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Financial Accountant

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
Maintain the day-to-day accounting functions of the Chicago Botanic Garden and assist in reporting financial information while maintaining or improving internal accounting controls and efficiency.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the world's great botanic gardens and living museums, known for its stunning collection of landscapes and horticultural displays as well as for its plant conservation science and education programs. Our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. The Garden inspires more than one million people a year who visit, and tens of thousands more whom we reach through our outreach programs in urban agriculture, horticulture therapy, and citizen science.

At a mere 46 years old, the Garden is one of only 17 public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. Its 27 display gardens and four natural areas cover 385 acres and are uniquely sited on nine islands. The permanent plant collections contain almost 2.8 million plants representing more than 13,000 taxa. The Garden has 51,000 members—one of the largest memberships of any U.S. botanic garden. Its Lenhardt Library contains 150,000 volumes, including one of the nation’s best collections of rare horticultural and botanical books.

The Garden is one of two cultural institutions within the Forest Preserves of Cook County. It is an independent 501(c)(3) organization with an annual operating budget of nearly $40 million and is in the final stages of a $125 million capital and endowment campaign. It has received a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for five years in a row. For more information on the Chicago Botanic Garden, please visit

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Monitor and maintain the general ledger, including cash receipts, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash disbursements journals.
  • Recommend policies and procedures to  the controller in order to ensure the accuracy of accounting records while maintaining or improving internal controls and efficiency of staff.
  • Advise controller of unusual and significant transactions. Review daily reports and prepare the monthly close. Analyze monthly departmental and Garden-wide financial reports for deviation from budget and emerging trends. Assist controller in the preparation of reports to management and board.
  • Respond in a timely manner to departmental inquiries related to accounting and financial reporting issues.
  • Assist in the preparation of reports to monitor status of grants, projects, restricted contributions and contracts, including compliance with financial requirements. Provide accounting information to other departments as requested.
  • Assist in the preparation and file tax returns required by federal and state authoritiesin a timely manner.
  • Assist in all aspects of financial reporting, training, and special projects as assigned.
  • Oversee multiple priorities while meeting strict deadlines.
  • Maintain effective communication with internal and external customers.


  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting; C.P.A. and/or M.B.A. a plus.
  • Minimum of three years of accounting experience; nonprofit accounting experience a plus. 
  • Knowledge of accounting and reporting software (e.g. Financial Edge) as well as Office products, not limited to Excel.
Physical Demands: 
Office setting. Listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.