Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Seeks CFO

Position:  Chief Financial Officer 

Basic Function:  The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for the financial management of the organization and assists with all strategic and programmatic matters as they relate to budget management, fiscal/grant compliance and oversight, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and operating as the chief financial spokesperson within the organization. This position requires strong technical financial skills and planning, decision-making, excellent communication skills and prior supervisory experience. The CFO is expected to recommend and implement high-level system changes, as appropriate, be responsible for finances and budgeting, and be knowledgeable about the day-to-day fiscal issues. The CFO will advise the Executive Director, management staff and the Board of Directors on financial and budgeting issues related to the management of the firm. The CFO oversees various administrative operations of the law firm including but not limited to office leases, insurance, grants/contracts and technology systems. 

The position is based in Legal Action’s Milwaukee office.  This is a full-time position.  The CFO reports to the Executive Director.


Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

Legal Action of Wisconsin is a vibrant, growing non-profit organization funded by the federal Legal Services Corporation, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, and other sources.  Legal Action provides free legal aid to about 13,500 low-income persons annually in the southern 39 counties of Wisconsin with offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, and La Crosse.  In addition, Legal Action operates a statewide farmworkers’ project.  Legal Action attorneys have expertise in a range of substantive areas, but the majority of our work is in the areas of housing, public benefits, removing barriers to employment, and family law.  Legal Action currently has a staff of 120 employees and an annual budget of $11 million. 


Principal Duties and Responsibilities:


The CFO is assisted in the position’s responsibilities by the Supervisor of Accounting and Grants Reporting who supervises three accounting staff; by the Technology and Communications Manager who supervises a Technology and Communication Specialist; and by an administrative secretary.

  1. Responsible for annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the Executive Director.  Administers and reviews all ongoing financial plans and budgets.  Monitors progress and recommends needed budget changes.  Keeps Executive Director, Board of Directors and management team abreast of the firm’s financial status.
  1. Attends all Board of Director meetings and meetings of the Board's Finance and Audit Committee.  Prepares budget status reports and narratives on Legal Action’s financial position.
  2. Knowledgeable of and monitoring adherence to accounting rules and regulations, financial regulations of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), and all other applicable regulations and rules for grants.
  3. Responsible for the overall operation of Legal Action accounting, financial and grant reporting systems.
  4. Supervises and works closely with the Technology and Communications Manager (TCM) and assists with the overall planning and oversight of Legal Action’s technology systems.
  5. Works closely with the Associate Executive Director and other managers in the development of the financial and administrative components of grant proposals and reports.  
  6. Maintains responsibility for the firm’s compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to all fiscal matters including but not limited to OMB Uniform Guidance, GAAP, ERISA, and IRS requirements.
  7. Oversees all procurement processes to assure compliance with all policies and procedures.
  8. Serves as a Trustee on the Legal Action of Wisconsin 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan.
  9. Works closely with the Human Resources Director on the financial and tax aspects of the Legal Action fringe benefit plans, salary compensation plans and three union Collective bargaining agreements.  CFO prepares financial analysis of any proposed changes.  
  10.  Reviews, drafts and negotiates vendor contracts and funding grant agreements with outside parties.
  11. Researches and arranges for insurance coverage for the firm’s operations.
  12. Coordinates the search for office space and negotiates office leases.


Other Duties

  1. Other duties may be assigned by the Executive Director from time to time.


Competencies Required:

  1. Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration, public administration or related field is required.  CPA or Master’s degree preferred.
  2. Broad knowledge and experience in managing the financial and administrative operations of a mid-sized organization in the range of 80 to 200 employees.  At least four years of supervisory experience.
  3. Significant experience in or knowledge of nonprofit accounting, including sophisticated fund and grant accounting, budgeting, internal controls, compliance, and reporting.
  4. Proficiency in application of relevant federal and state laws and regulations (e.g. OMB Uniform Guidance, GAAP, IRS Form 990 reporting).
  5. Prior experience working with a non-profit or legal aid organization is a plus.
  6. Appreciation of the importance of civil legal aid and commitment to our mission of equal justice for low-income people. Familiar with the issues faced by poor people. 
  7. Excellent interpersonal and coaching skills.
  8. Demonstrated ability to lead and develop the Finance and Information Technology staff.
  9. Demonstrated ability in successful participation in a management group.
  10. Ability to travel to our offices, and occasionally statewide and nationally. 


Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.


Salary and Benefits:

Competitive starting salary will depend upon experience and qualifications.  The position will include a full fringe benefits package.  It currently includes:  fully paid health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance; a retirement plan; and four weeks of annual leave per year.  The position is subject to a probationary period of up to one year.  The position is governed by the Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Personnel Policies. These policies are subject to unilateral change by Legal Action’s Board of Directors.  As with any Legal Action position, there is no guaranteed period of employment and employment is “at will,” subject to termination at any time. 


Application Procedure:  

Email applications are preferred and strongly encouraged.  When using email, use PDF formatting for all attachments. 

Interested applicants should submit the following to  

  1. A cover letter expressing interest in the position,
  2. A full resume describing past experience, qualifications, education and abilities, and
  3. The names of and contact information for at least three professional references,

If necessary, hard copies may be sent to:


Mr. David Pifer, Executive Director

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

230 West Wells Street, Room 800

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203


Deadline to Apply: This position will be open until filled but we will review applicants on a rolling basis.  To assure early consideration, please submit application materials as soon as possible and no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019.

Diversity Statement:  Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer