Firelight Media: Controller



Marketing & Communications, Accounting & Finance
New York, NY, USA
Posted on Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Firelight Media, a non-profit organization, is the premier destination for nonfiction cinema by and about communities of color. Firelight Media produces documentary films, supports filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work. Firelight Media’s key programs include the Documentary Lab, a flagship mentorship program that seeks out and supports emerging diverse filmmakers, and Beyond Resilience, its monthly event series that highlights the strategies and experiences of nonfiction filmmakers of color in creating and distributing work during periods of social transformation. The budget for FY23 is $8.7 million, which has represented significant growth in size and complexity over the last three to five years.
Firelight Media’s sister organization, Firelight Films, is the production company of award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson that produces documentary films and develops strategies, partnerships, and materials to reach and engage diverse audiences. Recent productions include Attica for Showtime, Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre for the History Channel, and Crack: Cocaine, Corruption, & Conspiracy for Netflix.
Visit Firelight Media’s YouTube channel to learn more about its groundbreaking programs and partnerships.
Firelight Media seeks a Controller who will be responsible for leading and monitoring the accounting and financial operations of the organization. Reporting to the Director of Finance & Operations and with a dotted line of reporting to the President, the Firelight Media Controller will be responsible for overseeing and providing day-to-day fiscal management. They will ensure accurate reports are generated monthly and recorded to meet the annual audit reporting standards.
The Firelight Media Controller must be able to work closely with all Firelight Media staff and partner organizations, collaborating most often with the Director of Finance & Operations and the President. Personal alignment with the mission and goals of the organization is essential.

Key Responsibility: Monitor, Design, and Lead Financial Systems and Processes

  • Supervise and manage the Finance & Operations Coordinator.
  • Work in partnership with the Director of Finance & Operations and the grants and contracts staff throughout budget development and reporting.
  • Lead annual audit preparation, collaborating closely with the external audit firm. Ensure the required tax filings are executed on time. Comply with all regulatory reporting and filing requirements.
  • Maintain and enforce current internal controls and safeguards, and make recommendations for improved new processes.
  • Support the organization’s senior leadership team in the annual budgeting process.
  • Oversee the monitoring of performance vs. budget and identify and mitigate any variances proactively. Liaise between department heads and senior management.
  • Oversee the preparation of all financial statement forecasts and the cash forecast; make appropriate recommendations to the Director of Finance & Operations.
  • Stay abreast of developments in non-profit accounting and finance and recommend and implement changes to current processes as required.

Oversee General Accounting Functions

  • Comply with the standard US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the recording and posting all accounting transactions and business activities. Approve and generate journal entries and adjust entries to ensure general ledger data quality.
  • Partner closely with team leads to perform the month-end close process, performs account reconciliations, and provides timely financial reports.
  • Effectively collaborate with the Firelight Media team and organizational leadership to communicate any barriers to strong financial health.
  • Maintain accounting files and supporting documentation for all transactions
  • Maintain all supporting schedules, including but not limited to Fixed and Net Restricted Assets.
  • Continually review the accounting system to ensure it meets the organization's needs; evaluate and update the chart-of-accounts to reflect its evolving business activities and growth.
  • Oversee the management of the organization’s bank accounts, and cash and investment balances.


  • A deep commitment to the mission of Firelight Media.
  • Comfortable collaborating with program staff on financial matters.
  • Affinity for working in an organization in high growth stage, with a knack for building the infrastructure to streamline such growth through contributing to the development of internal systems.
  • 5+ years of progressive professional experience in accounting, finance, and undergoing audits.
  • Experience supervising a direct report is strongly preferred.
  • Professional experience in accounting and finance at a nonprofit is required.
  • In-depth knowledge of nonprofit accounting and finance practices, including experience supporting and/or undergoing audits.
  • Strong understanding of laws and compliance related to not-for-profit accounting, including budgeting, proper reporting and filing, and tracking of restricted funds.
  • Proficiency in QuickBooks accounting software.
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting; CPA preferred but not required.
  • Experience with government grants, a plus
The salary range for this position is $85,000-$110,000 per year, depending on experience, plus a comprehensive benefits package. Benefits include 100% employer-paid health insurance; 20 vacation days accrued annually; a 403(b) retirement plan with employer matching and one year vesting period; reimbursable gym membership through the employer health care plan; flexible spending accounts for transit and health care; and professional development.
Please submit an online application to Work Renewed. If you have any questions, contact the Work Renewed team at
Firelight Media is an equal-opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
In line with Firelight Media's commitment to a diverse and inclusive staff, women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.