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Finance Operations Manager

International Strategy Consultancy

Ref: AS50165

Type
Permanent
Location
Central London
Salary/rate
£60,000 - £70,000 + benefits

Our client is an global consultancy employing over 1000 employees worldwide. They work with clients to build the capabilities that enable these organisations to achieve sustainable advantage. The company has assisted companies across a variety of sectors including automotive, Pharmaceuticals, Media, Retail and FMCG and has not only transformed the way the worlds leading companies do business, but also fundamentally changed the game in the commercial sector.

Description

The Finance Operations Manager is the key business partner and point of contact across London for buyers, suppliers and outsourced providers. The role will manage all aspects of accounts payable and expense processing and will work with Global Procurement and local finance teams to manage outsourced resources, drive operational efficiencies and continually improve financial and operational risk control throughout these processes. They will be an embedded member of the London finance team with strong financial awareness and knowledge of the business.  It requires interaction with all levels of the organisation, the skills to gain the trust and confidence of senior stakeholders and flexibility and drive to manage projects and resolve issues across a number of businesses ensuring best practice in service delivery.  The role will report to the London Head of Accounting and Tax and require close working with the Commercial Finance Manager and the wider finance team. It also includes line management responsibility for the Financial Operations team.

You will be tasked with providing oversight of all areas of financial operational control and risk for the UK entities and business units located across 4 London offices and covering 1000+ employees. Key priorities will cover:

Shared service management

  • Driving the direction of financial shared service provision for the London group of businesses:
  • Working in partnership with other Business Service Team leads in the London office and across the UK business units
  • Work closely across all functions, providing a Finance perspective and with other Finance leads across London on internal and external best practices
  •  Provide guidance on wider Finance implications e.g. Tax, Accounting, Mobility, etc.
  • Support Function heads on all aspects of Finance operations relating to their roles
  • Managing relationships with global, Regional and London business units
  • Key input in to the financial / operational set up of new business units
  • Managing continual cross functional collaboration to streamline and improve financial operations in London, sharing best practice with Global and Regional & local Stakeholders
  • Identify and adjust for evolving business needs, and seek opportunities for continuous improvement in London Finance operation processes
  • Key contributor to ad hoc strategic projects e.g. Long term property strategy, new legislative compliance, etc.
  • Responsibility for implementing system enhancements and embracing new technologies
  • Leading any change management projects
  • Coach and develop a modern global team to meet the needs of a growing shared service

Accounts payable

  • Ultimately responsible for the management of an efficient and smooth running Accounts payable process, which will include;
  • The management of an outsourced accounts payable team to ensure continuous high levels of service delivery in invoice data capturing and approval flow management
  • The day to day management of local Accounts payable and expenses teams
  • Driving continual improvement of processes, embracing new technology and systems. Participating in pilot programmes as necessary with live feedback to the global financial systems team
  • Ensuring all controls are designed with a focus on financial risk mitigation and clear segregation of duties are maintained
  • Escalation point for all Accounts payable and expenses matters
  • Guidance on complex input VAT treatment and practical application of broader tax compliance
  • Ensuring a coherent procurement policy, maximizing purchasing & management efficiencies, and adherence to firm-wide vendor policies and agreements
  • Supporting external audit requests as necessary, providing accurate analysis in a timely manner
  • Collaboration with the global treasury team and external financial intuitions to aid cash flow planning both at a local and global level

Risk management

  • Driving a thoughtful risk management approach to financial operational risk areas and providing oversight of the implementation and compliance. Helping to identify and mitigate risks; examples include but are not limited to:
  • Embedding risk management into the Finance Operations function, ensuring adequate systems of internal controls (segregation of duties, reconciliations, checks and balances and oversight). Leading improvement/change projects as required
  • Ensuring appropriate purchasing policies are in place and monitored and global policies are adhered to
  • Ensuring that the Risk team/internal audit recommendations are being actioned in a timely manner
  • Working with Global Procurement team to understand wider risks and risk trends in the vendor portfolio
  • Ensure compliance with data protection supplier agreement requirements. DPAs, control agreements etc.
  • Coordination with Legal, Risk and Procurement teams to develop best practice in eradicating slavery from the supply chain and developing the company's modern slavery policy

Contingent workforce

  • Provide practical thought leadership on the management of contingent workers across the London businesses;
  • Provide clear guidance and give training to function heads/hiring managers where necessary on what to consider in light of the Taylor review and future IR35 reform
  • Provide finance approval on all contingent workforce requests across the London businesses
  • Develop control framework and process for London to embed the end engager review required in future IR35 compliance
  • Be a thought partner across the business around the risk exposure and options available when engaging contingent workers
  • Work with external tax advisors to develop policy and keep up to date with legislation changes
  • Coordinate with HR teams and hiring managers across the business to provide consistent policy messaging

Team management

  • Be responsible for the leadership and people management of the financial operations team in the London office
  • Coach, develop and manage providing clear leadership and direction
  • Ensure the teams are structured to deliver the future shared service requirements to a growing group of London businesses
  • Ensure finance minimum standards are maintained across Finance Operations and embedded as part of run the business activities

Expense management

  • Management of the expenses management shared service provided to all London-based employees & partners, including
  • Completing a regular forensic audit testing schedule, directed by risk trends in spend and vendors used
  • Reacting to global and local behaviour to provide comfort and coverage of expense spend through exceptional sample testing on a risk basis
  • Working closely with Commercial Finance Manager and Project Accountants to ensure compliance with client expense policy deviations and support project expense analysis requests
  • Weekly review of expenses payment run to ensure accuracy and compliance with policy
  • Regular reporting on top spend across expense categories, cohort and business units
  • Owning and maintaining the London travel & expense policy, ensuring consistent with the Global policy but also in line with UK tax legislation changes
  • Working across all areas of the business to enforce adherence to the travel & expense policy and implement any behaviour change where necessary
  • Creating communication plans and writing clear and informative communications to the whole office to signal key deadlines and/or changes to the policy

Skills

The ideal candidate will be a qualified accountant with a minimum of 3 years post qualification experience, preferably gained in a professional services industry.  You will have strong UK tax knowledge and practical awareness of its application across the business.  In addition, you will have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and possess the ability to lead a wide range of people and personalities.  Strong organisation skills, orientation to detail and initiative are key qualities as is the ability and willingness to provide a wide range of financial services from routine to more complex financial management tasks.Proficiency to work with systems and willingness to learn more as required is imperative as is the ability to demonstrate work effectively in an international environment with stakeholders at all levels.  The ideal candidate will be a driven, self-starter who is able to lead a project with integrity and good grace to a successful completion.  You will have performed successfully in a fast-paced, global, intellectually intense, service-oriented environment.  This is a great opportunity to work in a highly professional environment offering lots of scope to progress in finance.  The role will be central London based with some travel required from time to time.

To apply for this role, please use the Apply button, or alternatively, email your CV to Andrew Steele: asteele@walkerhamill.com quoting reference AS50165.

Walker Hamill has been a specialist finance and strategy recruiter for 30 years. We have an extensive client group, including major multinational listed organisations, private equity backed businesses and privately owned companies. We recruit across all sectors and have particularly strong client relationships in media, retail, pharma/biotech, technology, property/real estate, leisure and business services. Headquartered in London, we have additional offices in continental Europe. For more information, please see www.walkerhamill.com

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