May 23 2023
Kupu |Honolulu|Full Time
Job Description



Kupu’s Story

Kupu, which means “to sprout” or “to grow” in Hawaiian, has a two-fold mission: to preserve the land while empowering youth. The organization provides hands-on training in conservation, sustainability, and environmental education for young adults, with the goal of fostering our next generation of environmental and cultural stewards. Kupu’s work has been likened to the role of the kupukupu fern, which is one of the first plants to recultivate the land after a lava flow. The fern not only serves as a foundational species for rebuilding a healthy, native ecosystem, but it also symbolizes a place where knowledge can grow.


Established in 2007 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, Kupu empowers future generations to create a more sustainable, pono Hawai‘i.  Kupu accomplishes this by partnering with conservation and sustainability focused agencies throughout the state and pacific in providing hands-on service opportunities which educate and mentor young adults and emerging professionals to become stewards of our communities and environment.  Since 2007, Kupu has risen to meet the increasing demands of the green job sector by engaging over 3,000 youth in the areas of conservation, sustainability, and environmental education. Kupu affirms the Hawaiian notion of “ma ka hana ka ʻike” or “in working one learns.”  This approach has led to the creation of hundreds of service-learning opportunities which assists in the development of Hawai’i’s emerging professionals in the green job sector while supporting over 150 conservation and sustainability organizations across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region.


Kupu’s Mission

“To empower youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning, and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage integrity (pono) with Ke Akua, self, and others.”


Kupu’s CHOSEN Values

C     Character

H     Humility

O     ‘Ohana

S     Service

E     Excellence

N     Nobility



Type:  Full-Time, Exempt, Honolulu, HI               Reports to:  Vice President of Accounting


Program/Depar​tment Goals

Kupu’s accounting department advances Kupu’s mission by supporting all Kupu programs and administration through various means including, but not limited to: a) providing financial reports to program heads, executive leadership, Board of Directors and funding partners, b) planning budgets and forecasting, c) conducting strategic planning, and d) acting as liaison with our outsourced human resources and payroll provider.


Controller - Position Overview and Description

This position reports to the VP of Accounting and is ideal for a leader who thrives on collaboration and is genuinely driven by our work and those we serve. The Controller is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the accounting and financial reporting operations of Kupu. The Controller supports the CFO and VP of Accounting in the areas of treasury, Board reporting, analysis, and planning. The Controller will also work closely with the senior leadership team and the program leaders.


Position Duties

Essential duties for the Controller include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Plan, direct, and coordinate the operations of the accounting department.
  • Develop and design a workflow plan that ensures timely processing of accounting transactions and closing entries.
  • Manage the accumulation of all financial data necessary for accurate, timely and complete internal and external financial reporting.
  • Oversee accounting by program and by grant; ensure that the expenses are consistently aligned with grant and program budgets. Assist the VP of Accounting with communication and collaboration between accounting and program.
  • Serve as the administrator of the accounting, reporting and procurement systems.
  • Manage the external audit process and oversee preparation of the GAAP financial statements and footnotes. Research upcoming changes to GAAP and determine the impact on Kupu’s financial statements, reporting and accounting processes.
  • Document, assess, and advise on internal controls for various accounting cycles and grant compliance.
  • Assess accounting operational flow, including implementing new or modified processes for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Oversee the preparation of various internal and external financial reporting, including grant and other funder reporting.
  • Assist in or manage the preparation of various regulatory reporting, including tax returns and government reporting.
  • Assist in the budget and forecasting process. Review all financial plans against actual results to identify, research and explain variances, where applicable.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate the payroll operations, including internal controls and workflow processes for timely, accurate and compliant processing. Assist in managing the relationship with payroll service providers.
  • Leads the accounting team by hiring and training candidates, providing daily direction, verifying accuracy of work, and giving constructive, development-oriented feedback.
  • Manage cash flow forecasting and collaborate with program leadership to assess the financial efficacy of program operations.
  • Oversee all required tax filings
  • Other related duties to meet the ongoing needs of the organization


Team Leadership

  • Leverage strengths of the finance team members, help to clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Develop and implement training programs to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals;
  • Provide positive leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization; create and promote a positive and supportive work environment
  • Serve as a role model for Kupu’s culture, mission, and CHOSEN Values


Position Requirements

This is an excellent opportunity for a proven leader with five or more years of accounting experience, including managing a team in a dynamic environment. Other qualifications include:

  • Conduct oneself with aloha and to drive Kupu’s culture.
  • Conduct oneself with integrity, credibility, professionalism, and unwavering commitment to Kupu’s mission; a proactive, hands-on strategic thinker who will, along with the VP of Accounting, are responsible for the accounting function of Kupu.
  • Capacity to translate financial terms into understandable concepts for program decisions
  • Solid experience coordinating audit activities, financial reporting, budgeting/forecasting, analysis, general ledger, and payroll.
  • Experience recruiting, mentoring, training, and managing an accounting team.
  • Experience in a non-profit setting.
  • Experience in grant accounting as it relates to compliance and reporting of government, corporate and foundation grants.
  • Bachelor's degree or higher in accounting.
  • Experienced user of accounting and reporting software.
  • Analytic, organization and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Excellent time and project management skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft 365 Suite, including an advanced proficiency in Excel.
  • A desire and willingness for continued learning and growth.
  • Meet all hiring criteria, including background and reference checks.


Preferred Qualifications<​/p>

It is preferred that the applicant has the following:

  • 5-7 years of experience in the accounting field including supervisory experience preferred.
  • Preferred CPA and/or Master of Accounting.
  • Self-motivated with an ability to follow through and complete assigned projects.
  • Experience with GET and 990 Tax filings.
  • Experience or interest in environmental conservation and/or professional and youth development.


Note: This position description is representative of the types of duties and responsibilities. It is not intended to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this position.

In accordance with Federal Law, Kupu does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.