Director of Finance


About the Company

SCB is an architecture, planning, interior, and urban design firm. Founded in 1931, SCB provides design services from Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle. SCB is at the forefront of dense urban living, innovative workplaces, inspiring learning environments, resilient infrastructure, and vibrant communities. Through the collective impact of nearly a century of work, the firm has made an indelible mark on the contemporary landscape.


SCB is seeking a Director of Finance to manage and enhance the firm’s finance and accounting functions. Reporting directly to the COO, this role involves collaborating with the President and Principals, coaching Studio Leaders and Department Heads, and leading the finance and accounting team. Key responsibilities include driving top-tier financial accounting and reporting, building a culture of financial discipline, enhancing communication, and equipping leaders with data-driven insights.

This position is based in downtown Chicago, with an expectation of working in the office 4 days per week.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate closely with the COO and President to evaluate and enhance the strategic financial objectives.
  • Oversee month-end close processes, maintaining rigorous standards for accuracy and consistency.
  • Drive the analysis of financial performance, providing insights and recommendations to executive management.
  • Develop and maintain a system of internal controls that maximizes protection of financial assets through the establishment of appropriate policies, procedures, and workflow documentation.
  • Ensure compliance with internal controls and industry standards.
  • Lead a small accounting team to success, ensuring accuracy and timeliness in financial reporting and project management reporting.
  • Manage/perform daily accounting and finance activities including general ledger accounting, accounts receivables, accounts payable, cashflow, billing, fixed assets, budgets, payroll, and month/quarter/year-end financial reporting.
  • Maintain a comprehensive system of accounting records and recommend and help to implement updates or changes to the underlying financial systems.
  • Optimize the workload allocation across the finance team, and manage this group with dynamic leadership through planning, directing, and coordinating all day-to-day operational functions and the monthly financial close process.
  • Ensure the accuracy and timeliness of all recurring and ad-hoc financial reporting and oversee the preparation of timely monthly financial statement and related analyses.
  • Assist with the preparation and monitoring of the annual budget.
  • Oversee shareholder value activities – distributions, income tax projections, K1 issue, sale and payout of equity.
  • Maintain banking, payroll vendor, benefits and investment provider relationships.
  • Coordinate ongoing reforecasting, all management reporting, and the related trends and variance analyses.
  • Assist the President and COO to identify, compile, and communicate key performance metrics (KPIs) to Executive Leadership.
  • Assist with year-end and interim activities of the external auditors and tax preparers.
  • Assist President and COO to support the Finance Committee and related sub-committees.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the COO and other Executive Leadership.

Essential Skills/ Attributes

  • A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or economics is required. CPA and MBA are preferred.
  • 20+ years of progressive financial and controllership experience with a Professional Services company, with demonstrated expertise in leading a business through significant growth or change with at least 10 years in a managerial role with multiple direct reports.
  • A mindset and reputation as a strategic, innovative, ethical, and influential leader with a command of core accounting concepts including strong knowledge of GAAP and high attention to accuracy, timeliness, and establishing clear priorities.
  • Payroll management expertise, proven experience in administration of 401k plan and Directors’ Defined Benefit Plans.
  • Significant Vantage Point, ADP, and Microsoft Office software skills (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and progressive experience developing recurring and ad-hoc financial reports, budgets, forecasts, etc.
  • Proven ability to build a team and deploy processes and tools to enhance data and reporting, improve efficiency, and drive performance.
  • Able to work well under pressure and deadlines, the Director of Finance will be charged with leading from the front across their team and side by side for the organization.
  • Sound judgement, leadership, and communications skills; self-awareness; capable of connecting with people at all levels and serving as a proxy for the COO.
  • Executive level emotional intelligence and people skills around relationship building, collaboration, effective communication, conflict management, influencing, and negotiation.

Opportunities for this Role

  • The experience of managing and evolving an accounting function across a historically high growth organization.
  • The chance to drive change for the future involving elements of team culture, processes, the use of technology, and more
  • The capability to operate as a strategic business partner to the COO, Board, and other key stakeholders, employing strong accounting principles and data driven reports, to help the firm achieve value creation.
  • A competitive compensation package comprised of base salary and annual bonus.

SCB is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity (EEO) in any term, condition or privilege of employment. SCB does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, uniform service member, genetic information or any other status protected by law. SCB complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we operate.

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