Divisional Financial Controller
SMS plc
September 12, 2018
Job Type
Scotland & UK
Industry and Commerce
Financial and Statutory Accounting


Rutherford Cross is delighted to be working on a retained basis with Smart Metering Systems plc to appoint a Divisional Financial Controller.

Story So Far

Established in 1995, SMS Plc is a leading independent provider of multi-utility infrastructure connections and meter asset management solutions. Their professional services are delivered to UK gas and electricity suppliers and directly to end customers in both the industrial and commercial (I&C) and domestic markets.

SMS Plc provides a fully integrated service from beginning to end, from project managing the installation and connection of the utility infrastructure through to the procurement, installation and management of the meter asset, data collection and on-going energy management solutions.

In July 2011, SMS began a new chapter as a public company when it listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM market. The purchase of Utility Partnership Ltd (UPL) in 2014 marked SMS’s first ever acquisition and in 2016 the company went on to make three further acquisitions. With the headquarters in Glasgow, the business now operates across 7 subsidiaries and from locations including Glasgow, Cardiff, Doncaster and Cambridge.

Coinciding with the 20th Anniversary in June 2015, SMS Plc completed a rebranding of the company to cement the integration and simplify the offer to their clients. Following the rebranding, the business now operates three segments under the single SMS Plc brand: Asset Management, Asset Installation and Energy Management. The subsidiaries span across these three segments.

In 2017, the business completed a placing of new shares (the first since the original IPO) to raise gross proceeds for £150m. The proceeds of the placing are to be used alongside the extended debt facility to give SMS Plc the financial and operational flexibility to fully fund the installation of meters for further growth.

It’s an exciting time to be part of SMS Plc. The business has grown rapidly in recent years, both organically and via acquisition, and has an ambitious strategy which will continue to build market share. Financial performance has been excellent; for the year to 31st December 2017 revenues increased 18% to £79.6m and EBITDA increased 19% to £38.8m.

Over the last 6 years, the business has taken the share price from under £1 to over £6 and SMS Plc currently enjoys a hugely impressive market cap in the region of £700m.

The Future

A meter asset portfolio was created and built with all gas suppliers in the UK, followed by a new smart metering and data management offering serving the industrial and commercial (I&C) market in addition to preparing for the roll out of smart metering in the domestic market. The UK government’s objective is to have all domestic gas and electricity consumers installed with a smart metering solution by 2020. This represents a massive opportunity for SMS Plc who have already signed contracts with a number of second tier suppliers in relation to domestic smart meters.

For further information on SMS plc, visit www.sms-plc.com

Position Overview:

The Divisional Financial Controller is an integral part of SMS plc team in Glasgow and will report directly into the Divisional Finance Director. The Financial Controller role sits within the head office in Glasgow and is responsible for the financial reporting of three legal entities, including SMS Meter Assets, SMS Connections and SMS Data Management. Meter Assets is the largest entity within the Group, generating £50m revenue and £39m EBITDA in FY17. It is envisaged that this will grow to over £200m in the next 3-4 years. As the business continues to grow and diversify, so too does the need of the individual as the role will progress and widen.

The organisation represents an excellent opportunity for a motivated qualified accountant who wants to work in a high growth, AIM listed business environment. In addition, the business will provide a firm career platform with good opportunity for personal and professional development as well as the mandate to shape and define how the role evolves. It is envisaged that over time this role will develop and grow and therefore it is key that applicants are flexible and adaptable to those changes.

This is an exceptional opportunity to join a growing business which is leading the way in its field and contribute to its future success by playing a key role in its journey.

The Financial Controller will lead the Divisional finance team based on Glasgow and will report to the Divisional Finance Director, alongside the Divisional Head of Commercial Finance. The Financial Controller will lead the Divisional Finance team and take responsibility for the delivery of accurate and high quality reporting and management information.

The main duties and responsibilities will involve:

  • Overall management of the month end financial reporting of the three Glasgow legal entities, including financial analysis and commentary.
  • Manage all accounting operations including billing, accounts receivable, accounting payable, stock and fixed asset accounting, in close liaison with the Commercial finance team
  • Ensure balance sheet reconciliations are completed accurately and within reporting deadlines with any queries resolved in a timely manner
  • Leading the annual budget and quarterly re-forecasting processes
  • Ensure quality control over financial processes, transactions and reporting
  • Implement improvements and developments to management accounts outputs and wider business processes
  • Ensure compliance on all tax related matters: including VAT filings, and other taxes
  • Actively involved in cash management ensuring that the group cash position and forecasts are accurate, understood, managed and in compliance with banking covenants
  • Interact with customers and suppliers for timely processing of invoices and payments
  • Supervise and manage finance department staff
  • Develop and document business processes to maintain and strengthen internal controls, supporting Group Finance to develop procedures for ensuring strong internal controls and compliance with corporate policy
  • Support accounting system implementations and upgrades
  • Leading half-year and year-end statutory close and audit process, including production of the draft period end accounts, supporting schedules and liaison with the auditors
  • Assist the Divisional Finance Director in presenting reports to senior executives, stakeholders, and board members.
  • Ad hoc projects, analysis as required

The position incorporates a wide range of responsibilities requiring a confident individual with strong interpersonal skills and technical background. It is essential that the individual comes from a large firm/business background where they will have a firm awareness of best practice approaches of the preparation of accounts and leadership. The individual will be CA/ACCA qualified and, ideally, have trained with a Big 4 or large accountancy practice. However, the nature of the role may also lend itself to candidates who have trained in an industry environment.

The Individual

It is critical that the Divisional Financial Controller can work closely with senior management, while consistently meeting the needs of key stakeholders both within and external to the business. In particular, it is crucial they can take responsibility for decision making and possess sufficient gravitas to challenge current thinking and drive positive change. Undoubtedly, this is a key appointment for SMS plc and the successful individual will play a key role in shaping the organisation over time.

A summary of the key candidate requirements are as follows:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent
  • Qualified accountant with appropriate post-qualification experience
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills combined with business acumen, pragmatism and a good sense of diplomacy
  • Proven ability to build relationships at all levels
  • Highly developed oral, written and presentation skills
  • Motivated self-starter with a flexible working attitude
  • A strong team player, with a desire to make a significant contribution to the Finance Department
  • Excellent IT skills including MS office and a good working knowledge of accounting systems
  • Flexible approach to working hours in line with the needs of the business and ability to travel to other UK locations as required

Salary: £ Highly Competitive

Bonus: Up to 10% of Salary

Pension: 3-5% matched company contribution

Holidays: 25 days plus 7 statutory days

Medical Care: Private medical cover (personal)

Professional Fees: Yes



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