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Financial Controller

Job Location

Occidental, CA


Type of Job



$78,000 annual salary

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jun 16, 2021

About the job

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The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is an 80-acre demonstration, education and advocacy center and organic farm located in western Sonoma County, California. Now in our 27th year, OAEC's work focuses on cultivating ecological literacy and building the capacity of civic and social movement leaders and organizations to guide their communities toward an ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially just future. We offer a diverse and interrelated set of programs and partnerships to achieve our mission, including modeling land-based resiliency, training change makers, building the capacity of communities and organizations, and policy advocacy.



OAEC seeks a talented financial management professional to join our experienced, highly effective and joyful staff collective and oversee the financial and HR activities of the Center’s staff and annual non-profit budget of $2-3 million.

The OAEC Financial Controller reports to the Executive Director and supervises our Bookkeeper and our Retreat and Office Manager. The successful candidate will be responsible for financial management and reporting, human resources, general administration, and management of our Fiscally Sponsored Projects. The Financial Controller will work collaboratively to support the Executive Director and Operations Director in their supervision of the budgets and work plans of each of OAEC’s program and operations departments.

The Financial Controller will play a key role as part of our Staff Executive Council in strategy and decision making around new hires, staff compensation, and long-term planning as the Center continues to enhance its quality programming and good work in the world. This is a tremendous opportunity for a financial systems leader to join the passionate and highly experienced staff of an internationally celebrated land-based, high-impact organization.



Financial Management:

  • Prepare, analyze and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicate monthly and annual financial statements; collate financial reporting materials for all donor segments, and oversee all financial, project/program and grants accounting.
  • Coordinate and lead the annual tax filing and audit process, liaise with external CPA and auditors; analyze and execute any suggested changes.
  • With the Executive Director and the Operations Director, co-lead annual planning and budgeting processes; run regular budget-to-actual reports for each Program Director and Department Manager; keep the Executive Director and Staff Executive Council abreast of the organization’s financial status.
  • Manage organizational cash flow and forecasting.
  • Implement 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.
  • Update and implement all necessary business policies and accounting practices; update the finance department’s overall policy and procedure manual.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal government reporting requirements and tax filings.
  • Supervise the OAEC Bookkeeper, including developing their work plan with them.
  • Support and supervise the Retreat and Office Manager in their role of management of OAEC’s Retreat Program, management of OAEC’s main office systems, and management of the two annual Administrative/Program Interns.
  • Participate in weekly Thursday OAEC staff meetings, and serve on appropriate committees.

Human Resources and Administration:

  • Oversee the payroll and the maintenance of employees’ files. Ensure compliance with labor laws in California and in other states where OAEC staff reside.
  • Administer employees’ benefits programs (health care coverage, worker’s compensation, and 401(k) plan) and manage the related vendor contracts.
  • Negotiate contract and MOUs with our existing and future Fiscally Sponsored Projects (FSPs); onboard managers of new FSPs to OAEC’s financial and HR systems; provide the same financial and HR support to FSPs as to OAEC’s internal programs and departments.
  • With the Executive Director, manage OAEC’s insurance policies.
  • With the Executive Director, manage the detailed lease agreement between OAEC and the land owning entity (Sowing Circle, LLC).
  • Oversee hiring and onboarding processes for new OAEC staff, sometimes also serving on a hiring committee.
  • Maintain employee handbook, and lead periodic evaluations of human resources policies and procedures to identify and implement improvements. Ensure all required trainings are completed by staff members.
  • Schedule and oversee OAEC’s annual staff performance review process, and participate in performance reviews for staff with whom the position will work most closely.
  • Support the Executive Director in preparing for and conducting meetings of the Board of Directors.


(Please do not apply if you do not meet the following requirements)

  • At least 2-5 years of experience as the financial controller and HR administrator for a non-profit or business.
  • Experience with various tax filings (sales tax, property tax, 990, etc.) and legal personnel reporting (EDD, payroll).
  • Familiarity with HR processes and required compliance (i.e. administration of 401(k), health benefits, harassment training, etc.)
  • Fluent working with Quickbooks. Experience with other software interfacing with accounting systems is a plus.
  • Fluent working in Microsoft Office (Excel and Word), and in the Google Drive environment (Sheets and Docs). OAEC staff use Apple Mac computers.
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy in managing the integrity of our financial systems.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to help others understand financial and legal language and processes.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. Interest in and ability to help resolve conflicts within organizational relationships.
  • Ability to be self-motivated and self-managing as this role will require independent work at times, as well as the ability to work as member of the OAEC staff collective.
  • Have enthusiasm for OAEC’s broader mission and programs that work to restore and protect biological and cultural diversity, and to create just and sustainable communities.


  • The annual salary for the Financial Controller is $78,000 per year at 40 hours/week. Compensation rates and raises for all staff are set by the OAEC Staff Executive Council, which is elected by the staff collective.
  • OAEC offers health benefits as well as an employee only contribution 401(k).
  • OAEC offers generous paid time off: a total of 5 weeks and 3 days per year of vacation and floating holidays combined, as well as paid sick time off.
  • The Financial Controller may work part of their time remotely (from home), but will need to work on-site at OAEC at least two days each week, including every Thursday for in-person staff meetings.
  • All staff may enjoy the use of OAEC’s beautiful facilities, including our swimming pond, hot tub and sauna, and wildlands. Staff are invited to harvest from the extraordinary array of organic produce, flowers, and fruit grown in our Mother Garden and orchards.
  • When working on-site, staff may participate in the renowned organic meals prepared for retreats and residents by OAEC’s amazing kitchen staff. Staff may take OAEC courses free of charge, and attend the various theater performances, small concerts, talks and celebrations happening on-site throughout the year. We welcome visits from family and friends.


  • Before applying, please spend some time looking at our website: to better learn about the site, the organization, and to understand what OAEC does in the world. You might also look at a recent Annual Update, and some of the various 3-minute videos on our website, including about our Resilient Community Design Program, our Permaculture for the People project, and a visual tour of our Retreat Center.
  • OAEC actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. OAEC does not discriminate based on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or on any other basis prohibited by law.
  • We are accepting applications until 5:00 pm PDT, Friday, June 25, 2021. Early application is encouraged as applicant screening will begin before the deadline. The Financial Controller will start on or after August 1, when the position is filled.
  • Qualified applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and list of three to five references to “Hiring Manager” at with the subject: “Financial Controller Position.” Resumes without cover letters will not be considered.
  • Please do not contact OAEC directly with questions or inquiries, but refer to this Job Announcement on the OAEC Jobs web page for information. Thank you!
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