Firdosh Bhathena


Achieving The Dream

The Controller will manage the day-to-day financial operations while maintaining the accounting records and internal controls in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The Controller supports the Vice President, Finance and Administration in leading financial and administrative processes, strategy, guidelines, standard operating procedures and relevant regulations. Assists in driving change, enhancing operating efficiencies, and implementing new systems and internal controls and explores how the finance function can support program operations. 


Finance and Accounting

• Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems ensuring compliance with appropriate GAAP standards and regulatory requirements.

• Maintain internal control and safeguards for receipt of revenue, costs, and program budgets and actual expenditures.

• Analyze financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements; monitor progress and changes and keep senior leadership abreast of ATD’s financial status.

• Assist ATD’s leadership in the annual budgeting and planning process; administer and review all financial plans and compare to actual results with a view to identify, explain, and correct variances as appropriate.

• Oversee all financial, project/program and grants accounting; ensure that expenditures are consistently aligned with grant and program budgets throughout the grant/fund period; 

• Advise on financial analyses and decision-making regarding capital investments, pricing, contract negotiations, significant costs, benchmarks, and other matters with leadership and the Vice President, Finance and Administration.



• Monitor, develop, and ensure the timely financial reporting for government, corporate, and foundation grants.

• Formulate, recommend and implement sound fiscal policies, procedures and internal controls.

• Ensure the timely and accurate filing of local, state and/or federal government reporting requirements and tax filings and ensure all returns are files timely and accurately.

• Manages the audit process, under the guidance and leadership of the VP, Finance & Administration.


• Lead and participate in special projects that further the goals of the finance department.

• Provide leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization; create and promote a positive and supportive work environment.

• Provide support to finance team members, helping to clarify roles and responsibilities.


Minimum Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration with an emphasis in Accounting, or a related field, CPA and/or MBA preferred.

• 7+ years’ experience preferably in a non-profit environment with exceptional knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting, and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

• A track record in grants management as it relates to compliance and reporting of government, corporate and foundation grants.

• Strong analytical skills with the ability to translate and present complex financial concepts to various audiences.

• Solid experience coordinating audit activities and managing reporting, budget development and analysis, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, and payroll.

• Advanced proficiency with MS Excel, MS Word.

• Knowledge and experience with NetSuite as a power user highly preferred.

• Problem-solving skills which allows for strategic data interpretation and reporting.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively in a diverse work environment.

• Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, prioritize tasks and meet deadlines and objectives.

Core Competencies 

  • Collaboration: Demonstrates respect, humility and willingness to collaborate when seeking to understand others and making decisions.
  • Disciplined Execution: Has the ability to break down big picture work goals into management tasks; has the foresight to anticipate potential roadblocks in order to ensure timely completion of tasks and projects.
  • Effective Communication: Ability to actively listen and thoughtfully question in order to create greater understanding and to offer insights that advance problem-solving.
  • Learning Orientation: Embraces challenges, new ideas and different perspectives as an opportunity to learn; continually seeks out and applies new learning to activate change or improvements.
  • Systems Thinking:  Defines the system and one’s role in the system. Sees relationships and the dynamic elements of the holistic system and executes work accordingly. Influences the system and maps connections to ATD’s external landscape.
  • Change Agent:  Serves as an agent of change at a personal, team, and organizational level to pursue outcomes for students. Adapts as the environment changes, while managing associated risks.  Motivates staff, team, organization, and partners to activate the change needed to advance defined priorities. 
  • Culturally Competent: Models appreciative inquiry to gain an understanding and awareness of others’ cultural identity and practices.  Creates safe and constructive forums for sharing diverse perspectives and opinions.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Demonstrates self-awareness and self-regulation and recognizes impact of personal behavior on others.

Position Details 

Position Type:Full Time, Exempt 

Salary Grade:        8

Reports To:        Vice President, Finance and Administration

Work Location:Silver Spring, MD 

Level of Travel:Minimal


Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties of this position. 


Equal Opportunity Employer

At Achieving the Dream, Inc. (ATD) we strive to attract, develop and retain highly qualified and diverse individuals. ATD is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Employment policies and decisions at ATD are based upon merit, qualifications, performance and business needs.  All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), gender identity or expression, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, legally-protected genetic information, marital status, veteran status or sexual orientation.

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