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Principal Finance and Accounting Professional

University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Apr 19, 2024

Job Summary

The Principal Accounting and Finance Professional role (“Principal Professional”) is an exciting opportunity to provide technical leadership and in-depth subject matter expertise in the performance of finance, accounting, and sponsored research duties for the Department of Physics. The Principal Professional engages in the highest level of analysis of unique and complex issues to support effective research financial administration for the department.

The position consistently takes on non-standard, complex, and confidential financial scenarios, guaranteeing all financial transactions, records, interpretations of statements, and expenditure projection reports are aligned with the highest standards of integrity. The position will assist with requests with purchasing, payroll, expense reporting, travel, and other administrative tasks which could include conferences, workshops, and seminars.

As a leading expert and resource within the department, this position may guide less senior staff (i.e., Senior Finance and Accounting Professionals and/or Finance and Accounting Professionals) in areas of expenditure projection, grant documentation, and in interpreting and applying nuanced fiscal policies. This role reports to the Research Operations Manager.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The Department of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder has 75+ faculty, over 190+ research faculty, 300+ graduate students and 450+ undergraduate students.

Our Department is renowned for outstanding teaching, research, and service. Home to award-winning research labs, educators, and Nobel Laureates, the CU Department of Physics is at the forefront of the physics field, with an accomplished faculty devoted to undergraduate and graduate research and education.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Grant, Contract, and Fund Account Management
  • Be responsible for and analyze all activities in assigned research, general, auxiliary, gift, royalty, and plant funds. Independently assess individual project and program accounts, ensuring alignment with GASB principles, state and federal fiscal rules, funding agency regulations, and University and Department policies.
  • Proactively develop and implement procedural modifications to support our ever-evolving project, contract, and grant requirements.
  • Undertake sophisticated post-award management of research contracts and grants, including sub-contracts. Ensure compliance with broader university, college, and departmental guidelines.
  • Liaise with the Office of Contracts and Grants to serve as a resource on grant proposals which includes assistance with budget preparation and required documentation.
  • Regularly prepare intricate periodic and ad-hoc financial reports for senior department partners, including the Department Chair, Director of Finance and Business Operations, and grant project Principal Investigators. Offer expert insight and recommendations based on the reports' findings.
  • Foster and maintain dependable administrative and fiscal relationships with both internal department units and external entities such as the Office of Contracts and Grants, Campus Controller's Office, Procurement Service Center, Human Resources, and the Technology Transfer Office.
  • Regularly collaborate with diverse university-wide departments, understanding and raising broader campus policies and systems to benefit the Physics Department. Serve as a pivotal resource that can impact both the department and external partners.
  • Address non-standard, intricate, and confidential issues by applying advanced professional theories and practices. Regularly innovate to find unique solutions that cater to the specifics of the Physics Department and the broader University framework.
Research Administration
  • Liaise with other staff on the hiring process for undergraduates, Graduate Research Assistants, Visiting Scholars, and Research Faculty. This includes not only authorizing the necessary paperwork but also providing insights into standard methodologies and ensuring compliance with university-wide policies.
  • Perform meticulous monthly reviews and reconciliations of assigned accounts. Use independent discretion to recommend and implement cost transfers, rectify errors, and redirect expenditures to their proper accounts. Serve as a primary resource for account-related inquiries within the department.
  • Support payroll processes related to sponsored research processes as needed, with the support of the HR Manager.
Procurement, Travel, and Expense Reimbursement
  • Evaluate and implement purchasing requests and provide senior-level guidance to ensure all acquisitions align with statutes, rules, regulations, and standard methodologies. Review documentation for accuracy and proper authorization for capital equipment and other purchases.
  • Provide comprehensive support for procurement card, travel card, and reimbursement expense processes.
  • Lead all aspects of the authorization and tracking of payments for supplies and services.
  • Regularly review and innovate upon the data collection processes of the department's systems and subsystems. Lead projects to drive operational efficiencies in procurement and reimbursement, ensuring the Department of Physics remains at the forefront of administrative best practices.
Administrative Support
  • Support and collaborate on the development and enhancement of the department’s shared internal documents, ensuring they remain up-to-date, user-friendly, and aligned with the latest standard methodologies.
  • Responsibility for the life cycle of assistant student aides to the business staff (if applicable)– from hiring to training and performance evaluation.
  • Provide training to Finance and Accounting Professionals (all levels), and other administrative staff as needed to enhance their skills in procurement, travel, and other essential areas, ensuring they're well-equipped to support the department's sophisticated needs.
What We Can Offer

The salary range for this position is $78,000-$83,720 annually.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits , including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder .

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be pioneering. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Bachelor's degree in a related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may substitute for the Bachelor's Degree requirement.
  • 5+ years of experience providing professional-level financial management and administrative support.
  • Experience serving as a financial resource for a variety of partners, ex. staff, faculty, administration, internal and external partners.
What You Will Need
  • Uses high degree of professional knowledge, skills, and experience with recognized expertise in the role.
  • Ability to use self-initiative to resolve complex, unique issues in the performance of job duties and responsibilities.
  • Exercises judgment on highly visible, critical, or confidential matters with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Ability to apply customer service skills to have a positive and productive impact across the Department and serve as a primary resource to the faculty, Principal Investigators (PIs), administrative staff, other departments/units, and external contacts.
  • Potential to assume expanded leadership roles.
  • Excellent oral and oral communication skills to relay accurate, timely, and helpful information to all constituents.
  • Demonstrated ability to use independent judgment to solve a diversity of problems that are non-standard, complex, and critical in nature.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and adhere to the highest degree of professional standards while working with sensitive information.
  • Willingness to take on special projects and duties as assigned in support of wider department and university goals.
  • Advanced proficiency in MS Office software (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), database administration, and willingness to learn new software and processes as needed.
What We Would Like You to Have
  • Bachelor's degree in business, finance, accounting, or related field.
  • 7+ years of experience providing professional-level financial management and administrative support.
  • Expert knowledge of campus and university-wide policies and systems or a demonstrated ability to learn new policies and systems as required.
Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. A current resume.
  2. A cover letter that specifically tells us how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position.

We may request references at a later time.

Please apply by May 5th, 2024 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, please apply through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

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