Background to the Opportunity
The opportunity has arisen for a Senior Finance Manager to join our client’s Finance Team. It is a temporary role working with the a leading University the city centre of Edinburgh. Interviews to be held in the first week in February.
Reporting to the Deputy Director of Finance (Planning, Budgeting and Reporting) this role has responsibility for the co-ordination and management of the extended Finance (Management Accountant) team across the University. This includes a team of Finance staff who provide support and challenge directly to Schools, Professional Services and overseas campuses across the breadth of Management Accounting disciplines, including:
- Budgeting and Reforecasting
- Monitoring and Reporting
- Financial KPI’s
- Day to day support and expertise to the institution’s Senior Officers, Directors and Managers.
The role-holder has direct and indirect line management responsibility for the Finance Managers in each of the UK based schools and in Professional Services, and also co-ordinates some financial activities (e.g. reporting) from the overseas campuses.
The role-holder is responsible for setting consistent standards of service across the University, and for ensuring efficient and effective processes are used, in line with external best practice. Service-wide continuous improvement and staff training is an important element of the role.
It is the role-holders responsibility to ensure effective connectivity of the team with each other, other areas of finance (e.g. the financial and operational accountants) and the wider Institution who rely on the extended Management Accountant team to help them effectively run their finances in line with the strategic and operational objectives of the University.
Key responsibilities of the role include but are not limited to:
Financial budgeting and planning/ Re-forecasts
The role-holder and his/her team work with Heads of School, Directors and others from the University (Schools, Professional Services and overseas campuses) to build budgets and financial plans from the bottom-up, which feed into the overall financial planning process for the University. These plans are reviewed ecah quarter and the year-end forecast is revised.
The 3-5 year forward financial plans are presented through the University’s Finance Committee to the University Court for approval and lodged with the Scottish Funding Council.
The role-holder has a key role in ensuring those individual plans are consistently and efficiently prepared.
Consolidated monthly management reporting
The role-holder ensures that appropriate processes are in place for timely financial reporting, through the co-ordinated collation and production of comprehensive monthly University-wide management accounts
This reporting comprises Income & Expendiure reporting, Balance Sheet and Cash-flow reporting. It is consolidated from schools, professional services, projects, subsidiary companies and overseas campuses. The role-holder has a vital role to play in ensuring consistency of approach and quality, and in adding value-add commentary detailing the key financial risks and opportunities.
The reporting is primarily aimed at the Director of Finance, University Executive and the Finance Committee of the University Court. The insightful reporting is of high quality and is tailored, as required, for external stakeholders including the Scottish Funding Council, the University’s auditors and the University’s bankers / bondholders. That reporting also plasy a role in the devleopment of the Financial Review within the University’s annual Fianncial statements.
Financial Analysis and Data/ KPI’S
The role-holder is responsible for the production and interpretation of a wide variety of regular and ad-hoc financial data and analysis, including financial KPIs. This data / analysis is utilised for a number of internal and external purposes including KPI’s for the University Court and external financial reporting.
The role-holder provides leadership for staff and their teams. He/she ensures that all aspects of people management, development and review are in place across the team. He/she also keeps the teams’ structure and skill set under review, to ensure that these are appropriate and deliver efficient, effective and consistent working practices and output. The role-holder will undoubtdely play a key part in defining and shaping sevices and roles of elments of the Finance Function during the delivery of the University’s current “Building our Commonality” project, that aims to achieve consistency in our Professional Services structures and processes in all of our global locations.
Finance management team
The role-holder is a senior member of the Finance Team and is required to act as a professional role-model. He/she will deputise for the Deputy Director of Finance when necessary and therefore may represent the University and its finance team with external parties as required.
The role-holder influences and challenges the decision-making of senior colleagues by providing professional persuasive financial expertise. They resolve issues and facilitate solutions where disagreement exists across a range of stakeholders.
He/she is required to liaise with a broad range of external parties, including internal and external audit functions, funders, taxation and legal advisors and other current and potential partners/supplier, as required.
The role holder will have frequent interaction with staff at all levels, including:
- University Senior Leadership Team
- Director of Finance, Deputy Director of Finance
- Heads of Finance on overseas campuses
- Finance Managers across the University
- Management Accountants
- Key Finance Office staff (Financial Accountants, Systems Accountants
The role-holder leads delivery improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of the management accounting processes and controls, but also to the end to end processes that these support.
This includes effective KPI reporting, process mapping and responsibility definition and reinforcement, developing and coordinating cross insitution process and staff initiatives, including training as appropriate.
System and Reporting Improvements
The role-holder will identify and design/define system improvements as required. They will also be jointly responsible for effective implementation of any new systems.
The role-holder provides in-house reporting expertise to specify Oracle financial reports and develop new reports to meet future requirements.
They will also provide in-house expertise in the use of GL-Wand and other reporting tools to meet regular and ad-hoc planning reporting requirements of the University.
Management of Centrally Held Budgets
The role-holder has primary responsibility for the management of centrally-held budgets (e.g. Bi-centennial research leaders, James Watt Scholarships, Contingencies, Infrastructure).
Education & Qualifications
- Nationally recognised accountancy qualification e.g. CA, ACA, CPFA, CIMA, ACCA
- Qualified to degree standard.
- At least ten years of post-qualification financial and management accounting experience within a large, complex organisation.
- Has managed teams with responsibility for budgeting and strategic planning within a complex environment; as well as having participated in such activities personally.
- Has developed, reviewed and quality assured business cases with colleagues and with non-finance professionals; and presented these at senior level.
- Has managed a team including both qualified and non-qualified finance professionals.
- Proven experience of working as part of a multidisciplinary team; which could be characterised in the university as including both professional services and academic colleagues.
- Has extensive experience of working with and influencing senior management across the breadth of an institution/organisation.
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