Director of Finance and Special Projects

Illinois, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 18, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), a non-profit educational consortium of 14 residential liberal arts colleges across five states, seeks a collaborative colleague to serve as its Director of Finance and Special Projects.  

The Director of Finance and Special Projects will focus on day-to-day accounting activities and administrative tasks. They will oversee all aspects of general accounting practices at the ACM (65%) and will also work on a variety of related new and ongoing administrative projects, (35%).

The Director of Finance and Special Projects has responsibility for:

  • all financial and accounting processes (AP, AR, reconciliations, accruals, etc.),
  • annual audit,
  • tax compliance,
  • rented facilities,
  • insurance programs,
  • vendor relationships,
  • budgets,
  • financial modeling,
  • investments,
  • 990 and 5500 filings,
  • payroll, and
  • financial reports and presentations. 

The Director of Finance and Special Projects also translates the long-range strategic priorities of the consortium into high-quality, multi-year financial plans, annual operating budgets, and associated forecasts. Working in close collaboration with consortial staff, the Director of Finance and Special Projects makes sure activities align with and support the ACM mission. 

In terms of special projects, the Director of Finance and Special Projects will have the opportunity to explore and engage in consortial programs and activities and oversee a variety of administrative projects. These include the role and expansion of shared services across the consortium, meeting with the ACM chief financial officers and controllers, financial models for future activities, and other time-sensitive projects. 

The Director of Finance and Special Projects will supervise the work of a Program Administrator on data collection, review, and dissemination. The Director of Finance and Special Projects reports to the ACM President. 

Required Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree, preferably in accounting.
  • CPA and/or MBA.
  • A minimum of 5 years of increasingly responsible experience in finance/accounting, operation management, and planning.
  • Demonstrated skills in all accounting and finance functions, including budgeting, forecasts, cash management, AP/AR, financial reporting, expense and transaction reporting, account reconciliation, tax and compliance reporting, vendor management, and payroll.
  • High level of accuracy, integrity, and moral standards; consistent use of good judgement and best practices in financial management.
  • Ability to be tactical with day-to-day activities and strategic with planning.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences, including Board members, college staff, ACM staff, faculty, students, and parents.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Abila MIP (or a similar accounting system), and the ability to learn custom systems.
  • Ability to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment in an efficient, professional way.
  • Must be detail oriented and work well as part of a team.
  • Ability to travel to meetings in Chicago, on ACM campuses, or national conferences as needed.
  • Ability to work after hours as necessary.
  • A valid driver’s license and the ability to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Satisfactory outcome of a personal background check, which, depending on the position and department, may include professional references, verification of previous employment and education, criminal background check, a department motor vehicle check and/or a consumer credit check. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with a not-for-profit or educational organization. 

Additional Information

This is a full-time, exempt position. While the office is based in Chicago, IL, during the COVID-19 pandemic, telework is anticipated. A fixed telework situation may be available post-pandemic with possible travel to Chicago. Salary dependent on experience. The ACM offers a benefits package including health, dental, 403(b), and a flexible, collaborative environment.

  • Start date: May/June 2021
  • Application deadline: For full consideration, please submit application materials by March 30. 

Application Instructions

If you would like to be considered as a candidate for this position, please send:

  • a letter explaining your interest in the position, the qualifications you would bring, and how you would contribute to ACM goals for this position;
  • a professional resume;
  • available start date;
  • salary requirements; and
  • a list of references, including contact details (who would be contacted only with prior permission). 


Materials should be submitted electronically as attachments, in MS Word or PDF format, to using the subject “Director of Finance and Special Projects.” 

About ACM

The ACM is a consortium of 14 residential liberal arts colleges located in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, founded in 1958. The ACM enriches residential liberal arts education and strengthens members through collaborative initiatives and programs for faculty, students, and staff. The ACM is governed by the presidents of the 14 member colleges and an advisory board of deans. The colleges enroll more than 22,000 students, almost 60% from Midwest states, and have over 2,500 faculty. In the past six years, the ACM has received more than $11 million in foundation support for its programs and initiatives. For more information about ACM, visit; be sure to check out our 2020 Impact Report

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest is an equal employment opportunity employer. ACM does not discriminate in the operation of its educational programs, activities, or employment with regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

ACM member colleges: Beloit College, Carleton College, Coe College, Colorado College, Cornell College, Grinnell College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, Lawrence University, Luther College, Macalester College, Monmouth College, Ripon College, and St. Olaf College. 

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