Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Clerk IV - Purchasing Assistant

About UMass Amherst 

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region. 


Job Summary 

The Purchasing Assistant assists with the procurement of goods and services, management of travel registrations and travel reimbursements, and other business support duties as a member of the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) finance and research administrative team. 


Essential Functions 

  • Oversees, reviews, and assists with purchase requests, travel requests, and other business requests. Ensures compliance with financial and travel approvals, fundamental cost principles for grants (OMB Uniform Guidance) and other University policies and procedures.  

  • Advises on best purchasing options, use of vendors, and methods of payment. Researches prices, product characteristics, and vendors for equipment, travel, supplies, and services. Maintains contact with vendors to expedite delivery, resolve problems and process returns. 

  • Purchases goods using a UMass Bank Card under the direction of faculty and Research Administrators. Reallocates expenses to correct account codes and funding sources. Reconciles monthly Bank Card statements and upload statements, receipts, and other required documentation in a timely manner. Initiates any necessary journal entries for corrections. Understands and follows requirements, restrictions, and procedures associated with the Bank Card.  

  • Creates purchase requisitions in BuyWays including assembling attachments such as quotes, justifications, contracts, and approvals. Responds to general inquiries from faculty, staff, students, and vendors including, but not limited to, purchase order status, payment status, and the new vendor set-up process. Serves as a receiver of goods in BuyWays. 

  • Reviews submitted purchase requests for goods and services in order to determine purchasing contract compliance and maintains familiarity with Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) and University contracts, verifying pricing match contract parameters and taking appropriate action. 

  • Verifies receipt of goods, process/submit invoices, verifies invoices match the PO/contract, ensuring timely payment to vendors and handling vendor and staff inquiries. 

  • Assists with preparation of faculty and student travel authorizations and reimbursements in accordance with University travel policies and procedures. Reviews and ensures complete and correct paperwork is submitted in a timely manner.  

  • Maintains appropriate documentation for purchasing, travel reimbursements, and payables in order to meet audit and operations requirements. Compiles reports and provides information as necessary by accessing the PeopleSoft and BuyWays systems, as well as departmental records and responds to requests for information as required.  

  • Serves as a liaison between vendors, staff, faculty, the Unified Procurement Service Team and the Controller's office to ensure compliance with University regulations and to resolve discrepancies as they arise. 

  • Maintains current knowledge of University purchasing and accounts payable policies, procedures, and documentation.  

  • Participates in regular staff meetings. Provides feedback for ongoing improvement and documentation of business processes and resources for CICS Finance and assist in the maintenance of templates and forms and other technologies available, such as BuyWays and DocuSign. 


Other Functions 

  • Performs other related duties as assigned or required to meet College and University goals and objectives. 

  • Demonstrates a commitment to outstanding customer service. 


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • High school diploma or equivalent. 

  • Two years full-time, or equivalent part-time, office experience including purchasing, bookkeeping, business administration, or related experience. An Associate or Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, or related field may be substituted for the two years of required experience.  

  • Customer service experience. 

  • Excellent data entry skills. 

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to details with the ability to handle many tasks simultaneously and effectively, complete assignments in a timely manner, and balance the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects. 

  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in assessing compliance with policy where faculty, staff, and/or students' demands conflict with the University. 

  • Ability to work both independently and to be part of an effective team with a highly cooperative and collaborative working style.  

  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students, and off-campus constituents. 

  • Independent initiative. Must have the ability to stay on task and work productively with a minimal amount of supervision or guidance.  

  • Willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation and administration of the College. The ability to adapt and work effectively as the College grows.  

  • Ability to work effectively under pressure.  

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to write concisely, express thoughts clearly, and develop ideas in a logical sequence. Ability to understand and follow complex oral and written instructions and create effective and efficient work processes. Ability to read, understand, apply, and explain rules, regulations, and policies/procedures related to duties. 

  • The ability to think through problems, organize and seek out information, identify key factors and underlying causes, and generate solutions or resolve discrepancies. 

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality. 

  • Strong computer skills including at least intermediate expertise with:  

    • Email 

    • Calendar systems such as Outlook or Google 

    • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs 

    • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets 


Physical Demands/Working Conditions 

Typical office environment. 


Work Schedule 

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30am-5pm
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee's work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the University Staff Association, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University Staff Association collective bargaining agreement, therefore. 


Salary Information 

USA/MTA Grade 13


Special Instructions to Applicants 

Applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and the names and contract information for three (3) professional references. 

To apply, please follow this link: https://careers.umass.edu/amherst/en-us/job/517066/clerk-iv-purchasing-assistant  


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.