Chief Financial Officer

Metropolitan Washington Council of Government
April 26, 2019
Arlington, VA
Job Type


About MWCOGMWCOG is an association of local governments in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Every month, more than a thousand officials and experts come to COG to make connections, share information, and develop solutions to the region’s major challenges. Annual revenue is $44 million, with approximately 73% coming from federal and state awards and agreements. Additional support is provided by member dues, regional fees, and a variety of other funding sources. MWCOG prepares governmental financial statements and follows OMB administrative guidelines for local governments. More information is available at The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is seeking an experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to join our executive team. As the business manager of the organization, the CFO directs financial affairs, advises senior management on fiscal and budget issues, and provides strategic business planning. As the head of the Office of Finance and Accounting, the CFO is responsible for timely and accurate preparation and analysis of financial reports, preparation and monitoring of the annual budget, management of cash and investments, oversight of the annual single audit, compliant and efficient contract and purchasing policies and procedures, and optimal use of the Deltek Costpoint accounting system. The CFO heads a department of eleven staff, and directly supervises the Controller, Contracts and Purchasing Manager, and Senior Project Accountant.Required Minimum Education, Certification, and Work ExperienceMaster’s in Business Administration, Finance or closely related field. current CPA or CGFM certification An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted for a Master’s degree.. 10 years of progressively responsible professional experience in financial management, analysis, accounting, auditing, budgeting, and forecasting, which includes at least three years in a governmental organization (local, state, school district, council of governments, etc.)10 years of experience utilizing sophisticated and complex accounting software packages such as Deltek Costpoint, Intacct, Solomon, MS Dynamics GP, NetSuite, or similar applications7 years of experience as a section or department head of an accounting office, with success in leading a diverse teamDemonstrated ability and experience in effectively and professionally communicating with a variety of stakeholders, both verbally and in writing, and making formal and informal presentations to management, boards, and committeesThorough knowledge of regulations, policies, and procedures which apply to governmental accounting, finance, and federal awards, including OMB 2 CFR 200Experience working as an essential business partner and advisor to managementExamples of specific tasks include, but are not limited to, the following:Candidates should be able to provide examples of experience and success in most of the areas described below:Business Management

  • Direct the financial affairs of the organization
  • Develop, implement and monitor fiscal policies and goals
  • Advise senior management on financial and budget issues
  • Short-term and long-term forecasting and planning
  • Review business plans and options to ensure they are grounded in solid financial criteria, and provide insight and analysis to support recommendations and decisions Financial Reporting and Processes
  • Ensure accurate and timely financial reports and information
  • Maintain effective internal controls to reduce the chance of error, fraud, or misstatement
  • Continually improve process efficiency
  • Manage cash flow to ensure funds are available for business needs, including management of surplus cash and banking relationships
  • Maintain and improve best practices in financial reporting
  • Ensure timely completion of the annual audit
  • Maintain and improve the ability of COG’s accounting, contracting, purchasing, billing, and related systems to capture and generate information needed for financial, grant, project and contract management by continually improving the use of technology tools
  • Responsible for accounting policies and practices
  • Responsible for optimal use of the Deltek Costpoint accounting systemBudgeting, Financial Planning, and Analysis
  • Develop a comprehensive, supported budget that can be used as a management tool and provide meaningful comparisons to actual expenses and programmatic plans
  • Work with department directors to continually monitor activities and spending, and ensure compliance with the approved budgetOther Duties and Responsibilities
  • Ensure administrative compliance with federal and other awards
  • Provide information and support to the Audit Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, and the COG Secretary-Treasurer
  • Ensure adequate staffing and training in the Office of Finance and Accounting to maintain and improve the ability of the office to add value in support of MWCOG’s programs and activitiesCOMMUNICATION SKILLSMust have the communication capabilities needed to be a successful collaborator, consultant, communicator, and leader, along with the ability to read, analyze, and interpret financial reports, policies, regulations, accounting standards, and legal documents. Ability to provide meaningful context for complicated reports and business strategies to multiple stakeholders, many of whom do not have financial backgrounds. Experience presenting information to top management, public groups, and the board of directors.SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIESManage and supervise a team of accounting and procurement staff, with responsibility for overall direction, coordination, and performance of the Office of Finance and Accounting. Directly oversee the work of the Controller, Contracts and Purchasing Manager, and Senior Project Accountant, and occasionally contract and temporary personnel. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing; hiring, training employees, planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance, rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems. Characteristics of the Ideal Candidate
  • Experienced with governmental fund accounting and federal and state regulations related to grants.
  • Skilled and able to prepare and present complex budgets and financial reports to a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Adaptability sufficient to accommodate differing financial and budgetary needs of internal Program Managers (Department Heads).
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • A “straight shooter” whose primary goal is the financial health and stability of MWCOG and whose advice is reflective of that.
  • Strong technical/leadership/management knowledge capable of managing an 11-member staff and willing to personally perform work when required.
  • Adept at financial forecasting.
  • Able to work very effectively with Board Committees (Audit & Budget & Finance) as well as the Executive Director and the Secretary/Treasurer of the COG Board. Challenges & Opportunities
  • MWCOG is a member organization which operates like a governmental agency. Revenue comes from membership fees, some fees for service and from various grants from state and federal governments.
  • Continue to provide skilled management of the Finance Department and effective leadership over its employees.
  • Continued improvement of the MWCOG’s financial systems and the Finance Department’s customer services.
  • Continued proper management of MWCOG’s 5-year capital plan and its reserve funds for operating and capital budgets
  • The diversity and complexity of the services provided by MWCOG and its funding sources, the required accounting and records systems are equally diverse, complex and challenging. COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONBecause of the nature of this position, utmost integrity is required, as well as successful completion of a comprehensive reference and background investigation.


Company Description

From its inner core to outer suburbs, more than five million people call the metropolitan Washington region home. And an additional million new residents are forecast between now and 2045. Managing this growth—and ensuring a well-maintained transportation system, clean air, water, and land, safe and healthy communities, and a vibrant economy—requires regional partnership.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is the hub for this partnership. Every month, more than a thousand officials and experts come to COG to make connections, share information, and develop solutions to the region’s major challenges. Together, they help advance COG's Region Forward Vision for a more prosperous, accessible, livable, and sustainable future.

Founded in 1957, COG is an independent, nonprofit association, with a membership of 300 elected officials from 24 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and U.S. Congress. COG is supported by financial contributions from its member governments, federal and state grants and contracts, and donations from foundations and the private sector.

The Board of Directors is COG’s governing body and is responsible for its overall policies. In addition, a wide network of policy, technical, and advisory committees, partnerships, and programs advance COG’s regional work. Elected leaders, police chiefs, housing directors, environmental experts, transportation planners, and more find value in working together at COG. A staff of more than 130 subject matter experts and other professionals support COG and its members.

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