Job Posting Title: Research Accountant
Grade and Salary: Grade 8
FTE and working pattern: Heriot-Watt University is a campus-based organisation. We do however support connected hybrid working which can be discussed on successful appointment
Organisation Name: Finance Directorate
About Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.
With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs : so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.
Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.
We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.
For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt
About our Team
The Finance team is one of the Professional Services supporting the University's mission and its strategic priorities.
On a day-to-day basis, it does this by delivering a range of financial operations:
routine financial transactional processing in payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable
sound management accounting, including ensuring the availability of accurate and timely financial management reporting; and effective budgeting and planning
effective operation of financial systems
effective and timely delivery of statutory financial reporting
In addition, the Finance department supports the delivery of the University's strategic plan through effective financial planning, including capital investment planning, project appraisal and identification of sustainable funding streams.
Purpose of Role
The purpose of the role is to:
ensure the financial integrity of the transactions associated with all aspects of the University's research activity.
ensure the University's research income and cost is accounted for in accordance with accounting standards, internal policies, and relevant legislation. provide technical expertise to the Finance Directorate and the wider University on technical accounting matters relating to research activity.
Summary of Key Duties and Responsibilities:
Ensure the financial integrity of the transactions associated with all aspects of the University's research activity. Maintain clear and accurate records for audit purposes, complying with University regulations, sponsors requirements, accounting standards and relevant legislation.
Provide technical accounting support to the RGO team, Finance Directorate and the wider University to ensure the University's research income and costs are accounted for in accordance with accounting standards, internal policies and relevant legislation.
Be the expert and key point of contact on research accounting matters to the Finance Directorate and the wider University.
Provide and interpret financial information for external bodies.
Liaise with external partners, such as collaborating Institutions, funding bodies and auditors when required.
Review/prepare journals, accruals and prepayments relating to research.
Ensure appropriate financial controls are embedded in research accounting processes, with an appropriate testing regime that is monitored which allows the role-holder to provide assurance over the financial integrity of the transactions.
Ensure reconciliations are prepared timely and escalate issues to senior management where appropriate.
Liaise with relevant internal and external experts to ensure VAT and Tax matters in relation to research are accurately recorded.
Support the year end audit and statutory accounts process in relation to research activity.
Prepare and submit reports to external bodies to support research funding.
Prepare ad-hoc reports, the reports will include financial information and narrative as required and will involve drill-down to investigate issues.
Oversee the allocation of research costs to the relevant project.
Attend internal and external meetings with senior school management as the expert on the research accounting.
Ensuring relevant ERP processes are embedded.
Frequent interaction with colleagues at all levels, including:
University Senior Leadership Team
Finance Senior Leadership Team
GCFO, Deputy Director of Finance
Education, Qualifications & Experience:
These are the criteria on which the short-listing and recruitment selection will be made
At least five years of post-qualification financial and management accounting experience within a large, complex organisation.
Nationally recognised accountancy qualification e.g., CA, ACA, CPFA, CIMA, ACCA.
Experience of working within a similar environment as outlined above, experience of University Research processes.
Competent in the use of relevant IT packages
Demonstrable substantial professional expertise in own specialism
Well-developed understanding of relevant legal, statutory and governance applications and turning them into good practice
Excellent interpersonal, influencing and presentation skills, able to understand and communicate complex issues effectively
Ability to persuade, motivate and influence
Demonstrable excellent customer service
Demonstrable ability to work quickly, flexibly and accurately in a dynamic, changing and pressured environment
Experience of working closely with stakeholders across all levels of the organisation
Ability to research, analyse and present complex information effectively with good attention to detail
High level planning and organisational skills with the ability to prioritise major developments and to function effectively in a pressured environment
Demonstrable professional and proactive approach
Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team
Experience of working in Higher Education
Competencies, Tasks and Responsibilities
The tasks and responsibilities listed under the following Competency Headings form part of all professional advice and support roles in the University at this level and it is expected that the role-holder will perform them to at least an effective standard at all times.
At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better, which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do.
We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment. Applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered alongside other applications. For further information on this please visit the UK visas and immigrations website
We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g.; part-time working and job share options. The appointment is also conditional upon successful completion of all labour and immigration formalities for non-UK or relevant, and the start date may need to be delayed if the employment visa is not in place.
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Initiative and Problem Solving
Anticipate problems and devise solutions and strategies to mitigate detriment to service and University.
Provide advice and guidance on complex and non-standard queries, using personal knowledge and experience
Use initiative and creative ideas to resolve non-standard problems using experience and reasoning to reach an effective conclusion
Promote and deliver innovative solutions
Prepare and deliver training and briefing sessions to provide tools, techniques and support to relevant customers and stakeholders
As a specialist, provide solutions in a specialised field operating at a high level of competency.
Clear and Consistent Communications
Maintain confidentiality at all times by following university policies and guidance in managing confidential information and personal data
Using all forms of media, including Social Media where appropriate:
Write/review papers, policies, guidance and briefings for internal and external audiences and stakeholders
Write letters, emails and other direct communication to individuals and groups
Provide detailed explanations of systems, procedure or technical information both verbally and in writing
Break down and condense complex systems and procedures into easily understood procedures and processes that may be carried out by others
Communicate clearly on matters relating to your specialist knowledge to non-specialist and senior level audiences
Interpret, prepare, analyse and deliver reports
Communicate and liaise with the whole of the University, as well as regular contact with external bodies.
Planning and Organising
Support the operational planning of short term strategy and provide input and opinion on long term strategy in line with University objectives.
Support the setting of performance standards and regular monitoring processes within the service which will measure and ensure targets are met
Plan, prioritise . click apply for full job details