Senior Expense Analyst

Waterloo (Region), Ontario
May 24, 2024
June 23, 2024
CPA status
CPA Member

Senior Expense Analyst



Reports To

Manager, Payments & Expense Accounting

Jobs Reporting:


Salary Grade:


Effective Date:

February 2024


Primary Purpose


The incumbent works with the Manager and the Payments & Expense team to lead the day-to-day operations and deliver efficient, accurate and timely transaction processing of non-salary expenses and provide excellent customer service to University client groups. They are responsible for ensuring procedures and controls are effectively applied in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, University policies/guidelines, and sound business practices. They provide guidance and direction where professional judgment is required in processing complex transactions. Responsibilities also include actively participating on cross-functional projects and strategic initiatives, recommending policy and procedure improvements, and providing training to Finance staff and clients in the campus community. 


Key Accountabilities


Provide functional expertise in Procure to Pay (P2P) processes:


  • Apply business and systems knowledge to ensure the efficient, accurate and timely recording, reporting and payment of University’s non salary expenses.
  • Ensure the principles of University Business Expenses policy and Guidelines are upheld and applied consistently across the team and University.
  • Apply a strong understanding of P2P policies and guidelines to support and provide guidance to team members and campus partners in complex situations where clear direction is not available and professional judgment and interpretation of P2P policies/procedures is required. 
  • Advise Payments & Expenses team on, and occasionally process, complex, non-routine transactions applying a broad knowledge base including taxation, international financial procedures and diverse business practices. 
  • Provide guidance to team on issues related to invoice holds, accruals and encumbrances. 
  • Identify, recommend, and implement process improvements and best practices with a focus on improving the efficiency of operations and the accuracy of results while maintaining appropriate internal controls.
  • Assess opportunities and propose updates to existing P2P policies and procedures as University needs evolve, collaborating with business units across campus as required.
  • Provide a high quality, consistent level of customer service to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensure all process documentation is created, complete, and updated regularly. 
  • Participate in developing communications to campus partners and other department activities.




Produce financial reports and reconciliations related to University non salary expenditures:


  • Apply a strong understanding of financial systems and their processes, generally accepted accounting principles, and the University’s requirements to produce accurate, complete, and timely financial reports. 
  • Lead the annual financial close process for the team, including preparing or reviewing journal entries, reconciliations, and associated reporting, supporting the year end audit as required.
  • Periodically review/analyze account balances in the ERP system and reconcile discrepancies.
  • Ensure that taxes are being assessed or rebates are taken appropriately and accurately.
  • Communicate with auditors (internal, external, government, funding agencies, etc.), as required.
  • Perform other assignments related to special analysis, development of system reports and organizational performance metrics (KPI’s).
  • Participate in evaluating business and accounting issues including identifying problems, researching alternatives, preparing analyses, and making recommendations.

Apply functional system expertise to drive enhancements:


  • Assist Manager in conducting risk assessments and developing the Finance compliance and controls review program.
  • Assess, improve, and promote strong internal financial controls to minimize risks.
  • Engage with broader Finance on system implementations and upgrades, including leading testing and ongoing maintenance of the ERP system.
  • Collaborate with the Financial Controls & Systems team and participate in business case development for enhancement of the ERP and expense reimbursement systems.
  • Act as a functional expert on cross functional projects, process improvements and strategic initiatives and represent the team in working groups and ad hoc operational discussions with other areas.
  • Keep current in advances in the industry, best business practices, as well as government regulations, using this knowledge to investigate solutions and recommend improvements to existing processes.

Lead and guide the Payments & Expenses team:


  • Support Manager with hiring, training, and mentoring Payments & Expenses team members.
  • Provide Manager with input into performance appraisals of Payments & Expenses team members.
  • Support achievement of team members’ performance goals through informal feedback/coaching.
  • Assist Manager in short and medium term goal setting and planning for the department. 
  • Drive a culture of continuous improvement by working with team members and encouraging them to identify potential efficiencies, leverage financial systems capabilities and adopt new technologies.
  • Guide the team on day-to-day strategy and situational approaches, identify training gaps within the team and broader campus community. 
  • Evaluate team’s workload, ensuring tasks are completed within established timelines and back up is in place for all critical tasks. 


*All employees of the University are expected to follow University and departmental health and safety policy, procedures and work practices at all times. Employees are also responsible for the completion of all health and safety training, as assigned. Employees with staff supervision and/or management responsibilities will ensure that assigned staff abide by the above, and actively identify, assess and correct health and safety hazards, as required.

Required Qualifications 




  • Post-secondary education, including courses in accounting or finance
  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation from CPA Canada required


  • Minimum 3 years’ of progressive experience in a financial/analytical role, including journal entry preparation, reconciliations, financial reporting and financial analysis 
  • Experience in business/systems analysis and projects, including implementations and testing
  • Experience using an enterprise-wide computerized financial information system
  • Experience in a not-for-profit and/or post-secondary environment is an asset
  • Experience in a multi-currency environment is considered an asset


  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage concurrent assignments accurately and efficiently and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and interest in coaching/mentoring others
  • Strong attention to detail, analytical and problem solving skills 
  • Conceptual thinker who is able to research, investigate, analyze and recommend current and potential changes to business processes
  • Proven ability to influence and collaborate within cross-functional teams
  • Excellent computer skills, e.g. M365 
  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Superb presentation and communication skills are required to explain accounting information, organizational procedures and policies 
  • Advanced understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, internal controls and tax-related issues preferred. 
  • High degree of discretion, judgment, tact and diplomacy
  • Familiarity with Unit4, Concur and SharePoint is considered an asset


Nature and Scope 


  • Contacts:  Internally, communication with team members, managers, department administrative staff, faculty members, students, Financial Officers and other campus partners is required. Externally, this position communicates with suppliers in order to resolve account issues, as well as the University’s auditors.  


  • Level of Responsibility: They must provide guidance and strong leadership to the Payments & Expenses team.   The Senior Expense Analyst advises on and directs processing of transactions, reconciling and reporting on University accounts, contributing to cross-functional projects, process improvements, developing policies and procedures and providing training to both Finance staff and others on campus.  The individual must address compliance issues and resolve discrepancies with internal and external client groups.


  • Decision-Making Authority: Responsible for making decisions in addressing client requests, using sound judgment and discretion on behalf of Payments & Expenses team. The individual must be self-directed and able to work independently in providing guidance to the team on processing of transactions, reconciling accounts and resolving a variety of issues. The incumbent must be willing to be accountable and responsible for decisions made in an environment with competing priorities and limited resources. Changes in policies or procedures must be referred to the Manager, Payments & Expense Accounting to approve or determine the appropriate level of approval required.  


  • Physical and Sensory Demands:  Minimal physical demands, typical of a position operating within an office environment. Concentrated, attention to detail is required in an open office environment with competing priorities. The Senior Expense Analyst must be able to manage concurrent assignments and prioritize workload in order to meet deadlines.  On occasion, may be exposed to disagreeable conditions typical of escalated situations and may be exposed to stress and pressure associated with responsibilities.


  • Working Environment: Office based; position is eligible for hybrid work. 

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