Position Profile


Job Title:  Investment Accounting Analyst

Work Unit:  Strategic Business Services, Financial Services, Investment and Debt Accounting Group

Ministry:   Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Competition Number:  1038206

Date:  September 2016
 

Purpose

 

The Investment Accounting Analyst provides the due diligence required to support the preparation of accurate and timely financial statements. The Analyst combines a broad knowledge of investments and investment accounting with strong analytical and computer skills to ensure that investment transactions and balances in the investment funds are complete and properly supported. The Analyst provides expert capacity and support to help the organization achieve its goals during the very busy pension plan year end at December 31 and the government year-end at March 31.

The Investment and Debt Accounting group (IDAG) is a unique and specialized group within the GoA. IDAG is responsible for highly specialized financial reporting for a growing investment portfolio in excess of $90 billion and a growing debt portfolio of approximately $37 billion.  The group reviews and provides accounting advice related to complex investment transactions, financial instruments, investments structures and products.

The group prepares financial statements and investment information for pension plans and insurance funds, endowment funds, the Department’s investment accounts, and the government’s debt portfolio:

Pension Plans and Insurance Funds – Local Authorities Pension Plan, Public Service Pension Plan, Management Employees Pension Plan, Universities Academic Pension Plan, Special Forces Pension Plan, Judges Pension Plan, Long-Term Disability Funds, Alberta Risk Management Fund

Endowment Funds – Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Endowment Fund, Alberta Heritage Science and Engineering Research Endowment Fund, Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund, Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund

Department Accounts – Department of Treasury Board and Finance, Alberta Contingency Account, Consolidated Cash Investment Trust Fund (CCITF), other miscellaneous funds

Government Debt Portfolio – including debt borrowed for the purpose of on-lending to related entities

The group provides investment accounting advice and information to various committees, boards and divisions within Treasury Board and Finance. The group resolves issues and provides work papers to the Office of the Auditor General.

Participating pension plans, insurance funds and endowment funds invest in units of more than 65 pooled investment funds, which hold thousands of securities.

Responsibilities and Activities

  1.

Lead due diligence review and analysis (40%)

  • Assess reasonability of investment income and classification through analytical review:
    • Lead completion of Estimated Investment Return report, on an asset class basis
    • Lead completion of Investment Income Reasonability Report
    • Compare returns to benchmarks and document analysis of attribution
    • Advise Senior Investment and Debt Accountants and management of findings
  • Lead and review analysis of risk disclosure and submit reports to Senior Investment and Debt Accountants and management:
    • Lead completion of monthly Unit Holdings Report
    • Identify restricted cash amounts
    • Identify securities loaned
    • Analyze and calculate investments to be reported in Levels 1, 2 & 3 of the Fair Value Hierarchy on client financial statements
    • Proof read financial statements and review risk disclosure
  • Complete write down assessment:
    • Download list of all securities in investment system (SimCorp, State Street) and summarize securities by pools and asset classes
    • Review all securities where the market value has declined below book cost, and where the decline is significant or has persisted for longer than one year
    • Assess and document the nature of the decline and probability of recovery of value in the short term
    • Prepare a list of securities to be written down by AIMCo and submit findings to Senior Investment and Debt Accountants and management
    • Evaluate the impact of the written down securities, and submit findings to the Senior Investment and Debt Accountants
     
  2.

Lead the preparation of working paper file and statements for the CCITF Investment Pool (10%) –

  • Update file for income, expenses and distributions, and update IMAGIS monthly
  • Update investment fund balance
  • Adjust for accruals
  • Prepare financial statements at year end and submit with the working paper file to the management and Office of the Auditor General of Alberta
     
  3.

Lead supplementary investment reporting (10%)

  • Gather and analyze information from AIMCo’s system to prepare working papers and reports required by Stats Canada and Bank of Canada
  • Prepare Trust Asset note for Department of Treasury Board and Finance financial statements
     
  4.

Lead review and analyze investment cash transactions between client funds and more than 65 pooled investment funds, including, but not limited to:

  • Monthly review and update of IMAGIS accounts for investment transactions (20%)
    • Review investment reports, analyze complex investment transactions and prepare journal entries in accordance with the disclosed basis of accounting
    • Review any unusual transactions, consulting with various groups as necessary. Report findings to Senior Investment and Debt Accountant and management, including recommendations for adjustments and accounting treatment.
    • Lead completion of Pooled Fund Summary Review and Analysis Report each month
    • Process journal entries into IMAGIS, either via upload file or manual entry
    • Process, print and review monthly trial balance after entries have been recorded into IMAGIS
    • Reconcile the trial balance against the expected results, make any adjustments as necessary to correct, and update any processes that triggered an incorrect entry
    • Establish new investment account records in IMAGIS as required
    • Prepare internal reports to identify estimated income allocated to the various clients, and communicate this information to Senior Investment and Debt Accountants and management.
  • Monthly Cash Review and Analysis (20%)
    • Review and analyze bank statements using online banking systems (CIBC, State Street) and investment reports from AIMCo (SimCorp/SSRS, State Street) and Treasury Management (CCITF)
    • Lead completion of monthly Cash Review and Analysis Report
    • Confirm issues and redemptions between pooled investment funds and client accounts
    • Compare balances reported on the bank statements against reports from IMAGIS, AIMCo and Treasury Management
    • Identify and track differences between the bank records and IMAGIS/AIMCo/Treasury Management reports
    • Prepare cash working paper, and process and notify Senior Investment and Debt Accountants of all variances
     
  5.

Other activities

  • Provide capacity to fill in for vacation/illness relief and at busier times of the year for Senior Accountants
  • Assist Senior Investment and Debt Accountant as required with daily debt and GRF transactions
  • Assist in audit by answering questions, explaining activities, providing working papers and analyses of accounts as needed
  • Any other analysis or activities as requested

Scope

 

The Investment Accounting Analyst works in a team of professional accountants who provide accounting and reporting for investments of more than $90 billion in public sector pension plans, endowment funds (including the Heritage Fund), long term disability and risk management funds, more than 65 pooled investment funds and a growing Provincial debt portfolio.

Impact:

Failure to complete the responsibilities of this position would have serious ramifications for the Province’s fiscal plan for the following reasons:

  • The Province’s cash balances would be unknown and unverified resulting in serious control deficiencies and potential loss going undetected.
  • Account balances related to investments and debt, and the related income and expenses, would not be updated in the government’s general ledger system. This would impact the Province’s consolidated financial statements.

Complexity:

  • The Investment Accounting Analyst is expected to understand relationship between transactions processed in complex investment systems and amounts recorded in the bank in order to ensure the completeness and accuracy of a cash balances.
  • Analyzing and reconciling the issuance and redemption of units in the pooled investments funds to the purchases and sales of investments by the client funds.
  • Ensuring the transactions are properly recorded in the government’s general ledger system in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Creativity:

  • The Investment Accounting Analyst will need to adapt quickly to changing systems and numerous complex investment transactions and structures in order to ensure that the Province’s investments are accurately recorded in the general ledger system.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 
  • Well-developed interpersonal, communication and organization skills, ensuring the ability to effectively communicate complex investment structures and transactions.
  • Completion of courses in investments and investment accounting principles and concepts.
  • Experience with complex investment transactions, financial instruments, investments structures and products.
  • Completion of University Degree or NAIT diploma with major course work in accounting plus three years related experience. Equivalencies will be considered.
  • Strong analytical and computer skills.
  • Ability to work with large computerized accounting and investment systems. Knowledge of PeopleSoft (IMAGIS/nVision) and SimCorp (SSRS) is desirable.
  • Knowledge of CCITF and online reporting from CIBC and State Street is desirable.
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Excel (ability to develop and use macros, pivot tables, array and lookup formulas), and Microsoft Access.
  • Experience preparing work paper files and account analysis.
  • Continuing education to keep abreast of current developments in accounting and the investment industry.

 

Back to Top