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Associate Director, Cost Accounting

Apply now Job no: 503276
Position Type: Staff
Location: Boston Main Campus
Categories: Provost’s Office

About Northeastern:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned experiential approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.

Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network, we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.

Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.

About the Opportunity:

This position will assist in the development and support of the university’s research infrastructure through the NU-RES Finance Office. The Associate Director, Cost Accountant (ADCA) is responsible for the financial oversight of Service Centers including rate planning, development, approval and annual reviews. 


The position will work with research leadership, University Core Oversight Committee, Finance, service center directors and administration to communicate policies, provide guidance to enhance compliance and provide assistance in the development of charge rates for services. The position is expected to have a strong understanding of financial regulatory compliance standards for service centers/cores including Uniform Guidance and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). The position will also assist in the development of the rate agreement for both the F&A and fringe rates which is negotiated with Cost Allocation Services (HHS) in collaboration with the Director, Research Finance. This includes a firm understanding of rate development as well as the application of approved rates on sponsored awards. The position will work with the research finance leadership team on invoicing and cash management of Fee for Service contracts.

The position is expected to foster consultative relationships as well as support a professional internal environment, providing award support and training especially in the area of compliance. The individual is expected to exercise independent judgement and discretion and take initiative in the management of grants and contracts through working collaboratively with Research Enterprise Services and other University personnel. This individual must have strong excel skills and be able to perform complex analysis on large data sets.

A Culture of Service:
The ADCA works with several key stakeholders throughout the University with regard to fiscal compliance of Service Centers, rate development and application and financial monitoring at Northeastern. A key success factor for this role is being current with respect to federal regulations as well as the ability to train others on the application of these regulations. The ability to create and maintain a culture of service, accountability and timeliness is essential.

Compliance and Stewardship:
This role must treat effective compliance as an equal priority, stay abreast of sponsor rules, regulations and policy changes, as well as institutional best practices in research administration and finance. Participate in sponsored research initiatives and projects as assigned, as well as leading the adoption of best practices to promote continuous improvement making sure that the highest quality standards are met.

Major Responsibilities
• Oversee the financial and accounting review, analysis and monitoring of all service center activity at the institution.
• Review proposals for new service centers and approve rates. Complete benchmarking with other institutions.
• Develop policies and procedures for Service Centers/Cores under the UG regulations, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), and other guiding regulations.
• Develop F&A proposal which includes space survey and perform an accounting analysis to maximize rate recovery
• Develop Fringe proposal for annual submission to DCA
• Perform other research related fee for service functions which include invoicing and cash management


• BS/BA or related field is required; MBA a plus
• 5-10 years direct experience in post award administration
• Experience in Service Centers/Core financial analysis and rate development
• Extensive experience working with the Federal agencies/departments in particular HHS, NSF, ONR and CAS
• Excellent analytical, problem solving skills with a high attention to detail
• Excellent excel skills and other analytical tool skills
• Proven customer service skills
• Must be able to work effectively in a team oriented environment
• Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills with the ability to interact with both senior and management and subordinates


Salary Grade:


Additional Information:


Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff.  Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. 

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other  characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

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