Vice President of Finance

Position Description

Position Title:            Vice President of Finance    

Department:               Executive       

Classification:            Exempt          

Direct Report:             President/CEO

Position Summary

The VP of Finance is the chief financial spokesperson for Mississippi Aquarium (MSAQ) and supervises the finance unit as well as procurement, human resources, contract management of outside vendors, and IT directly and contributes to the development of the organization’s strategic goals.

The VP of Finance reports directly to the President and directly assists the President on all strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of new funding. The VP of Finance will also be charged with developing and implementing more sophisticated policies and procedures for the financial operations of the organization.

This is an outstanding opportunity for a finance professional with operational experience and a proven track record of creative problem-solving and change management.

Position Attributes

•    Possess organizational development, human resource, and program operations skills.

•    Possess general office software, particularly the Microsoft Office Suite and accounting software and use of databases.

•    Foster and cultivate business opportunities and partnerships.

•    Create and assess financial statements and budget documents.

•    Recognize and be responsive to the needs of the organization.

•    Supervise staff, including regular progress reviews and plans for improvement.

•    Communicate effectively in both written and verbal form.


• Business or Accounting degree mandatory, a master’s in business administration or accounting is preferred

• CPA preferred

• Minimum 10 years’ experience with at least 5 years in a senior management role ideally with both external audit and in-house financial management experience gained in a high-growth organization

• Experienced either as an employee or board member of a nonprofit organization; must be familiar with nonprofit finance and accounting regulations

• Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills including negotiation and conflict resolution skills

• Strong mentoring, coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise

• Entrepreneurial team player who can multitask

• Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers

• Self-reliant, a good problem solver, and results oriented

• Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance initiatives.

• Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, Board of Directors, and staff.

• Ability to operate as an effective tactical, as well as strategic, thinker.

• Passion for Mississippi Aquarium’s mission.

Essential functions of this job described may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. 


Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

• Work with the President on the strategic vision including fostering and cultivating stakeholder relationships as well as assisting in the development and negotiation of contracts.

• Advise the President and other key members of senior management on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters.

• Serve as the management liaison to the Audit and Finance Committee; effectively communicate and present critical financial matters at Committee meetings and Board meetings.

• Contribute to the development of strategic goals for the financial health of the organization.

• Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the President informed of all critical issues.

• Represent the organization externally, as necessary, particularly in banking, contract, benefits and insurance negotiations

Team Development / Leadership

• Participate in developing new sources of revenue, specifically: assist the President in identifying new revenue opportunities, drafting of prospective programmatic budgets, and determining cost effectiveness of prospective service delivery.

• Oversee, direct, and organize the work of the finance team.  Direct reports include Accounting, Human Resource, IT, and Purchasing.

• Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.

• Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.

• Assist the President in administering salary adjustments.

• Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.


• Train the Finance Unit and other staff on raising awareness and knowledge of financial management matters.

• Ensure adequate controls are implemented and maintained.  Insure that substantiating documentation is approved and available such that all purchases may pass independent and governmental audits.

• Working in conjunction with the leadership team, oversee the development of an operating budget for MSAQ annually. Work with the Senior Management Team to ensure programmatic success through cost analysis support, and compliance with all contractual and programmatic requirements and monitor compliance.

• Oversee the management and coordination of all fiscal reporting activities for the organization including: organizational revenue/expense and balance sheet reports, reports to funding agencies, development and monitoring of organizational and contract/grant budgets. This includes all filings (City, State, Federal, 990’s, sales tax, etc.) are filed on time and accurately.

• Oversee all purchasing and payroll activity for MSAQ.

• Develop and maintain systems to safeguard financial assets of the organization and oversee programs.

• Oversee the coordination and activities of independent auditors ensuring all audit issues are resolved, and all compliance issues are met, and the preparation of the annual financial statements is in accordance with U.S. GAAP and federal, state and other required supplementary schedules and information.

• Attend Board and Committee meetings; including being the lead staff on the Audit and Finance Committee.

• Monitor banking activities of the organization.

• Ensure adequate cash flow to meet the organization's needs.

• Serve as one of the trustees and oversee administration and financial reporting of the organization's Savings and Retirement Plan when applicable.

• Investigate cost-effective benefit plans and other fringe benefits which the organization may offer employees and potential employees with the goal of attracting and retaining qualified individuals.

• Oversee reconciliations as well as financial statements and cash flow projections for use by senior management, as well as the Audit/Finance Committee and Board of Directors are all done in a timely manner.

• Assist in the design, implementation, and timely calculations of bonus incentives, commissions, and salaries for the staff.

• Oversee Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable and ensure a disaster recovery plan is in place.

• Oversee business insurance plans and health care coverage analysis.

• Oversee the maintenance of the inventory of all fixed assets, including assets purchased, leased or acquired by other means.

• Ensure all required permits/licenses are up to date and renewed on time (tax certificates, business licenses, etc.)

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required
of the employee for this job.  Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.