Organization: The Chicago Zoological Society (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. The Society is an active partner in wildlife protection programs around the world, including the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the world’s longest-running study of bottlenose dolphins. We have pioneered the field of conservation psychology, the study of how people connect with animals and nature. We are able to reach so many audiences each year, including 2 million zoo guests engaged by unique exhibits and programs; some 250,000 schoolchildren, campers, and families who participate in award-winning science education programs; nearly 24,000 teachers who take part in our professional development workshops; and, diverse communities across Chicagoland. The Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo is known throughout the world as a leader in animal welfare and conservation, this venerable institution also serves as a potent economic engine, top tourism attraction and award-winning educational institution.

The Controller assists the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration in managing, reporting, controlling and evaluating all finance-related functions of the Society thereby maintaining the financial sustainability of the institution. The Controller is responsible for: (1) general ledger reporting including managing the monthly close process, monthly review of all transactions posted to the general ledger, account reconciliations, department level and group level budget to actual reports and management team and Board of Trustees financial reporting packages; (2) planning, managing and controlling the Society’s Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable/Cash Receipts, and Payroll functions; reviewing, developing and administering department policies, procedures and system enhancements to improve productivity, efficiency and security of the Society’s accounting and financial management systems; as well as monitoring of accounting/financial systems and procedures and recommend changes to the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, as appropriate; (3) recommends, develops, and assists Society managers in the maintenance of and adherence to control-related procedures pertaining to purchasing policies; (4) provides leadership to and management of assigned Finance staff; (5) interpretation and application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) as they relate to the Society as well as ensuring all transactions posted to the general ledger are in compliance with GAAP; (6) all bank account maintenance, wire transfers and Automated Clearing House payment, monthly bank account reconciliations as well as monitoring the Society’s daily cash position and processing account transfers as necessary; (7) credit card system vendor relationships, reconciliation of credit card system reports to bank statements, and review of trends in credit card usage at the Society and serve as Administrator/Security Officer of the main credit card systems of the Society; (8) coordinating annual external financial audit including preparation of audit schedules and related supporting documents and financial statements and footnotes and conduct appropriate on-going communication with auditors throughout the year; (9) tax compliance areas including but not limited to sales, use and miscellaneous taxes, payroll taxes, and backup withholding; collection and remittance of all tax withholding and monthly and annual Federal, state and local reporting, and oversees W-2 and 1099/1042 processes.; (10) serve as a member of the Society’s 401k Committee, coordinating annual 401(k) Plan audit, including preparation of audit schedules and related supporting documents and financial statements and footnotes; conducts appropriate on-going communication with auditors throughout the year, and ensures completion and submission of all related tax filings, including extensions for both the 401(k) and Welfare Benefits Plans; (11) actively participates in and supports the employee survey and action planning process, encourages maximum survey participation, shares survey results, and engages all reporting staff in the action planning process, and assures the creation of specific action plans for improvement, monitors and documents progress while incorporating survey action planning into regular work group/department meetings on an ongoing basis and holding staff accountable for implementation of action plans and continuous improvement.; and, (12) supports the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration in engaging the Board of Trustees’ Audit Committee and Finance & Investment Committee.

The requirements for this position include:

Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance required. Masters Degree in accounting or finance highly preferred.

Registered Certified Public Accountant license.

Five plus directly related experience at a comparable level and with similar scope of responsibilities, including supervisory experience.

Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Must be highly proficient in Microsoft Office, including Word, Outlook and in particular Excel.

Experienced with automated accounting and budgeting systems.

Solid, demonstrated financial and analytical skills.

Must be able to work under pressure, juggle multiple priorities, and meet deadlines.

Must be able to deal effectively and tactfully with all levels of staff.

Requires an articulate, well-spoken individual, capable of effectively representing the organization to various audiences, both within and outside the organization.

Must possess strong organizational, follow-up and follow-through skills. Attention to detail, accuracy, completeness and commitment to meeting critical deadlines.

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including verbal, written, and listening required. Ability to maintain confidentiality of privileged information.

High integrity; strong work ethic.

Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.

Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

Work weeks of 45+ hours are not unusual and may include some extended days or weekends to meet established deadlines or for special projects. Individual is expected to be present and visible at employee events and to assist in other areas of Finance as needed. Some local travel may be required.

The desired qualifications include:

Experience with financial reporting to Board of Trustees and subcommittees (i.e., Audit, Finance and Investment, etc.).

Experience with non-profit accounting, including non-profit accounting standards, fund accounting and preparation of IRS Form 990 and 990T.

Experience with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Serenic Navigator.

Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - M/F/V/D.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile. Please visit our website at Please look for requisition #1103.