For over 50 years, Legal Aid Chicago has resolved critical legal problems that trap people in poverty. Legal Aid Chicago staff prevent unfair evictions from the only decent housing our clients can afford; protect survivors of sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence; secure or preserve desperately needed benefits such as veterans’ benefits, social security or health benefits; assist senior citizens who have been swindled by or robbed of their livelihoods through fraudulent scams; and help children receive the education they need to succeed. As advocates for people living in poverty, Legal Aid Chicago witnesses how structural racism thwarts the health and stability of low-income communities and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Free legal aid is a tool to fight racism in all its forms.
Legal Aid Chicago strengthens the social safety net in our community and ensures that people have a voice in the justice system. Each year we make equal justice a reality for thousands of Cook County families.
Legal Aid Chicago seeks a Chief Financial Officer.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for leading the financial management of the organization and assists with all strategic and programmatic matters as they relate to budget management, fiscal/grant compliance and oversight, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and operating as the primary financial spokesperson for the organization. This position requires strong technical financial skills and planning, decision-making, excellent communication skills and prior supervisory experience. The CFO will recommend and implement high-level system changes, as appropriate, be responsible for finances and budgeting, and be knowledgeable about the day-to-day fiscal issues. The CFO will advise the Executive Director, Deputy Director, management staff, and the Board of Directors on financial and budgeting issues related to the management of the organization and will provide financial thought leadership to the leadership team.
Legal Aid Chicago has an annual operating budget of nearly $17,000,000, over 50 separate grants, and a total staff of 170.
RESPONSIBILITIES WITHOUT LIMITATION
Responsible for annual budgeting and planning process in collaboration with the Deputy Director. Administer and review all ongoing financial plans and budgets. Monitor progress and recommend needed budget changes
Responsible for the overall operation of Legal Aid Chicago accounting, financial and grant reporting systems
Attend all Board of Director meetings and be the liaison to the Board's Budget and Compensation Committee. Prepare and present budget status reports and narratives
Understand and monitor adherence to accounting rules and regulations, financial regulations of the Legal Services Corporation, and all other applicable regulations and rules for grants
Maintain records of all investments and be responsible for reporting on the investments to the Finance Committee and the Board
Oversee annual audit process and resolve queries of statutory auditors
Ensure effective internal controls and ensure compliance with GAAP and applicable federal, state and local regulatory laws and rules for financial and tax reporting
Manage relationships with key service providers including banking, audit and tax
Take hands-on lead position in developing, implementing, and maintaining a comprehensive job cost system
Keep Executive Director, Deputy Director, Board of Directors and management team abreast of Legal Aid Chicago’s financial status
Work closely with the Chief Operating Officer on the financial and tax aspects of the Legal Aid Chicago fringe benefit plans, salary compensation plans, and lease and purchase agreements
Work closely with the Chief External Relations Officer and Chief Strategic Officer and others in the development of the financial and administrative components of grant proposals and reports including monitor expenditures and requirements; do vouchers; create and monitor budgets and staff allocations
Strategic Leadership and Management
Direct and oversee the Accounting functions of the organization and manage the five (5) person Finance team, which includes two (2) accountants, a junior accountant, and an accounting assistant
Review and recommend to Executive Director/CEO and Board Budget and Compensation committee of investment of surplus funds. Serve as point person on all aspects of executing investment decisions approved by the Board of Directors.
Develop and continuously evaluate short and long-term strategic financial objectives
Ensure credibility of Finance team by providing timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial trends and forecasts
Evaluate and advise on the impact of long-range planning, introduction of new programs, strategies, and regulatory action
Establish and maintain strong relationships with senior executives so as to identify their needs and seek accounting and finance related business solutions
Provide executive management with advice on the financial implications of business activities
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The ideal candidate will possess:
Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in finance or accounting, at least two (2) of leadership or management experience, preferably in the non-profit sector
Demonstrated ability to lead and develop finance staff
Advanced working knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, computerized accounting programs; fund accounting, accounts payable and accounts receivable
Knowledge of preparation of financial statements and financial reports, payroll systems and reporting
Proficiency with Excel and Financial Edge or other accounting software
Effective written, oral, and listening skills; ability to maintain confidentiality
Strong interpersonal skills, ability to manage well at all levels of the organization
Strong problem-solving and creative skills and the ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analyses
High level of integrity and dependability with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation
Appreciation of the importance of civil legal aid and the civil justice system, commitment to Legal Aid Chicago’s mission of equal justice for low-income people. Familiarity with the issues faced by poor people
Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, public administration or related field. CPA or Master’s degree in related field preferred
Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Legal Aid Chicago offers generous fringe benefits
Put the phrase “CFO– Legal Aid Chicago” in the subject line of the email. No phone calls, please. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled
Legal Aid Chicago is firmly committed to creating a diverse workplace and is proud to provide equal employment opportunities to all applicants and therefore does not discriminate on the basis of creed, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age religion, marital or parental status, alienage, disability, political affiliation or belief, military or military discharge status, or ex-offender status. Applicants who have experiences with our client communities are encouraged to apply.
About Legal Aid Chicago
For almost 50 years, LAF (formerly Legal Assistance Foundation) has provided free civil legal assistance to people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago. Each year LAF’s more than 70 full-time attorneys, volunteers, and staff help resolve legal problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. In addition to representing individuals in court and administrative hearings, we run community legal clinics, provide know-your-rights workshops, and work with community-based organizations to address emerging issues as well as persistent and chronic problems that affect low-income families. Our work impacts more than 40,000 people each year.