at American Library Association in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description

The American Library Association (ALA) is seeking an experienced and enterprising Controller to lead the accounting team within ALA’s Finance and Accounting department. The Controller,  possessing a strong background in accounting, financial management and non-profit regulations will guide the association in ensuring accuracy and integrity of our financial operations in collaboration with senior leadership contributing to ALA’s overall financial plans and strategies.

Reporting to our chief financial officer (CFO), the Controller will also coordinate the administration and maintenance of ALA’s  key financial software tools and continually look to improve processes and systems.

Key Responsibilities Include:

Financial Reporting and Analysis:

  • Prepare journal entries, and coordinate efforts across multiple units for month-end closing.
  • Responsible for the preparation of accurate and timely financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  • Conduct variance analysis to identify trends, opportunities, and risks, and present findings to the CFO.
  • Manage, direct, and ensure the preparation, review, analysis, accuracy, and timely submission of financial reports including profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets & financial forecasts.
  • Comply with reporting, accounting, and audit requirements imposed by regulatory bodies.
  • Ensure that proper accounting policies, procedures, and internal controls are in place to safeguard the assets of the Association and to ensure that all financial transactions are recorded in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • Guide financial System Implementation and improvement decisions and recommend continuous process improvements to increase efficiency.
  • Coordinate financial audit and serve as the first point of contact with the CPA firm for the audit.
  • Multi-task, prioritize, and manage multiple reporting and special projects and responsibilities.

Internal Controls and Compliance:

  • Develop and implement internal control procedures to safeguard company assets and ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
  • Monitor and enforce compliance with accounting standards, industry regulations, and company policies.

 Cash Management:

  • Manage cash flow, including forecasting short-term and long-term cash needs to support operations and growth initiatives.
  • Monitor working capital levels and optimize cash conversion cycles.

Team Leadership:

  • Provide guidance, mentoring, and leadership to the accounting team, fostering professional development and a culture of accountability.
  • Coordinate and delegate responsibilities effectively to ensure timely completion of tasks.

Process Improvement:

  • Identify opportunities to streamline financial processes, enhance efficiency, and drive cost savings.
  • Implement best practices and technologies to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of financial operations.


This is a regular full-time position based in our Chicago office.

ALA staff are currently working on a hybrid schedule.  Please note that although we have a generous telecommuting policy for our employees, we do not have any truly remote positions in states outside of our workplace sites. 

ALA currently requires that employees be fully vaccinated as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proof of vaccination will be required on or before start date. 

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check and proof of your eligibility to work in the United States.   

Starting salary range negotiable from the mid-120s, based on relevant experience. ALA has an excellent benefit package that includes flexible work schedules, medical, dental, generous paid vacation and a retirement annuity  and a 35-hour work week. You may also qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).



Apply online including a resume and cover letter detailing how your experience makes you a good fit for the ALA.


Send resume and cover letter to:

American Library Association

Human Resources Department

Ref: ControllertFinanceAccting



The American Library Association is an equal opportunity employer:  Disability/Veteran.



  • Required: bachelor’s degree in accounting.  Master's in accounting, or a CPA designation.
  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in a complex not-for-profit entity holding accounting and finance roles, with at least 3 years in a supervisory or managerial capacity.
  • Working knowledge of grants and contributions  accounting and reporting preferred
  • Proficient in financial software and tools, with advanced skills in Microsoft Excel Great Plains and Prophix software.
  • Strong knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and financial reporting standards.
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, organizational, and critical-thinking abilities.
  • Effective communication skills with the ability to present complex financial information to non-financial stakeholders.
  • Detail-oriented with a high degree of accuracy and the ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Strong leadership and demonstrated team management skills.
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Job Posting: 11316115

Posted On: Sep 26, 2023

Updated On: Oct 26, 2023

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