Research Accountant

California, United States
14 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
14 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Stanford University has changed the world, over and over again. We are one of Silicon Valley's largest employers - and also one of the most unique. Our mission is to educate future leaders and promote interdisciplinary, world-class research and teaching. This passion makes Stanford an intensely creative, rewarding, and challenging place to work. At the same time, our traditions of respect and collaboration sustain a humane, supportive environment in which to pursue your life and your career. Research the creation of new knowledge is key to Stanford’s educational mission. Stanford research has led to breakthrough remedies, devices, tools, and concepts, as well as 25 Nobel prizes for Stanford faculty. Among the inventions and discoveries that have resulted from Stanford research are MRI technology, DNA cloning, the Pill, heart transplantation, and digital music.

The Office of Research Administration (ORA), manages the administrative processes related to the entire lifecycle of sponsored research from proposal submission through award closeout.  ORA submits nearly 3,300 new proposals annually and manages more than 5,500 active sponsored projects.


Reporting to the Director, the Research Accountant will be a part of the Sponsored Receivables Management (SRM) team in Office of Research Administration (ORA). S/he will be responsible for reviewing Aging Report, collections of outstanding receivables, and payment applications for the various projects such as Sponsored, Clinical Trials, and Program Income/Service Centers and ensuring the Oracle Financials system and CRISP system (an auditable system that tracks all clinical trial events, industrial and non-industrial, expected payments and invoiceables) operate in an efficient and optimal manner in conjunction with the University policies, business processes and other University systems. This position will work closely with other team members in Office of Research Administration, including Billing, Collections, Pre-Award, Post-Award, various Departments, and Sponsors.


  • Review and interpret legal documents for financial terms and conditions including but not limited to billing requirements, reporting, and payment terms.
  • Research and identify payments received. Batch and apply payments into Oracle, as requested.
  • Review Aging report and follow up on the outstanding receivables balances by calling and/or corresponding via email to discover reasons for delay or rejection of payment. Enter the notes in  ARC system with a detailed response, follow up action, and follow up date.
  • Work collaboratively with Institutional Representatives, Department Financial Administrators, Billing and Collection Accountants to facilitate the timely and correct application of funds to the correct awards and compliance with sponsor's requirements and university's policies.
  • Able to interpret the payment terms and reconcile the payments received and true collectables by working internally first before contacting the Sponsors.
  • Able to work closely with Departments and reconcile variances for Clinical Trials between CRISP system and Oracle system, if required.
  • Actively participate in testing of new systems and process improvement and provide feedback.
  • Work closely with Closeout Accountants during the final award closeout to ensure the payments for outstanding receivables have been applied timely and accurately.
  • Prepare and review supporting documents for various cash management reports, sponsor requests, and internal/external customers, if pertains to cash applications.
  • Set up new customer numbers and add/update address and contact information.
  • Review unclaimed cash report and identify the payments that belong to Sponsored Receivables Management (SRM).
  • Review on account report and ensure the timely payment applications.
  • Follow up on and research top offsets.
  • Follow up on the payment discrepancies.
  • Respond to collection status inquiries.
  • Recommend write-off or other actions.
  • Download the payments received from Wells Fargo, as needed.
  • Interpret complex University and government policies. Serve as liaison between University, sponsors and department staff. Initiate meetings as needed to resolve issues with process partners, PI, departments, etc.
  • Provide expertise and expert knowledge of grant and payment application procedures, university policies and sponsor regulations, serve as expert resource for department. Engage in analysis of existing systems and make recommendations for improvement and perform testing.
  • Provide guidance and direction to junior staff on reviewing and interpreting complex agreements and applying payment application policy. Train and mentor junior level staff. Lead training sessions as appropriate. 

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

Four-year college degree and five years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong knowledge of contract and grant procedures and ability to apply policies and accounting practices.
  • Advanced knowledge of principles, concepts and theories of accounting.
  • Thorough understanding of key attributes in Oracle and its impact on reporting, collections, and write offs.
  • Experience with Stanford research administration processes including pre, interim, and post award research administration.
  • Strong experience with OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, A-133, Cost Accounting Standard (CAS), GAAP, Federal Acquisition Requirements (FAR), various sponsor policies.
  • Strong working knowledge of Excel.
  • Experienced with Oracle /Stanford systems.
  • Ability to independently diagnose and determine the proper channel of contact using sound judgment. Ability to make decision, provide guidance and directions for junior staff to follow.
  • Skilled to independently analyze complex accounting transactions, and interpret agreements with difficult restrictions using various tools.
  • Excellent customer service skills. Working collaboratively with different process partners, departments, within the organization to achieve best possible outcomes.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Build positive working relationship with departments, various process partners in the university, and within the organization up/down/side levels.
  • Act and behave in constructive manner. Be positive. Set good example for other staff.

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Works calmly under pressure and maintains excellent working relationships with departments, partner groups, and sponsors.
  • Clearly communicates complex principles, concepts and regulatory requirements in simple and actionable terms. Patiently trains various departments, as questions arise.
  • In-depth knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulations and cost accounting standards.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrates excellent time management and organizational skills.


  • Constantly sitting, grasping lightly, use fine manipulation and performing desk-based computer tasks.
  • Occasionally use a telephone.
  • Rarely stand/walk, twist, bend, stoop, squat, write by hand, sort and file paperwork or parts, lift, carry push, and pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


May have occasional extended or weekend work hours during peak business cycles.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description


This position will be located in our new Stanford Redwood City campus which opened early 2019, and will be the workplace for approximately 2,700 staff whose jobs are important to supporting the university’s mission. The campus brings departments together in a collaborative environment that reflects Stanford’s culture and mission. The campus will offer amenities such as onsite cafes and a dining pavilion, a high-end fitness facility with an outdoor pool, and a child care center for Stanford families.

Additional Information

Schedule: Full-time
Job Code: 4471
Employee Status: Fixed-Term
Grade: G
Requisition ID: 83483