Assistant Financial Controller (Director)
This role is responsible for delivering financial reporting documents to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), Board of Directors, and other stakeholders. The Director leads the annual and quarterly reporting cycles, ensures all technical accounting issues are appropriately addressed, and ensures WestJet has an appropriate framework to certify internal controls over financial reporting. The Director will also lead our annual financial statement audit process including the resolution of audit items raised. The individual will play a key leadership role in integration activities around WestJet’s recent acquisition of Sunwing (air and tour operator) and will support strategic initiatives such as IPO-readiness activities associated with any future Initial Public Offering. This role provides direct supervision of a team of financial and technical accountants and internal control specialists and requires a high level of influence and collaboration with other members of the broader Finance team, including Financial Planning & Analysis, Treasury, and Tax.
Specific Responsibilities and Deliverables:
- Leads the preparation of quarterly financial reporting documents including the consolidated financial statements, Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A), disclosure committee documents and audit committee material.
- Reviews, and at times prepares, technical research and interpretation of new IFRS standards as well as new complex agreements and transactions for appropriate accounting treatment.
- Reviews monthly technical and complex accounting journal entries on an as-needed basis.
- Serves as advisor to the Finance, Operations, and Commercial teams as it relates to accounting and reporting standards as the organization pursues strategic initiatives.
- Stays abreast of new and upcoming accounting and auditing standards.
- Manages and leads our external auditor engagements, discussing complex and sensitive matters for resolution at the most senior audit level.
- Leads various third-party engagements as required to support accounting transactions such as third-party valuation firms.
- Prepares and reviews shareholder financial and regulatory reporting packages including consolidation at multiple entity levels to satisfy various reporting requests.
- Leads the WestJet internal controls program ensuring significant processes and the related key controls are properly documented and updated annually, or when changes occur.
- Coordinates with Audit & Advisory Services to address and remediate known design and operating deficiencies.
- Lead and manage the financial integration of Sunwing (air and tour operator) with respect to technical and complex accounting, as well as related purchase accounting, for the creation of consolidated group reporting
- The Director will also lead our annual financial statement audit process including the resolution of audit items raised. The individual will play a key leadership role in integration activities around WestJet’s recent acquisition of Sunwing (air and tour operator) and will support strategic initiatives such as IPO-readiness activities associated with any future Initial Public Offering.
- Identifies and manages process improvement opportunities across the portfolio.
- Develops talent, provides coaching and mentorship, actively participates in Controllers Group talent review and succession planning program.
Required Experience and Qualifications:
- 10+ years of direct financial management experience, including working with external auditors (experience in the airline industry or the transportation sector preferred).
- Experience in a major public accounting firm (preferred).
- Strong technical accounting skills; thorough knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and COSO requirements.
- Leadership capabilities to develop and strengthen the Financial Reporting and Compliance team. Proven management success in a larger company with the ability to attract, motivate and retain top talent.
- Strong financial disciplines, especially in the areas of compliance, technical accounting, and general accounting.
- Must be a highly organized individual with an emphasis on accuracy and timeliness.
- Highly analytical with the ability to understand complex issues by breaking down to their simplest components, conceptualize solutions, and clearly communicate to varying audiences.
- Drives team to consistently meet expectations and deadlines.
- Must work well in a team environment, demonstrating an ability to influence multiple functions.
- Advanced fundamental Excel skills required.
- Exposure to large Enterprise Resource Planning applications.
Leadership Competencies & Attributes
- Unquestioned business ethics, personal integrity and a genuine commitment to WestJet’s values.
- A pragmatic leader with the ability to handle multiple complex problems and business initiatives simultaneously while focusing on the core business objectives.
- Creates a long-term, strategic outlook and orientation with the ability, willingness, and humility to “roll up their sleeves” as needed.
- Has demonstrated the ability to identify, attract, develop and retain top talent, maintaining strong engagement across high performing teams. Actively contributes to talent management and succession planning programs.
- Comfortable leading in an employee-centric corporate environment; a highly visible and accessible leader of people as well as a domain expert.
- As a solutions-oriented leader, fosters a culture of creativity, innovation, common sense and proactivity.
- A positive, can-do attitude with the ‘grit’ to be able to handle setbacks as learning opportunities that arise.
- Must possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business management, finance, or another relevant field. MBA degree.
- CPA designation in good standing.
- A competitive compensation package will be negotiated based on experience and qualifications.
- This position is eligible for a short and long-term bonus as per WestJet’s compensation policy and the Total Rewards program that includes the following: a generous WestJet Savings Plan, travel benefits, medical and extended health, dental, vision, emergency travel, short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD), life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) & travel benefits. This position is also eligible for relocation assistance.