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 Church of England is the largest single provider of education in England with one million students attending 4,700 Church of England schools. The Church of England Education Office brings together the educational work of the Archbishops’ Council with the National Society (Church of England and Church in Wales) for the Promotion of Education (“National Society”), including children & young people, schools, further and higher education.
The National Society and the Archbishops’ Council are part of the National Church Institutions (NCIs) which are national administrative bodies that work together to support the mission and ministry of the Church of England. The Finance Business Partner – Education works within the Finance department which is a shared services function working across the NCIs to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective finance service to each organisation.
We are seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, qualified finance professional who is able to develop strong relationships with the departmental directors and other staff across Education, understand the business and provide meaningful financial insight and advice to support the delivery of strategic and operational objectives.
You will act as Finance Business Partner for the Church of England Education Office, providing accurate and timely management information, budget monitoring, analysis and advice to budget holders and key stakeholders, fostering a culture of financial accountability and cost efficiency. You will also provide relevant challenge and insight to support decision-making and ensure that budgets and forecasts reflect objectives and strategy.
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 work smarter, collaborating with your finance colleagues to drive best practice in everything we do. You will look for ways to improve the quality of management reporting and ensure that your customers receive an excellent service. You will be a confident Excel user, able to use Excel to design and build management reports which can be quickly and easily produced. Experience of using and implementing other reporting tools would also be advantageous, as we seek to improve ways of working.
This post is part of the Finance Business Partnering team within the Finance team, with Finance Business Partners dedicated towards different NCIs. Whilst you have autonomy and focus on your ‘lead client’ you will also work collaboratively with the rest of the Finance team to develop a high quality finance service to the NCIs, including best practice internal and external reporting and a robust financial control environment.
Please note this role is being offered on a 12 month fixed-term contract (maternity cover).
The role is based in Church House, Westminster although there will be an element of Hybrid working. Further details will be discussed at interview.
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 people with disabilities.
We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.
Finance business partnering
Work with budget holders to build understanding of their financial position and performance, including:
Building strong relationships with senior managers and budget holders and work with them to develop a deep understanding of the Education Office’s activities, priorities and business, including identifying key risks and opportunities
Providing constructive challenge to hold budget holders to account for financial performance, probe key issues, and financial risks and assumptions underpinning the budgets and focus on priorities
Taking a value-added role, acting as a trusted advisor and demonstrate an ability to provide constructive challenge
Acting as the first point of contact on finance matters, directing staff to other parts of the finance team as appropriate but ensuring they receive a consistent and joined-up service
Working with the other finance business partners to develop the business partnering model, helping to provide a consistent and high quality service to NCI clients
Keeping abreast of relevant changes in legislation or wider industry changes to facilitate early engagement with these as required
Acting as ‘key contact’ in the ongoing monitoring and management of the Service Level Agreement between ChECS and the National Society, working with the Head of Financial Accounting and Operations to ensure processing targets are met
Finance lead for new Education networks, programmes and research projects
Provide financial support to the senior team of the Education Office for relevant project activity as appropriate, including:
Preparing financial models and analysis to support the evaluation of funding bids, tenders, business cases and new areas of work, including SIAMS, Growing Faith and NPQ programmes
Supporting the implementation and management of Education operational systems including Salesforce CRM and Blackboard LMS to ensure compatibility with finance processes
Preparing and submitting regular financial information to funders, including the Department for Education, to meet contractual reporting requirements
Financial planning, reporting and monitoring
Produce and present to budget holders and the leadership group, regular management accounts, including:
Preparing meaningful analysis, investigating variances from budgets, forecasts and actuals and commenting on key numbers
Producing regular reporting for the Chief Education Officer and the Council of the National Society and relevant sub-committees
Setting and managing the timetable for the production of phased budgets and quarterly reforecasts, supporting budget holders in preparing submissions
Consolidating departmental budgets and forecasts and work with the Head of Financial Planning & Analysis and the Director of Finance to produce relevant papers and presentations for the trustees and sub-committees
Ensuring that budgets and forecasts are accurately recorded in SAP
Working with the rest of the Finance Business Partnering team to develop and roll out best practice management reports in response to the operational and decision-making needs of the organisation
Financial management and accountability
Ensure that monthly, quarterly and year end close is complete and all necessary transactions are recorded in SAP accurately and on time, including:
Working with the Assistant Management Accountants and Financial Accounting and Operations team, to ensure that all necessary accounting entries are posted each month with no material errors, omissions or miscoding
Working with the Tax & Compliance team to ensure that shared projects and activities are structured appropriately and undertaken by the correct entity
Working with Education staff to ensure they use SAP effectively for financial management purposes, including monitoring the use of purchase orders and supporting the wider Finance team in encouraging compliance with financial control procedures and good practice procurement
Providing financial training and support to non-finance colleagues as required, promoting financial literacy and accountability across the NCIs
Collaborating with other members of the Finance team, including the Finance Accounting and Operations team, Financial Systems team and Procurement, to ensure that services are delivered in a joined-up way
Providing support for projects within the Finance team (which could include for example, process improvement projects, system projects, implementation of new processes and solutions etc.)
Developing excellent working relationships and clear communication with the Financial Accountant for the National Society, to ensure a consistent understanding of activities within the NCIs, and that this is reflected accurately in both statutory and management reporting
Undertaking other ad hoc tasks as required to ensure the Finance team delivers a high-quality, cost-effective service to its customers
Excellent IT skills including advanced Excel and data manipulation skills
Able to analyse information and extract pertinent information for management
Excellent attention to detail
Well organised and able to prioritise competing demands
Customer-focussed and able to partner effectively with key stakeholders
Ability to work calmly and effectively under pressure
Excellent interpersonal skills to achieve cooperation and results from others
Good communication skills both written and oral, able to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders and to explain financial issues to non-finance staff
Proactive, self-motivated and enthusiastic
Persistent and resilient; able to overcome challenges and find solutions
Experience gained from working as a finance business partner / management accountant covering all aspects of budgeting, forecasting and management reporting for a large organisation
Experience of providing commentary and analysis to senior colleagues
Experience of producing reporting at CEO and Trustee Board level
Experience of problem solving and implementing process improvements, particularly in relation to internal reporting (e.g. efficient design of Excel reports)
Up to date knowledge of best practice in provision of management information
CCAB or equivalent professional accounting body qualification
Willingness to work in excess of contracted hours to ensure completion of deadlines
Experience of working in the charity sector and knowledge of Charities SORP
Experience of working in the education sector
Experience of dealing with auditors
Knowledge of economics, business and the investment environment
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.-.
We welcome everyone and we accept and value people for who they are and what they contribute, treating others in the way we would wish to be treated ourselves. We actively listen to and include others, encouraging and enabling everyone’s voice to be heard in discussions and decisions. When we disagree, we aim to disagree well with respect and kindness.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.