Lead Accountant - Financial Reporting

San Francisco, CA
Full Time

About the Opportunity
The Academy is looking for a Lead Accountant to join our dynamic and dedicated team! Reporting to the Financial Accounting Manager, your role will include a mix of technical accounting and financial reporting, including researching accounting technical topics, writing accounting position memos, preparing schedules to support external reporting requirements and drafting financial statements. You will collaborate with other teams, such as FP&A, Financial and Operational Accounting, and our external tax team.

Organizational Culture:
Join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at https://www.calacademy.org/about-us/major-initiatives.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Staff are currently expected to work from the Academy offices at least 2-3 times per week, which may fluctuate based on business needs. Please do not apply if you are not able to work onsite. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

About the Business & Finance Division
The Business & Finance Division believes that providing valuable insight to our Academy partners enables them to achieve the Academy’s mission. To do this, we support our colleagues and each other so that we can accomplish the Academy’s mission together, we anticipate and respond quickly to the needs of our partners, we build trust in our partners that fosters collaborative relationships, and we deliver timely and accurate information to our partners so that they can make better decisions.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage the preparation of all quarterly and annual external financial statements and required regulatory filings in accordance with U.S. GAAP
  • Prepare financial statement disclosures including footnote support schedules, tie-out binders and disclosure checklists
  • Facilitate preparation of all internal financial statements and reporting packages
  • Prepare fluctuation analysis of financial statement line items to identify quarterly and annual trends around the information disclosed in the external financial statements and related disclosures
  • Support the annual financial statement audit review activities with external auditors
  • Coordinate the preparation of the annual tax Form 990 with our external tax team
  • Ensure compliance of all regulatory filings with federal, state, and local governments
  • Update internal control documentation and play a key role in the organization's Internal Control compliance effort
  • Review and assess new accounting pronouncements issued by the FASB
  • Participate in the evaluation of significant accounting transactions, implement relevant accounting technical standards, and prepare technical accounting memos supporting accounting positions
  • Draft accounting position papers on existing accounting policies and work with business partners to develop new policies
  • Work on special projects as needed   
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Other duties as assigned


  • A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license or must have passed all parts of the CPA exam
  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, Business, or Finance-related field
  • Minimum 4+ years of relevant industry experience in either public accounting or combination of public accounting and corporate accounting experience
  • Experience with U.S. GAAP reporting requirements
  • Experience in researching complex accounting topics and structuring accounting memos
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to interact and build relationships across all levels of the organization
  • GSuite and Excel skills (maintaining complex spreadsheets and employing advanced formulas)
  • Detail-oriented, strong organization and problem-solving skills with the ability to track multiple tasks and issues at once
  • Demonstrated ability to work autonomously, coordinate the efforts of others, work well with people at a wide range of levels, and is highly motivated

Physical Environment: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to meet the job’s essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, use a computer, and communicate on the phone, in person, and in online meetings/calls. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 90% of the time.

Compensation and Benefits
Hiring range:

Schedule: Full-Time, 40 hours per week. Although this position is exempt from overtime pay, there are periods when additional hours and/or weekend work will be expected to fulfill business needs.

Starting salary will vary based on experience and relevant skills/knowledge set. The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin on January 17, 2023, and will continue until the position is filled.  

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.


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