Job Title: Director of Finance and Operations (DFO)
Reports to: The DFO reports to the Head of School and is a member of the Leadership Team.
Job Summary: Working with the Head of School and appropriate Board committees, the DFO manages the resources of Quest Academy. This person is responsible for the long and short term planning, control, accounting and reporting of income, expense, fixed assets, and invested and contributed funds of the school. The DFO manages all activities designated as business office responsibilities including, but not limited to, risk management and insurance, employee compensation and personnel policies, and Business Office compliance with accrediting agencies and the Illinois State Board of Education.
The DFO is responsible for the design and implementation of employee benefits, the development and oversight of all HR policies and, in conjunction with the Head of School, the structure of employee compensation models and plans. He/she supports the school’s prospective and current families with financial issues relevant to their child’s enrollment. The DFO is responsible for the planning and implementing all purchasing policies and procedures. This person assures compliance with all city, state and federal government laws, statutes, and operational requirements to ensure the continued tax-exempt, non-profit status of the institution. The DFO also maintains professional relationships with the school’s vendors, banks, lawyers, auditors, investment managers, insurance carriers, and government regulators.
The DFO works in collaboration with the Director of Facilities for the preservation and renewal of the physical plant and grounds, including risk management and insurance.
Supervisory responsibilities: The Director of Finance and Operation supervises all business office personnel.
Tasks, Duties, and Responsibilities:
Responsible for short and long term financial planning and reporting including the design of financial models to support the annual budgeting and strategic planning work of the Board.
Prepares and reviews financial and budget statements, investment and capital project reports; makes regular presentations to the Head of School, Board and committees
Ensures that all expenditures are consistent with the approved budget.
Working with the Director of Facilities, coordinates planning and financing of major capital improvement or investment projects.
Oversees the investment of surplus and endowment funds according to approved investment policies.
Responsible for establishing appropriate procedures and controls for all financial systems, in accordance with current standards.
Coordinates business office activities involving purchasing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and banking.
Administers the record retention schedule in accordance with the Board’s policies.
HUMAN RESOURCES (HR)
Establishes appropriate employee benefit programs, implements changes as needed to enhance benefits and/or reduce costs, and supervises the administration of all benefit programs.
Ensures that the school’s personnel policies support its programs and that the school’s actions regarding hiring, compensation, training, promotion and separation conform to state and federal requirements.
Provides appropriate information to Head of School for salary comparisons, both internal and external, including preparing employment contracts.
Maintains and ensures security for the employee files
Coordinates all aspects of accounts receivable including the preparation of student contracts.
Manages all facets of financial aid from inquiry and application procedures, to notification of final decisions, working with parents throughout the process.
In collaboration with the Head of School, analyzes, reviews and approves individual financial aid awards.
Responsible for oversight and collection of aged accounts receivable.
Responsible for planning and implementing all purchasing policies and procedures.
Selects and maintains relationships with the school’s vendors.
Administers purchasing of books and supplies for all departments.
PHYSICAL PLANT AND GROUNDS, INSURANCE, AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Working with the Director of Facilities and Director of IT Support Services, coordinates plans for the preservation, safety, and renewal of the physical plant, network infrastructure, and school grounds.
Works with insurance advisors and brokers to provide appropriate and cost effective liability, property, and workers compensation insurance coverage
Serves as liaison with the school attorney.
Advises the Head of School of any situations which might have adverse legal consequences for the school.
Responsible for collection and submission of annual statistics to NAIS.
Compiles and files all reports and applications necessary to maintain tax exempt, non-profit status.
Represents the school at various regional, state, and national associations for Business Officers.
Manages transportation contracts.
It is the responsibility of all Quest employees to:
Understand and support Quest's mission and philosophy and to promote a positive image of the school.
Contribute to a harmonious school atmosphere by working cooperatively with all colleagues.
Respect the confidentiality of private information relating to students, colleagues and the operations of the school.
Refrain from establishing close relationships with colleagues, students, parents or trustees that would compromise professional integrity.
Demonstrate responsibility and punctuality.
Display flexibility in responding to new situations and expectations, a positive attitude and a helpful, non-judgmental demeanor.
Show willingness to consider and implement suggestions for improvement.
Model the good character traits that Quest students are expected to embody.
Minimum Knowledge and Skills Requirements:
Accounting, specifically experience in Not-for-Profit Accounting (GAAP)
In-depth knowledge of accounting software (Senior Systems a plus)
Verbal and written communication skills
Knowledge of independent school operations and confidentiality standards
Ability to relate to and work closely with diverse school constituencies
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:
Bachelor’s Degree in finance, accounting, business or a comparable discipline. Master’s Degree preferred.
Minimum of five years experience in a not-for-profit. Experience in independent school setting a plus.
About Creative Children's Academy d/b/a Quest Academy
Quest Academy serves gifted students from Preschool through Eighth Grade in Palatine, IL (northwest suburbs of Chicago). Quest Academy provides gifted children with a challenging curriculum and a nurturing environment. Our program emphasizes sound character along with scholarship and creativity in both the academics and the arts. The Quest community values the individuality of each child and encourages each to strive for personal excellence. Our instruction is guided by “big ideas,” or enduring understandings, that encourage students to engage with the fundamental concepts that lie at the core of every discipline. The enduring understandings also serve to anchor the more quantifiable learning skills, making these far more meaningful, effective, and durable.