Chautauqua Institution

  • Financial Controller (Year Round)

    Job Locations US-NY-Chautauqua
    Posted Date 3 weeks ago(2/25/2019 9:56 AM)
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    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 visual and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship/programs, and recreational activities.


    Chautauqua Hotel Company is a for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of Chautauqua Institution, and serves the mission and needs of the Institution.  The Financial Controller assists in and supports the transformation of the organization to a values-driven, entrepreneurial and collaborative team culture in a dynamic organizational landscape.


    Position Summary

    The Financial 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 Executive Vice President/CFO with direction from the Hotel Genera Manager to serve as a trusted advisor to the hospitality management team and provide ongoing fiscal management support throughout the enterprise while safeguarding assets.


    Duties and Responsibilities

    • Provide accurate and timely financial information to Hotel General Manager and Management Team.  Maintain general ledger, prepare financial statements/reports with supporting journal entries, and account reconciliations.  
    • Establish accounting policies/procedures to promote efficiencies, effective operations, and support established internal control processes that relate to fiscal responsibilities.   
    • Analyze revenue and expense performance versus budget on a regular basis, prepare reports for Hotel General Manager, Food & Beverage Director, Management Teams and Institution EVP/CFO.  Reconcile ledger with payroll system reports.
    • Direct handling of cash receipts, cash disbursements, accounts payable, and internal audits.
    • Monitor balance sheet account activity/bank reconciliations and accounts receivable/payable.
    • Coordinate and execute monthly charges and reconciliations to the Chautauqua Institution.
    • Review accounts payable for documentation and approval of payments.
    • Manage receipts and disbursements on a daily basis.  File monthly state sales tax returns.
    • Maintain accurate accounting of lines-of business for fiscal reporting and annual budget development/monitoring.
    • Assist Hotel General Manager and Food & Beverage Director with the development of both capital and operations budget.  Provide annual departmental budget guidelines to all internal departments.  Control capital expenditure appropriations. 
    • Communicate regularly with Hotel General Manager and Chautauqua Institution EVP/CFO regarding trends and variances that will impact year-end and future financial results.
    • Support hotel business plan/approved budget advising Hotel General Manager on success of financial strategies informing future plans/enhancements and determine impact on operations.
    • Prepare year-end audit documents, including account analysis and tax returns for external audit review.  Assist independent auditors with the completion of audits and related tax work.
    • Maintain professional working relationships to promote a highly collaborative work environment. 
    • Collaborate with the Chautauqua Institution Director of Accounting for training/support on legacy accounting software 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 advance technological resources.
    • Act as leader and training resource for diverse Property Management (Opera) and Point of Sale (POS) Systems (Fidelio/Micros), including: monitoring daily functions, extraction of financial data by reporting, navigating system updates, troubleshooting/interactions with internal team and external resources, risk mitigation and data recovery.  Assists as needed in the training of new hires and seasonal workforce.
    • Partner with Hotel General Manager and Human Resources to ensure management team is accountable for timely authorization of hours worked/tipped income for payroll processing and financial reporting.
    • Perform routines audits to support compliance with Federal and New York State Labor Laws, Company Policies/Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures and Service Standards. 


    Formal Education Requirements

    • Bachelor’s in Business, Finance, Accounting or related field required.

     Formal Experience Requirements

    • 7-years diverse accounting experience, financial reporting, general ledger, cash management and internal control and policy development/compliance required. Strong preference given to candidates with accounting experience in Hotel/Hospitality Industry.

    Skills and Abilities

    • Working knowledge of Hotel and Food & Beverage Operations, including but not limited to: SOP’s, P&L, Budgeting, Yield Management, Sales Processes and Federal/State Labor Law.
    • Prior experience working with complex/diverse Hospitality, Point of Sale (POS) and Property Management 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
    • Hotel General Manager and Food & Beverage Director, as well as supporting management/staff
    • Chautauqua Institution Finance, Human Resources/Payroll and Information Technology
    • Chautauqua Hotel Company Board of Director


    • 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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