Principal Accountant

Job Details

Role Purpose

• To provide high quality customer focused financial information, training, modelling, analysis, support and advice to stakeholders across the Council, including other finance officers, budget holders and senior managers to support financial reporting, decision making and budget management.
• To maintain the integrity of the Council’s chart of accounts, balances and transactions to facilitate all aspects of financial and management reporting.
• To contribute to the mitigation or resolution of complex financial issues, challenges and risks
• To ensure that there is an effective framework for financial reporting, budget setting, forecasting, control and management within the Council for both revenue and capital budgets.
• To undertake complex and technical accounting tasks.

Main Responsibilities

• To lead on a key area of management or financial accounting and ensure that the council’s accounts are compliant with best practice, relevant legislation and codes of practice

Financial Planning
• To support managers to identify and implement savings, value for money improvements.
• To provide high quality financial information and analysis and undertake complex financial modelling and forecasting to support decision making and budget planning. (eg unit costs, trends, cost driver analysis.)

Budget Monitoring/Financial Reporting
• Prepare or contribute to the preparation of high quality financial reports for both finance and non-finance professionals, including members and senior officers to support proactive and informed decision making
• To be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of effective systems and processes for budget management or financial reporting and control.
• Provide information to ensure that statutory returns, grant claims, taxation returns, relevant FOI requests and other requests for financial information are produced on a timely and accurate basis.
• To be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of an effective quality control and compliance monitoring framework to allow early identification of financial issues and risks and seek remedial actions in the case of budget overspend
• Within this framework ensure that there is review and oversight of financial balances, transactions or budget monitoring including reviews of timeliness and quality of forecasts entered by budget holders.
• To work with external partners where relevant to ensure that relevant financial and non-financial information is provided to support consolidation and reporting. (e.g. schools, ALMO, valuers, third party contractors)

Closure of Accounts
• To ensure budget holders are aware of the closure timetable and protocols to follow to ensure that the appropriate year-end adjustments (Accruals, etc) are actioned.
• To satisfactorily respond to complex internal and external audit queries and recommendations in line with the Council’s current audit protocol with the aim of continually improving the Council’s financial management and reporting.
• To ensure all work undertaken is compliant with Council financial regulations, standing orders, policies and practice, statutory requirements and CIPFA guidance.
• Maintain oversight of the Council’s Balance Sheet to ensure that all balances are understood, can be supported and represent real assets or liabilities

• To provide appropriate support, guidance and training to enable officers to carry out their financial accounting responsibilities.
• Participate in all council staff management and development processes including appraisals, my conversation, finance forum etc.
• Ensure all direct and indirect reports in the finance function have adequate supervision, training and support and ensure that tasks are allocated and work is planned and carried out in accordance with deadlines.
• To undertake training and development in order to fulfil the requirements of the role
• To deputise as required for the Business Partner
• To undertake specific complex project work including options appraisal or financial modelling as required

Pay rate: £550 per day umbrella

Three to six months contract with view to extend or make permanent