Job Openings >> Controller
Department:Accounting & Finance

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Controller is responsible for overseeing auditing, accounting, and financial compliance matters of Shedd Aquarium. The Controller shall ensure accurate and timely accounting records and reports, while considering the adequacy and efficiency of procedures and internal controls. The Controller will oversee the work of professional direct reports, including general accounting, accounts payable, and payroll functions. The Controller works across all departments, building close relationships to, ensure proper accounting for Shedd Aquarium. This includes compliance with all appropriate accounting standards and not-for-profit accounting requirements.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.   

  • General
    • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission, and values.
    • Responsible for the day-to-day accounting and financial operations of the organization.
    • Supervise assigned staff, by selecting staff, assigning jobs, training staff, coaching, developing, counseling, addressing appraisal and recognition, and recommending staff salary, promotions, and disciplinary actions.
  • Accounting Management
    • Recommend to the CFO accounting policies and procedures to ensure the accuracy of the accounting records while maintaining or improving internal controls and efficiency of staff.
    • Determine the financial, tax and operational impact of policy and procedures.
    • Supervise the recording and reporting of transactions.
    • Ensure best use of the Aquarium’s financial systems, including reporting and user support
    • Work with the finance team to ensure the monthly close is completed and detailed reports reviewed in a timely manner.
    • In coordination with the VP of Financial Planning and Analysis, analyze monthly departmental and Aquarium-wide financial reports for deviations from budget and emerging trends.
    • Supervise the preparation of audit and tax return schedules in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. Serve as the principal liaison to external auditors and tax return preparers. Recommend changes to these service providers as warranted.
    • Oversee treasury management functions including management of short-term investments.
    • Manage banking relationships
    • Assist in the preparation of reports to the Board of Trustees and management.
    • Review payroll and accounts payable processing.
    • Ensure the accurate and timely processing of payroll and compliance to payroll laws.
    • Monitor cash balances and schedule inter-fund transfers to ensure short-term cash needs are met.
    • Provide accounting information to other departments as requested.
    • Ensure compliance with a broad range of rules and regulations including compliance with the Aquarium’s post issuance bond policy.
    • Ensure appropriate compliance for business licenses, state registrations and lobbying regulations.
    • Ensure tax compliance with UBIT and other requirements.
    • Partner with the Development team to ensure accurate and appropriate treatment on private and corporate gifts and sponsorship agreements.
  • Budget and Long-Range Planning
    • Recommend the budget for the Accounting Department.
    • In partnership with CFO, VP of FP&A, and senior leadership, assist in the development of annual plan in alignment with organization strategy and targets.
    • Partner with the CFO and VP of FP&A in long-range financial modeling and forecasting.
  • Reporting and Annual Filings
    • Work with the finance team to ensure the preparation of the monthly sales tax and transaction tax returns is completed.
    • Ensure timely and accurate completion of the annual financial audit, Single Audit as required, federal Form 990 and other required filings.
  • Risk Management/Compliance
    • Monitor debt outstanding, calculate accrued interest, and initiate the transfers of funds to be available for payments.
    • Ensure compliance with all debt and bond covenants.
    • Work with staff to ensure appropriate monitoring of grant status, projects, restricted contributions, and contracts, including compliance with financial requirements.
    • Ensure continued compliance with solicitation registration.
    • Ensure compliance with required lobbying/advocacy requirements.
    • Ensure compliance with financial grant requirements.
    • Performs internal reviews and audits.
    • Works with the Development team to ensure financial compliance with donor agreements.
    • Ensures compliance with all financial requirements of 501c3 status.
    • Reviews agreements for UBIT and other tax implications.
  • Support the activities of Board Committees.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 


  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Accounting
  • CPA is required.


  • Minimum of 7 years of experience working in accounting, with at least 5 years in a supervisory role
  • Experience in not-for-profit accounting is strongly preferred
  • High level of computer proficiency required, including advanced experience with computerized accounting systems, spreadsheets, and word processing.
  • Sage Intacct proficiency preferred.
  • Strong analytical skills including the ability to work independently
  • A flexible self-starter able to multi-task while also being highly detailed
  • A collaborative approach with a strong service approach; a team player
  • Effective interpersonal/communication skills. Ability to build relationships with external and internal partners and communicate effectively (written/oral). Able to communicate effectively with senior leadership and suggest workable solutions
  • Demonstrated ability to partner and influence at all levels in the organization as a credible, valuable source of information and integral part of the management team
  • Highly organized with demonstrated ability to handle large amounts of data and priorities

We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).
This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications
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