The Lean Data team at Acumen Fund is looking for an experienced finance expert to join our team at an exciting inflection point, as we spin out Lean Data into a new entity. Lean Data was created at Acumen, an impact investor that supports early-stage entrepreneurs who are fighting the root causes of poverty. 

This is a unique opportunity for an outstanding candidate to help build and operationalize the financial infrastructure of a growing, global organization focused on improving the way the world measures social impact.

About Lean Data

Lean Data was developed at Acumen to address the measurement needs for its $100M+ patient capital investment portfolio. Lean Data is a low-cost, high speed, end-to-end customer insights and data collection service that has revolutionized the field of social impact measurement. Since 2014, Lean Data has completed more than 300 projects, gathering feedback and social outcomes data from more than 75,000 low-income customers across 33 countries, working with Acumen investees as well as with leading organizations like Omidyar Network, DFID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Acumen

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $115 million in 113 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Position Description

Reporting to the Lean Data Director of Operations, the Director of Finance will play a key role in creating, operationalizing, and maintaining a robust financial infrastructure in a growing, global organization.  S/he will collaborate closely with leadership,  administrative, and programmatic team members working in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Kenya. S/he will manage a small team of junior finance staff in service of the finance team’s global responsibilities.

The ideal candidate for this role will be comfortable with both big picture planning and detail-oriented "sweating the small stuff." S/he may be reviewing expense coding and signing off on Accounts Payable one minute and then partnering with a colleague to build and roll out a program budget and tracking program the next. Rather than relishing doing one type of work and reluctantly doing the other just because it has to get done, the ideal candidate will appreciate that doing all the myriad responsibilities well yields a stronger and more efficient overall system and will roll up her/his sleeves when needed.

More than anything, we are looking for someone who is curious and entrepreneurial, a quick learner, and will be continuously looking for strategic opportunities to improve and grow in the way that we approach our financial management.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Spin-off Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with operational team to build out robust financial policies and procedures applicable across all four geographies and optimized for the unique way that the Lean Data team operates
  • Provide initial training and ongoing support to the programmatic team on compliance with financial procedures, including sensitizing the team to the compliance and audit-related obligations of the organization
  • Identify and build out financial system(s) for use across geographies, including general accounting and reporting, expense reporting, A/P and A/R
  • Transition historical financial information and documentation from Acumen to the new entity

Ongoing Responsibilities

  • Oversee financial reporting, operations and accounting across multiple currencies and geographies, including by not limited to
    • Maintaining updated cash flow projections
    • Managing regulatory reporting, including tax reporting and quarterly reporting
    • Overseeing junior finance staff in implementing the above functions as needed, including bookkeeping, A/P, A/R, and reconciliations
  • Oversee and continually improve the financial reporting process
  • Manage and improve internal controls across the organization
  • Oversee the annual audit process, ensuring a clean and seamless audit
  • Manage annual budgeting in close partnership with the leadership team
  • Talent management (gradually taken over from Director of Operations by Q2 2019)
    • Onboard new staff into payroll and internal HR systems
    • Support ongoing improvement of Talent policies/systems that evolve as the organization grows
    • Manage key benefits plans, including retirement and disability benefits
    • Ensure compliance with current and evolving local employment laws across geographies
  • Prepare inputs required for board meetings and investor relationships
  • Other related duties as needed to support our programs and organization


  • Master's degree in a related field required (MBA or masters in accounting, finance or similar field)
  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience
  • Experience in a start-up environment strongly preferred
  • Experience with a global, multi-geography organization, including experience across multiple tax jurisdictions, strongly preferred
  • Direct management experience strongly preferred
  • Experience with Xero financial management program preferred
  • Fluency in MS Office; specifically, expertise in Excel and proficiency in Word and PowerPoint
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • Excellent project management and systems-building skills
  • Consistent accuracy in all tasks large and small, with enthusiastic attention to detail
  • Ability to work efficiently, intensely, and juggle multiple priorities within an entrepreneurial environment where meeting deadlines is expected and comfort with ambiguity is essential


This position will be based in New York City, NY. Permanent authorization to work in the United States is required.

Depending on the hiring timeline, the selected candidate may initially be hired as a consultant, and the contract will be transitioned to the new independent entity. If the selected candidate is hired after the transition date, estimated at February 1st, s/he will be hired directly by the new independent entity.


Compensation for this role is competitive and will be commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Candidates for the Director of Finance position are asked to submit a cover letter. In lieu of a cover letter, candidates are also asked to write a concise response to the two questions below.

Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; deadline to apply is January 25th. The application will remain open until the position is filled. 

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