Term: Full-time
Reports to: Executive Director
Start date: ASAP

Position Description:

The Controller will be responsible for oversight of all finance, accounting, and reporting activities. The Controller will be involved in supporting presentations to the board finance and audit committee and will be a member of the senior leadership team. The Controller will lead all day-to-day finance operations of a budget of $3.5 million, supervise a part-time Finance Assistant, and have functional responsibility over accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and grants administration. The Controller will ensure that SMF has the systems and procedures in place to support effective program implementation and conduct flawless audits. The Controller will work closely with senior leadership and their staff, not only to optimize and codify finance and accounting procedures but also to educate them and explore how the finance function can support program operations.


  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems ensuring compliance with appropriate GAAP standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Maintain internal control and safeguards for receipt of revenue, costs, program budgets, and actual expenditures.
  • Coordinate all audit activities.
  • Consistently analyze financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicate monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements; monitor progress and changes and keep senior leadership abreast of SMF’s financial status.
  • Assist SMF’s leadership in the annual budgeting and planning process; administer and review all financial plans and compare to actual results with to identify, explain, and correct variances as appropriate.
  • Engage the board’s audit and finance committees around issues and trends in financial operating models and delivery.
  • Oversee all financial, project/program, and grants accounting; ensure that expenditures are consistently aligned with grant and program budgets throughout the grant/fund period; collate financial reporting materials for government, corporate, and foundation grants.
  • Manage organizational cash flow forecasting by working in partnership with the senior staff; continuously collaborate with programs to assess the financial efficacy of program operations and establish finance and administrative systems to support program operations.
  • Manage and track the performance of invested assets in keeping with policies and investment guidelines.
  • Provide leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization; create and promote a positive and supportive work environment.


  • University education in business administration
  • A professional accounting designation
  • A minimum of 5 years of hands-on experience in a related senior capacity
  • Strong interpersonal, leadership, and negotiating skills
  • Demonstrated ability for analysis, budgeting, and financial control
  • Previous experience in a not-for-profit organization is a definite asset
  • Preference will also be given to those with a CPA (or equivalent) qualification
  • Flexibility, patience, and grace under pressure
  • Willingness, availability, energy, and stamina to work long hours and weekends leading up to and during the 17-day festival and special events throughout the year
  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs
  • Proficient in the use of Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Mac OS, and Zoom
  • All applicants must have a valid driver’s license and submit to a criminal background check and drug test

Compensation and benefits:

Benefits package for the full-time, exempt position includes paid time off, and employer contribution to medical, dental and vision care, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, simple IRA plan and parking. The pay range is $90,000 – $105,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience.

How to apply:

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to We welcome applications from BIPOC candidates and others underrepresented in music education. Savannah Music Festival is an equal-opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.

The Organization

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting world-class celebrations of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. SMF started as Savannah OnStage International Arts Festival in 1989 with the vision of bringing high-quality artists from around the world to perform in Savannah’s Historic District. The organization operates year-round to plan and produce an annual multi-day, multi-venue music festival, off-season concerts, broadcast programs, and free music education programming focused on youth. The annual springtime festival presents a diverse selection of music genres, including classical, jazz, American, and international roots music. The festival features original productions, cross-genre collaborations, free artistic lectures, Q&As, and commissioned works that are staged at various venues throughout Savannah. With its performances and education programming, SMF serves annually, on average, more than 40,000 music enthusiasts from many backgrounds, locations, and age ranges. In 2019, SMF attracted patrons from more than 40 states. SMF’s local education programs, Musical Explorers and SMF Jazz Academy, serve the Savannah community, reaching students and teachers at more than 50 public, private, and home schools in urban and rural settings across Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh (GA), Beaufort, and Jasper (SC) counties. On average, more than 80% of participants attend Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools (SCCPSS).