Head of Financial Reporting
Head of Financial Reporting
£60,000 – £70,000, dependent on experience
Ark Schools is a fast-growing education charity committed to running outstanding non-selective community schools. With 35 academies open and further growth plans, this is a unique opportunity to join a thriving organisation.
We are looking to recruit a Head of Financial Reporting to work with a range of staff and play a key role in ensuring the continued success of Ark Schools as it continues to expand. The role will involve the running of the central financial reporting team, but a significant portion of the role will be working with local finance teams in our academies.
The ideal candidate will:
- be able to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
- have experience of managing and motivating staff in a finance function
- have planning and budgeting experience
- have experience of VAT regulations
- have genuine passion and a belief in the potential of every student.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please apply early. The final deadline is 11am on Friday 7th October.
Job Description: Head of Financial Reporting
Reports to: Chief Financial Officer
Staff Managed: Central Financial Reporting Team (currently two Finance Managers and two Finance Officers)
Organisational Relationships: Ark Schools Senior Team, Academy Principals and Finance & Resources Directors and Central Financial Planning & Analysis Team
Start date: As soon as convenient
The Ark Schools Head of Financial Reporting will play a key role in ensuring the continued success of Ark Schools as it continues to expand. The role will involve the running of the central financial reporting team, but a significant portion of the role will be working with local finance teams in our academies.
The Head of Financial Reporting will work with a range of staff including: the Managing Director, Operations Director, Ark Schools Senior Team, Academy Principals and Academy Finance & Resource Directors.
- Manage the Central Financial Reporting Team in the delivery of finance services to all Ark Academies and to the Central Ark Schools Team.
- Develop and manage Ark Schools’ operational relationship with academies, ensuring efficiency of operations.
- Review and support internal management reporting systems ensuring that central senior staff, receive timely accurate information that meets their management needs.
- Assist academy finance staff to produce timely accurate financial information to their local Governing Bodies and relevant committees.
- To evaluate proposals for new projects to ensure a joint understanding of financial implications.
Responsibilities within Ark Schools
- Ensure that all funds received by Ark Schools are maximised and accurately reflect the expected funding, and that these received funds are delegated promptly to the academies in accordance with agreed procedures.
- Ensure that all employees are aware of relevant financial procedures, and that robust controls are in place, without being unnecessarily onerous.
- Disseminate information on DfE requirements and monitor compliance to ensure that academy returns are timely and accurate.
- Review and sign-off Project Approvals, involving capital expenditure.
- Ensure that grant claims are prepared for all reimbursable expenditure in accordance with DfE procedures.
- Ensure that DfE returns and HMRC filings are accurate and on time.
- Oversee completion of all month end reconciliations and control account breakdowns.
- Complete year end accounts for Ark Schools and its related charity and subsidiary trading company, Ark Academies Projects Ltd.
- Complete EFA annual returns on behalf of Ark Schools in accordance with requirements the timetable.
- Oversee arrangements for internal and external audit and ensure that all issues raised are dealt with promptly.
- Set objectives, monitor performance and oversee staff development of the Ark Schools Financial Reporting Team.
- Manage treasury across the network, including cash flow forecasting and cash management.
- Technical expert on academy-specific accounting treatment, regulations and statutory reporting.
- Fund accounting, including monitoring of restricted, unrestricted and designated reserves.
Academy responsibilities, monitoring and support
- Review and develop network wide systems which strike the most efficient and effective balance between centralisation and devolution.
- Be responsible for the provision of support and training for the academies on implementation and operation of the central financial systems.
- Work with the Finance and Resources Directors at all the academies. In particular, develop effective relationships with each academy to ensure efficient implementation of academy finance policies, systems and reporting, in accordance with all relevant requirements.
- Arrange training and support for the academies on the implementation of the central financial systems and the procedures required for the maintenance of accurate records and the production of prompt and accurate management reports.
- Responsible for assessing and managing financial risks and mitigating controls, including risk of fraud and conducting forensic audits.
- Undertake any other duties as requested by the Chief Financial Officer.
Person Specification: Head of Financial Reporting
- Qualified accountant with relevant post-qualification experience.
- Experience of managing and motivating staff in a finance function.
- Understanding and experience of the challenges presented by working in a network environment with some devolved financial functions.
- Financial reporting variance analysis and benchmarking school performance
- Planning and budgeting experience.
- Experience of VAT regulations.
- Adaptable, organised, and able to work with minimum supervision.
- Well-developed skills in spreadsheet and accountancy software.
- Good communication and training skills, as well as the ability to write clearly and concisely and to produce and maintain documents.
- Strong administration skills and the ability to maintain effective systems.
- Personal vision is aligned with Ark’s high aspirations and expectations of self and others.
- Genuine passion and a belief in the potential of every student.
- Motivation to continually improve standards and achieve excellence above norms.
- This post is subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.
Ark is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in our academies. In order to meet this responsibility, we follow a rigorous selection process. This process is outlined here, but can be provided in more detail if requested. All successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.