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20 Oct 2019

Full-Time Senior Controller

VisionSpring – Posted by VisionSpring New York, New York, United States

Job Description

Do you thrive in the constructive tension between business and nonprofit enterprise models? Are you ready to join a purpose-driven team that is correcting the vision of millions of low-income customers so they can continue to work, learn, stay safe, and care for their families?

The pioneering social enterprise, VisionSpring, seeks an experienced, hands-on senior controller who is integral to the overall integrity, accuracy, and completeness of a growing organization’s financials, the safeguarding of assets, and accountability to clients and philanthropic investors.

Since its founding in 2001, VisionSpring has corrected the vision of 6.2 million people. In the last four years, we have tripled our eyeglasses sales, budget, and social and economic impact, expanding our operations from two countries to eight. VisionSpring creates access to eyeglasses and shapes lasting markets for vision services through hybrid business models that pair earned revenue with philanthropic capital. Our average customer lives on less than $4 per day. We are tracking to serve 10 million people by 2021.

The senior controller serves as a trusted member of the finance team, and is responsible for managing finances associated with VisionSpring’s sales teams in six countries and the New York office. The senior controller manages all accounting for a growing budget of $4.5 million and is responsible for ensuring compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP), annual budgeting, accounts receivable tracking, financial data analysis, report preparation, audit execution, and statutory compliance. They will be pro-active and methodical in maintaining consistent, transparent financials, and tenaciously strengthening controls as the organization expands.

Based in VisionSpring’s New York City office, the senior controller reports to the chief finance officer and manages two finance associates (one in New York and one in Bangladesh).


  • You enjoy the mental gymnastics of managing finance and compliance requirements for both businesses and nonprofits, because we are both.
  • You see truth in numbers. You have a critical eye and are not afraid to be the first person to speak up if anything looks amiss. For you, organizational accountability is personal.
  • Your world needs to be predictable, so you make it so. Instinctively you create routines and timelines, and help others adhere to structure and efficient processes.
  • You can roll with punches. You expect some weeks will be more intense than others. You are ready to deliver at the highest level to foster the financial health of a growing organization. You have a “can do” attitude.
  • Friends would describe you as trustworthy and structured, smart with low ego, resilient and highly ethical.


  • VisionSpring is creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
  • As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses.
  • We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses—a 700-year-old technology—to 2.5 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
  • We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
  • By selling eyeglasses, we awaken new demand and seed a viable market. By selling new eyeglasses we are able to serve four times as many people per dollar input than the alternative of donating recycled ones. To efficiently scale, we must deliver each new unit with lower cost.
  • We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We exploit a range of organizational forms and practices to get the job done.
  • We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.


Accounting and Controls

  • Implement the finance functions of the organization in accordance with U.S. GAAP, with direct responsibility for the finances of New York administration, Global Partnerships (sales teams in six countries), and the Bangladesh country office.
  • Manage the system of accounts using QuickBooks.
  • Ensure all expenses, invoices, and vendor payables are recorded in a timely manner every month.
  • Conduct the monthly closing process, reviewing journal entries, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank statements, inventory, and other asset reconciliation.
  • Conduct cashflow planning, with the India and Bangladesh offices, and attain approvals and initiate wire transfers to ensure funds are available as needed.
  • Work with human resources to execute payroll and expense reimbursements.
  • Manage banking relationships in the U.S., maximizing benefits and minimizing costs.

Audit Implementation

  • Serve as the day-to-day lead on internal and external audit activities, including local audits and the global consolidated audit.
  • Prepare and submit the annual Form 990 and other Internal Revenue Service filings required for U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
  • Strengthen internal accounting control policies, keeping ahead of the organization’s growth.


  • Ensure compliance with regulations associated with VisionSpring activities in countries where we are registered as a nonprofit (U.S.), a private company (Bangladesh), and where we have representatives (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia). Such regulations include, but are not limited to, taxation and labor laws.
  • Monitor changes in financial and accounting protocol/laws in target countries to maintain compliance.

Reporting and Budget Preparation

  • Support the CEO and CFO in developing annual plans and budgets, providing close guidance for the preparation of budgets for New York administration, Global Partnerships, and the Bangladesh office.
  • Prepare financial reports, project budget utilization reports, and metrics, creating clarity for philanthropic investors, auditors, and vendors.
  • Prepare forecasts and projections, including “best views” for quarterly and year-end achievements.
  • Analyze and interpret accounting information to identify areas of financial and business opportunity and risk. Elevate problems expediently and with full transparency. Implement risk mitigation practices as appropriate.
  • Support the CFO in preparing materials and recommendations for the VisionSpring Board of Directors Finance and Audit Committee.
  • Ensure data integrity and visibility. Foster data-backed decision making across the organization.


  • Manage and coach two finance associates (one in New York and one in Bangladesh), including job appraisals and professional development.
  • Protect operations by keeping financial information and plans confidential.
  • Provide financial training within the organization to elevate financial management literacy as needed by staff.
  • Effectively engage with cross-cultural teams working with clients in 30 countries. Proactively diffuse traditional power dynamics associated with the dichotomies of: Global North and South, headquarters and regional offices, formal education and experiential expertise, gender, race, and other hindering forms of hierarchy and bias.
  • Model VisionSpring’s values, setting an example for others: Help others to do well. Advance equity. Constantly adapt, relentlessly improve. Default to transparency, reveal hard truths. Learn together.
  • Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, and participating in professional societies.


  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, or another relevant field. Master’s degree in accounting, CPA, and /or MBA preferred.
  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience maintaining and improving accurate accounting systems and supervising employees involved in various accounting functions (i.e. AR, AP, payroll, inventory, and compliance).
  • Advanced knowledge of U.S. GAAP, as it applies to nonprofits, and accepted accounting practices and compliance in the U.S.
  • Prior leadership of financial reporting and audit support.
  • Strong understanding of financial analysis.
  • Experience creating and managing P&Ls across multiple business units and regions.
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel and accounting software (QuickBooks).
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and lead the work of others in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities, and deadline pressures.
  • Fluency in English, written and verbal.
  • Must meet the highest standards of ethics, with a demonstrated capacity for discretion and handling sensitive information with care.
  • A strong commitment to respectful collaboration with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to travel 20% of time. Willingness to travel internationally and work in locations with limited infrastructure.
  • Must be permanently authorized to work in the United States.
  • Preferred experience: (1) Working in an international organization operating in low- and middle-income countries; (2) Living or working in a low-income setting; and/or (3) Proficiency in Hindi, Bengali, or Spanish.


  • Salary range is $85,000 – $95,000 per year, based on experience and education.
  • We offer comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental, and vision, as well as 401(k) with match, pre-tax commuter plan, flexible spending accounts, and generous vacation/personal time.
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How to Apply

  • We want to know more than just what you have done. We want to know who you are. What are the passions and talents that draw you to this role?
  • Please submit your application, including a thoughtful cover letter and CV/résumé, saved as a single document, to: talent@visionspring.org.
  • Please update your CV/résumé to include a brief description (one or two sentences) about the business/mission of each organization where you have worked. Include your last name and "Senior Controller" in the email subject line.
  • The preferred start date is January 2, 2020.
  • Please note, only candidates to be interviewed will be contacted.
  • VisionSpring is an Equal Opportunity Employer. People from historically marginalized populations are encouraged to apply.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Accounting, controller, finance, NYC, and social enterprise. Salaries: 80,000 - 100,000.

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