Job Description 

  • Title: Program Officer, Controller
  • Reports to: Chief Operating Officer
  • Position Type: Exempt, Full-Time

About the New England Foundation for the Arts: 

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is a 501(c)3 organization with an annual budget of $11.25 million. NEFA invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.

As an organization, NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography and strive to counter those inequities in our work.

NEFA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and is invested in creating an equitable and inclusive working environment and organizational culture. We are committed to hiring individuals who share, value, and support these goals, and who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. NEFA does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

About the Position:

The Controller manages, develops, and implements accounting processes at NEFA in alignment with NEFA’s core values and will be a leader in promoting, evaluating, and enhancing NEFA’s commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in financial and operational practices. They will manage the accounting policies and procedures, including internal controls, lead the audit process, execute monthly closings, and supervise the work of NEFA’s contract accounting personnel. They will partner with the COO to develop the annual budget, and work directly with departments to develop programmatic budgets; prepare the budget to actual reports for the organization and individual departments and manage accounting and transfers of invested assets. The Controller will also have a firm understanding of administering accounting software systems, and experience with system migrations is a plus. This position requires a high level of detail and accuracy, as well as effective and compassionate communication within a variety of formats and with a variety of people, including NEFA staff, board members, advisory council members, constituents, funders, partners, vendors and other stakeholders.

The Controller reports to and works closely with the Chief Operating Officer. NEFA’s finance department is currently being restructured to meet NEFA’s operational needs following a sustained period of growth and programmatic evolution. This is a new position which will evolve over time and grow into areas including strategic decision-making and building meaningful and productive partnerships with all staff and the members of NEFA’s board-led Finance & Audit and Investment Committees. The Controller will play a critical role in evaluating the needs of the organization and determining appropriate department structure and staffing. 

Essential Functions - % of Time

Accounting - 50%

  • Lead and execute accounting and fiscal procedures (to support both internal controls and funder reporting), including payroll, A/P and cash, and supervise the work of contract accounting staff;
  • Track, account and report on grants payable, in coordination with program staff;
  • Execute monthly and quarterly closing process in an accurate and timely manner, including cash and investment reconciliations, allocations (such as Fixed Assets, Salaries, Occupancy, etc.) and coordinate related activities of the Finance Team;
  • Ensure compliance with the recordkeeping requirements of federal, state, and private funders; manage revenue recognition on the amounts and timing of restricted funding and the support systems for allocations, including the accounting of time allocation records and reimbursement process for federal funders;
  • Coordinate the auditor’s annual examination of NEFA and preparation of NEFA’s tax returns;
  • Prepare and submit timely and accurate tax filings (local, state, and federal) for applicable benefits and payroll (e.g., Form 5500);
  • Partner with the COO and staff to maintain strong internal controls and ensure compliance with accounting procedures;
  • Serve as the in-house expert and administrator of NEFA’s accounting system, Abila MIP Fund Accounting and manage the migration to a different accounting software system, if deemed necessary.

Budgets & Reporting – 25%

  • Partner with the COO to develop and implement the annual operating budget;
  • Lead the development of grant budgets, monitor performance against budget, and report results;
  • Establish and run regular budget meetings with all departments; prepare and distribute financial reports and supporting materials in advance of meetings and support NEFA staff in interpreting and processing information;
  • Work closely with Development team to create budgets for proposals and provide interim and final funding reports;
  • Prepare and maintain quarterly investment report; support evaluation and discussion of report with Finance & Audit and Investment committees.

Planning & Administration – 15% 

  • With the COO, develop and maintain compliance-related policies and procedures related to NEFA’s status as both grantmaker and recipient, such as procurement, lobbying, and applicant eligibility; 
  • Assess and make recommendations for the revised structure of the Finance department; work with COO and Human Resources & Operations Director to recruit staff as needed; 
  • Serve as the primary contact for various vendors, such as banks, investment holders, payroll services, etc. 
  • Collaborate with Human Resources & Operations Director to support execution of payroll, 403b contributions, onboarding and termination of staff; monitor for changes in laws or taxes that may affect personnel, benefits, or deductions; 
  • Participate in NEFA’s Operations Team alongside other staff from operational departments; support efforts to align NEFA’s operational practices with our values. 

Connecting and Learning - 10%

  • Represent the program and organization at conferences, meetings, performances, and other events; report on learning and outcomes;
  • Participate in organization-wide convenings and events, planning sessions, and working groups.


Does this position supervise others?   Yes; two (2) temporary contract staff, FTE TBD.

Internal/External Contacts

The Controller works closely with all NEFA staff. They will develop and maintain positive and supportive relationships with direct reports, staff, board, and committee members. The Controller should be committed to contributing to and maintaining a workplace that supports, celebrates, and empowers NEFA’s diverse staff and constituency. The Controller will be the first point of contact for NEFA’s audit partners, financial vendors, and other external parties.

Financial/Operational Resources Impacted: 

$ 7,000,000 - $25,000,000

Decision Making/Problem Solving:

High degree of integrity and discretion with confidential information. Must be well organized, motivated, detail-oriented, and have nuanced understanding of spreadsheets and database programs. Demonstrates initiative in problem solving, communicating effectively with a diverse array of staff, meets regular and multiple deadlines, and works in partnership with other staff to complete projects. Must be able to multi-task, work independently and collaboratively, with emphasis on accuracy and timeliness. Requires an understanding of strategic priorities within the finance area and throughout the organization, and a firm understanding of accounting principles.

Minimum Starting Salary:

$ 92,000. This is the starting salary for positions at this level at NEFA. The initial offer will be commensurate with the selected candidate’s level of experience.

Opportunities for Advancement:

The Controller is a senior level position at NEFA. Employees at this level are typically eligible for promotion after four (4) years of employment. However, as described, the person in this position will have the opportunity to help shape the structure of the department moving forward, which may include opportunities for growth.



  • 10-12 years of professional accounting experience or a mix of professional and educational experience; public accounting and/or nonprofit accounting experience is preferred;
  • Experience with accounting/payroll software(s); familiarity with Abila MIP Fund Accounting and/or Salesforce a significant plus;
  • Experience in grants management including compliance, reporting, and participating in audits for Federal grants and contracts;
  • Familiarity with a variety of accounting and internal control practices; interest in assessing, developing, and implementing new policies and practices a significant plus;
  • Strong organization and planning skills with the ability to advance multiple priorities and processes concurrently;
  • Past experience as a supervisor or significant project management involving managing the work and contributions of one or more team members;
  • Expert use of Microsoft Office applications, with advanced skills in Excel;
  • Outstanding data entry and cleaning skills with impeccable attention to detail;
  • Resourceful problem-solving skills;
  • Appreciation for and identification with NEFA’s mission, vision, and values and interest in engaging in work to advance NEFA’s organizational goals, including those centering equity, diversity, intersectionality, and accessibility.


  • Experience in the cultural sector, passion for the arts and creative economy, and a genuine interest in NEFA’s lines of business are strongly preferred.

Workplace Requirements

NEFA is a multi-state organization and an evolving and dynamic workplace. NEFA staff work in a variety of contexts, including in-person in Boston and remotely across New England and New York. For this position we welcome applications from individuals who are interested in working in-person or hybrid schedules ideally within reasonable commuting distance of the NEFA office as some essential duties of this role require in-person coordination with other local staff.

Physical/Mental Demands: 

Stationary position, occasional lifting of boxes containing files (up to 15lbs), infrequent travel (local/regional), computational skills, reasoning, decision-making, detailed work, communication, organization skills, reading, processing (high capacity for input and analysis)

Application Instructions

All candidates will apply using the application form at We ask all candidates to submit a current resume and a cover letter describing their interest in and preparedness for the role, and to respond to a limited set of questions about relevant skills. Contact information to request accessibility accommodations to participate in the application or hiring process is listed on the webpage linked above.

The deadline to apply for this position is Monday, August 15. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we encourage interested candidates to apply prior to the deadline. Applications received after the deadline may not be reviewed if the existing candidate pool is deemed sufficient. Requests for initial phone interviews will go out approximately two weeks after the application deadline.

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