PEN America, a nonprofit organization that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide, seeks a skilled, analytical, and process-driven controller. Reporting to the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, the ideal candidate will have a strong background in nonprofit finance and the expertise to both support and advance the finance operations at our growing organization. This is a full-time position based at PEN America’s New York City headquarters.

The controller will provide management and hands-on capacity for the planning and preparation of organizational, departmental, and programmatic budgets, conduct financial tracking and assessment for use internally and for funder reporting, and support audits and analyses. The role will provide oversight to ensure best Finance Department practices are observed as well as coach and assist programmatic staff in the preparation and management of their budgets. The controller will be the key support for the CFAO to ensure the Finance Department runs efficiently and develops and implements processes and workflows that support PEN America’s growth.

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated self-starter who can recognize and address department and organizational needs collaboratively and effectively. The position will have supervisory responsibility for Finance Department staff and be a key leader ensuring fluid workflows for the department and actively contributing to its administration.

PEN America welcomes applications from veteran nonprofit finance professionals who seek to share their expertise with our organization as well as those with the requisite credentials who are at an earlier stage of their career and looking to gain the experience necessary for future roles of increasing responsibility. We are looking for resourceful problem solvers who derive satisfaction from taking on challenges, developing solutions, persevering through the inevitable stresses and crunch times, and celebrating wins in a 100-year-old organization fortifying for its next century.


  • Prepare annual budget alongside CFO for approval by Board of Directors; monitor revenues and expenses; prepare financial statements and reports for Board, executive management, middle managers, and funders
  • Provide financial management of grants, including projections and planning, performance analysis, budgeting, and grants portfolio reporting
  • Monitor expenses and prepare budgets on existing and new programs
  • Set up systems and controls on financing and release of funds
  • Oversee accounting procedures, including A/R, A/P, bank deposits, month-end closing process, and cash management
  • Design and conduct internal audits and other internal control tests to assure compliance with procedures
  • Manage accounting software package (Fund EZ), including maximizing system functionality and ensuring data integrity
  • Assist in reviewing monthly financial statements and analysis of variances
  • Support various projects with financial analysis and business decision recommendations
  • Update program directors on budget-to-actual departmental results on a monthly basis
  • Work cross-functionally with internal partners on key financial projects, ensuring timeliness and accuracy
  • Initiate reconciliation of development database and Fund EZ for special events
  • Work closely with the development department to prepare timely budget proposals
  • Prepare and work closely with external accountants to assure timely completion of all tax returns and other compliance documents, prepare relevant schedules for audit processes, and ensure timely completion of adjusting journal entries
  • Assist in establishing, documenting, and maintaining internal control policies and procedures
  • Manage finance and administration department staff


  • Six to eight years of experience in nonprofit financial management/accounting, including staff oversight, with at least three years in a key role in managing the finances of a nonprofit organization
  • Demonstrated expertise in and commitment to the specialized field of financial management and accounting at nonprofit organizations
  • Master’s degree in accounting, finance, business, or another field of study relevant to the position strongly preferred. Additional certification (CPA or CMA) is a plus.
  • Excellent knowledge of accounting regulations and procedures, including the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Experience using Excel and Fund EZ accounting software is a plus
  • Extensive budget management experience
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills, and the ability to follow through from the identification of a challenge to its solution
  • Excellent interpersonal, presentational, and written/oral communications skills
  • Formidable work ethic and high energy level, with the ability to multitask effectively
  • Experience with office management and IT are a plus

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

Please submit a detailed cover letter that directly addresses your qualifications for the specified requirements as outlined above, your resume, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application as one PDF to using “Controller” with your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Controller – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.

About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.