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Capital Accountant

£54,597 - £56,754 per annum

Reports to:Chief Accountant

Directorate: Corporate Resources

Division: Finance

DBS required: N/A

Main purpose of the job

  • To be responsible for developing, monitoring, implementing and evaluating the Council’s Capital Strategy and Capital Programme. To ensure the correct accounting treatment for all capital transactions in accordance with legislative requirements.

  • To be responsible for the financing arrangements of all capital expenditure; ensuring that capital resources are used optimally and that statutory prudential indicators are set appropriately, monitored and reported on.

  • Be accountable for the integrity of the capital elements of the Council’s core accounting systems and records to ensure the production and reporting of accurate financial accounting information in line with statutory timeframes.

  • Oversee the control and interpretation of the Council’s Capital Balance Sheet to ensure the on-going financial resilience of the Council.

  • Keep abreast of the core government regulations applicable to local government capital finance and ensure that Members and senior officers are briefed fully on the implications of existing legislation and any proposed changes.

Management roles & expectations

As a Lewisham Service Manager you will:

  • Be responsible for professional advice and support in service area to deliver in partnership with others the councils vision, values and ways of working.

  • Take overall responsibility for the planning and management of services, ensuring community and customer needs are identified and met.

  • Ensure the delivery of identified service objectives and continuous improvement of service targets.

  • Achieve results through the effective management and development of people.

  • Ensure the effective deployment of financial resources and compliance with statutory professional and organisational frameworks.

Personal duties & responsibilities

  • Be the lead officer responsible for the development and implementation for all of the capital elements of the Council’s budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy, including specifically the Capital Strategy and the revenue impact of capital decisions.

  • Work with Members and senior officers to understand the Council’s need for capital investment and relative Member priorities in order to produce a 5 to 10 year capital strategy bringing together investment bids and funding availability. (c£750m - £2Bn)

  • Lead on the production of an annual capital programme in the order of £150m – £200m profiling prioritised projects to match resource availability and advising Members of conflicts and potential solutions.

  • Review and evaluation of all Capital Project Initiation Documentation, across all council services, scoring and ranking of bids. Ensuring that lifecycle costing approaches are adopted and reflected in future years’ plans and budgets.

  • Review and input into monthly capital project/ programme highlight information, ensuring consistency with the Council’s general ledger.

  • Revise the capital financing strategy in the context of highlight information on project progress, new priorities and scheme deferrals; continue to ensure that the financing mix represents best value for the Council and is flexible to changing requirements.

  • Consolidate all capital budget monitoring information including expenditure and scheme progress and integrate into the Council’s monthly budget monitoring report for EMT and quarterly reporting to Mayor and Cabinet.

  • Ensure that the Council’s capital programme is affordable and that its financing components reflects into, and is consistent with revenue and capital budget provision, and matches the Council’s priorities and its capital strategy.

  • Take responsibility for determining the optimal funding approach for financing the Council’s capital programme; ensuring that time limited resources do not expire and that the Council’s costs are minimized by prioritizing the use of external funding first.

  • Be responsible for the Council’s overall borrowing levels, required to support the financing decisions, and the use of financial instruments including considering alternative financing strategies such as the use of Bonds.

  • Be accountable for ensuring that the cash flow implications of capital expenditure profiles, including any subsequent changes from the initial budget position, informs and is aligned to the Council’s Treasury Management processes.

  • Be responsible for the setting and monitoring of the Council’s statutory Prudential Indicators; report regularly to the Audit Committee against progress and report and resolve any breaches. Advise on the appropriate level of the Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) Authorized Boundary and Operational Boundary for external debt and other borrowing limits taking into account the Council’s capital expenditure programme, capital strategy and its Medium Term Financial Strategy.

  • Calculate and review key financial ratios governing borrowing costs as a proportion of net revenue costs and the marginal impact of borrowing decisions on the level of the Council tax in order to demonstrate overall affordability of the capital programme in accordance with capital controls and regulations.

  • Be responsible for calculating and agreeing maturity structures for external debt consistent with proposed borrowing and the maintenance of liquidity to preserve the Council’s financial resilience.

  • Be accountable for the level and monitoring of the Minimum Revenue Provision and external interest budgets for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) ensuring that changes required as a result of increases in the CFR are reflected in future budget requirements.

  • Project future Capital Balance sheet positions and propose strategies for minimizing external borrowing costs through the use of internal borrowing.

  • Be responsible for the Council’s Financial Asset registers relating to Property Plant and Equipment keeping these up to date with relevant information relating to component valuation, acquisition, disposal or adaptation.

  • Undertake annual rolling valuation exercises on the Council’s assets, ensuring that the correct accounting entries are processed for changes in asset valuation and the impact on the Council’s un-usable reserves.

  • Ensure that all written reports of a capital nature consider the financial implications fully and draft for inclusion formal comments in the name of the Chief Finance Officer.

  • Keep abreast of and provide early advice and guidance to Members and senior officers in relation to future policy or regulatory changes impacting the Council’s capital finances, including changes to capital accounting regulations for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

  • To provide strategic input and advice on capital accounting, investment options and modelling into the appraisal of new capital schemes, including commercial development opportunities, to ensure that full lifecycle costing is considered and that the options for the associated capital financing arrangements are secure and affordable.

  • Represent the Council with external partners in the development and on-going control of investment options financed through Council resources including existing or proposed Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals.

  • Advising on the use of Special Purpose Vehicles and ensuring that relevant capital accounting requirements are fully considered as part of a full options appraisal.

  • Lead on the arrangements for the monitoring and management of the Council’s capital resources including capital grants and capital receipts. Establish the links between financial and other performance data to ensure decisions are based on robust and relevant evidence and data.

  • Provide assurance to those making decisions that the council’s capital expenditure requirements feed into the Council’s MTFS and the management of the Council’s borrowing, including for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account.

  • Provide to Members and Senior Officers of the Council, accounting, technical and commercial advice relevant to the Council’s capital financial responsibilities including the impact of capital items on the corporate budget setting process - capital projects and programmes, inward investment, borrowing and financing options, current and evolving legislation, financial business case development and scheme option appraisal.

  • Be responsible for ensuring that the Council’s capital financial systems and capital accounting structures are maintained to support the production of statutory and other accounting information.

  • Be accountable for the regular review of all capital control and holding accounts, including for grants, to ensure that complete and accurate accounting information is available to budget holders and decision makers within the Council.

  • Be accountable for undertaking regular reconciliations for all capital control accounts and capital suspense accounts; resolving issues so that repeat errors do not occur and a right first time approach is adopted.

  • Produce all government capital returns, from the Council’s core financial data in accordance with guidance issued and timescales. This will include for example CER, COR, RTB Treasury and other statistical returns

  • Be responsible for the review and oversight of the Council’s capital Balance Sheet to ensure the continued resilience of the Council. Reporting and interpreting regularly alongside other budget management information to ensure that the Council’s financial position is fully understood. Propose actions that assist with maintaining the stability of capital reserves.

  • Be accountable for the register of all capital grants due to the Council, including S106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) accounting for them correctly in line with any constraints or conditions applicable; ensure that they are applied appropriately in accordance with the relevant regulations. Comply with any grant reporting requirements in a timely way to ensure that the receipt and application of resources is in accordance with any legal conditions.

  • Be responsible for reconciling capital receipts with other line of business systems for example the asset register or the S106 Planning Gains system.

  • To carry out the duties of the post with due regard to the Council’s relevant codes and procedures.

  • Lead and manage the capital finance function, developing strategies and service programmes which meet statutory requirements, the council’s policy objectives and local needs.

  • Carry out the duties of the post with due regard to the Council’s Dignity at Work Policy and core values.

  • All employees are required to comply with the Council's Health & Safety policies and procedures at all times, taking due care for themselves, colleagues and members of the public.

  • Assist in carrying out the Council's environmental policy within the day to day activities of the post.

  • Treat all information acquired through employment, both formally and informally, in strict confidence.

  • To carry out the duties of the post with due regard to the Council’s relevant codes and procedures

  • All employees are required to participate in the Performance Evaluation Scheme (PES) and to undertake appropriate training and development identified to enhance their work.

  • Undertake other duties, commensurate with the grade, as may reasonably be required.

 

Consideration will be given to restructuring the duties of this post for a disabled postholder

Internal Contacts: These include finance business partners, Principal Housing Accountant, capital delivery teams, Treasury and Investment Manager, programme and project managers, regeneration team, S106 and CIL planning teams.

 

External Contacts: This will include external auditors, government departments e.g. MHCLG

Person specification

Equality & Diversity

  • Awareness of and a commitment to Equality of Access and Opportunity in a diverse community

  • Understanding of how equality and diversity relates to this post 

  • Ability to demonstrate commitment to the principles of equality in employment and service delivery

Knowledge

  • Evidence of a strong intellectual grasp of local government policy, finance especially in relation to capital 

  • Expert knowledge of Local Government Capital Accounting regulations and codes of practice 

  • Detailed understanding of audit requirements and programmes

  • Understanding of implementing and operating electronic accounting systems particularly capital accounting and Asset Registers

  • Demonstrates an understanding of current challenges and opportunities in local  govt.

  • CCAB Qualified Accountant (or willing to undertake training to achieve qualification within reasonable timeframe) with substantial experience of working in a dynamic environment within a large public or private sector organisation

Aptitude

  • Numerical reasoning

  • Oral presentation

  • Able to prioritise, and provide clear guidance including the establishment and maintenance of a performance management culture

Skills

  • Able to write professional papers including reports and briefings

  • Ability to develop and deliver presentation materials clearly and concisely to a range of audiences  

  • Assertive and strong communication skills with excellent listening skills together with persuasive analytical skills

  • Ability to act and think strategically, translating this into deliverables

  • Ability to reconcile corporate and strategic objectives             

 

Experience

  • Significant experience in range of finance roles including capital roles

  • Experience of managing a team of finance professionals

  • Evidence of having developed and delivered effective performance measures and performance improvement programme in the delivery of services

  • Maintaining chart of accounts and operating through electronic accounting systems and Asset registers, including the oversight of interfaces and system developments.

General Education

  • Educated to A level standard

Personal Qualities

  • Must be able to adapt to competing demands

  • Must be financially fluent, cost and contribution conscious with a focus on value for money

  • Energetic, determined, robust and resilient enough to cope with the demands of the role.

  • Able to establish positive working relationships with partners and colleagues across different disciplines.

  • Able to understand and anticipate issues of political sensitivity.

  • High standards of integrity

  • Commitment to learn – desire to acquire new knowledge, skills and approaches.

Physical

  • Generally candidates must meet the standard Lewisham requirements for the post