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Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Vice President, Finance & Controller is responsible for overseeing the accounting and day-to-day financial function of Shedd Aquarium to ensure accurate and timely accounting records and reports, while considering the adequacy and efficiency of procedures and internal controls.  The Vice President, Finance & Controller will oversee the work of professional direct reports, including the payroll function.  The Vice President, Finance & Controller works across all departments, building close relationships to help department leaders identify and meet their needs for financial data, ensuring proper accounting needs are for Shedd Aquarium.

Duties & Responsibilities: 


  • 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.

Financial 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 procedure changes.
  • Supervise the recording and reporting of transactions.
  • Work with the Assistant Controller to ensure the monthly close is completed and detailed reports reviewed in a timely manner.
  • Oversee the staff analyzing monthly departmental and Aquarium-wide financial reports for deviations from budget and emerging trends.
  • Oversee the preparation of the annual audits and tax filings.
  • Oversee treasury management functions including management of short-term investments and coordinating with outside partners for long-term investments.
  • Manage banking relationships
  • Assist in the preparation of reports to the Board of Trustees and management.
  • Review payroll and accounts payable processing.
  • Monitor cash balances and schedules inter-fund transfers to ensure short-term cash needs are met.
  • Provide accounting information to other departments as requested.

Budget and Long Range Planning

  • Recommend the budget for the Accounting Department.
  • In partnership with CFO, Senior Director of FP&A ands senior leadership, assist in the development of annual plan in alignment with organization strategy and targets.
  • Assist in the development and preparation of the overall Aquarium budget and forecasts.
  • Partner with the CFO and Senior Director of FP&A in long-range financial modeling and forecasting.

Reporting and Annual Filings

  • Work with the Assistant Controller 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.



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


  • Minimum of 10 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.
  • 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).

Tagged as: accounting, executive, finance

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