Financial Accountant

Vacancy details

Based at: Police & Fire Headquarters, Portishead BS20 8JJ
Contract: Permanent
Hours: 37 hours per week
Salary: Hay 4 (£40,876 - £43,857)
Closing date: 12 midday on Friday 26 February 2021

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Financial Accountant to join Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s Finance Department, working within one of the four emergency services. This role is a new role for Avon Fire & Rescue Service which has been created to support a Finance Improvement Programme which has been recently implemented, supporting a time of transformation across the organisation.

The Financial Accountant will be responsible for formulating the Service Treasury Management Strategy, working with Service Managers and Directors to develop a robust rolling capital programme and leading on the Annual Accounts process, including the development and shaping of appropriate financial controls.

You will also be required to deputise for the Head of Finance and, in their absence, manage the Finance Department, including all elements of managing and developing staff.

The successful candidate must hold a full CCAB accountancy qualification and have proven technical competency with considerable financial accounting experience (at least 3 years) within a large organisation.

You will have a proven ability to formulate medium to long term Capital Strategies, showing experience of working with managers to plan, monitor and deliver balanced Capital budgets. You will have well-developed analytical and problem solving skills and be able to communicate and influence effectively with a range of audiences.

Please note - as this post is based at our new Headquarters which we share with Avon & Somerset Police, the successful applicant will be required to undergo a security clearance check.

To see the full duties of the role and candidate criteria required please see the job description provided at the bottom of this page. 

How To Apply

The job description and application is available to download at the bottom of this page. Once you have read the job description please complete the application form telling us how you meet the requirements of the role - 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 Late applications will not be accepted.

Please note that we will not be accepting CVs, you must complete our application form.
We will not be accepting CVs from Recruitment Agencies.

Please quote job reference number 3014 on any communications. Thank you.

Job description









JOB TITLE:      Financial Accountant

DIRECTORATE:     Corporate Services                      

UNIT:                     Finance

                                                            - Human Resources

POST NO:        3014

GRADE:                 H4





1.         JOB PURPOSE

1.1            To support the Head of Finance, Treasurer and Director of Corporate Services, with a range of technical financial accounting responsibilities, including leading the Treasury Management Strategy, leading the Statutory Annual Final Accounts, working with business leads and Finance Business Partners to plan, monitor, and deliver balanced capital budgets, and be the financial lead for the development of Financial Controls & Procedures.

1.2            The post-holder will lead on all financial technical issues, such as taxation and financial pension matters and support the contract management arrangements on the Financial Services SLA.

1.3            The post-holder will work closely with both Internal and External Audit to ensure effective financial controls are in place, ensuring all required financial controls and processes are in place and are being complied with, and to act as the finance systems lead.

1.4            The post-holder will be responsible for the completion and submission of all financial returns from the organisation to the Home Office and other Government Departments. 

1.5            The post-holder will deputise for the Head of Finance and, in the absence of the Head of Finance, will manage the Finance Department.


2.         BACKGROUND


2.1       Avon Fire & Rescue Service (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.  AFRS Headquarters is based at Portishead near Bristol.


2.2       This post is within the Finance Department, which is part of the Corporate Services

Directorate.  The Directorate is responsible for providing specialist financial support to the Service to enable the achievement of its corporate objectives, targets and service and statutory requirements, including the year end statutory financial accounts. 




3.1            Lead responsibility for providing senior financial advice and technical support across the organisation on key accounting issues, such as Accounting Standards, legislation changes and taxation matters.


3.2            Working with the Head of Finance, Treasurer, managers across AFRS and the relevant contractor, ensure the accurate and timely completion of the annual statutory accounts, to meet national deadlines.


3.3            Finance lead on producing the Treasury Management Strategy and the 3-year Capital Strategy, working with the Head of Finance, Treasurer, Director of Corporate Services and Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Oversee the organisation’s cash-flow management, investment and borrowing requirements, to attain Value for Money and mitigate financial risk.


3.4            Preparation and presentation of SLT reports, and supporting the Head of Finance and Treasurer in the preparation of technical financial reports to Senior Leadership Board (SLB) and the Fire Authority.


3.5            Responsible for reporting accurate and timely financial returns and financial information to the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and other Government departments.


3.6            Lead responsibility for the maintenance and development of the financial system and associated feeder systems, including the payroll system.


3.7            Implement improved financial systems, to ensure efficient and effective accounting arrangements in accordance with the Treasurer, Director of Corporate Services, Head of Finance, audit requirements and AFRS needs.


3.8            Oversee the collation, monitoring and analysis of the financial performance of the Capital Budgets, providing support to the Capital Managers, to enable the effective management of the capital expenditure within the approved Capital Strategy and in line with the relevant requirements. To oversee the effective use of the Capital system (Real Asset Management), to ensure this is kept updated with capital additions and disposals, and reconciled to the financial system each quarter.


3.9            Lead responsibility for updating AFRS on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), to ensure the Fire Authority complies with the latest IFRS requirements.


3.10         Lead responsibility for developing the organisation’s Financial Control and Assurance Framework, including the development and maintenance of Financial Policies and Procedures.


3.11         Liaise with Internal/ External Auditors and other external bodies/service providers as required.


3.12         Working with the Head of Finance and the Finance team, responsible for implementing financial audit recommendations and providing regular updates to SLT on progress against all audit recommendations.


3.13         Management of the Balance Sheet and reserve movements, including control accounts.


3.14         Finance lead for the financial aspects of the relevant insurance and mutual schemes.  


3.15         Management of the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable systems and controls.


3.16         Management and development of the Finance Assistant, including annual Performance Development Plans, regular review meetings and appraisals.


3.17         Provide key financial reports and information to the Finance Business Partners to assist their work with local managers on financial issues, and programmes which have a financial aspect.


3.18         As a senior member of the Finance Team, provide assistance, cover and technical support to colleagues to ensure the department meets all of its statutory and other regulatory responsibilities to the required deadlines.


3.19         Prepare accounts for, and where necessary act as Trustee for, Charities associated with AFRS.


3.20         Deputise for the Head of Finance at both internal senior meetings and external meetings, including national meetings and management of the Finance Department, in the absence of the Head of Finance.



3.21         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.


3.22         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.


3.23         Ensure that you perform all duties in accordance with the principles and requirements of Data Protection legislation.


3.24         Carry out such other duties as may reasonably be required in relation to a post of this nature, without prejudice to the right to seek a re-evaluation of the post.




4.1            You will report to the Head of Finance who will provide direction and support.  Whilst providing technical/professional financial expertise to the Head of Finance, Treasurer and Director of Corporate Services as directed, you will be expected to use initiative in ensuring day to day financial accounting and financial system requirements are met.


4.2            You will manage and support the Finance Assistant.


4.3            You will be expected to work under minimal supervision, using initiative and experience to determine priorities and to resolve problems.





5.1            Under the overall direction of the Head of Finance/Director of Corporate Services, you will ensure the provision of efficient, effective and relevant accountancy services and financial control processes are in place across the organisation.


5.2            As Finance is a core business activity, you will assist the Head of Finance, 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.


6.         CONTACTS


6.1            You will have contact with the Senior Leadership Team and managers across the service and on occasions you may be asked to provide reports/ key financial accounting technical briefings to the Treasurer/ Director of Corporate Services and/or the Senior Leadership Board.


6.2            You will liaise with Internal & External Auditors; the Pensions Manager, the Home Office and other Government Departments and with Unitary Authorities, including other external service providers (through Service Level Agreements), and other employees or representatives from external bodies, on behalf of the Head of Finance.





7.1            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.


7.2            You are required to wear clothing suitable to the type of work you are undertaking. The post-holder must be aware of the confidential nature of the work and must adhere to the confidentiality and Data Protection requirements at all times.




·     Full CCAB accountancy qualification.

·     Proven technical competency with considerable financial accounting experience (minimum of 3 years), including preparation of Final Accounts within a large organisation with turnover in excess of £30 million.

·     Experience of leading Treasury Management Strategies, including experience of borrowing funding, leading annual and monthly cash-flow analysis and managing complex banking arrangements to deliver Value for Money.

·     Proven ability to formulate medium to long term Capital Strategies, showing experience of working with operational managers to plan, monitor and deliver balanced Capital budgets.

·     IT literate with experience and competence in using computerised payroll, financial systems and spreadsheets (preferably MS Excel) at an advanced level.

·     Proven line management experience with the ability to develop and support, and be accountable for effective performance and delivery.

·     The ability to organise and prioritise work at pace to meet strict deadlines, managing time effectively, using initiative and working with minimal supervision.

·     Experience of the preparation and presentation of reports to senior management.

·     Well-developed analytical and problem solving skills.

·     Able to operate with probity, demonstrating awareness of and adherence to all statutory and regulatory financial responsibilities, including evidence of keeping up to date with IFRS requirements and an overview of key financial issues relating to pension matters.

·     An understanding of the public sector and its pressures and constraints including national issues affecting Local Government, particularly in relation to the financial aspects of Pensions.

·     Proven experience and drive towards innovation, new ways of working and business improvement.

·     Driving licence and/or ability to travel to various work locations.

·     Willingness to undertake the police vetting process which is a requirement of working at the joint police and fire headquarters.



·        Knowledge and experience of working in a Local Government financial environment together with the relevant procedures and operations.

·      Experience of collaborating with clients and external organisations, including Government Departments.

·      Commitment to continuous professional development and learning.



For the use of Human Resources only:


 Date approved:          18 January 2021


 Date effective:            18 January 2021

To be signed by postholder:                 







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