Finance: Assistant Controller

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Chautauqua Institution is a ‘not-for-profit’ global convener of dialogue and debate on the most significant issues of the day through engagement across four pillars of arts, education, religion, and recreation.  The Chautauqua Community is located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State and comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine/performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship/programs, and recreational activities.


Mission:  Chautauqua Institution is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social, and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance, and teaching of the arts. 


Vision:  Chautauqua aspires to create an informed, engaged, and renewed public that fosters and actively contributes to a more civil society, nationally and within the various communities represented by its individual constituents and partners. 


Application Procedures

Interested applicants must submit a resume and writing sample (typically a cover letter) for consideration.  You are encouraged to learn more about Chautauqua Institution at and the 150 Forward Strategic Plan at


Position Summary

The Assistant Controller is responsible for financial activities including internal and audited financial report preparation, general ledger, internal controls, accounts payable, accounts receivable, taxes and budget process.  The incumbent will report the Director of Accounting with direction from the EVP/Chief Financial Officer to serve as a trusted advisor to the and provide ongoing fiscal management support throughout the enterprise while safeguarding assets.  


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide accurate and timely financial information to the Director of Accounting and Management Teams. 
  • Maintain general ledger, prepare financial statements/reports with supporting journal entries, and perform account reconciliations.  
  • Performs cash management functions for the broader organization, including operational oversight and support for Cash Control Accountant and seasonal employees.    
  • Functions at primary point of contact for patron credit card inquires and resolution of discrepancies.
  • Direct responsibility for cash receipts, cash disbursements, accounts payable, and internal audits.  File monthly state sales tax returns.
  • Monitor balance sheet account activity/bank reconciliations and accounts receivable/payable.
  • Coordinate and execute monthly charges and reconciliations to Chautauqua Institution.
  • Support Finance, Accounting, and Payroll functions for Chautauqua Institution and, as needed, Chautauqua Hotel Co. 
  • Process payments for Independent Contractors in accordance with federal/state labor laws, internal approval/documentation procedures, and oversee preparation of  year-end 1099s. 
  • Support preparation of audit documents, including account analysis and tax returns for external review. 
  • Collaborate with the Chautauqua Institution Director of Accounting for training/support on legacy accounting software (AS400) with anticipation of taking an active leadership role in accounting system conversation to a modern, cloud-based software platform as part of an organization-wide strategic initiative to mobilize technological resources.
  • Enforce accounting policies/procedures to promote efficiencies, effective operations, and support established internal control processes that relate to fiscal responsibilities.   
  • Perform authorization of hours worked/time off for direct reports in accordance with payroll deadline.
  • Maintain professional working relationships to promote a highly collaborative work environment.


Formal Education & Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s in Business, Finance, Accounting or related field required.
  • 5-years diverse accounting experience, financial reporting, general ledger, cash management and internal control and policy development/compliance required.  

Skills and Abilities

  • Prior experience working with complex/diverse Accounting Software Programs, including functional assessments and system conversions. Working knowledge of Microsoft Suite (especially Excel/Pivot Tables) and Share Point/One Drive. 
  • Ability to identify complex problems and use critical thinking, logic, reasoning, and relevant information to evaluate options and develop solutions.  Technical troubleshooting skills, tools and techniques. 
  • Use of deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning and information ordering to apply rules, combine pieces of information to form conclusions and arrange actions in order according to rules/patterns.
  • Active learning and listening skills to understand implication of new information for current/future problem solving and decision making as well asking questions as appropriate. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and professional communication skills (written/verbal) to interact with internal management and staff at all levels.
  • Exceptional attention to detail coupled with ability to make quick decisions, take initiative and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast paced, high demand environment. Selective attention to concentrate on a task without being distracted.   

Working Conditions and Environmental Hazards

  • Normal levels of office noise from conversation, computers and systems.  Risk of eye strain due to heavy computer usage.   Employee should seek to change visual focus every twenty minutes to alleviate potential discomfort.
  • Travel required to various events, conferences and/or trainings using personal (or occasionally rental) vehicles.  Travel predominately in PA/NY within an approximate 100-miles radius.

Physical Requirements

  • Primarily light work with approximately 85% of work performed sitting at a desk and using substantial/ repetitive motion of fingers, wrists and hands (including grasping).
  • Exerting up to 10 lbs. of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.
  • Stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching and when organizing office, filing paperwork and managing daily administrative tasks using resources at floor/desk/overhead levels.
  • Standing, walking, pushing, pulling and lifting to travel to work events and assist with transportation of materials and/or event set up.
  • Visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal and extensive reading.
  • Talking by expressing ideas and conveying instructions as well as hearing to perceive sound with or without corrections.  Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication.



  • Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Chautauqua Institution Finance, Human Resources/Payroll and Information Technology
  • Cash Control Accountant (direct report) and seasonal staff (indirect reports)


  • Strategic Business Partners, including consultants
  • Vendors and suppliers
  • Community-at-large, including guests and visitors


  • The work schedule requires a commitment of 45-hours/week with flexibility to work evenings, weekends and holidays as required and a willingness to flex up in scheduled work hours (based on business need) – particularly during summer seasonal operations.

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