Chief Financial Officer

Opaskwayak Cree Nation

About Opaskwayak Creek Nation

Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) is a self-governing and culturally aware First Nation led by a committed Council and strong administrative team working together in the best interest of its 6,200 members. The Nation neighbours the growing town of The Pas, MB and beautiful Clearwater Lake. There are 8 branches within the organization including Education, Health, Business Enterprises (PBDC), Child and Family Services, Government Services, Branch Support Services, Lands and Natural Resources and Infrastructure.

About the Chief Financial Officer

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and working closely with the Treasury Board, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for managing the overall financial position and plays a critical role in developing and implementing the financial strategy of OCN. As a member of the leadership team, the Chief Financial Officer ensures the functions within the financial portfolio effectively align with and support the Nation’s Financial Administrative Law (FAL), finance policy, guiding principles and strategic direction of OCN, with a specific focus on ensuring its financial stability. The CFO advises on a wide range of financial issues for the organization and actively participates in problem-solving and decision-making for a variety of strategic and operational issues.  The CFO will establish high-performance business functions with dedicated, skilled, engaged, and client-focused team members and efficient financial, administrative, and risk practices. The CFO will coach, mentor, and lead approximately 30 financial support team members.

Key Leadership Accountabilities

Financial and Operational Management

  • Participate in developing the strategic plan to advance OCN’s guiding principles, and to promote revenue, profitability and growth of the organization
  • Work with the Branch Support Services to meet the requirements of the FAL and finance policy, understand the goals and objectives, key drivers of success, information and measurement systems and processes and reporting
  • Create and establish yearly financial objectives that align with OCN’s strategic plans
  • Lead the finance and accounting functions including annual budgeting, forecasting, business planning, analysis, reporting, capital planning, insurance, asset management, audits, cost control and acquisitions
  • Translate the strategic and business plans for financial planning and accounting into operational plans
  • Review prior financial results and discuss anticipated changes to highlight future needs and trends
  • Develop financial models that can reflect different scenarios and can be used in long-term planning
  • Monitor financial performance against budgets and explore, analyze and report variances for discussion and decision-making
  • Ensure the reporting requirements of the FAL, policy and government funding agencies are met by overseeing development of scheduled, periodic and ad hoc financial statements and reports
  • Identify within a risk management framework, all risks to the organization, and develop and implement internal controls to mitigate these risks
  • Develop a process of assessing and reporting on the overall performance of the organization
  • Maintain effective and efficient accounting systems, processes and practices based on recognized accounting principles, policies, procedures and guidelines while ensuring compliance
  • Oversee the year-end audit process including the review and/or preparation of working papers, schedules, analysis and other required documentation
  • Assess and evaluate the financial performance of the organization regarding long-term operational goals, budgets and forecasts
  • Provide the CEO, Treasury Board, Branch Directors and Council with historical, current and future projected information and analysis about organizational performance
  • Coordinate the development/ renewal of policies and procedures required for good governance and management of the organization

Leadership and Human Resources Management

  • Act as a resource and provide assistance to the leadership team with respect to financial information, issues and reports
  • Model the organizational culture and performance expectations for all staff with specific leadership of the finance team
  • Provide day-to-day leadership and lead the development of a positive and constructive culture through the facilitation of teamwork, effective change management and ongoing and immediate conflict resolution
  • Ensure the effective performance of all team members within the department through the effective establishment, communication and measurement of performance expectations
  • Develop key and operational performance indicators and targets
  • Maintain relationships and work collaboratively with all members of the management team
  • Manage any third parties and vendor relationships to which functions have been outsourced
  • Update job knowledge by remaining aware of new regulations; participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations
  • Ensure compliance of OCN’s financial functions with OCN’s FAL Financial, OCN policies and applicable other legislation and regulations

Stakeholder and Partner Relations

  • Communicate, engage and interact with internal and external stakeholders and maintain relationships with consultants, auditors, financial institutions, funders, and diverse communities of interest including Indigenous peoples and the public
  • Establish and maintain collaborative, ongoing relationships with internal senior leaders including Chief and Council, Treasury Board, OCN branches, Boards of Directors and other committees
  • Strengthen OCN’s relationships with government funding agencies including but not limited to Indigenous Services Canada, Health Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Provide advice and guidance to the leadership team and Chief and Council
  • Represent OCN in the community

Education and Experience Requirements

The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring the long-term financial stability of OCN and requires strong leadership skills and the ability to develop and maintain a high-performance finance and administration team. The CEO, Chief and Council and the Nation will rely on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the individual in this role. Candidates must meet the following education and experience requirements and be able to demonstrate strong leadership and technical competencies. The ideal candidate understands First Nation culture and is experienced working with government and government funding.

  • A post-secondary degree in finance or business, complemented by 10 years of experience working in finance, accounting and auditing and 5 years in a senior role leading the finance function. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.
  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designations would be considered assets.
  • Knowledge and experience with Indigenous accounting services and/or experience working in an Indigenous organization or community
  • Must demonstrate the following skills through past relevant leadership and management experience: strategic financial stewardship, best practices in accounting systems, budgets, internal controls, business planning, asset management, cost controls including GAAP, knowledge of federal and provincial regulations, exceptional financial planning, analysis, and reporting, organization, time management, and problem-solving and operational performance measurements and improvement
  • Experience in financial modelling, financial analysis, cash flow management, and monitoring investments
  • Knowledge of public policies and federal policies that apply to First Nations entities
  • Knowledge of relevant accounting programs/applications such as Sage 300, Sage Intacct, Excel
  • Ability to analyze financial data, prepare financial reports, statements, and projections
  • Ability to communicate financial information and concepts to leadership team and staff who may not have financial expertise
  • Ability to think and act strategically with expertise in complex problem solving, decision making, critical thinking skills, and good judgment including ability to back-up and rationalize recommendations and decisions
  • Ability to identify connections between systems, processes and individuals to facilitate adoption of change
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the proven ability to provide leadership to a team and to work in a team environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication, presentation, and negotiation skills

MNP Executive Search and Professional Recruitment is pleased to run this search on behalf of our client, OCN.

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