Interim Head of Finance
Sole technical specialist for the council in an area of specialism or managing a large, complex and contentious project which affects the whole council.
The complex workstream may include working with external partners or managing contracts which have significant impact across the council.
Has wide ranging impact across external partners and commissioned services.
Will not have direct responsibility for management of staff (or will have a very small team of specialist / project staff) but will commission professional support from other teams, services and external partners.
May be on a higher grade than manager but usually reports to a Director.
Relevant Job Information
Degree in a subject relevant to the role or able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge, skills and experience.
Relevant professional qualification at a post graduate level
Specialist qualification in a discipline required for the role
Project management qualification or able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge, skills and experience
Knowledge, skills and experience
Roles at this level require applied and theoretical knowledge and an ability to devise new approaches from first principles, which is gained through a detailed grasp of involved practices and procedures in relation to the specialist service or workstream. A thorough and comprehensive combination of both applied and theoretical knowledge is required.
- Expert knowledge in relation to the specialism
- A broad knowledge and understanding of the services impacted by the function
- Promoting and leading innovation and transformational change
- Effectively handling challenging & complex situations
- Managing high profile innovative projects relating to the specialism
- Operating at a strategic level delivering qualitative and focused outputs
- Budget/financial management at an appropriate level for the role.
- Experience of working in a political environment
- A good understanding of local government and the local and regional context.
- Experience of managing teams and directing the work of others to meet required outcomes
The overall responsibilities of the service/function are:
The team is responsible for the maintenance and development of the council's financial records for this set of services and to work with the corporate team to ensure the resultant production of the council's Statement of Accounts, budget monitoring and setting, and government returns. The team also ensures that decisions are taken in light of available funds and within the council's financial procedures.
The teams provide direct financial support to service teams/budget holders. This includes routine work such as budget monitoring, and ad-hoc project work such as analysis of financial data to support business cases etc.
The team works closely with the corporate team to ensure the provision of the statement of accounts, and the maintenance of the general ledger and the setting of budgets.
In addition to the responsibilities described in the role profile, specific duties include:
- Act as one of the leaders for accountancy providing strong inspirational leadership through the setting and delivery of the strategic vision and direction of the team. Driving continual improvement and value for money in performance, and application of policies and financial controls.
- Building positive relationships with and working with Lead Members and Corporate Leadership Team to minimise risk and reputational impact, whilst effectively handling challenging and complex situations.
- Ensuring continual professional development in the understanding of local government and the local and regional context.
- Ensuring that the service finance team works in partnership with their clients and across the whole of finance and other resource functions, to provide an excellent and prompt service, whilst upholding strong financial stewardship. Enabling: managers (budget holders) with financial information, guidance and advice to assist them to effectively set and manage their budgets and align available resources to priorities; and Members to help them make better informed decisions.
- To be the lead strategic partner for the area of specialism whilst having a broad understanding of all services across the organisation, external partners and commissioned services
- Providing strategic financial advice to the corporate director and director of finance in their short, medium and longer term decision shaping and making processes, making a significant contribution to corporate and service strategies as well as establishing standards and procedures,
- To be the lead financial professional for the council having influence over partners and commissioned services, by having the relevant expertise and knowledge to undertake this function.
- Ensuring effective support to deliver cultural and strategic change programmes both within Finance and across the organisation.
- Ensuring that appropriate actions as directed by the CFO to manage and set budgets are taken, in accordance with the council's scheme of delegation and Financial Regulations, to balance the Services overall outturn in line with the original/revised budget.
- To work with the head of corporate finance and chief accountant to ensure the delivery of an annual statement of accounts production, and grants as applicable, to a high standard and within the statutory deadlines.
- Respond positively and promptly to all agreed audit recommendations (internal and external)
- Interpretation of highly complex and critical financial information, to provide key support for the corporate director and to advise the chief financial officer, in order to plan out and make changes to service provision/generate savings; and inform financial comments in decision making reports under the scheme of delegation
In addition to the qualifications, knowledge, and skills required for roles at this level, this role requires:
- Professional qualification full accountancy (consultative committee accountancy bodies) CCAB
- Extensive leadership/management experience in a financial environment
- Excellent experience of delivery at a senior level in a financial environment, with a track record of leading and motivating staff and having established credibility in leading finance teams and projects with successful outcomes
- Excellent technical accounting, with good experience of contract account reconciliations
- Good understanding of General Ledger applications (including SAP), excellent use of excel and data interrogation routines / applications
- Knowledge of Finance related systems, such as Fixed Asset Register databases
- Proven ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines