GIBSON GUITARS-Corporate Controller


Gibson is an American manufacturer of guitars and other musical instruments based in Nashville, Tennessee. Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson moved into guitars and invented the archtop guitar by constructing the same type of carved, arched top used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible since Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s. Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world’s most iconic guitars, first solid-body electric guitar, the Gibson Les Paul. Gibson operates via a central headquarters supporting five manufacturing facilities and small regionally-based support structures that enable the sales and marketing activities in the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan.


• Founded in 1902
• HQ in Nashville, TN


The Controller, reporting directly to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will act as a strategic partner and subject matter expert to the organization by providing leadership on all accounting related matters as well as transactional support to the company. The Controller bears the responsibility for planning, implementing, supervising and controlling all accounting operational and compliance-related activities including work with external auditors and other finance professionals. The restructured accounting organization will support international operations in Europe, China, and Japan.

The Controller role is a very important and complex role since an organization can only survive if it actively investigates and safeguards its finances. The successful Controller must ensure compliance with laws and help develop and implement company policies by being well-versed in all aspects of accounting management of manufacturing, sales, and distribution operations. As an important member of the finance leadership team, the Controller must ensure full transparency of the company’s financial transactions for the leadership team.
Willingness to dive deep into the details while keeping an eye on the bigger picture will be critical to finding creative solutions and providing insights to the company’s business partners, both inside and outside of the company. A demonstrated ability to influence people and successful experiences working in a fast-paced, multi-functional, matrixed, and international team are required.


Required Experience

  • BA/BS degree (or equivalent) in Accounting; CPA (or equivalent) is required
  • At least 7-10 years of experience in progressively responsible accounting leadership roles
  • Excellent knowledge of technical accounting and compliance
  • Experience in manufacturing a must
  • Proven ability to work with all levels of management and foster relationships with financial and operational personnel
  • Proven experience supporting growth through transparency, consistency, and disciplined execution
  • Experience with ERP systems, including large scale implementations and conversions
  • International finance experience preferably with Europe, China, or Japanese entities

Essential Skills & Knowledge

  • Strong leadership and organizational skills
  • Must be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and organize workload to meet organizational timelines in a fast paced, very high-growth environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Solid interpersonal skills with proven ability to develop and maintain effective business partner relationships at all levels of the organization
  • Strong team working and project management skills combined with ability to work as part of a cross functional team

Personal Qualities

  • High level of integrity and dependability with a strong sense of urgency and results-orientation, with a track record for delivering to plan
  • Flexibility to adapt quickly to changing circumstances; able to proactively question and challenge to prioritize and identify solutions in timely manner
  • Clear thinker with outstanding numeric ability supported by a rounded commercial awareness
  • Able to see the big picture but possesses a pragmatic /flexible approach to delivery
  • Curious in nature and always looking to question, learn, and look for better ways to do things



  • Maintain a documented system of accounting policies and procedures
  • Oversee the operations of the accounting department, including the design of an organizational structure adequate for achieving the department’s goals and objectives
  • Supervise the accounting personnel and activity worldwide, especially the control systems, transaction-processing operations, and policies and procedures
  • Organize and update as necessary the worldwide the chart of accounts; provide adequate training and guidance to ensure consistent usage across all sites/locations
  • Build and sustain orderly online and hard copy accounting documentation systems; provide adequate training and guidance to ensure consistent usage across all sites/locations



  • General Ledger
    o Create and maintain a 12-month (rolling quarterly) closing calendar
    o Manage all transactional accounting and booking processes
    o Oversee general ledger functions in order to assure accuracy, timeliness, and conformity with professional accounting standards and best practices in accordance with GAAP and [Gibson] policies
    o Strengthen the company’s accounting processes through significant and continuous interaction with business and functional leaders, aiding in the understanding of the business and their understanding of accounting
    o Review all month-end closing activities including general ledger journal entries, balance sheet reconciliations and cost allocations
  • Cash Management
    o Ensure that periodic bank reconciliations are completed monthly and all reconciling items resolved immediately
    o Work with the Treasury & Credit Director to ensure that required debt payments are made on a timely basis
  • Accounts Payable
    o Ensure that accounts payable are paid in accordance with supplier agreements, cash flow requirements and such that all reasonable discounts are taken
  • Accounts Receivable
    o Work with the Treasury & Credit Director in order to ensure that accounts receivable are recorded, monitored and collected efficiently in order to maximize cash flow
  • Payroll
    o Work with the Compensation & Benefits team in order to assure payroll is processed accurately, efficiently, and timely
  • Tax
    o Comply with local, state, and federal government reporting requirements and tax filings
    o Working with international tax implications within foreign operations
    o Maintain international tax compliance within foreign operations
    o Maintain an efficient system of policies that adequately control treasury activities


  • Prepare monthly financial statements, financial dashboards, and other informational reports/analysis for management, lenders and stakeholders
  • Coordinate the preparation of the annual report recommend benchmarks against which to measure the performance of accounting operations

Accounting Compliance:
Accountable for the comprehensive internal and external accounting compliance program, the Controller will ensure that effective internal controls are in place to ensure compliance with company policies, GAAP and applicable federal, state and local regulatory laws and rules by:

  • Developing, implementing, and maintaining an accounting compliance program including implementing written policies, procedures, and standards, leading effective accounting training programs, and conducting internal monitoring and auditing
  • Writing or enhancing compliance policies and procedures that will support and improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the company
  • Lead all aspects of preparation for and management of audits (internal and external) including developing and maintaining professional and co-operative “no-surprises” relationships with the RNA’s auditors
  • Lead the evaluation of technical accounting matters, including those related to complex transactions, emerging areas, and adoption of new accounting standards
  • Provide technical financial advice and knowledge to others
  • Recruiting (together with the company’s HR team) and managing key members of the accounting team
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with executives locally and globally so as to identify their needs and seek full range of business solutions
  • Leveraging strengths of the current accounting team members, helping to clarify roles and responsibilities and develop and implement training programs in order to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals
  • Providing leadership in strengthening internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization; create and promote a positive and supportive work environment
  • Leading change management and process improvement initiatives



Our client and Buffkin/Baker firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status of any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law.

Buffkin / Baker
10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 190
Nashville, TN 37027

Mark Farrington, Partner
Office: (615) 988-2594
Cell: (615) 478-0098

Ryan Baggett, Senior Associate
Office: (615) 988-2584
Cell: (615) 516-4589

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