Adrienne O'Rourke

Controller, Trinity Washington University

Trinity Washington University

Trinity Washington University (Trinity), a comprehensive university in the nation’s capital, seeks an experienced Controller who will be part of a dynamic team in the Business Office. The Controller provides essential finance and accounting expertise and supervises all Business Office functions. This position is ideal for a finance professional who has experience working with nonprofits, especially organizations in higher education, and is eager to sustain a minority serving institution.  

The Organization

Historically a women’s college and now a diversified small university, Trinity enrolls more than 2,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as continuing education programs, and generates revenues through a robust conference business. Trinity’s student body today is approximately 95% Black and Latinx, with about 80% of full-time undergraduates eligible for Pell grants. Trinity proudly enrolls more D.C. residents and more graduates of D.C. Public Schools than any other private university in the city and in the nation. Trinity’s campus is located in northeast Washington, just 2.5 miles from the U.S. Capitol and Union Station and close to Washington’s Metrorail (Red Line – Brookland Station). For more information, please visit  

The Position

Reporting to and in cooperation with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Controller supervises all Business Office staff and functions. The Controller must demonstrate superior, relevant accounting skills and possess the ability to lead and motivate Business Office team members.  The Controller will engage effectively on budget management and accountability with a diverse

group of faculty and staff across the institution. A successful relationship builder and communicator, the Controller will work with banking partners, auditors, and other external partners and regulatory officials, as well as communicating effectively and routinely with the CFO and Trinity President. In the Business Office, the Controller will supervise a team of five with one direct report (Associate Controller).  

The Controller’s responsibilities include, and are not limited to:

Accounting, Budgeting, & Reporting

  • Supervise and work with an Associate Controller in the management of the different Business Office functions including general accounting, fixed assets, cash receipts, student receivables, student loan funds, accounts payable, deferred gifts, and payroll.
  • Analyze the college’s daily cash balances.
  • Assist in the maintenance of the general ledger.
  • Assist in the development of a cash flow model and capital planning.
  • Assist the CFO with the development of the annual budget.
  • Oversee and review the preparation of the following:
  1. Timely and accurate financial reports, including monthly financial statements;  
  2. Information required for year-end closing, audit reports, government reports, grants and contracts;
  3. Monthly trial balance, internal financial statements and budget reports; and
  4. Annual and revised budget reports.
  • Direct and manage the year-end financial statement audit and 990 with the Associate Controller. 
  • Monitor and prepare the semi-annual bond covenant reports for our financial institution partner.
  • Provide and evaluate services to internal staff and other division and stakeholders as appropriate in the assigned business areas.


Compliance & Internal Controls

  • Responsible for developing, maintaining and adapting internal control systems to provide assurance that college assets are safeguarded.
  • Develop and monitor robust internal controls for fraud, errors, and omissions with cash accounts, accounts payable and investments.
  • Collaborate with the CFO and Associate Controller for financial system upgrades and implementation of new policies and procedures pertaining to the overall finances. 
  • Maintain current information and implement the compliance and reporting standards with state, federal and district policies and regulations.
  • Ensure that the college’s financial practices comply with accounting standards and governing law. Formulate responses to audit findings and implementation of necessary corrective actions. 

Trinity uses a variety of tools in the Business Affairs Office including Microsoft Office, Great Plains accounting software, ADP and Workforce Now for payroll, and Power Campus database.  

 Experience and Attributes

Highly qualified candidates will share Trinity’s mission to offer a broad range of educational programs that prepare students across the lifespan for the intellectual, ethical and spiritual dimensions of contemporary work, civic and family life.  Candidates will bring the following:

  • Five to seven plus years of progressive and relevant nonprofit accounting experience, preferably as a controller or accounting manager, and/or experience with a public accounting firm with extensive experience in nonprofit and/or higher education.
  • Experience in private higher education is preferred, particularly experience with the management of federal and state student financial aid, federal grants and sponsored programs, and private donations.
  • Ability to interpret and apply accounting principles and standards to complex financial transactions; to evaluate and implement control changes; manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Operational, capital and grant budget development and management.
  • Ability to work with a diverse workforce of faculty and staff across an institution to ensure strong budget management and fiscal accountability.
  • Ability to work cohesively with the CFO, the President/CEO, and with the Board of Trustees/Directors.
  • Experience working with auditors, banking partners and regulatory agencies.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; attention to detail and follow through.
  • Commitment to building a strong team that is committed to customer service excellence.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Accounting or Business major preferred. MBA preferred.
  • CPA required.   


Application Process

To apply, upload resume, cover letter, and salary requirements by clicking here.* Please direct all inquiries to Raffa-Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group, who is conducting the search. Contact: Adrienne O’Rourke, reviews begin immediately.  

Trinity is an Affirmative Action/Equal Access/Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its students, faculty and staff. Trinity is

committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community and strongly encourages all qualified individuals to apply.


About Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group

Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group is working with Trinity to advance the search. Founded in 1984 as Raffa PC and merged with Marcum LLP in 2018, we are a mission-driven professional services firm seeking to do more for nonprofits and socially conscious companies like Trinity.  Learn more about our work at


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