Director of Finance

Director of Finance

  • Administration
  • Victoria


St. Margaret’s is Western Canada’s only all-girls, independent day and boarding school located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1908, SMS is an international centre for girls’ learning and leadership development providing empowering education for girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (boarding grades 7-12).  A committed, high calibre staff, a beautiful campus, and an innovative, integrated curriculum create a nurturing environment that challenges students to achieve their academic and leadership potential.

Reporting to the Head of School, the The Director of Finance is an integral member of the senior management team and provides general counsel to the Head of School and the Finance Committee of the Board of Governors on all business and financial matters.  The incumbent is responsible for overall financial management of the organization, including asset and treasury management, budgeting, accounts payable and receivable, procurement, insurance, and fund and regulatory compliance. The Director of Finance is also responsible for payroll, the financial piece around facilities and rentals, and transportation.  The Director of Finance also works with the Treasurer of the Board, as needed.

The Director of Finance collaborates in setting and implementing strategic and business objectives of the school and ensures a high level of fiscal responsibility and ethics, appropriate internal and cost controls, and timely reporting for effective decision-making.  The position requires strong team building and collaboration skills as well as an ability to deal with competing priorities. The Director of Finance sits on the Leadership Team and builds and sustains relationships with all stakeholders. They work collaboratively with colleagues in Operations, Marketing and Communications, Enrolment Management, Fundraising, Boarding and the School Principals.

Direct reports:

The Director of Finance has 5 positions that directly report to him/her:  Finance Manager, Payroll & Benefits Administrator, Manager of Buildings & Grounds; Store Clerk (part-time) and Transportation Coordinator (part-time).  There are additional positions below the Manager of Facilities and the Transportation Coordinator.

Core and Leadership Competencies

  • Integrity & Trust
  • Building Effective Teams
  • Service Orientation
  • School & Business Acumen
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Innovation
  • Managerial Courage
  • Resilience
  • Interpersonal Savvy
  • Strategic Agility

The ideal candidate will carry out the following responsibilities within an educational context:



  • Overall responsibility for the financial operations and assets of the school.
  • Develop and/or recommend and implement appropriate related policy and procedures.
  • Ensure compliance to all applicable government and agency codes, regulations, bylaws and relevant school policies and procedures.
  • Lead the development of annual operating and capital budgets that align with policy and business objectives, including establishment of budget process and collaboration with and support of senior managers to ensure budget accountability.
  • Develop and execute current and long-term financial plans that align with strategy and business priorities.
  • Provide accurate and timely financial reports, analysis, and advice to Head of School, Board of Governors, Finance Committee, and senior management to achieve business objectives. 
  • Prepare and present annual financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations and implement internal controls as determined necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement.
  • Coordinate and lead all financial audit processes and communicate results.
  • Develop student fee proposals and tuition model for board approval and in compliance with policies and strategic plan and implement and administer approved student fees and fee refunds.
  • Oversee accounts payable, treasury, accounts receivable; direct and participate in accounts receivable collections as needed.
  • Provide procurement and contract management services to departments.
  • Participate on the Financial Assistance Committee in assessing and awarding student bursaries.
  • Ensure staff reports receive adequate training, guidance and support, including coaching and mentoring, to achieve business objectives.
  • Ensure reconciliation all operational systems and applications used in business units, including finance, store, student records and advancement.
  • Ensure that financial and fee information on the school website is accurate and up to date.
  • Ensure accurate and timely external reporting to governments, agencies, grantors and accreditors, including Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), CRA Charities Directorate, and all levels of government, as required.
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, such as auditors, bankers, investment managers, Parent Advisory Council Treasurer, legal advisors, and insurance brokers.

Risk Management

  • Supports the Director of Operations to help foster an “Enterprise Risk Management” approach and assists in the maintenance of a “risk register” that includes all aspects of health and safety. 

Ancillary and Physical Plant Operations

  • Oversight of store retail operations, transportation services and facility rental contracts.
  • Oversight of management and maintenance of the School’s physical plant and infrastructure, planning, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of the physical plant and grounds. Includes oversight of:
    • negotiation of contracted services for physical plant and management of contracts to ensure they are meeting School requirements.
    • preparation, and monitoring of physical plant expenditures within allocated budgets.
    • development of long-term building maintenance and replacement plans for the School, including prioritization of projects for funding.


  • Oversee timely and accurate payment to employees through bi-weekly payroll.
  • Oversee administration of employee benefits program, including changes, enrollments and payroll deductions.
  • Ensure timely reporting and remittances for records of employment, payroll taxes, WorkSafeBC, and payments to benefit providers.

Human Resources Support

  • Ensure effective employee benefits and oversee regular compliance and cost-benefit review.
  • Provide financial approval for new positions and hires.
  • Oversee costing during negotiation of collective agreements.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting or an equivalent.
  • Minimum of 10 years experience managing finances and/or accounting for a not for profit organization using fund accounting.  Working with an educational institution is an asset.
  • Strong knowledge of generally accepted accounting standards, financial best practices, principals, and internal controls.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience engaging significantly in an organization’s strategic and business operations (preferably for a non-profit).
  • Substantial experience in accounting applications with strong technical and accounting systems knowledge; Microsoft Dynamics GP experience preferred.
  • Proven record of creating financial structure, implementing best practices and internal controls.
  • Experience in leading financial teams and/or operating finance departments.
  • Experience in leading external audit process and in preparing financial statements.
  • Knowledge of financial regulatory, compliance and taxation requirements. 
  • Possess skills in diplomacy and influencing, problem and conflict resolution, initiative, prioritizing. implementing process enhancements, and handling of confidential and sensitive information.
  • Strong detail orientation and ability to manage multiple overlapping priorities.
  • High level of integrity, confidentiality and accountability.
  • Sound analytical thinking, planning, prioritization and execution skills.
  • Strong team building and collaborative skills.
  • A sense of humour is appreciated.

The anticipated start date for this position is January 2021. Interested candidates are invited to submit an application package, which includes a covering letter, curriculum vitae and professional references, quoting the Posting #2021015 to: [email protected]



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