Part Time Deputy Chief Accountant

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Part Time Deputy Chief Accountant

Fixed Term, Part Time

Up to £77,265 per annum pro rata

Location: Chelmsford

Closing Date: Sunday 21st March

Please note that this position is being offered as a Fixed Term Contract for a period of 12 months and is a part time position offering up to 3 days per week (22.2 hours) with a flexible working pattern, subject to business need.

This position will initially, in line with current government guidance be based from home, with an expectation of being home based for the foreseeable future. However, when government guidelines change the role may then revert to being office based, whilst retaining some flexible working options.

Interviews will take place on the 26th March 2021

Job Purpose

Essex is a large and complex local authority with an ambitious transformation agenda and a desire to seek out new ways of working to achieve best value for money. Alongside these ambitions, the Council is cognisant of the need to maintain a robust financial controls and governance framework that ensures compliance with relevant accounting standards, government regulations and best practice.

The Deputy Chief Accountant plays a pivotal role in maintaining the Council's financial control and governance framework, including by:

  • Orchestrating and managing the Council's annual closure of accounts process, through proactive planning and engagement with key stakeholders, to ensure that the Council's annual accounts are delivered in accordance with statutory timescales and without audit qualification;
  • Being accountable for the technical capability of the Council's team of finance professionals, by developing and delivering appropriate training programmes and by providing guidance that promotes compliance with relevant standards, codes and regulations;
  • Leading the Council's grants system, end to end, to ensure that funding is secured and applied for maximum effect, and is administered effectively.

The Deputy Chief Accountant is a key member of our Finance team, reporting to the Chief Accountant, and operating at a strategic level.

Service/Functional Accountabilities

  • Through active engagement with key stakeholders, to put in place the infrastructure necessary to ensure that the Council's annual accounts are delivered in accordance with statutory timescales and without audit qualification. This includes, but is not limited to, leading the development of the timetable, work plans, guidance and training necessary to equip the finance team to achieve close down to the required timescale and standards.
  • To specialise in, and lead on, aspects of the Council's statutory financial accounting and reporting requirements, its Treasury Management and capital financing function or other regulatory requirements such as those related to UK duties and taxes, to ensure that the required standards and statutory deadlines are met, working flexibly and taking a 'hands on' approach where necessary to ensure key deadlines are met.
  • To determine the technical capability development needs of the Council's team of finance professionals and to lead the design and provision of training to address these needs on a timely basis, supplemented as appropriate by the provision of high quality guidance and procedures.
  • To quality assure the delivery of high quality advice and guidance on the technical accounting and/or tax implications of service developments and improvements; this must be tailored to the needs of the recipient, to ensure that they understand and have the confidence to act on the advice given.
  • To lead the Council's grants system, end to end, to ensure that grant funding is secured and applied to maximum effect, and is managed effectively and accounted for correctly, from award of the grant, right through to final sign off of the grant funded project and any associated returns required by the grant awarding body.
  • To develop and sustain effective relationships with internal stakeholders to promote a strong financial compliance and governance framework.
  • To continually challenge and proactively improve the Council's financial controls and governance and statutory financial reporting frameworks.
  • In conjunction with the Chief Accountant, to lead and manage a team of expert financial accountants, taking responsibility for the performance management and personal development needs of individual team members.
  • To undertake any other activities requested by the Chief Accountant, including deputising for the Chief Accountant at Committee meetings and regional and other forums.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

  • Full CCAB qualification, with current membership to a CCAB body.
  • Evidence of significant post qualification experience.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development.
  • Evidence of expertise and up to date knowledge of the accounting codes, standards and regulations that apply to local authorities (and, where appropriate, to entities within the Council's 'group' boundary).
  • Must have a proven track record of interpreting, advising on and applying the codes, standards and regulations relevant to local authorities (and, where appropriate, to entities within the Council's 'group' boundary) in a practical setting.
  • Experience of training and developing customer facing finance professions to ensure they possess the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver credible and fit for purpose advice to front line services (or to know when to seek advice on more complex matters).
  • Must have experience of working in a political and / or complex and multi-stakeholder environment, with skills in understanding and responding to different perspectives and of taking a cross organisational perspective.
  • Demonstrable ability to inspire and motivate staff and colleagues, and to lead and influence multi-disciplinary teams, to achieve the required outcomes.