The Taft School, founded in 1890, is a private, co-educational boarding school located in Watertown, Connecticut. Enrollment typically approaches 600 students, including 100 day-students, in grades nine through twelve. The school employs approximately 270 people and operates on a $50M budget, a portion of which is supported by a significant endowment. Employees describe the school’s culture as community-centric and family-oriented. Turnover is low and employees are typically able to achieve a desirable work/life balance.
The Role: Controller
The Controller will be responsible for the overall day-to-day management of the school's financial reporting systems, which include the general ledger and endowment accounting systems, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. S/he will work in close partnership with the CFO to ensure a disciplined, highly-structured and timely financial operating protocol. The Controller will be responsible for leading the annual financial audit, completing IRS and other statutory filings, analyzing data from industry sources, and assisting with meeting all other reporting obligations. The Controller will assist the CFO in the development, modeling, and management of the annual operating budget, as well as on financing activities and longer-term financial modeling. Ongoing responsibilities will include:
Overseeing, directly and indirectly, all activities for accounts payable, accounts receivable, treasury management, bank reconciliations, general accounting and budget monitoring and control.
Directly supervising the Assistant Controller, Students Accounts Manager and Accounts Payable Manager.
Managing and driving all processes to meet deadlines to allow for monthly closings of financial statements.
Maintaining, with the Assistant Controller, all aspects of the ledger and sub-ledgers.
Performing various cash account reconciliations, including transferring funds between accounts, verifying funding availability for A/P processing, initiating wires and ACH payments.
Supervising cash receipts, management and reconciliation, receivable/student accounts and coordinating enrollment communications and activities with admissions.
Working with the CFO and Assistant Controller in the preparation and monitoring of departmental budgets and forecasts, working with other administrators and department heads concerning purchase approvals and budget performance.
Coordinating the annual financial audit and acting as the primary liaison with the external auditors, preparing schedules for various aspects of the annual audit, and compiling financial statements and footnotes.
Along with the CFO, serving as a primary interface with Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO), overseeing and managing endowment draw.
Preparing all periodic surveys and reports for school associations (e.g. NAIS, CAIS, ABOPS, NBOA, etc.).
Ensuring bond compliance, reviewing statements, preparing and evaluating required CHEFA compliance and payments.
Completing the annual 403(b) audit, supplying documentation and requests for information for completion of 5500 filing.
Attending Trustee meetings for Finance & Investment Committee and the Audit & Financial Risk Committee.
Working with the Development Office regarding gift coding and reconciliation, policies, and gift stewardship consultation on a daily basis.
Creating and communicating accounting policies to all school employees and ensuring compliance with policies.
Assisting with miscellaneous tasks as assigned by the CFO.
Candidate Profile & Qualifications
The Controller will be a dynamic leader adept at driving change while implementing the optimal level of process, structure and control for such an organization. S/he will possess at least ten years of accounting and financial management experience, preferably in a non-profit or educational institution. The ability to analyze financial data and prepare financial reports, statements and projections is required, as is attention to detail, excellent verbal and written communication skills and strong interpersonal skills. Other qualifications and traits include:
Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Business Administration with concentration in accounting; Certified Public Accountant, or Master's in Accounting is strongly preferred.
At least three years’ experience in staff supervision.
A sense of humor and a deep commitment to the ambitious mission of The Taft School; commitment to the culture, traditions and philosophy of the educational mission of a residential secondary school.
Ability to multitask and prioritize work while meeting multiple and competing deadlines.
Strong work ethic, capable of maintaining discretion and confidentiality.
Strong financial systems skills are required. Experience with Blackbaud and Fundriver would be preferred.
Additional Salary Information: Compensation and Benefits
The Controller will earn a competitive salary and participate in a highly-generous, above-market benefits package that includes day student tuition at Taft for children (after five years of employment), outstanding health coverage and a significant annual retirement contribution.
About The Taft School
Founded in 1890, The Taft School is a coeducational boarding school for 590 students in grades nine through post-graduate. Living where they learn, academically talented students from all over the world are guided by an extraordinary faculty on a 220-acre campus in western Connecticut. With the motto “Not to be served but to serve” as a moral foundation, Taft graduates matriculate at our nation’s leading colleges and universities. More can be learned about The Taft School at www.taftschool.org.