The Winston-Salem office of Womble Bond Dickinson (US) is seeking a Chief Financial Officer. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will oversee, direct and manage all facets of the firm's financial operational and strategic function to ensure that overall firm business objectives and profitable growth are affirmatively achieved. This position is responsible for driving business process analysis and improvements and optimizing accounting processes and systems to maximize the financial performance of the firm in alignment with the firm's goals and objectives.
The finance function at the firm includes: financial/tax planning and analysis, reporting, operational budgeting, treasury/cash management, pricing strategy, alternative fee arrangements, capital budgeting, debt financing, equipment leasing, internal controls, internal/external audit, billings, collections, accounts payable, client trust accounting, financial systems, payroll, retirement plan administration and calculation/distribution of profits to partners.
Managing a team of approximately 35 in conjunction with a Controller and other managers, the CFO provides financial leadership to the firm while ensuring its financial integrity. He or she develops the financial strategy, monitors day-to-day financial activity, drives exceptional customer service, and works to position the firm to meet both short-term and long-term financial goals. The CFO is expected to further leverage the firm's robust technology platform to make the finance department as efficient as possible.
The CFO reports to the Chief Operating Officer and serves as an important, highly-visible member of a cohesive senior administrative leadership team and partners closely in cross-functional collaboration with other department leaders including: human resources, recruiting, information technology, facilities and office administration. The CFO serves as a key advisor and strategic partner to the firm's Management Committee, Practice Group Leaders and partners regarding business planning, budgets, profitability, growth targets, and revenue goals.
Key duties and responsibilities will include:
- Direct the finance function of the firm acting as the firm’s strategic financial and business advisor.
- Maintain the integrity of the firm's financial practices, ensuring compliance with financial standards, government agencies, financial institutions and external auditors.
- Analyze financial performance, and recommend, as needed, organizational, operational, and technological improvements in policies, procedures, organization and infrastructure.
- Build and align high performing team with a shared commitment to internal customer service, collaboration, accuracy, improved operational solutions and problem-solving. Identify skill gaps and create proactive training and development plans.
- Monitor current business, economic and regulatory trends, client industries and best practices in legal and professional services financial operations, determine the financial impact of new developments, and make appropriate recommendations for action.
- Manage the collection, analysis and translation of financial and operating data into usable, actionable metrics, key performance indicators, analytics, reports, dashboards and advice.
- Regularly evaluate and document the finance department structure, processes and policies to ensure the firm has proper and effective internal controls to safeguard client and firm assets, compliance, reporting, people and systems to optimize operational efficiency and promote financial strength.
- Lead the development and presentation of the annual operating budget.
- Oversee the development of federal and state income returns prepared by the firm’s external tax preparer.
- Manage the employee payroll process and the calculation and distribution of profits to partners.
- Manage all periodic and year-end closings and the preparation of financial statements; drive continuous improvement in the timeliness, accuracy and thoroughness of the financial reporting.
- Routinely monitor performance against annual budget and the firm's long-term strategy.
- Provide guidance on options to meet client-specific billing arrangements.
- Manage credit facilities, lease financing, and treasury functions. Cultivate and manage all external finance and banking relationships.
- Make recommendations regarding timekeeper billing rates based upon both historical and market data.
- Prepare fee proposals for clients and ensure that fee arrangements are properly documented.
- Negotiate beneficial terms on operational contracts and other agreements.
- Ensure that retirement plan contributions are calculated accurately and manage annual retirement plan audits.
- Perform financial analyses to provide input on the firm's business transactions and strategic planning initiatives – profitability, cost-benefit analysis, evaluation of possible lateral hire candidates, practice growth opportunities and possible merger or acquisitions.
- Develop and drive initiatives to strengthen attorneys' capabilities in pricing, profitability and efficient matter management.
- Identify and lead profitability-enhancing initiatives, leveraging the firm's financial reporting and data analytic capabilities; regularly review and evaluate findings and make appropriate proactive and actionable recommendations to control costs and grow revenue.
- Must operate comfortably across a broad spectrum of responsibilities including, at times, hands-on financial and administrative work.
- Respond to requests for financial guidance, assistance, analysis and reports.
- Participate in ad hoc and ongoing administrative committees as assigned.
Minimum Required Experience/Education/Qualifications
- A minimum of 10 years of progressive strategic and operational financial leadership experience in the legal or professional services industries, preferably in a mid-sized to large partnership.
- Preferred experience as a Chief Financial Officer, Director of Finance or Controller.
- An undergraduate degree from a top university and an active Certified Public Accountant license required. An MBA or master’s degree is not required, but would be a significant advantage.
- Strong technical accounting knowledge, including a thorough understanding of federal and state partnership income tax requirements.
- Thorough understanding of and hands-on experience with accounting system software and applications (ideally knowledge of Aderant Legal Management and its underlying table structure), workflow applications, analytical tools such as Excel. Familiarity with Microsoft SQL a plus.
- Demonstrated success recruiting, managing and mentoring high-performance, collaborative teams.
- Significant experience presenting in small and large group (100+) settings.
- Willingness and ability to travel as needed.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled and Veteran Employer.
One West Fourth Street, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101