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Financial Control Accountant
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Would you like to work for a large charity? An investment fund? A pension scheme? A housing association? All of the above? This role could be for you!
The National Church Institutions (NCIs) are national administrative bodies that work together to support the mission and ministry of the Church of England. Their activities are hugely varied, ranging from management of a multi-billion-pound investment fund, to a grant-giving charity, a housing service for retired clergy and the administration of three multi-employer pension schemes. Our Belonging and Inclusion Strategy aims for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.
The Finance department is a shared services function working across the NCIs to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective finance service to each organisation, and helping to co-ordinate joint projects where appropriate. The team also provides support to, and promotes best practice across the wider Church in relation to financial matters, including monitoring the financial health of Dioceses, Cathedrals, Theological Education Institutions etc.
The Finance team is currently supporting their NCI clients with some major change and transformation projects, as well as undergoing significant changes to their own ways of working to ensure they can deliver a high-quality Finance service which meets the needs of the NCIs. This includes undertaking a Finance Transformation Programme to help Finance develop their service (replacing an ageing finance system as well as associated process improvement and changes to ways of working) and supporting the Church of England Governance Programme which will reshape the National Church Institutions themselves.
The Financial Control Accountant is a new role within the Financial Accounting and Control team, managing a team of Financial Accounting Officers to deliver timely, accurate and controlled period-end processes, monitoring and reconciling the NCIs’ general ledger accounts, and managing payments and payment facilities. You will ensure the integrity and reliability of financial controls, and thereby enabling timely financial information to be provided to budget holders and other stakeholders and statutory reporting obligations to be met. You will also support the statutory reporting cycle, working with the Senior Financial Accountants to prepare financial statements and deliver external audit requirements.
The team work in a hybrid way, split between our Westminster office and from home. Our policies actively promote flexible working and a positive work/life balance, recognising that the nature of the role means the occasional need to work longer hours from time-to-time in order to meet urgent deadlines. Specific working arrangements can be discussed at interview.
To find our more about the wide range of opportunities we currently have available for Finance Professionals, please visit out microsite at https://jobs.churchofengland.org/finance.
You will support the Financial Accounting and Control team to maintain a robust internal control environment, ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the ledger and monitoring compliance. You will take primary responsibility for ensuring that the month end close process is tightly controlled and managed, ensuring the completion of all relevant balance sheet reconciliations and other control processes to maintain the integrity of finance data on a monthly basis.
You will also support the preparation of the annual financial statements for the NCIs and their subsidiary companies, taking responsibility for some of the subsidiary entities, and working with the Senior Financial Accountants (who each focus on different NCIs) to support with the more complex accounts. You will also be closely involved with the external audit process, supporting the Senior Financial Accountants with the management of audit requests and queries.
You will work collaboratively with the rest of the Finance Accounting and Control team to develop a high-quality finance service to the NCIs, including best practice external reporting, robust balance sheet controls and compliance, timely and accurate period-end processes, and effective banking and cash management.
As a newly qualified or part-qualified accountant, you will have strong financial accounting skills and a good understanding of the financial control environment. You will be a confident Excel user and be able to quickly manipulate high volumes of data efficiently and build reports which can be quickly and easily produced. You will also have good attention to detail, able to identify anomalies and issues, and adopt a thorough and diligent approach to resolving them.
An effective communicator, you will be able to explain financial issues to non-finance staff and to help people to use financial information well. You will deliver relevant training and support across departments to help improve financial literacy and ensure compliance with relevant financial control procedures. You will be someone who is always looking to improve processes and worker smarter, collaborating with your finance colleagues to drive best practice in everything we do.
Financial accounting and external audit processes
Supporting the financial accountants with preparation of group and subsidiary accounts for all NCI entities:
- Take primary responsibility for a number of subsidiary entities, ensuring the preparation of financial statements and liaising with the external auditors
- Support the Financial Accountants with tasks related to the preparation of financial statements for the larger entities, this might include for example drafting particular notes to the accounts or undertaking relevant analysis
- Reviewing the year-end trial balances and analysing key variances with previous years to identify potential omissions or misstatements
- Supporting the Financial Accountants to manage the external audit process, undertaking a project management style approach to managing relevant task lists / audit queries and outstanding items
Balance sheet control
Primary responsibility for management of the balance sheet reconciliation process for all NCIs with reference to value, importance, timeliness and sensitivity of GL accounts, including but not limited to:
- Developing and managing a regular schedule of review and reconciliation of all GL accounts, ensuring all accounts are reconciled and cleared appropriately, escalating issues where appropriate
- Ensuring all key GL accounts are reviewed each month, including suspense, control and clearing accounts to identify discrepancies, investigating and making corrections as required
Month-end and year-end processes
Management of the month end close process to ensure the ledger is complete and closed on a timely basis, including but not limited to:
- Managing the month end timetable, including sending out regular communications, following up on outstanding actions etc. to ensure deadlines are met
- Proactive engagement with Financial Processing Team, Finance Business Partnering Team and other NCI departments to comply with and make improvements to month-end and year-end processes and ensure deadlines are met
- Ensuring all journals are uploaded into the finance system for approval in compliance with the journals policy and month end deadlines
- Performing key periodic processes, including reconciliation between finance and commitments ledgers and resolution of differences
- Overseeing the management of monthly intercompany journal postings and preparation of intercompany reconciliations
Banking and cash management
Overseeing the management and operation of all payments systems and processes, including BACS, online banking, foreign payments, and cheque banking, including but not limited to:
- Ensuring all payments are processed using the most appropriate payment method, considering value and payment term, ensuring appropriate authorisation and sufficient funds are available
- Ensuring bank accounts and bank mandates are kept up-to-date, including opening of new bank accounts and any alterations to arrangements with existing accounts
- Ensuring regular (at least monthly) bank reconciliations are prepared across all NCIs and subsidiary companies and overseeing the monitoring of daily bank balances
- Ensuring the production of daily/weekly/monthly cash monitoring and forecasting spreadsheets, working with the Financial Accountants to ensure the maintenance of appropriate liquidity whilst optimising funds available for investment
- Make recommendations for and implement the investing of or calling back of funds as required
- Ensuring the accurate and timely collection of all monthly Direct Debits and verification of all new direct debit customers
- Ensuring relevant banking activities are undertaken in a controlled and timely fashion, including recording and deposit of cheques and collection of foreign currency
Financial controls and compliance reporting
Provision of support to the Financial Accountants in the preparation of statutory returns and compliance reporting, including:
- Ensure the completion of all Office of National Statistics (ONS) returns within required deadlines, co-ordinating information and input from other NCI colleagues and from F&R team as required and ensuring associated processes are well documented
- Submission of required information to the Charity Commission and Companies House including annual returns
- Maintaining a register of legacies receivable by the NCIs, including monitoring status, recording receipts or preparing accruals, and liaising with executors as necessary
- Producing and reviewing regular compliance reporting, including use of purchase orders, one-time vendors and customer accounts, virtual and corporate credit cards
Process and system improvements
Work to maximise efficiency and minimise administrative duplication wherever possible, including:
- Being proactive and innovative in resolving issues and queries from departments and other stakeholders, liaising with other members of the Finance team as appropriate
- Drafting, updating and maintaining comprehensive guidance manuals for all key processes, and provide support and training where required
Manage the Financial Accounting Officer team (of four):
- Managing training and performance of the team individually and collectively, monitoring performance, providing regular feedback and encouraging initiative and ideas
- Supporting team members to develop their own skills and achieve objectives in line with the Finance department’s priorities and their own career aspirations
- Undertaking recruitment and training of new staff members as needed
- Providing financial information, support and training to finance and non-finance colleagues to aid financial literacy, promote best practice use of finance systems and ensure compliance with financial control procedures
- Providing cover for, and complement the work of, other members of the Financial Accounting and Control team and other Finance teams
- Keeping up to date with best practice and developments in financial reporting and the charity sector and proactively managing personal and continuing professional development
The Ideal Candidate
- Newly qualified or part-qualified CCAB accountant (and committed to completing the qualification), with strong understanding of accounting principles
- Good technical accounting skills, understanding of financial controls, and familiarity with accounting standards (FRS102, charities SORP etc.)
- Excellent attention to detail, and the ability to identify, investigate and interpret anomalous transactions and provide solutions
- Excellent interpersonal skills to achieve cooperation and results from others
- Strong communication skills both written and verbal, confident interacting with a wide range of people at all levels; able to persuade and influence
- Proactive, self-motivated and enthusiastic.
- Ability to achieve cooperation and results from others whether or not directly managing them.
- Ability to work well and effectively under pressure, well organised and able to prioritise multiple competing demands to meet tight deadlines
- Excellent IT skills, including advanced MS Excel and experience of handling and manipulating large volumes of data
- Experience of using financial systems packages including purchase-to-pay
- Experience of working in the finance function of a large organisation or as an external auditor
- Experience of managing and developing staff, building and motivating an effective team
- SAP experience
- Experience of working for a charity
The Church of England is for everyone and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds and other under-represented groups.
Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.
In the National Church Institutions (NCIs), we support the mission and ministries of the Church of England. We work with parishes, dioceses, schools, chaplaincies and other ministries, and with national and international partners including mission agencies, and other denominations and faith groups.
Find out more about working for the National Church Institutions by visiting Careers | The Church of England
- We strive for excellence
- We collaborate
- We act with integrity
- We show compassion
- We respect others
We want to encourage applications from a diverse group of people. Even if you have never thought about working for us before, if you have the skills and experience we’re looking for then we would like to hear from you. If there is anything we can do to support you in your application please get in touch via email to email@example.com.
As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.
We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, and welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.