deemed eligible for educational equivalencies.  Please refer to the attached link for details.




Position Grade: SH-08

Rate of Pay: $34.86 - $41.03

Hours of Work:This is a full-time, continuing position. The normal hours of work are 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Monday to Friday. Flexibility in hours will be required, including evening and/or weekend work due to the Tri Agency financial reporting deadline each Spring.  When possible, the manager will adjust the work schedule so that no more than 35 hours are worked in a week. 


Job Evaluation Factor Scores:

 WLUSA/WLU Job Evaluation Factors


Education and Experience


Interpersonal Skills


Applied Reasoning and Analytical Skills


Physical Skills


Co-ordination and Planning


Responsibility for Others


Impact of Decisions


Mental Effort


Physical Effort


Multiple Demands and Priorities


Working Environment




Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier's Employee Success Factors.


All Laurier employees and students are required to comply with the University’s Covid-19 mandatory vaccination policy. Prior to attending Laurier’s campuses in-person, you must provide proof of your vaccination status. If you are not fully vaccinated and do not have an approved exemption based on medical/disability or religious beliefs/creed grounds, you will be expected to receive your second dose of the vaccine by no later than October 8, 2021. Prior to becoming fully vaccinated, you will be required to participate in and comply with the University’s rapid testing program and follow all recommended additional health and safety protocols. Details about the mandatory vaccination requirements can be found on Laurier’s website at


Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility. We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources. Contact information can be found at

Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a CV and letter of introduction will be required in electronic form.

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