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Financial Officer

Department: Chemistry Effective Date: May 29th 2007
Grade: USG 7 Reports to: Department Manager

General Accountability

The Financial Officer/Assistant Chemstores Manager reports directly to the Chairman of the department and Department Manager for the effective and efficient day to day administration of financial matters.

Nature and Scope

University financial infrastructure exists in the form of Financial Services department and the Office of Research. Nevertheless, it is essential that a department as large as Chemistry have strong local fiscal management.  Financial arrangements between UW units such as the Dean of Science Office are complex and often take some time to appear on the financial statement. It is a significant responsibility of this position to understand and anticipate nuances of the various financial systems and transactions so as allow strong financial control.


The Chemistry Department has 31 full time faculty members, 17 full time staff and numerous contract/casual employees. Chemistry leads the University in research funding from all granting agencies (Research total for 2005/5 was approx 8 million).  In addition the Chemistry department oversees a growing number of cost recovery operations serving the entire faculty of Science totalling well over 1 million in income.


The Financial Officer’s primary responsibility is to plan, organise and monitor all financial activities of the department including budget forecasting, management accounting, cost accounting, and financial analysis.


The FO collects financial data from all sources and integrates this into relevant and comprehensive communications, providing essential management information to the Chair, Dept manager and other relevant parties. This role requires an in depth understanding of the intent or purpose of financial activities (not simply the amounts involved) in order to parse the relevant from the routine.


This position requires excellent judgement of the relevance and confidentiality of financial data.

Statistical Data

Annual Budgets (approximate)


Department salary                                         3.7 million                                                      

Department non-salary                                 300,000

Special Funds (TEF/ADF/Alumni)                   100,000

Research funding (all sources)                      8 million

Chemistry Stores transactions                                  700,000

Research Analysis Services                            250,000

Undergraduate Supplies Sales                                  50,000


Specific Accountabilities

Financial:  To establish and maintain accounting policies within chemistry to ensure compliance with UW policies. Periodic review of these procedures is necessary to manage changes in technology, UW policy and procedure and government taxation and granting policies.  This will include implementation of changes recommended by Internal/External Audit in consultation with the Department Manager as required.


Participates in the management process of the department by presenting timely financial management reports. These include


Prepares financial and budget analysis as required for special funding implications such as ATOP, CFI, Start up grants and Research Chairs, Federal and Provincial research grants and contracts.


Assures compliance with government granting agencies by preparing reports and audit trails for any departmental matching funds required for special government programs. Liase with faculty and office of research in interpretation and administration of research grants.


Monitors research accounts and provide timely warning to department management of Researchers who may be slipping into dangerous debt levels.


Budget:  Draft the initial departmental budget in consultation with the Chairman and Department Manager.


Prepare quarterly budget reports including projections.


Review initial salary budget prepared by the faculty and consult directly with faculty administrators and UW finance regarding any discrepancies.


Provide statistical\financial data and budget projections to the Chairman as required prior to hiring negotiations and settlements, faculty distribution of special funding.



A second responsibility of the FO is that of Assistant Manager of the Chemstores Facility. The FO assists with many of the day-to-day administrative details of Chemstores, including staff scheduling, pricing and book-keeping.


Supervise full and part-time staff preparing customer statements, accounts receivable memos and journal vouchers for the collection of revenue from Chemstores sales.

 The incumbent must be able, for management and back-up purposes, perform all stores functions including front counter sales, solvent dispensing, liquid nitrogen dewar fills, undergraduate laboratory supply distribution.

Oversee and co-ordinate all bookkeeping functions of Chemstores to ensure compliance with UW policy, including inventory, A/R and tax remittance statements.


Detailed summary:


Prepare elements of budget reports (quarterly).


Researcher Services


Travel claims:            Supervise and backup support staff   (15%)

Departmental Keys:                                                   “

Petty Cash:                                                               “

Management of New Accounts (Stores):                  “

Management of Monthly Chemstores Bills:                “

Chemstores Service backup

Training of Part-time service staff

Check financial statements

Supervise Ethanol Audit preparation

Manage departmental responsibilities for the UW credit card project.

Undergrad Labs

Working Conditions