Director of Finance

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive.




1400 Parkmoor Avenue
Suite 240
San Jose
United States


Innovate Public Schools is seeking a highly-skilled, experienced finance professional to join our growing organization and help us meet our goals for sustainability and long-term success. In this position, you will be a member of our leadership team, lead our overall financial strategy and manage our finance team of 2-3 people plus external vendors (including our outsourced accounting partner).

About Innovate Public Schools

Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization focused on improving public schools in the Bay Area to make sure that all students - especially low-income students and students of color - have access to schools that will prepare them for success in college, careers and life.

We support and empower parents in high-need communities so they can effectively advocate for better schools and sustain community efforts over the long term. We publish easy-to-understand data and research to inform the public about which schools are excelling and which ones are struggling, as well as about the policy and school-based solutions that work.  And we work with educators from both school districts and charter schools to start excellent new public schools and redesign chronically low-performing schools.

Innovate is an entrepreneurial organization that has experienced explosive start-up growth over the past five years. Going forward, we expect continued growth and a focus on deepening our impact in our target communities in the Bay Area and potentially elsewhere in California. Founded in 2013 as a supporting organization of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Innovate has grown to an annual 2018 budget of approximately $9M and 60 full or part-time staff. We have a healthy operational reserve, and have received clean, unqualified audits from an independent auditor since our independent 501c3 status was granted in 2015. We have strong financial systems in place, but need to streamline and build new ones as we grow in size and complexity in 2018 and beyond.

We are looking for an experienced finance professional to build on our strengths and take us to the next level of our growth and impact.


The Director, Finance is a member of Innovate’s Leadership Team, and is responsible for ensuring the financial health and sustainability of our organization. Major responsibilities include:

  1. Manage a team of 2-3 staff and an external bookkeeping and accounting partner (FASS, a unit of the Health Trust) to achieve the goals and responsibilities below
  2. Ensure that recurring financial transactions and processes are smooth and timely
  3. Manage our external bookkeeping and accounting firm (FASS / Health Trust), to develop and maintain timely and accurate financial statements and reports that are appropriate for the users and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
  4. Manage month-end close and reporting, with the support of your team (e.g., enter deposits, process invoices, review bank account, reconcile check receipts, reconcile bank account and Salesforce revenue records, reconcile accounts receivable and accounts payable, close expense reimbursements, review GL for allocation errors, review outstanding checks)
  5. Ensure that monthly employee expense reimbursements are approved by 15th day of the following month, including reviewing and approving all expense reports
  6. Review biweekly payroll for accuracy, and submit on time for processing and payment by TriNet (our professional employment organization)
  7. Accounts Payable: Manage process to get program director approval of invoices, then review, approve and process invoices so they can be paid within 30 days of receipt
  8. Accounts Receivable: Manage team to send timely invoices and monitor accounts receivable to ensure timely receipt of earned revenue
  9. Create and revise financial systems and processes as required to meet the needs of the organization
  10. Evaluate the need for new technology to meet the organization's financial data processing, control, and reporting requirements
  11. Manage Innovate’s annual audit process and Form 990 preparation, and get a clean/unqualified opinion from our audit firm
  12. Serve as primary liaison with our independent auditors, and prepare all supporting information for the annual audit as needed
  13. Manage all communication with the auditor and the Board’s Audit Committee as necessary
  14. Manage process to ensure Innovate’s Audit Committee and Board of Directors approve our annual audit each summer, and Finance Committee approves our Form 990 each fall
  15. Develop and maintain financial accounting systems for cash management, reimbursements, accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit control, and petty cash
  16. Develop, implement, and ensure compliance with internal financial and accounting policies and procedures
  17. Document and maintain complete and accurate supporting information for all financial transactions
  18. Ensure that financial reporting, analysis and forecasts are accurate and timely enough to inform good financial decision-making
  19. Analyze and present monthly financial statements to the CEO and VP, Strategic Operations
  20. Analyze and present an effective, up-to-date dashboard of the organization’s financial health to the CEO, Finance Committee and Board of Directors in advance of each board meeting (usually five times a year)
  21. Analyze and present 18-month cash flow projections to the CEO and VP, Strategic Operations each quarter
  22. Analyze and present grant spend-down analysis to the CEO and VP, Strategic Operations each quarter
  23. Meet quarterly with Directors/VPs to discuss budget vs. actual analysis for their program area
  24. Analyze and present quarterly financial reports to the Leadership Team each quarter
  25. Develop accurate, relevant multi-year financial models and other financial analyses as needed to support strategic planning and new strategic initiatives
  26. Provide guidance and support as needed to ensure that key decision-makers (e.g., CEO, Directors, VPs, Board Members) can make financially-responsible budgeting and implementation decisions informed by solid financial data and analysis
  27. Ensure we have a complete, strategically-aligned budget approved by our board by the end of each calendar year
  28. Establish efficient, effective timeline and process for budget development each year
  29. Facilitate an efficient, effective budget development process, including engaging and supporting the CEO and all directors and VPs
  30. Prepare the final annual budget, and ensure that a complete, strategically-aligned budget is approved by December each year
  31. Ensure that all leases and contracts (with vendors or for earned revenue) are clear and legally protect our interests, are generated in a timely fashion, and are tracked and stored consistently
  32. Ensure our cash and investments are managed appropriately
  33. Monitor and manage operating account balances to ensure that we maintain approximately 2-3 months of budgeted expenses in operating account at all times
  34. Maximize the security of our investments by monitoring and managing our laddered CD portfolio with FDIC insurance coverage
  35. Manage and minimize risk
  36. Monitor risk management policies and procedures to ensure that program and organizational risks are minimized
  37. Review and recommend adjustments in insurance coverage for the organization and the Board of Directors
  38. Serve as a member of the Development Team, and ensure the team has timely financial information and reporting needed to meet funder expectations
  39. Develop accurate financial forecasts and budgets to support grant applications as needed
  40. Review draft grant award letters to ensure clarity, and ensure appropriate accounting for any funder restrictions
  41. Prepare financials for grant reports for the Director, Development in advance of funder deadlines
  42. Serve as a member of Innovate’s leadership team; provide recommendations on the strategic direction of the organization and represent Innovate within the organization and in the broader community

This position reports to the VP, Strategic Operations, and is based out of Innovate Public Schools’ office in San Jose, CA. It will involve some local travel within the San Francisco Bay Area, and infrequent evening or weekend participation at Innovate-led events.

Required Qualifications

  • Passionate about Innovate Public Schools’ mission to initiate, support, and advocate for great public schools for low-income children and children of color
  • At least three to five years in a finance role, with increasing responsibility
  • B.A. in Finance, Accounting, Business Management/Administration or relevant field. Masters in Business Administration or Finance preferred
  • Demonstrated experience managing financial processes, developing effective analysis and reporting, and providing strategic guidance on financial decision-making
  • Knowledgeable of generally accepted accounting principles, preferably within a nonprofit context
  • Unquestionable integrity: Understands and demonstrates ethical behavior and business practices and ensures own behavior and the behavior of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization
  • Effective communicator: Speaks, listens, writes and generates financial analysis and reporting in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques
  • Experienced manager: Has experience supervising a team of direct reports and creating a productive, inclusive team culture
  • Leads with an equity lens: Motivated by a commitment to equity, and considers decisions through that lens. Can lead in an organizational culture that is deliberately diverse, equitable and inclusive
  • Relationship builder: Can establish and maintain positive working relationships with others both internally and externally to achieve the goals of the organization
  • Focused on client needs: Anticipates, understands, and responds to the needs of internal and external clients to meet or exceed their expectations
  • Fosters teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problem, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness
  • Organized, effective project manager: Can set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities
  • Problem solver: Assesses problems to identify causes, gathers and processes relevant information, generates possible solutions, and makes recommendations and/or resolves the problem
  • Technically proficient: Strong skills in Microsoft Excel and Word required. Experience with Concur, Salesforce and Adaptive Insights strongly preferred. Experience with GSuite (email, calendar, docs, spreadsheets) preferred.
  • Transportation: Has a valid driver’s license and insurance and access to a vehicle

Work Environment / Physical Demands

The work environment characteristics and the physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the person in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills.


Innovate Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and takes pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.


 Innovate offers very generous benefits including health and dental insurance, 20 days paid time off per year (increasing to 25 after 2 years of employment), two floating holidays, 14 paid fixed holidays per year (including office closure between Dec 24th - New Year’s Day), 1 day per year paid volunteering time off, and 5% employer contribution to 401k.

Level of Language Proficiency

English required.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Application Procedure

Please submit your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and the specific strengths you would bring to Innovate Public Schools in this role.