Based at: Avon Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters - Portishead
Hours: 37 hours per week
Salary: Hay 5 (£35,934 - £38,813)
Closing date: Noon on 28 January 2020
Avon Fire and Rescue Service are seeking a Systems Accountant to support with the improvement and development of its financial systems and interfaces. As a senior member of the Finance Team the Systems Accountant will play a key role in the continuous development of the in-house processing of financial and non-financial data to ensure the delivery of an efficient and effective service to stakeholders.
If successful, you will take a proactive lead in the Authority’s ambitious plans for a transformation and digitalisation programme, ensuring the integration of systems and that data is captured in an effective and efficient manner. The devolvement of budgets is a key priority for the Service and you will also take a lead role in training and educating budget holders and senior managers in setting future budgets, preparing monthly monitoring reports, business cases and making robust financial decisions.
You will be expected to provide high level financial support and advice on all technical and systems initiatives. You will support the Finance Manager with the preparation of annual Revenue and Capital budgets, supporting the preparation of the annual statement of accounts and also producing reports for our Senior Management Board to ensure that decisions are taken in light of full and accurate financial information.
In order to be considered for this role, you will need to hold a full CCAB accountancy qualification and must have at least 5 years’ relevant accountancy experience and be able to demonstrate a strong technical financial background. We are also looking for a candidate that has experience of using Unit4 Business World (Agresso) system or an equivalent financial system.
To see the full duties of the role and candidate criteria required please see the job description provided.
How to apply
The job description and application is available below. Once you have read the job description please complete the application form telling us how you meet the essential and desirable criteria of the role, which is stated on the job description - tell us how your skills, qualifications and experience match those required for this role, and provide examples wherever you can. The information you give us will assist us in our shortlisting process.
Completed applications must be submitted to Human Resources, Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Police & Fire Headquarters, PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 8JJ by the closing date and time. Alternatively, you can email your application to email@example.com. Late applications will not be accepted.
Please quote job reference number 3010 on any communications. Thank you.
1. JOB PURPOSE
- To review and develop Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS) financial systems and processes to ensure the effective and efficient processing of financial and non-financial data.
- To extend the range of management tools and reports used to inform AFRS.
- To work effectively as part of the Financial Services Unit and carry out accountancy duties in support of the function as/when needed (eg during busy periods, or in the absence of other Accountant/s etc).
- AFRS serves the Unitary Authority areas of Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with fire stations and office locations in each area. It is a Combined Fire Authority, consisting of Members drawn from the above four authorities.
- This post is in the Financial Services Unit which is part of the Corporate Services Directorate. The Directorate is responsible for providing specialist support AFRS to enable it to achieve its corporate objectives, targets and service requirements.
3. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTABILITIES
- Under the direction of the Finance Manager, support the improvement and development of AFRS’s financial systems and their interfaces, enabling effective stewardship of financial resources, with appropriate and robust checks, balances and audit trails, but which also support the delivery of efficient working practices.
- To take a lead role in training and educating budget holders and senior managers in using relevant systems, and setting future budgets, preparing monthly monitoring reports, business cases and making robust financial decisions.
- Ensure systems controls are in line with the Fire and Rescue Authority’s structure and approval limits, and ensure segregation of duties.
- To take a proactive lead role in the Authority’s ambitious plans for a transformation and digitalisation programme, ensuring the integration of systems and that data is captured in an effective and efficient manner.
- Under the guidance of the Finance Manager, work with budget holders to design and develop both internal and external management reports to better inform the business, and to facilitate the devolvement of budgets.
- To assist in the development of a culture of robust financial controls, reporting arrangements and efficiency throughout the business; and liaise closely with the corporate assurance and governance department.
- Liaise with Internal and external auditors and other external bodies/service providers as required.
- To provide high level financial support and advice on all technical and systems initiatives, and to provide (directly or via the team) specialist financial expertise to AFRS as required.
- To assist the Finance Manager in the preparation of annual Revenue and Capital budgets.
- To assist the Finance Manager in the preparation of annual Statement of Accounts
- As a member of the Financial Services Unit, provide assistance, cover and technical support to colleagues to ensure the Unit meets statutory and other deadlines and provides timely, accurate information to its customers. Also, to provide independent authorisation and validation to requisite Payroll and Accounts Payable functions.
- Assist with producing reports and attending meetings with Service Managers to ensure that decisions are taken in the light of full and accurate financial information. Prepare and present Senior Management Team (SMT) reports and assist in preparation of Senior Management Board (SMB) and Fire and Rescue Authority reports.
- Provide professional accountancy/budgetary advice and support as necessary.
- Carry out such other duties as may reasonably be required in relation to a post of this grade and nature.
- You must be aware of Health and Safety Regulations in relation to duties and tasks being undertaken and report any situations or incidents which could be considered hazardous. All employees have a responsibility for their own safety and must not endanger that of colleagues/visitors in the workplace or the public.
- Ensure that, both in your dealings with other employees and with members of the public, you adhere to the principles and standards outlined in the Equality and Fairness Policy. You are responsible for making your supervisor aware of literature, language or behaviour that offends against that policy and the dignity of personnel.
- Ensure that you perform all duties in accordance with the principles and requirements of data protection legislation, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016.
4. SUPERVISION AND WORK PLANNING
- Whilst providing technical/professional financial support to the Finance Manager, the Treasurer or to the Director of Corporate Services as directed, you will be expected to use initiative in ensuring day to day requirements of financial systems, accounting and budgetary controls are met.
- You will be expected to work under minimal supervision, using initiative and experience to determine priorities and to resolve problems.
- You may be required to supervise other member/s of staff working in the Financial Services Unit.
5. SCOPE FOR IMPACT
- Under the overall direction of the Director of Corporate Services and/or Treasurer, you will provide accountancy support to the Finance Manager to whom you report, to ensure the provision of efficient, effective and relevant accountancy services and financial management processes within the organisation.
- With Finance being a core business activity, you will assist the Finance Manager, the Treasurer and the Director of Corporate Services in providing accurate and timely financial information, which is crucial to improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of our services, whilst ensuring financial regulations, Audit requirements and financial propriety are met.
- You will have contact with Senior and other Managers, and other uniformed and non-uniformed staff across AFRS, primarily in providing technical/professional information and advice, and ensuring it is understood by people in other disciplines.
- You will liaise with AFRS Auditors, the Pensions Manager, the Home Office and other external service providers (through Service Level Agreements) in particular Bristol City Council, and other employees or representatives from external bodies on behalf of the Finance Manager.
7. SPECIAL NOTES OR CONDITIONS
- In the interests of the efficiency of the Service, you may be required to work from any base within the Service area, for which appropriate allowances will be paid.
- You are required to wear clothing suitable to the type of work you are undertaking.
- You must be aware of the confidential nature of the work and must adhere to the confidentiality and Data Protection requirements at all times.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
- Full CCAB accountancy qualification.
- Strong technical finance background with significant experience of Unit4 Business World (Agresso) system or equivalent financial system
- Significant accounting/budgeting experience (eg min 5 years).
- Experience of designing, implementing and managing financial systems, processes and policies.
- Project Management skills.
- Be an advanced Excel user.
- The ability to organise and prioritise work, to meet strict deadlines, and to use initiative and work with minimal supervision.
- Proven ability to communicate effectively at all levels, including the ability to explain sometimes complex financial issues.
- Experience of preparation and presentation of reports.
- Well-developed analytical and problem solving skills
- Able to operate with probity, e.g. awareness of and adherence to all legislative regulations relating to financial matters
- Proven organisational skills and able to work well under pressure, with the ability to prioritise, work to deadlines and manage time effectively without supervision.
- Evidence of self-motivation, innovation and resilience.
- Proven ability to use own initiative and work as a team player
- Knowledge and experience of working in a Local Government financial environment together with the relevant procedures and operations.
- An understanding of the public sector and its pressures and constraints including National issues affecting Local Government.
- Experience of collaborating with clients and external organisations.