Financial Controller

Monday 06 Jun 2022

Ref: 185

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I am delighted to be working with a leading  patent law firm based in London and be assisting them with an opportunity to lead the Reporting and Cashiering Teams and help the FD lead the finance team through its next stage of development in support of the firm’s strategic aim of delivering significant profitable growth.

 

Reporting to the FD, the FC is responsible for providing the best in class leadership, management and finance reporting, financial planning and business partnering to the firm. This will be achieved by:

 

  • Providing proactive positive leadership and strategic direction to the Reporting and Cashiering teams to deliver best in class reporting, financial planning and advice.
  • Providing timely, accurate, reliable management information with insights in a way that users will easily understand the key messages.
  • Producing timely and accurate Statutory Financial Statements and ensuring the finance team complies with all its regulatory responsibilities.
  • Providing financial management and commercial advice to the FD, Managing Partner (MP) and Practice Groups (PG) to improve the firm or PG’s performance.

 

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and strategy

  • Make a full and positive contribution as a member of the finance leadership team responsible for implementing the Finance one page plan and roadmap.
  • To be a positive role model with a “one team”, customer focussed (internal and external) and continual improvement mind set delivering outstanding service.
  • Promoting a culture of mentoring, coaching and development and continuous improvement to equip the team with the necessary skills and approach to deliver the services required by the firm.
  • Assist in recruiting and developing the finance leaders of the future.
  • Support the FD in their role in helping implement the firm’s strategy.
  • Ensure that the cashiering team prepares regular bank reconciliations processes transactions in accordance with best practice and manages accurate recording of foreign currency transactions.

Financial Planning

  • Preparing the annual and rolling three year financial plan to support the implementation of the firm’s strategy to include a firm profit and loss account, balance sheet and cashflow forecast, together with practice group kpis and gross contribution reports.
  • As part of the financial planning process provide trend and insights into the performance of the business and PGs and identify opportunities to improve profitability.
  • Reviewing from time to time the structure of the balance sheet to ensure the firm is appropriately funded to meet the requirements of the strategy.
  • As part of the financial planning process recommend the drawings policy for the next 12 months.

Management Reporting

  • Providing best in class management information to track the implementation of the financial plan and the strategy with a critical focus on the profitability drivers.  This includes monthly profit driver KPIs, profit and loss accounts, balance sheet and cash flow forecasts.
  • Providing in month activity information to allow FPs and PGHs to actively monitor whether their fee earners are meeting their expected hours and alerting them  where this is not happening.
  • Introduce regular forecasting and immediately flag any shortfall vs the financial plan, suggesting actions to rectify.
  • Implementing real time KPI dashboards which traffic lights any areas of concern and provide the relevant stakeholder with actionable data.  (Task force already established).
  • Carry pout monthly financial reconciliation between the Equinox and Saga systems making any system improvements/changes necessary to avoid a recurrence of the same issue.
  • Ensuring proportionate financial controls are in plan to maintain the reliability of the underlying data and information.

Financial Reporting and regulatory compliance

  • Preparation of UK and international LLP accounts in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements.
  • Liaising with the relevant auditors and/or reporting accountants.
  • Preparation of quarterly equity partner accounts.
  • Maintaining VAT compliant records and completing VAT returns.
  • Ensuring the Finance team comply with all the relevant statutory and regulatory requirements including UK GAAP, International reporting standards, HMRC and VAT regulations.

Business partnering and commercial advice

  • Have regular (monthly or more frequent) meetings with FPs to provide insights and areas of focus and improvement for their practice groups. 
  • Support FPs and PGHs in any investment appraisal for new staff, lateral hires, partner promotions, etc.
  • Support the FD in assessing any merger or acquisition opportunities.
  • Provide the pricing input to tenders and fee proposals.
  • Proactively suggest business improvement opportunities

Applicants should be qualified (ACA, ACCA, CIMA or equivalent) accountants with some law firm exposure. The position requires an individual with strong technical accounting skill and first rate organisation and finishing skills and a successful track record of building strong relationships with key stakeholders.