La Jolla - CA Full Time 2 months ago


To start: AUGUST 15th or as soon as possible thereafter (there is some flexibility)
_ www.sdfas.org_


SDFAS seeks an experienced finance and accounting professional (senior controller level) to be its next Director of Finance & Accounting. SDFAS is an independent school in La Jolla, CA with a unique mission centered around bilingualism and global citizenship, approximately 370 students in PK-8, an employee count of 75, and a budget of roughly $8mm. The School has a strong preference for candidates holding CPA, MBA or CMA credentials (or equivalent of any of these) with ideally 5-7 years of experience in the field. Expertise required with GAAP rules, accounting (accrual, cash, fund-based), month-end closings, bank reconciliations, oversight of general ledger, payroll, A/P and A/R, as well as with compliance regulations and technical HR paperwork. Superior financial acumen, a true passion for accuracy with numbers, financial modeling and balance sheet analysis are required. Strong people and team management skills are also essential.


$125k – $140k commensurate with qualifications and experience (and with the range established for an independent private school of our profile, enrollment and size). Exempt position.


  • Prior experience in an independent school or not-for-profit organization? Strongly preferred, not required.
  • Proficiency or fluency in French (or another language)? Strongly preferred, not required.


  • Compelling mission and core values; dynamic and inspiring work environment.
  • Dedicated and supportive faculty, staff, leadership team and board of trustees.
  • Medical, dental and vision benefits (100% of premium covered).
  • Annual 403B matching up to 5% of base salary after the second year of employment.
  • Tuition remission (30%) for PK-8 dependents; need-based financial aid up to 95% if qualifying.


  • Independent, co-educational dual language private school, ~370 students in grades

PK-8. Spacious campus at the top of beautiful Mount Soledad in La Jolla (San Diego).

  • Founded in 1988, we are a unique, dynamic school moving toward greater and greater levels of competitiveness and excellence. We offer a compelling combination of small size, bilingual international programs, and a commitment to social-emotional learning.
  • SDFAS is a recognized leader in international education among San Diego private schools and within the French-American school network.
  • Accredited by the French Ministry of Education/AEFE (one of 52+ such schools in the

United States and 580+ worldwide), California Association of Independent Schools
(CAIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

  • Member of National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), National Business

Officers Association (NBOA) and California Independent School Business Officers
Association (Cal-ISBOA).


  • Senior Leadership Team employee status with regular working hours 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM or 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
  • Exempt employee status with additional hours at times required during scheduled time away from campus, in evenings or on weekends (as needed to ensure the smooth functioning of the organization).


  • Head of School and Treasurer / Finance Committee / Chair of the Board


  • Senior Finance Associate and any others as assigned (including outsourced fractional work staff accountants or human resources staff, if any).
  • HR function’s employee(s) – whether HR tasks assigned internally or partially managed for the School through an outsourcing firm.
  • School’s relationship as lead interlocutor with banks, investment firms, auditors, accountants, insurance and any other brokers, 403B plan management firm, attorneys for matters related to job description functions, or other as assigned.


To apply, please send an email to the attention of Mark Rosenblum, Head of School with a single PDF scan in attachment comprising:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter of interest
  • Professional references – two to three maximum (including former supervisor)


  • Authorization to work in the United States for any employer.
  • Bachelor’s/Master’s degree (or equivalent) in business, finance, business administration, accounting, with –strongly preferred – an advanced degree and/or certificate (MBA and/or CPA or CMA best)
  • Significant high level finance and accounting experience in a not-for-profit or for-profit office setting as the senior or next most senior employee in the department (5-7 years of experience in the field strongly preferred).
  • Knowledge of United States federal and state laws, including California and Federal laws regarding financial reporting for independent schools.
  • Strong financial and managerial skills with proven experience with an organization of similar size and scope, preferably with an independent school in the United States or internationally.
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills and the ability to use sound judgment and work independently in a confidential manner.
  • An open and collaborative management style characteristic of a team player.
  • Demonstrated leader and experienced negotiator with contracts and personnel, comfortable interfacing with a legal team, and working knowledge of building construction.
  • A record of strategic thinking and helping to lead and execute major capital projects and initiatives.
  • Expertise in a variety of computer software applications including Excel, Quickbooks, FACTS and PowerPoint / GoogleSlides, and proficiency with other important billing and office collaboration software such as Google Suite for education, Coast Payroll, databases, etc. (or an ability to quickly learn any of the above).
  • Systems and process expertise and proven track record identifying further efficiencies.
  • Superior filing and archiving design and discipline.
  • A high level of integrity, curiosity and warmth. A growth-mindset, strong work ethic, sense of humor. Commitment and desire to live and espouse the mission and values of


  • Excellent English language skills with excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication. Proficiency in French (or other languages) is a plus though not required.
  • Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters as required by the School together with agreement to adhere as a condition of employment to all of the school’s Covid-19 risk mitigation policies and protocols (if offered the position)
  • Clean DOJ digital fingerprinting background check (if offered the position)
  • Proof of negative TB test (if offered the position)


  • Enact dynamic ‘Next Level’ collaboration and mutually supportive coordination/communication between the finance team/business office, academic divisions and other key leadership departments of the school in support of innovation, efficiency and excellence in realizing the school’s vision and strategic directives.
  • Directly support business development, including existing and alternative/new to-be-developed revenue streams, to further the School’s financial sustainability goals and achieve the school’s strategic vision for people, programs and campus.
  • Serve innovation and process efficiency and enhancement through a strong partnership with the head of school, primary revenue-generating department directors (enrollment / development / enrichment), division directors and other senior leadership members and support staff.
  • Further develop mission and core values-based school culture that is cohesive, validating and respectful of the dignity and worth of every person, while at the same time supporting an evolving school climate change through the critical lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and a dedicated focus to modeling cross-cultural competencies.
  • Innovate in creative ways that leverage Covid-era tools, practices, mindsets and opportunities.

(Non-Exhaustive List)

Finance and Business Office – Oversight

  • Supervise the work of accounting and business office personnel and use standard accounting and bookkeeping procedures. Keep an accurate continuous record of the cash and financial position of the school and manage the finances and financial projections of the school so that the institution remains financially stable.
  • Supervise the collection of any overdue student tuition accounts (A/R).
  • Ensure compliance with the filing requirements of all appropriate Federal, state and local tax returns and other U.S. and French government reports and compliance with all current regulations.
  • Establish and monitor internal financial controls.
  • Prepare a monthly operating statement for the Head of School and the Board of Trustees, or as requested by the HOS or BOT in order to provide data for Senior Leadership Team or Board meetings.
  • Provide a monthly report of expenditures for the use of each individual budget center within the school.
  • Establish a plan, schedule and appropriate modeling of tuition drivers, for the preparation of the annual budget, this in order to facilitate the setting of the succeeding year’s tuition at a Board of Trustees meeting early in the calendar year.
  • Provide for the securing of an annual audit of the school’s financial records and financial position.
  • Oversee all school purchasing, financial investments, banking activities, payroll and benefits programs.
  • Work collaboratively with the Head of School and Director of Campus Operations on strategic planning, long range financial budget projections, capital projects and overall campus planning.
  • Coordinate any capital borrowing arrangements and monitor all loans and indebtedness.
  • Maintain financial relationships with the appropriate agencies of the French government, including the filing of required reports, and ensuring that all of the School’s obligations are fulfilled.

Revenue Drivers – Support

  • Support the Director of Enrollment, Director of Enrichment and Director of Marketing & Communications with financial data and analysis, financial modeling, financial tracking and reconciliation, and vision/strategy
  • Sit as a member of the Financial Aid allocation committee and provide support in assessing financial aid applications, and the modeling, tracking and reporting of financial aid data

Human Resources – Oversight

  • Oversee the technical HR function (internal and/or outsourced employees and processes), with responsibility for overseeing decisions regarding salaries and benefits

for all personnel, including ongoing and annual supervision and evaluation/reviews of support staff.

  • Oversee (establish and administer) personnel programs and policies as they relate to hiring and termination procedures, onboarding and offboarding, time off, workers compensation, training, faculty/staff performance evaluations/reviews and compensation (including benchmarking).
  • In collaboration with HR function employee(s) or consultants, treating, maintaining and distributing a manual/handbook of current faculty and staff employee policies and procedures and instructions.
  • Assist the Head of School or any department directors or HR function consultants, with hiring and termination of all support staff for the administrative offices, including secretarial and clerical personnel and maintenance and janitorial employees (internal and/or outsourced).
  • Oversee the maintenance and upkeep of human resources and financial digital files (and hard copy when necessary) in line with legal requirements
  • Work closely with the Head of School and any designated HR function consultants or outsourced employees, to design the tools and timelines needed for effective annual and ongoing documentation of performance feedback issues, as well as appropriate responses to potential or real emergency risk management issues related thereto.

Campus Operations – Support

  • Work with the Director of Campus Operations and Head of School to assist them in determining an appropriate staffing model and staff levels required to properly support strategic plan goals and day to day operational needs with respect to facilities vision, management and oversight, and notably in the areas of deferred and future maintenance planning campus-wide, daily upkeep of buildings and grounds, landscaping and campus presentation, campus beautification and esthetics, functional use, cleanliness, maintenance, repairs, improvements, security and safety, and quality of student and faculty life, functional use, and esthetic values.
  • Work with the Director of Campus Operations to assist them in overseeing the oversee and support processes related to the request made and follow-through needed to support campus needs and set-up/support requests for school events, including and notably for all parameters related to facilities and services.
  • Work with the Director of Campus Operations to assist them in overseeing the School’s transportation program: schedules and contracts and to assess the performance of transportation companies and their compliance with appropriate state laws and regulations.
  • Support the Director of Campus Operations or Director of Enrichment in their effective management of the food service operation, summer programs and any other enrichment program or international language school partnerships, as well as any new alternative revenue-generating initiative.

Safety & Security – Support

  • Work proactively with the Head of School, Director of Campus Operations and other department or division deans or directors to manage risk at the school, working to ensure above all the safety of students and personnel while on campus and in their use of the facilities.
  • Work to support the Director of Campus Operations in ensuring all safety systems, emergency response plans and procedures, and campus security mechanisms are fully functioning and security systems are operating at the level specified and within the expectations of the School community.
  • Maintain vigilance for situations that could pose a safety or health hazard and recommend appropriate remedial action. Work closely with the School Nurse &

Pandemic Coordinator and with the Director of Campus Operations in this regard.

Emergency Risk Management, Liability & Insurance – Oversight

  • Maintain appropriate levels of insurance to protect the campus and school property, and to cover the liability of the school.
  • Advise the Head and Board in a timely manner of any situations which might have adverse safety or legal consequences for the School.
  • Actively support the Head of School and Director of Campus Operations in being aware and assisting in strategy, consultation and actions to mitigate or resolve any potentially new or emerging ERM issues. Assisting in responding to current or newly arising unavoidable ERM issues in the most sensible and intentionally managed and coordinated ways feasible.

Other Duties

  • Represent SDFAS at various regional, state, and national associations relative to the role of being Director of Finance & Accounting.
  • Support the school and its leadership and set a tone and an example for what best-practices customer service and mission support.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the Head of School.


  • Commitment to Mission and Core Values*

The Director of Finance & Accounting (DFA) should truly and enthusiastically believe in the School’s mission and core values, supporting the vision of the Head of School and the Board of Trustees. The DFA should be a resourceful, well-organized team player.
The ability to consistently work well under pressure and good interpersonal skills should be demonstrated. The ability to get along with diverse personalities, and understand different cultures represented in the school community is a necessary skill. All employees are strongly encouraged to work towards proficiency in both French and
English languages and develop a familiarity and understanding of both cultures.

  • Cultural-interpersonal competencies & commitment to diversity and inclusion*

Demonstrates cross-cultural, inter-relational competencies, is self-aware and shows deep interest in people. Possesses active listening competencies and manifests a commitment to building and sustaining a school culture centered around best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion and belonging.

  • Self-management*

Autonomous, proactive, self-starter who values clarity and commitment at all levels and possesses superior social-emotional and relationship building skills. Functions well in a paced, high-pressured environment; adapts well to and assists others in adapting to and coping with uncertain and/or changing circumstances; possesses a sense of humor and perspective-taking. Regularly engages skill sets in self-care, stress-management and/or mindfulness.

  • Professional development*

Intrinsic motivation and desire to further grow and develop as a professional working in the independent school not-for-profit industry, by seeking ever greater knowledge and deepened skill sets through workshops / seminars, reading / research, peer review, professional networking, piloting innovative projects, taking risks, and constantly practicing self-reflection and collaboration with colleagues.

  • Communication with parents*

Collaborate and build trusting relationships with parents. Effective management of difficult conversations (favoring telephone or Zoom over email; modeling healthy communication; seeking and offering solutions, requesting assistance and input).

  • General remarks on process*

In all activities enumerated above and otherwise involving expenditures or commitments to expend School funds, the Director of Finance & Accounting will take all reasonable steps to assure that the activities are conducted in an effective and efficient manner, comparative costs are obtained and evaluated, and competitive bids are obtained where appropriate, so as to obtain the most favorable products, services and prices and to avoid any favoritism or the appearance thereof.

In its hiring practices, SDFAS is an equal opportunity employer and hires employees without regard to gender, race, religion, color, creed, ethnic or national background, origin, or sexual orientation.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $125,000.00 – $140,000.00 per year


  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Professional development assistance
  • Relocation assistance
  • Retirement plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Vision insurance

Physical Setting:

  • Office


  • 8 hour shift
  • Monday to Friday

COVID-19 considerations:
Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters as required by the School together with agreement to adhere as a condition of employment to all of the school’s Covid-19 risk mitigation policies and protocols (testing, masking, distancing, etc).

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • La Jolla, CA 92037: Reliably commute or willing to relocate with an employer-provided relocation package (Required)


  • Bachelor’s (Required)


  • GAAP: 5 years (Required)
  • Financial acumen: 5 years (Required)
  • Accounting: 5 years (Required)

Work Location: One location

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