Jrs V13 I16


Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 13, Issue #16
April 6, 2009

Granted we just sent out a JRS last week, but this one is time- sensitive, and will actually GIVE YOU MONEY. Well, more specifically, that would be IN EXCHANGE FOR WORK. And we thought you might want to know, the economy being what it is and all.

Burning Man has a job opening for a Controller, and we’re taking applications up until April 10. Yes, that’s soon, so get on yer horse. Details below.

So, what’s the difference between a controller and a comptroller? They’re actually the same thing … “controller” is a bastardization of the original term “comptroller”, which derives from “compte”, the French word for “count”. And there, friends? Is your etymology lesson for the day.

Good luck to all you applicants. (Oh, and if you send your application to the Jackrabbit’s email address, it will NOT get to the right place. Read the submission instructions carefully, y’all!)

(Associate Rabbit)

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Principals only – no recruiters/agents – please email resumes to: controller-job (at) burningman (dot) com This posting will be open until Friday, April 10th.


The Controller will supervise day to day accounting (General Ledger, A/ P and Payroll) as well as ticketing and other event-related functions, prepare and present monthly financial statements and analysis, prepare and present budgets and forecasts, and manage the company’s corporate insurances. The Controller works closely with the LLC members and participates in the Executive Committee in a number of areas including Budgeting and Forecasting, and Cash Management.

The Controller will play an important role in examining and providing financial insight into the operations of the company. This includes the critical examination and questioning of various assumptions as well as the company’s historical practices.

The Controller must be able to communicate financial information in a clear and compelling manner to the owners, Executive Committee, and other employees. The Controller will be something of a “coach” at various levels of the organization – helping people to understand the financial impact of their decisions, and encouraging them to include this viewpoint when making choices.

The Controller will provide early visibility on potential problems and bring these to the attention of the Executive Committee.


Areas reporting to the Controller include Accounting (3 direct), Ticketing (2 indirect), Online Ticketing (outsourced), on-playa Accounting (partially outsourced), and ticket sales at the event Box Office (1 direct and 6 indirect).


The Controller is responsible for: – Managing the various financial functions including Accounting, Financial Reporting, Event Ticket Sales, Cash Control, Payroll, Corporate Insurance and Workers’ Comp, and all processes and systems to support these activities.

– Managing all aspects of the accounting cycle ranging from basic accounting to management of financial records to timely and accurate financial reporting.

– Selecting, training, and professional development of finance personnel.

– Monitoring and managing BRC’s cash, including managing investments in compliance with the company’s investment policy, reporting daily cash balances, and providing weekly updates to the 13-week rolling cash forecast.

– Establishing/maintaining relationships with financial service providers, including financial institutions (banks, credit card companies, etc.), insurance brokers and carriers, tax accountants, and others as appropriate.

– Maintaining an environment of internal control in all aspects of BRC’s finances.

– Ensuring timely and accurate filing of statutory and tax filings.

– Improving processing efficiencies in Accounting as well as across the organization through streamlining processes, better integration of process steps, avoiding duplication, and eliminating unnecessary activities.

– Serving as project manager for finance/accounting initiatives.


– The Controller is expected to be involved or engaged with others in activities beyond the normal scope of accounting. The Controller will be a member of various ad hoc or standing teams formed to address specific issues, including the Executive Committee. In all areas, the Controller is expected to contribute to the team’s success while simultaneously attending to the cost-control, cash management, and internal control interests typically expected from the accounting function.

– The Controller shall perform other duties as assigned.


– A blend of effective communication skills and accounting/reporting proficiency; in particular, the ability to provide timely and useful (understandable, actionable) financial information

– Practical, hands-on accounting experience as well as thorough knowledge of financial accounting theory

– Strong leadership skills, as the Controller will be actively engaged with all areas of the organization as well as managing the accounting department and maintaining internal controls

– The ability to work effectively within an organization that encourages creativity and radical self-expression along with communal effort

– Black Rock City’s Controller will live and work in the harsh physical environment of the Burning Man event location on the Black Rock desert of Nevada for at least 3+ weeks out of every year, mostly during August and September, as well as make periodic trips to Nevada for various government and other meetings


– Minimum 5 years’ experience in all aspects of accounting, month-end closes, and financial reporting using Quickbooks – Budgeting, financial planning, and follow-up analysis – Effective cash management, including monitoring and forecasting – Finance department leadership – Process improvement and documentation – Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook – Four-year college degree in accounting


– CPA and/or public accounting experience – Prior experience with business operations in Nevada as well as California – Knowledge of accounting for not-for-profits (Black Rock Arts Foundation and Black Rock Solar are both nor-for-profits. Their accounting is not provided by BRC finance, but familiarity would be useful.) – It is helpful if the candidate has previously been to Burning Man


– San Francisco, California

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Soundtrack for this JRS: Wilco, Battle Hymns, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah