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Financial Advisor _Finance _ Performance Support Team_

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					                                        JOB DESCRIPTION


Job Title:            Finance Support Accountant
Office:               Office of Corporate Services
Directorate:          Finance and Performance Directorate
Service:              Finance and Performance (Children’s Services)
Reports to:           Senior Accountant
Grade:                SO1/SO2


Job Purpose

The post is located in the Finance and Performance Team within the Office of Corporate Services.
The Finance and Performance Team (Children’s Services) is the business partner to the Office of
Children and Young People’s Service (OCYPS) Management Team and is responsible for:

    Advice and support on finance and performance to budget managers and schools
    Developing use of finance and performance indicators
    Promoting high standards of financial management

The Finance Support Accountant reports to a Senior Accountant. The Senior Accountant will allocate
a specific group of budget holders to the Finance Support Accountant and their role will be to provide
strategic and operational financial management support.

This is a challenging and exciting opportunity, which demands both strong technical accounting and
IT skills and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.


Principal Accountabilities

1.      Strategic Financial Support to Budget Holders (30%)

            Assist the development of the Medium Tern Corporate Priorities (MTCP)
            Support the identification of long term trends and specific developments in demand,
             demography, inflation, policy change, etc
            Assist budget holders in financial planning and budget modelling for different
             scenarios.
            Support budget holders to undertake risk analysis of all options and develop
             contingency plans as appropriate.
            Provide professional business advice to business holders.
            Maximise entitlement to any government grants or external funding

2.      Operational Financial Support to Budget Holders (40%)

            Support budget holders through all aspects of the annual financial cycle.
            Work with budget holders to ensure accurate and timely budget monitoring including
             risk appraisals when required.
            Ensure budget holders operate within the parameters of corporate financial
             regulations and service specific financial management schemes.
            Ensure written procedures and instructions are produced and updated to facilitate
             sound financial management.
            Support and train budget holders in the use of the council’s e-Business suite.
            Support budget holders to integrate financial monitoring with performance monitoring.
            Monitoring and reconciliation of grant claims.
3.      Financial Support to OCYPS (10%)

            Support the evaluation and risk-assessment of the viability of budget holders’
             submitted budget proposals.
            Monitor budget holders’ compliance with county council financial regulations, protocol
             and guidance, including Financial Regulations, Contract Regulations, and Schemes
             of Delegation.
            Assist the Senior Accountants in the risk assessment of all budgets to ensure the
             risks are clearly understood and those with the highest risk get additional monitoring
             arrangements.

     4. Service Development (10%)

            Provide specialist financial advice to service managers on various specific and
             general service developments.
            Advise budget holders of the financial implications of changes in national legislation
             or local practice.

     5. Management (10%)

            Line management of staff, including the annual performance appraisal, target setting
             and monitoring, 1:1’s and training.
            Contribute to the team planning and monitoring process.
            Contribute to the development of finance support services to meet customer needs in
             a changing business environment.
                                    PERSON SPECIFICATION


Job Title:            Finance Support Accountant
Office:               Office of Corporate Services
Directorate:          Finance and Performance Directorate
Service:              Finance and Performance Team (Children’s Services)
Reports to:           Senior Accountant
Grade:                SO1/SO2

Education, Qualifications & Training

Essential
 AAT qualified or equivalent qualification or extensive relevant experience
 Evidence of commitment to ongoing personal and professional development
 Good ‘A’ Level education


Knowledge & Experience

Essential
 In depth experience in the delivery of financial advice and support services
 Experience in providing financial services in a complex organisation
 Extensive knowledge & understanding of maintaining good working relationships in the delivery
   of financial advice services.

Desirable
 Experience of delivering financial training to non-financial managers
 Experience of working in the public sector


Financial Skills

Essential
 Relevant hands-on experience of all aspects of the annual financial cycle.
 Ability to analyse complex financial issues and offer sound, reliable and professional advice
 Ability to collate and present financial information
 Ability to identify and investigate errors in financial information
 Experience of supporting budget holders to extract key financial and performance data and
   interpret and analyse it.

IT Skills

Essential
 Fully competent in desktop applications (spreadsheet and word processing)
 Relevant experience of operating computer accounting systems


Communication Skills

Essential
 Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
 Ability to communicate complex financial issues to people who are not financial specialists.
 Ability to confidently explain your viewpoint when others may disagree.
 Ability to constructively challenge whilst understanding the other person’s viewpoint.
Other Skills

Essential
 Professional integrity: The strength of character to explain a professional point while having
    empathy with a customer
 Relations with others: The personal qualities and skills that promote open and constructive
    relations with colleagues and customers
 Flexibility: The flexibility for and commitment to continual service development and improvement


Special Requirements

   Ability to travel to all areas of the County
                                                Finance Support Accountant (Finance & Performance Support Team)
                                                                   Cambridgeshire Behaviours

The six Cambridgeshire Core Behaviours apply to all posts in the County Council. The levels of these behaviours that apply to this post are:

Respect for Others           Self Confidence              Teamwork and Co-               Customer Focus              Planning and Organising      Problem Solving and
                                                          operation                                                                               Decision Making
Level 3: Is Honest even      Level 2: Self-Belief                                        Level 3: Adds Value         Level 2: Plans &             Level 3: Thinking
                                                              Level 2 : Works Co-
in difficult situations                                       operatively with others                                Prioritises                  Outside the Box
                                Believes in own                                            Maintains
   Is willing to admit to       judgement, even                                             communication &            Identifies important        Breaks a problem
    making a mistake             when this is contrary           Expresses positive         actively seeks              results needed to            into its constituent
                                                                  expectations of the
    and does not blame           to the accepted view                                        customer feedback           achieve on a week-           parts and considers
                                                                  team
    others                      Is not afraid to say                                        even after the              by-week basis                the issue from a
   Tells the truth even         ‘no’ to taking on               Is flexible and            service is delivered       Uses appropriate             range of different
                                                                  open to new ways
    where there is a cost        additional                                                  to build in service         systems and                  angles
                                                                  of doing things
    associated with this         responsibilities when                                       improvements                technology to help          Asks ‘what if’
                                                                 Recognises when
    because it is the            there is a danger                                          Takes action to             manage workload              questions and
                                                                  help is needed and
    right thing to do            that conflicts in                offers support             exceed the                 Realistically assesses       constructs
   Acts with integrity          priorities might arise                                      customer’s                  can be achieved on a         alternative scenarios
                                                                 Willing to take on a
    even when this is           Is confident in own              different role with
                                                                                             expectations                planned basis, and          Can sift a lot of
    difficult                    ability when faced               an aim to                 Works to Council            works to achieve it          information quickly,
   Identifies with,             with new situations              achieving team             customer standards         Proactively identifies       evaluate the
    supports and                Explains own point               objectives                 and spends extra            and addresses                implications of
    promotes                     of view when                    Accepts that others        time & effort when          overload problems            different solutions
    Cambridgeshire               questioned                       have a valid point         required                   Asks for additional          and select most
    County Council              Accepts                          of view                   Is solution focused         resource to get              appropriate course
   Actively promotes            accountability for          Shows respect for              and will think              important things             of action
    diversity and                the outcomes of own          others’ intelligence by        creatively to meet          done                        Comes up with new
    inclusion                    decisions                    appealing to reason            customer requests          Monitors and                 and innovative
                                Does not take work                                         Provides inclusive          assesses progress            approaches to
                                 related feedback                                            services that               against plan                 tackling problems
                                 personally                                                  recognise and                                           Examines the cause
                                                                                             include diversity &                                      of problems as well
                                                                                             equality                                                 as symptoms
                                                                                             requirements                                            Recognises when a
                                                                                            Gives employees the                                      wrong decision has
                                                                                             freedom & flexibility                                    been taken,
                                                                                             to meet the needs of                                     identifies reason(s)
                                                                                             customers                                                and takes corrective
                                                                                                                                                      action
                                              Finance Support Accountant (Finance & Performance Support Team)
                                                           Cambridgeshire Behaviours (continued)

A further 3 to 5 non-core Cambridgeshire Behaviours should apply to all posts. The ones selected for this post are:

Effective Communication                                Negotiating & Influencing                              Coaching & Developing Others
Level 3: Actively Listens and Shares                   Level 2: Uses Direct Persuasion                        Level 2: Provides Practical Support

   Shows a genuine interest in other people’s            Understands the Council’s political agenda and        Delegates and supervises work with the intention
    views and correctly interprets these. This             priorities and uses this in presenting ideas           of providing development opportunities and
    includes partners and stakeholders                    Thinks through what needs to be communicated           transferring skills
   Is always approachable and receptive and               and does so in a logical manner                       Sets targets for development and monitors
    responds appropriately                                Anticipates and defuses negative reactions and         performance against them
   Adapts communication style to suit a variety of        plans for both these and difficult political           Asks questions to check the individual
    different audiences                                    situations                                             understands how things work and why
   Communicates to people who are indirectly             Uses appropriate examples and aids to present a       Supplements ‘how to’ demonstrations with
    affected as well as those directly involved            case                                                   explanations in order to build a deeper
   Frames message in line with audience                  Prepares comprehensive information to ‘sell’           understanding
    experience and what will be meaningful to              ideas                                                 Makes time to practically support employees
    them                                                  Understands the need to adopt different                who may feel vulnerable
   Checks understanding and presents message in           approaches within different groups (e.g. staff,
    different ways to enhance understanding                members)
   Correctly identifies the parties that need to be
    informed or consulted on specific issues

				
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