Associate Accountant

Location: Bay Area, CA preferred; remote telecommute optional

Division: Operations

Reports to: Senior Director of Finance

Start Date: ASAP – position open until filled     

Position type: Full time, exempt 



Founded in 2016, Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) is a multi-state organization that aims to win new safety priorities in large incarceration states across the country. ASJ partners with leaders and advocates to advance state criminal justice reform through policy advocacy, coalition building, research, education, and strategic communications. ASJ also represents diverse victims of crime to advance policies that provide more safety and help, and people with old records to advance policies that provide more redemption and freedom. Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ), which operates as ASJ’s flagship state advocacy effort, has been leading state advocacy efforts to replace over-incarceration in California with new safety priorities. Additionally, Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund, a project of Tides Advocacy, is the 501 (c)4 arm of ASJ.


Position Summary

The Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) seeks an experienced Accountant to manage all (c)3 aspects of the accounting operation during a time of growth in which ASJ has recently obtained its own (c)3 tax exemption status and further build out our infrastructure. This is a tremendous opportunity for an accounting leader who is eager to play a key role in deepening our mission by strengthening our internal accounting capacity as we develop our Finance and Accounting department within the Operations division. 

The Associate Accountant will be responsible for the execution of a comprehensive accounting system, including a set of controls designed to mitigate risk, enhance the accuracy of reporting, and ensure the organization adheres to GAAP, tax compliance, and other regulations. Our ideal candidate will have experience in non-profit accounting or fund accounting  and will demonstrate the ability to work across departments and functions within the organization. This position will primarily work on supporting the Accounts Payable (A/P) processes of the team in coordination with the Bookkeeper and Finance Associates, and will initially report to the Senior Director of Finance while providing support to the Senior Accountant.  This position will collaborate across the Operations division, including the HR, Grants & Contracts, Legal & Compliance, and Development departments.


Primary Responsibilities

Reporting to the Senior Director of Finance, the Associate Accountant will be responsible for the below:

Accounting & Operational Management (50%)

  • Oversee the management and expense tracking process for organizational purchase cards
  • Monitor cash flow to ensure compliance with funder regulations and cash management policies
  • In partnership with designated Finance and Accounting staff, review and issue checks, wires and ACH payments
  • With oversight from the Senior Director of Finance, prepare and book payroll allocations and overhead costs to projects, programs and grants; ensure that expenditures are consistently aligned with grant and program budgets throughout the grant/fund period; collate financial reporting materials for grant and contract management
  • Assist in the monthly and annual accounting close process and schedule, including journal entries, accruals, including reconciliation of balance sheet accounts to support subsidiary records
  • Maintain professional and technical knowledge by reviewing professional publications, attending educational workshops and establishing personal networks
  • Review payment terms for all outgoing grants, contracts, or other agreements

Reporting and Compliance (30%)

  • Ensure that the daily financial and accounting functions are in accordance with GAAP and all applicable regulatory requirements including those set forth by the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and legal rules and regulations for non-profit operations designated as IRS 501(C)(3) and 501(C)(4) organizations
  • Maintain compliance with all federal, state, local and private reporting requirements, including federal and state information tax returns, federal and state payroll tax returns, and other returns pertaining to charitable organizations and solicitations
  • Monitor organizational compliance with the requirements of tax exempt and other debt
  • Provide documentation for the federal and state tax return preparation, and coordinate annual financial audits and single audits (OMB A-133), as needed
  • Participate in evaluating, improving and documenting policies and procedures related to cost-sharing financial practices

Staff Support & Collaboration (20%)

  • Work closely with the COO, Senior Director of Finance, Lead Accountant and other organizational leaders to execute financial strategy, policy, and procedures
  • Collaborate with the HR Managers and Senior Director of Finance to monitor and audit employee payroll and benefits, including the review of accrued benefits, manual calculations for payroll processing, ADP inputs, reconciliations of Form 941s to payroll expenditures, etc.
  • Participate in and/or lead learning opportunities to enhance individual, team, and organizational performance in support of the organization’s operations and accounting infrastructure
  • Carry out an open-book style of financial management by sharing and training others on basic and technical accounting issues; ensure that department leads have access to the reporting tools and resources needed  
  • Perform special projects as needed and/or requested.


Experience & Qualifications

The successful candidate will be adaptable, resourceful, deadline-driven and a strong team player. They will have a keen eye for detail and a commitment to criminal justice reform. Specific skills and experience include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business or equivalent; CPA designation desirable 
  • 5+ years of progressive 501(c)(3) finance and accounting experience with budgets exceeding $15 million; 501(c)(4) accounting experience desirable
  • Experience working with a fiscal sponsor, including managing finances for multiple projects or entities; experience transitioning the accounting system from a sponsorship to an independent 501(c)(3) is a plus, but not required
  • Impeccable mathematics and analytical skills
  • Proven track record of designing and implementing successful accounting systems and tools
  • Solid experience coordinating and auditing accounting activities and reporting, analysis, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and accounting for investments and unrelated business income
  • 1+ years of experience supervising accounting and/or operations staff; demonstrated record of setting clear expectations, training, and holding others accountable and motivated to achieve the organization’s mission
  • Ability to work independently, manage shifting priorities, and meet recurring deadlines
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with experience in effectively communicating financial data and insights to staff, executive, and Board audiences
  • Proficiency with Netsuite, HRIS, payroll processing, or another financial platform strongly preferred
  • Experience with workplace apps including Slack, Asana, Google, and similar tools
  • Empathetic, humble, kind and level-headed 


Working Conditions & Physical Demands

  • Some travel may be required
  • Requires use of a desktop, laptop, or video display terminal
  • Requires routine physical movements with limited physical exertion
  • Ability to communicate, receive and understand information through oral and written communication and proofread and check documents for accuracy
  • Requires communicating information with co-workers, stakeholders and/or the public; reading correspondence, instructions and/or technical documents; writing correspondence and/or reports and filling in forms


Compensation and Benefits

Salary will be commensurate with experience. The Alliance for Safety and Justice offers a competitive benefits package including health/vision/dental insurance, retirement 403b match benefit and paid sick, holiday and vacation leave.


To Apply 

Applications should be sent to our recruitment partner at Careers in Nonprofits via this link. Please send a cover letter indicating your match to the stated job requirements, your resume, and 2-3 professional references.


The Alliance for Safety and Justice is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application. Employment with Alliance for Safety and Justice is at-will. This means that employees are not guaranteed employment for a set time and that they or ASJ may end employment at any time, with or without notice, and with or without cause. No manager, supervisor, or employee of Alliance for Safety and Justice has the authority to enter into any agreement modifying the at-will nature of employment.