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Finance Business Partner

£48,576 - £50,559 per annum

Reports to: Head of Financial Strategy, Planning and Commercial

Directorate: Corporate Resources

Division: Finance

Team: Finance

Designation: Finance Business Partner Financial Planning, Research and Projects

Main purpose of the job

  • To provide technical and professional advice to senior officers on the Council’s medium term financial planning responsibilities including the implications of both revenue and capital expenditure, Collection Fund accounting, budget setting; budget management; statutory accounting information; and procurement.

  • Assume responsibility for the provision of a high quality financial research function providing professional advice to senior managers across the Council in relation to the anticipated financial impacts of existing regulatory requirements and any proposed changes, including to service provision where this is expected to have financial implications.

  • To provide senior financial project support for change activities across all Council services. Carry out or lead time-limited projects or tasks to deliver specific improvements.

  • Setting out the parameters for changes to financial cash limits over time to determine the need for and apportionment of proposals for change.

Summary of responsibilities and personal duties

Summary of Responsibilities and Personal Duties

 

  • To be accountable for the calculation of the Council’s overall budget requirement over the medium term, setting out the resultant parameters for change including determining the extent of and apportionment methodologies for service investment and savings.

  • Be responsible for understanding, evaluating and advising on the impact of government announcements including specifically the Autumn Statement, the Budget Statement and the Comprehensive Spending Review.

  • To keep up to date with all relevant financial developments and national guidance.

  • Responsible for delivering a comprehensive research function across all government departments to identify, evaluate and exemplify the financial impact of proposed or contemplated changes

  • Responsible for drafting responses to government and other external consultations ensuring that the financial implications for the Council are understood and considered within the relevant service Directorate and by senior decision makers in the Council. Obtaining senior level input, including from Members, and agreement to the submission of the response in the Council’s name.

  • Accountable for ensuring that the linkages between government resources, locally retained resources through the Collection Fund, grants and income are understood and projected to inform overall resourcing decisions.

  • To take responsibility for understanding the relevant regulatory environment, financial accounting requirements and service challenges across the Council to facilitate the provision of advice challenge and support and ensure that the Council adheres to relevant constraints in the delivery of services.

  • To be responsible for providing advice on the application of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders, Procurement Standards and Schemes of Delegation within the Council to ensure that all financial transactions are undertaken lawfully and in accordance with relevant rules and regulations.

  • To be accountable for reporting any breaches of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders, Procurement Standards and Schemes of Delegation; providing advice on regularising any breaches and ensuring that appropriate remedial action is being taken.

  • To be recognised as a technical expert in the implications of government regulations on the Council’s overall financial resources, both capital and revenue, on a long term basis.

  • To be responsible for drafting high quality written advice to Members on behalf of the council’s s151 officer, for example in financial implications to reports to Mayor & Cabinet and other formal Member level groups, and occasionally to attend such meetings to provide specific advice within own area of technical expertise.

  • To be responsible for the control, management and reporting on sensitive financial data, understanding appropriate levels of confidentiality and to operate accordingly.

  • To be responsible for ensuring that the council, as a c£1bn corporate entity, complies with highly complex sensitive and high profile statutory accounting and other financial requirements and prepares public reports and government returns accordingly.

  • To be responsible for understanding and presenting the linkages between financial and service performance against agreed Council performance measures; enable that the complete performance picture is available and clearly presented to the Council’s decision makers.

  • To work with internal and external audit and take responsibility for ensuring appropriate follow up and implementation of matters arising from and any recommendations set out in  audit reports

  • To liaise with and assist other staff within Finance to ensure that corporate, statutory and performance monitoring requirements are met.

  • To take responsibility for carrying out complex financial reviews limited to service and business needs, analysing and interpreting complex data using statistical and other techniques as required, preparing detailed reports and/or presentations to convince others of the need to adopt recommended changes.

  • To obtain, analyse and present information that provides more detail to support reporting from the general ledger. This could include benchmarking or performance data.

  • To be responsible for challenging submissions for savings and investment proposals. Ensuring that they are robust achievable and are in line with the Council’s stated priorities and consistent with the achievement of a balanced budget and Medium Term Financial Plan.

  • Be responsible for challenging the development of robust income plans ensuring that opportunities for commercial or income generation schemes are fully explored and risks are quantified.

  • To take responsibility for ensuring that the annual cash limit, Capital Programme Budgets and Longer Term projections of future cash limits are held in the Council’s core financial system, kept up-to-date and are a reliable source of information for decision making purposes.

  • To be responsible for working with senior managers and service leads to prepare business cases and bids for new business and/ or service re-design.

  • To be responsible for analysing the impact of service changes and provide the cost implications of service redesign, adjusting budgets in accordance with changes in service provision if necessary.

  • Assist in developing and delivering training programmes for non-finance managers to improve commercial and financial skills

 

All employees are required to

  • Participate in the Performance Appraisal Scheme (PES) and to undertake appropriate training and development identified to enhance their work.

  • 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.

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

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

Internal Contacts: These include the Executive Management Team (EMT), all budget holders, core finance staff, and procurement and contract management staff.

 

External Contacts: Government departments.

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 and finance

  • Strong knowledge of management accounting techniques over income and expenditure items. 

  • Knowledge of costing, benchmarking and modelling techniques to support proposals for change. 

  • Demonstrates an understanding of current challenges and opportunities in local  government   

  • Substantial experience of working in a management accounting 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 reports and briefings

  • 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

  • Ability to demonstrate production of management information reports, dashboards and other information.

Experience

  • CCAB Qualified Accountant with substantial experience of working in a dynamic environment within a large public or private sector organisation.

  • Experience in range of finance roles

  • Experience of managing a team of finance staff

  • Evidence of understanding effective performance measures and performance improvement programme in the delivery of services

General Education

  • Educated to O 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 issues of political sensitivity.

  • High standards of integrity

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