VP of Internal Audit in Bradenton, FL at First Watch Inc.

Date Posted: 11/30/2021

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type:
  • Location:
    8725 Pendery Place
    Bradenton, FL
  • Experience:
    Not Specified
  • Date Posted:
  • Restaurant
    *First Watch Corporate Office

Job Description

Vice President, Internal Audit – Job Description

Department   Finance

Reports to     Audit Committee and Chief Financial Officer

I.              The Company

We are First Watch – a high-growth restaurant concept serving made-to-order breakfast, brunch and lunch using fresh ingredients. We have built our brand on our commitment to operational excellence, our “You First” culture and our culinary mission centered around an innovative menu that is always fresh and evolving. These foundational brand pillars have resulted in strong consumer demand and operating performance. First Watch was recognized as Nation’s Restaurant News’ top Consumer Pick in the breakfast category as well as the coffee category for its Project Sunrise coffee program in 2019. It was also named one of TripAdvisor’s Best Restaurant Chains for 2019 and one of Business Intelligence Group’s Best Places to Work in 2018. We have grown from grown from 148 restaurants in 2014 to 400+ restaurants in 2021 across 29 states. In 2017, First Watch became majority owned by Advent International, a leading private-equity firm with $54 billion in assets under management.

II.             Job Summary

The Vice President Internal Audit will lead all audit and internal control functions, including the development of compliance programs throughout the entire company.  This individual will play a critical role in the enterprise leadership of internal controls and the associated compliance with Sarbanes Oxley, the internal review of significant processes, and the oversight of the company’s enterprise risk management efforts.  

III.             Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

The essential functions in this job description are not all-inclusive of this position’s duties and responsibilities.  Reliable and dependable attendance is required.

Internal Audit

  • Define and implement Sarbanes Oxley compliance throughout the entire enterprise
  • Develop / maintain a risk assessment process to aid in the planning of internal audits
  • Develop deep working relationships with leaders of key functions
  • Develop a broad knowledge of the business and functions to ensure audits are value-added activities
  • Perform audits of complex areas within the organization
  • Communicate audit process and results to Executive Management
  • Communicate audit plan, progress, key findings, and risks to Audit Committee

Internal Controls

  • Develop and define control structures and principles
  • Define and support IT design of control structures 
  • Guides management and process owners in developing and maintaining efficient and effective internal controls
  • Develop documentation process for controls in accordance with Sarbanes Oxley compliance activities
  • Lead efforts for development and assessment of internal controls and the associated corrective action plans 
  • Design and lead the execution of management’s internal controls testing and meet with appropriate staff to coordinate resolution and follow-up testing of deficiencies
  • Work with external auditors and vendors to ensure adequate testing and efficiency/effectiveness of internal controls
  • Maintain current status with industry standards related to controls and communicate throughout the entire company
  • Communicate with Leadership Team and Audit Committee on the status of compliance and key internal control issues

Enterprise Risk Management

  • Provide leadership in the execution of periodic risk assessments and provide support to Leadership Team and business leaders to identify key business risks
  • Collaborate with Risk Manager to define company ERM processes and evaluate with Audit Committee, while providing communication on risk areas and emerging risks
  • Lead enterprise fraud assessments on an as-needed basis

IV.           Leadership Responsibilities, Reporting and Key Partners

 The Vice President, Internal Audit reports to the Chief Financial Officer and the First Watch Audit Committee.  This position will interact regularly with a wide range of leaders across the organization, including SVP of Accounting and Financial Reporting, Controller, SVP of Information Technology, Chief Strategy Officer, SVP of Operations, Chief Legal officer, Chief People Services Officer and key staff.  In addition, the role will interface frequently with the independent accounting firm and other 3rd party advisors.  Given the work and wide range of stakeholders involved, the VP of Internal Audit must be able to work independently, but also collaborate productively, with a broad range of individuals.

I.               Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or related field (MBA preferred) and CPA license in good standing
  • 5 to 10 years of public-company experience in an Internal Audit function, either with in multi-unit restaurant or retail industry. In addition, experience working in public accounting (preferably Big-4) is required 
  • Strong judgment, problem-solving and analytical skills, including seasoned understanding of financial statements 
  • A track record of leadership effectiveness, strong business acumen, and a demonstrated history of achieving results through collaboration, strong influence, and communication
  • Demonstrated experience in Operational and IT controls and compliance

I.              Other Key Qualifications

  • Work cross functionally at all levels of the organization, manage and prioritize multiple tasks on very tight deadlines 
  • Strong project management, strategic communications and/or change management skills
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal, including confidence and presence to engage effectively with senior executives 
  • Demonstrate an open and honest communication style that quickly builds trust and respect 
  • Ability to work with a level of ambiguity and still make decisions when not all variables are known
  • Positive, participative, and proactive leadership style and be comfortable as individual contributor (player/coach) 
  • Creative thinker who is intellectually curious with a demonstrated interest in learning
  • Hands-on leadership style and ability to prioritize and deliver results in a fast-moving company 
  • Solid level of competency in computer skills (Microsoft Office) is required

I.              Additional Physical Requirements

  •  Must be able to continuously see. Able to frequently stand, walk, view computer monitors, give & receive oral communication, bend, squat, reach above shoulder level, and discern color 
  • Must be able to occasionally sit, drive, type, and make fine discriminations in sound, perform repetitive simple grasping, fine manipulation, and pushing & pulling on a frequent basis
  • Ability to travel to and from work locations when requested/required
  • Flexible and willing to work a varied schedule that could include nights, weekends and holidays as dictated by the needs of the business

First Watch is an equal opportunity employer.  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, First Watch will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.