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Payables Project Leader

Department: Finance Effective Date: September 16, 2008


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Manager, Accounts Payable

General Accountability

The Payables Project Leader manages the strategic direction of payments.  Furthermore, the incumbent provides business analysis and functional leadership in projects related directly or indirectly to Accounts Payable.

Nature and Scope

Finance is responsible for the University’s strategic direction in accounting and reporting, manages the University’s enterprise-wide accounting and reporting systems, and implements best practices in business/accounting processes.  Accounts Payable and Capital Accounting, one section within Finance, contributes to Finance’s mission by managing non-salary expenses, payments, liabilities, and the capital fund (i.e. fund 104 accounts for capital assets and construction).  Results are achieved by managing related policies and procedures, ensuring strong internal controls, implementing best practices in business/accounting processes and keeping abreast of business and technological trends.


The Finance section known as Accounts Payable and Capital Accounting is the responsibility of a Manager.  Other positions reporting directly to the Manager of Accounts Payable and Capital Accounting include:


The Payables Project Leader is responsible for projects related directly or indirectly to the strategic direction of Accounts Payable.   Generally, the projects will result in implementing new or improved business/accounting processes.  The Payables Project Leader is assigned responsibility for writing integrated business cases independently or with the participation of a cross-functional group.  By way of the business case, the Payables Project Leader researches business/accounting opportunities, presents alternatives and recommendations to management.  Upon approval of the business case, the incumbent provides functional leadership in implementing the project.  Typically, cross-functional projects include project managers from Information Systems and Technology, software/service providers and consultants.  In addition, the Payables Project Leaders ensures the accounts payable module is integrated appropriately with the enterprise-wide, accounting system by working with peers in Finance, such as the Systems Administrator and Business Analyst. 


The Payables Project Leader is responsible for the Oracle E-Business Accounts Payable module, its integration with other Oracle modules, and its integration with many departmental systems (i.e. Retail Services, Library and Food Services, etc.).  The incumbent achieves excellence from knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, state-of-art and best practices, strong internal controls, and enterprise-wide systems.  To achieve results, the incumbent uses project management and collaborative tools, such as Sharepoint and AceProject, and reporting tools, such as Cognos Impromptu for desktop and FORE reporting.


Frequently, change accompanies business process re-engineering.  Accordingly, the Payables Project Leader is responsible for supporting the change that accompanies new or revised business/accounting processes.  For the purpose of implementing the approved changes, the incumbent’s responsibilities range from developing or revising policies and procedures with senior management to training staff directly affected by the change.  For example, policies are developed or revised in conjunction with senior management, faculty administrators (i.e. Executive Assistants and Faculty Financial Officers/Analysts), academic support department heads, and peers at other universities and organizations.  The incumbent may provide process or system training to individuals or groups affected directly or indirectly by the change.  The size of the group affected may vary from a few staff to the entire University community.  Also, the delivery method for training may vary from hands-on training, to written manuals, to oral presentations, etc.


At the proficient and expert levels of the Payables Accounting Analyst position, incumbents are expected to gain progressive experience by participating in cross-functional projects.  Throughout the project the Payables Project Leader provides mentoring, coaching, leadership and cross-functional training to the Payables Accounting Analyst.  Accordingly, the Payables Project Leader provides constructive feedback to the Analyst and provides input to the performance evaluation.


The Payables Project Leader is responsible directly for the University’s payment process.  Currently, the payment process is undergoing extensive review and significant process re-engineering is expected.  In particular, re-engineering is expected in terms of processing foreign payments beyond North America and electronic payments within North America.  Given that the University is recognized as best of class nationally and is striving towards the same goal internationally, it is critical that Finance provide the University with state-of-the-art payment processes.  Also, the Canadian Payment Association is changing its long-established standards as it adopts document imaging and electronic processes.  The incumbent provides both strategic and functional leadership in the University’s transition from paper-based to electronic payments.  Also, the incumbent co-ordinates with the Canadian Payment Association, the University’s bank(s) and third-party payment service providers.


One Payables Accounting Analyst reports directly to the Payables Project Leader with a 50% resource allocation for payment processing and the remainder for other assignments in Accounts Payable.  Typically, the Payables Accounting Analyst is at the foundation or proficient level and is responsible for the operational aspects of payments.  The Payables Project Leader manages the Analyst’s assignments, promotes progressive career development and conducts the performance evaluation. 


The incumbent’s assignments are not limited to projects.  The incumbent is expected to have progressive experience in Accounts Payable and Capital Accounting and keep abreast of day-to-day responsibilities.  Accordingly, the Payables Project Leader is a member of the team providing feedback and recommendations to the Manager.  Also, the incumbent may be required to assist with operational responsibilities during peak periods, such as yearend, or in times of scarce resources.  The incumbent’s active participation in operational responsibilities ensures that the strategic direction remains relevant and progressive as compared to the current state in Accounts Payable and Capital Accounting.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions