Located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the American Bar Foundation (ABF) is a nonprofit, independent international research institute committed to empirical, interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes. The ABF offers a rich intellectual community of scholars with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, and staff have ample opportunities to interact with scholars and attend research presentations, such as a weekly Wednesday seminar series. We offer a comprehensive benefits package to eligible employees that includes generous paid time off, health insurance, and retirement.
About the Position
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be responsible for managing, monitoring, and maintaining the day-to-day and long-term finance and budgetary aspects of the ABF. The CFO will be a strategic thought-partner and report to the Executive Director of the ABF. The position is a hands-on and participative one that will lead and develop an internal team to support all areas of the ABF including: finance, business planning and budgeting, faculty activity, pension and other retirement plans, capacity building, human resources, administration, and IT.
The CFO will play a critical role in partnering with the senior leadership team in strategic decision making and operations as the ABF continues to enhance its quality programming and build capacity. The role has a significant level of responsibility and requires confidentiality and discretion in all areas of ABF business.
Financial Management & Reporting
Analyze financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner for the Executive Director, Board, budget managers and faculty; clearly communicate monthly and annual financial statements with the appropriate level of budget variance analysis and recommendations for corrective action.
Manage organizational cash flow and forecasting.
Oversee all financial, project/program and grants accounting (federal and private foundation grant management).
Prepare analyses on various topics as requested by the Executive Director or Board members.
Annual Budget /Strategic Planning
Lead the annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the Executive Director and Board committees, with presentation of preliminary and final approval versions to the Board.
Meet with all budget managers and faculty to determine appropriate level of budgeted expense.
Administer and review all financial plans and approved budgets.
Participate in long-term strategic planning for the ABF’s financial future.
Audit/Form 990 Process
Oversee the annual audit process including the preparation of IRS Form 990 and state tax returns; manage the Accounting Manager’s activities in these areas.
Liaise with Audit Manager and Audit Partner of the external audit firm.
Review audit report and tax forms with senior leadership.
Ensure Board has proper access to the Form 990 prior to filing.
Ensure indebtedness has been properly approved prior to contacting banks for indicative terms.
Solicit bids and negotiate best terms from relationship banks.
With Executive Director and Legal, review documentation prior to execution.
Ensure funds from indebtedness are used for the approved purpose.
Ensure interest payments and principal repayments are remitted in a timely fashion.
Ensure all covenant compliance and other required reporting are delivered within established deadlines.
Work with external investment advisory firm and senior leadership to ensure the ABF investment portfolio is invested within Board-approved allocations by asset sector.
Monitor value of endowment regularly, keep Executive Director and to the extent necessary, relevant Board members, apprised of significant changes, and work with these individuals and the investment advisor to ensure corrective action is taken, as warranted.
Policies and Procedures
Update, improve and implement all necessary business policies and accounting practices.
Enforce all finance-related policies and accounting practices.
Implement a robust contracts management and financial management/reporting system; ensure that the contract billing and collection schedule is adhered to and that financial data and cash flow are steady and support operational requirements.
Act as the ABF Fiscal Manager for federal and private foundation grants.
Work closely and transparently with all external partners including third-party vendors and other institutional relationships.
Monitor and administer employee retirement benefits, including pensions plans.
Other duties as required.
Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance and/or business management required; MBA or CPA highly preferred.
Ten years minimum financial management experience is required, nonprofit management highly preferred.
Experience with investment portfolio management preferred.
Ability to interact well with academic professionals, Board members, and other ABF personnel.
Exceptional organizational ability, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Direct supervisory experience highly preferred.
This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.
This is largely a sedentary role; however, some filing is required. This would require the ability to lift files, open cabinets, and bend or stand as necessary. This position requires the ability to move/lift up to 10 pounds.
Position Type and Expected Hours of Work
This is a full-time exempt position. Generally, days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a 1-hour lunch period. Occasional work outside of these hours is expected in connection with Foundation events, such as participation in Board meetings.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.
The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.
To receive consideration, please send a cover letter and résumé to email@example.com as follows:
Email subject line: Chief Financial Officer
American Bar Foundation
750 North Lake Shore Drive 4th floor
Chicago, IL 60611
No phone calls, please.
About American Bar Foundation
Located in Chicago, the American Bar Foundation (ABF) is a nonprofit, independent international research institute committed to empirical and interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes. The research program is conducted by a residential and external research faculty of leading scholars who are appointed full time at the ABF or jointly with Chicago-area universities. The research program is supported by an annual grant from the American Bar Endowment, contributions from The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation and other supporters, and grants for specific projects from government agencies and private foundations. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of practicing lawyers, judges, and law professors whose professional, public, and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession.