Head of Financial Management

Discipline: Finance

Sector: Central Government

Location: London / Newcastle

Type: Permanent

Date posted: 30/07/2021

Start: ASAP

Duration: Permanent

Salary: £42,660 - £63,2868 per annum*


The Finance and Procurement Team provides a full range of finance and procurement services to the NAO. The wider Finance team consists of some 12 people and is organized into four main areas: the financial reporting team, financial management team, procurement team and payroll team, all managed by the Head of Finance and Procurement and overseen by the Finance Director.

The financial management team is responsible for the preparations of the NAO’s annual budgets and longer-term financial planning, producing in year financial forecasts and monthly management accounts covering spend by type, by objective and detailed information about our staffing numbers. The team also highlight risks and making recommendations to senior management. Working in the Financial Management team is a high-profile role that primarily provides management information to the Office and works closely with management to ensure effective financial management across the NAO.

The HoFM prepares the monthly management accounts and related reports, working closely with the Financial Reporting Business partners to ensure accuracy of information; they produce annual forecasts, managing budgets and reporting on outturn. They are responsible for the production of the NAO Estimate, Vote on Accounts and the monthly outturn uploads to the Online System for Central Accounting and Reporting (OSCAR).

This role also leads on the Finance simplification project, working with team leads and Digital Services towards simpler and automated finance processes with an overarching aim of increased efficiency in accuracy in our core finance and reporting processes. The role is responsible for making sure we implement all the recommendations from external and internal reviews.

In addition, working in a small team involves ad hoc work and occasional rotation to cover other finance tasks. A key business continuity principle is that roles can be picked up by more than one person in the team (to avoid a single point of failure). Therefore the post holder would be expected to work flexibly when required.


This role includes responsibility for overseeing the regular monthly financial reporting:

  • Responsible for the completion of the monthly Management accounts, including drafting of the presentation providing the Leadership Team and the Board with reliable and relevant management information the organisations financial position
  • Prepares underlying reports and calculations and provides analysis, review and commentary of results, investigating further where necessary.
  • The management accounts consists of outturn of budget to date and a review and investigation of any unusual or unexpected items
  • The management accounts also include the preparation of forecasts including income, VAT, depreciation, expenditure and corporation tax and investigation of significant month on month variances in forecasts
  • Investigates data queries including performing cross system data reconciliations and coordinates data assurances investigations with Finance Business partners to improve the accuracy, timeliness and relevance of findings feeding into the management accounts.
  • Works collaboratively with financial reporting, payroll and the reporting team coordinating month end processes and outputs, so as to align the month end timetable to Leadership team meetings.

This role also leads on the Finance simplification and improvement project, working collaboratively with other teams to drive improvements in the way finance operates. Specifically:

  • Input into our Business Intelligence tool development relevant to reporting, including helping plan new development work and testing.
  • Work to develop, maintain and implement the finance simplification and improvement roadmap. This includes coordinating the collection of user requirements, current processes and desired outcomes and working with the Business Architect to identify and implement a solution that meets finance’s needs and targets.
  • Taking overall responsibility for the implementation of all internal and external recommendations for process and systems improvement and reporting on progress against them.

In addition to the above, this role is also involved in supporting our Parliamentary budgeting process

  • Working closely with senior stakeholders and the Strategy team to refine NAO organizational financial budgets and financial planning for the following years to support Parliamentary discussions.
  • Preparation and laying of the NAO Estimate (from budget submission to Parliament)
  • Preparation and laying of the NAO Vote on Account (formal advance budget submission to Parliament)
  • Working closely with the Strategy and Reporting team and taking the lead on preparing and providing any briefing information (in advance of key Parliamentary hearings) that relate to finance matters.

Reporting to: Head of Finance and Procurement

People Managed: Finance Trainee Pool (where applicable to this work)

Technical competencies

  • This is a role for a qualified or part qualified accountant or management accountant, or an individual with equivalent knowledge, experience or understanding. Individuals will need to be able to demonstrate experience and ability in budgeting or costing.
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills
  • Able to present financial information in clear simple language
  • Highest standards of accuracy and precision with good attention to detail
  • Highly organised and able to work under own initiative; able to work to tight deadlines
  • Can think strategically – much of the role involves taking a wider view and linking corporate objectives and initiatives to financial performance and outputs
  • Presents a professional, confident and credible persona as a finance representative in meetings and discussions with senior management, NAO colleagues and external stakeholders
  • Able to innovate and find solutions more specifically, can critically assess current ways of working and offer constructive solutions for improvement;
  • Works well in teams – the role involves collaboration with finance colleagues and many staff across the office

What we offer

  • The role can be London or Newcastle office based
  • A very competitive salary: £52,629 – £63,2868 p.a. (London), £42,660 – £57,929 p.a. (Newcastle)
  • 35 days leave per year (including public holidays)
  • We offer membership of an excellent civil service pension The Alpha pension scheme which is a defined benefit, career average scheme. Whilst we are not part of the civil service we can offer this excellent benefit
  • Along with working on meaningful projects which make a real difference, you’ll benefit from a sociable, collaborative working culture, working with other highly professional people committed to making a real difference as part of a high performing organisation with an ambitious strategy
  • We provide excellent learning and development opportunities combining: formal training on a wide range of analytical methods, as well as management and leadership skills; learning through our work; and learning from other colleagues
  • Our annual LearnFest week combines presentations, workshops and seminars on a whole host of topics (you could also deliver one if you wish).
  • Modern open plan offices, centrally located in London and Newcastle
  • Free Employee Assistance Program for confidential, wellbeing support and advice

Closing date: 3rd September 2021

For more information about this role please reach out to Tim Salmon – 07921335786 / timsalmon@allenlane.co.uk

*£52,629 – £63,2868 p.a. (London), £42,660 – £57,929 p.a. (Newcastle)

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33 King Street, St. James’s,
London, SW1Y 6RJ

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