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Systems 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 manage, maintain and develop the corporate financial system(s), including all interfaces and reporting. Act as a gatekeeper to any system purchases/changes that have an impact on finance systems and all related processes to drive continuous improvement throughout the organisation.

  • To take a leading role in specifying the systems required to ensure accurate and dependable information, including both core financial systems and key feeder systems, and to work with services to ensure that relevant people in the organisation are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the accuracy of the information they submit to systems.

  • Act to ensure system availability and functionality across the Council to support the recording and production of financial management information.

  • To lead on the development and delivery of training in the use of the Council’s financial systems to ensure that they are used optimally, provide efficiencies in operation and enable the production of accurate and relevant information used for decision making purposes.

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

  • Take responsibility for specifying the systems required to ensure accurate and dependable financial information, including core finance systems and key feeder systems such as for Council tax and Business Rates.

  • Lead and manage the financial systems team to develop plans for system development and implementation which meet regulatory requirements, the council’s priorities, local needs and which are consistent with and support the delivery of the Council’s Corporate Plan objectives.

  • Be responsible for ensuring that relevant people in the organisation are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the accuracy of the information they submit into systems that feed into the Council’s Core finance system.

  • Ensure that information, extracted from financial systems can be relied upon for decision making and supports the production of statutory and other information.

  • Ensure that system availability and functionality is maintained to support end user requirements and the need to understand and produce management information consistently and on a regular basis for decision making.

  • Be responsible for ensuring that security controls are designed to support a hierarchy of access reflecting decision making in the Council and providing a clear audit record of data owners and system changes.

  • Be responsible for managing the access to and issuing of finance licenses to ensure that this provides essential access only at the required level and does not result in excessive or uncontrolled increases in licencing costs.

  • Be accountable for maintaining a schedule for system update and fixes and ensuring that system disruption is minimised.

  • Be accountable for ensuring that all system changes including patches and developments, including in emergency system failure situations, are controlled and maintain the integrity of the Council’s core finance system.

  • Be responsible for the interface and integration of electronic payment systems to the Council’s core financial systems; ensure that regular data transfers are undertaken to provide that up to date financial information is available.

  • Be accountable for maintaining system recovery points, back-ups and other methods of securing data to support system and data re-creation.

  • Be responsible for reviewing system performance and resolving issues in order to maintain system availability and performance to users.

  • Take responsibility for developing, implementing and managing a process for Corporate Finance to know about and be part of the gate-keeping process to any system purchase/changes that have an impact on any finance systems within the authority.

  • Be responsible for reviewing any proposed data transfers into the Council’s Core finance system ensuring that they are consistent with the relevant code structure, data quality and other attributes to protect the integrity of financial and management information.

  • Advise on proposals to extract data from the Council’s core financial systems into data warehouse or analysis tools; ensuring that data integrity and reconciliation is maintained to give assurance of data quality.  Ensure that unnecessary duplication is avoided and preserve the principle of ‘one version of the truth’ in relation to financial information.

  • Be accountable for ensuring that the Council’s core finance system is set up and is fit for purpose from a business perspective and develop a programme of improvements. Ensure that system configuration continues to meet business needs and control requirements and that the core financial systems deliver good value for money.

  • Be the acknowledged Subject Matter Expert in the configuration of the financial elements of the system, reporting and the use of forms to improve the consistency and support the easy extraction of data and promote a corporate look and feel to the system.

  • Liaise with SME across other relevant functions such as HR and Procurement to achieve similar levels of cross council consistency in data recording, reporting, input and extraction.

  • Participate in system user groups and Fora to understand national system developments, input the Council’s requirements and validate the relevance of proposed system updates to the operation of Council services.

  • Liaise with and be the primary point of contact for financial system matters, between the Council, its system suppliers and its system support (managed Service) provider(s).

  • Provide briefings and recommendations for system changes to senior managers together with business cases for change setting out anticipated improvements in value for money through process efficiencies.

  • Be responsible for understanding system linkages into ERP/PBCS and develop a programme of improvements – through either identification of process changes required, system changes, interface changes or business requirement changes.

  • Take responsibility for understanding the impact on finance systems and input from a finance perspective to any system interface requirements/changes.

  • Be the accountable link between corporate finance requirements and the IT service of all programmes of work where there are system implications on the finance system or processes and ensure co-ordination of roles, priorities, work plans and timetables.

  • Be the accountable Subject Matter Expert (SME) on finance User Acceptance Testing (UAT), take the lead on writing test scripts and setting up a tracking and review system, including specifically for the Oracle Fusion patch cycle.

  • Be the responsible Subject Matter Expert on finance system reporting, assisting Corporate Finance staff with specifying and writing end user reports. Acting as the report Librarian for commonly used reports to avoid creation of unnecessary duplicates.

  • Lead on (and understand) business process mapping and assessing the impact on the Council’s core finance system as a result of any changes

  • Be responsible for the management and maintenance of ERP, PBCS, Integration with HCM and Taleo/ (ORC)

  • Act as the central co-ordinator for corporate finance on system changes to understand and make business and process changes as a result of system changes.

  • Be responsible for the development and provision of regular training sessions for Corporate Finance on the ORACLE Cloud ERP and other finance systems.

  • Be accountable for developing and delivering system training for all service end users to ensure that system use is undertaken throughout the organisation confidently and in accordance with system and process control.

  • Be responsible for giving advice to the business on any implications of chart of account code creations/changes/how best to achieve management information outcomes through the system.

  • Ensure that appropriate supporting documentation exists to support end users comply with best practice in the use of the Council’s core financial systems.

  • 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, budget holders at all levels of the Council including Executive Directors, Directors and Service Heads, Business Partners from other parts of the organisation. IT Applications Management Team and other senior IT staff.

 

External Contacts: This will include system owner, developers and managed service providers.

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

  • Knowledge of Local Government Accounting regulations and codes of practice                                         

  • Understanding of implementing and operating electronic accounting systems and chart of accounts

  • Knowledge of computerised accounting system structures and data management especially ERP systems

  • Understanding of interface (API) requirements in financial systems

  • Knowledge of data extraction tools and mechanisms

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

  • 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

  • ICT financial systems, report writing, data extraction and interfacing.

  • 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

  • Report specification and writing

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

 

Experience

  • Significant experience in range of finance roles

  • Experience of delivering financial services through computerised systems

  • 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 including the oversight of interfaces and system developments

  • Computerised report writing and data extraction tools to meet business requirements

  • Experience and understanding of control mechanisms within computerised accounting systems.

  • Experience of the process for the review of system upgrades and patches and updating live system

  • Extensive experience of User Acceptance Testing and writing test scripts for new releases

  • Experience of specifying system requirements and configurations to meet a range of business needs

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 elected members, 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