Financial Accounting Officer

This job has now expired
Westminster
Employee
£28,674– 35,255pa after probation

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.

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 Finance department is on a change journey, transforming the way we work and the service we provide to the NCIs. This role will sit within the Financial Accounting and Control team and is focussed on maintaining a robust internal control environment, alongside two other Financial Accounting Officers.

The Financial Accounting Officers are primarily responsible for delivering timely, accurate and controlled period-end processes, monitoring and reconciling the NCIs’ general ledger accounts, and managing payments and payment facilities. Working with the support of the Financial Processing and Finance Business Partnering teams, the FCOs support the NCIs by maintaining accurate and efficient processing, ensuring 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.

As a Financial Accounting Officer 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 be working under the guidance of the Financial Accounting and Control Manager, while also working collaboratively with the rest of the Finance Accounting and Control team. The aim will be 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.

You will have a good understanding of double-entry bookkeeping and basic accounting adjustments and will be looking to develop your core accounting skills within a supportive team 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.

As 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.

The Role

Balance Sheet Control

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:

  • Managing a regular schedule of review and reconciliation of all GL accounts, ensuring all accounts are reconciled and cleared appropriately
  • Regularly reviewing key GL accounts each month, including suspense, control and clearing accounts to identify discrepancies, investigating and making corrections as required
  • Managing the fixed asset balance sheet accounts for all NCIs, including preparing and running of monthly depreciation
  • Setting-up, monitoring and retiring assets in the fixed asset register, including reconciling to the fixed asset balance sheet accounts
  • Supporting in the preparation of investments and pension scheme movements, maintaining schedules and preparing journals as required

Process and System Improvements

Management of the GL close process to ensure the ledger is complete and closed on a timely basis, including but not limited to:

  • Managing the month end timetable
  • 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
  • Uploading journals 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
  • Managing monthly intercompany journal postings and preparation of intercompany reconciliations

Banking and Cash Management

Management and operation of all payments systems and processes, including BACS, online banking, foreign payments, and cheque banking, including but not limited to:

  • Processing of all payments using 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
  • Administration of the Lloyds payment card systems
  • Preparing monthly bank reconciliations across all NCIs and subsidiary companies and monitoring of daily bank balances
  • Producing daily/weekly/monthly cash monitoring and forecasting spreadsheets
  • Investing or calling back funds as required, under the direction of the Financial Accountants
  • Collection of all monthly Direct Debits and verification of all new direct debit customers
  • Banking services including recording and deposit of cheques and collection of foreign currency

Financial Reporting, Controls and Compliance

Provision of support to the Financial Accountants in the preparation of statutory returns and compliance reporting, including:

  • Completing 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
  • Development of an ONS handbook/checklist/timetable and liaise with others to ensure their input feeds into the ONS returns as necessary
  • 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

​​​Other

  • Providing accurate information for the annual statutory audits and internal audits, in line with timetables set
  • 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

The Requirements

Essential

Education:

  • A level or equivalent.

Skills/Aptitude:

  • Good understanding of double-entry bookkeeping and basic accounting such as accruals and prepayments; understanding of fixed assets
  • 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
  • Confident communicator with good written and oral skills
  • Proactive, self-motivated and enthusiastic

Knowledge/Experience:

  • 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
  • Proven experience of influencing others to deliver to deadlines

Personal Attributes:

  • Well organised approach to work and ability to multi-task
  • Ability to prioritise, remain calm under pressure, meet deadlines and have a flexible approach to work
  • Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with staff in other departments and at external organisations

Circumstances:

  • Willingness to work in excess of contracted hours if required, to ensure completion of deadlines

Desirable

Knowledge/Experience:

  • SAP experience
  • Experience of working in the finance function of a large organisation, including for example,

performing reconciliations, accounts payable or receivable, preparing accounting journal adjustments, and familiarity with banking systems and payment controls.

  • Experience of working for a charity
  • Studying, gained, or willing to commence studies for AAT or similar equivalent accounting qualification

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.

As a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.

We are committed to being an equal opportunities employer and to ensuring that everyone, job applicants, customers and other people with whom we deal, are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination. We will do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity. We continuously review our policies and processes to support our aim to create a workforce as diverse as the nation the Church of England serves.