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ROYAL BOROUGH OF KINGSTON UPON THAMES JOB DESCRIPTION Directorate: Finance Job Title: Principal Accountant (Financial Accounting) Division: Corporate Financial Services Grade: K Section: Accountancy & Technical Post No: 13 6026 Relationships: 1. Responsible to: Corporate Accountancy Manager. 2. Responsible for: Supervision of Finance professional and support staff in respect of their work on production of Final accounts and associated returns. These staff are a mixture of part-qualified accountants and qualified accounting technicians. 3. Important Internal Relationships: Director of Finance & Safer Kingston Head of Financial Services Corporate Accountancy Manager Other members of Finance Directorate Management Team Finance Managers and Staff across the Council Directors and Senior Managers in other directorates Internal Auditors Audit Committee - Chair and members 4. Important External Relationships: External Auditors Government Departments Local Authority Associations Finance professionals in other local authorities Key local partners (including voluntary agencies) CIPFA 5. Main Purpose of the Job: (i) To provide a comprehensive accountancy and financial service to the highest professional standards (including production of detailed revenue estimates, budgetary control, closing of accounts and financial advice). (ii) To lead the process for producing the Council’s annual accounts, advising the Director of Finance and Safer Kingston, Head of Financial Services and elected members on job descriptions/be024cfa-7290-4103-a28e-55bcc2fac2ea.doc 2 the impact of any changes in reporting requirements, and ensuring in particular that the accounts and associated working papers are prepared to the highest professional standard and within the prescribed timescales. (iii) To provide professional and technical financial advice to the Director of Finance, Heads of Services, Executive, Panels, Committees and/or elected Members as required/appropriate. 6. Main Responsibilities/Duties of Job Accounting (Final Accounts) (i) To determine the Council’s response to consultations on new financial reporting initiatives and requirements which may impact the resources required in finance and/or in service areas; and when these are adopted to ensure that the Council responds promptly and effectively to the changed requirements; (ii) To ensure that the Council is fully prepared for the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2010/11, including restatement of the 2009/10 position. (iii) Draw up detailed timetable and project plan for the production of the Council’s annual accounts and associated working papers to ensure that these are prepared to the highest professional standard, complying with the relevant accounting standards and codes of practice, and within the prescribed timescales. (iv) Organise and lead briefing and training sessions for the staff involved in the detailed accounting work for various service areas, to ensure that consistent and standard processes are followed and consequently all information is prepared on a consistent basis to the required standard. (v) Ensure that all support services are allocated equitably across service areas in accordance with CIPFA’s Best Value Accounting Code of Practice. Establish and operate recharge mechanisms for all support services and maintain recharging records. For 2010/11, this will involve development of appropriate recharging mechanisms for new One council functions. (vi) To ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to account properly for capital expenditure, fixed assets, and the associated financing thereof. This will include using information obtained through regular monitoring of the capital programme to identify and address any potential issues arising which may impact on the planned financing of the programme and the accounting arrangements. (vii) To produce the Collection Fund accounts, liaising with the Head of revenues and Benefits as required. (viii) Ensure completion of relevant statistical returns for central Government, external audit and CIPFA. (ix) Ensure a proper accounting record of all appropriate grant claims and claims for reimbursement is maintained. Work with colleagues in other Finance teams to ensure the timely preparation and submission of all grant claims (including liaison with Heads of Service as required), having due regard to the significance of these claims in the context of the Council’s overall financial position. Where these are required (x) Coordinate the day to day aspects of the external audit process from RBK’s side, coordinating the production, management and submission of working papers, liaising job descriptions/be024cfa-7290-4103-a28e-55bcc2fac2ea.doc 3 with the External Auditors on all aspects of the accounts, and ensuring that they are provided with explanations and further information on a timely basis as required. Financial Information, Support and Advice (i) Ensure that the specified duties and functions that are required by the Director of Finance are supplied with the highest professional standards and within prescribed timescales. (ii) Attend Audit Committee, Working Groups and Officer Meetings as required, on behalf of the Director of Finance to provide appropriate financial information and advice. (iii) Assess the likely impact of new legislation and developments in local government finance which are likely to affect the Council’s services and report to the Director of Finance or Head of Financial Services as appropriate. (iv) Attend the Finance Head of Profession meetings in order to ensure the co-ordination of finance and accounting matters within the authority, and lead sessions as appropriate on changes and developments to accounting practice. (v) Identify, recommend and work with colleagues to implement improvements to financial and accounting systems and procedures as necessary. In particular, to identify opportunities to streamline and improve processes for the production and presentation of final accounts and associated returns through better use of technology, particularly the Agresso system. (vi) Evaluate the financial implications of proposed new projects, corporate initiatives and policies as required. (vii) Undertake financial appraisals on behalf of the Director of Finance. (viii) Ensure that all potential funding sources are explored and pursued in respect of both revenue and capital, including general and specific grants and contributions from other agencies. Budget Formulation: Annual Budget Cycle (i) To assist the Corporate Accountancy Manager in the coordination of the preparation of the medium term financial plan, capital programme and revenue budget as required. (ii) In particular, to assist in production of council taxbase calculations and returns, and assess the impact on the Collection Fund position. Management of Accountancy and Technical Team in Corporate Finance (i) Assist the Corporate Accountancy Manager in the overall management and co- ordination of this team, to ensure that a comprehensive accountancy and financial service is available to all areas of the Council and that it is both efficient and responsible to customers’ needs. (ii) Assist in the recruitment, supervision, appraisal and training of the team, ensuring suitable training is made available for the development of accountancy and financial staff. General job descriptions/be024cfa-7290-4103-a28e-55bcc2fac2ea.doc 4 (i) In order to deliver services effectively, a degree of flexibility is needed and the post holder may be required to perform work not specifically referred to above. Such duties, however, will fall within the scope of the post at the appropriate grade. (ii) The post holder is expected to comply fully with the Council’s Equal Opportunities policy, both in respect of employment and service delivery. Prepared by: _____________________________ Agreed by: ___________________________ Date: _____________________________ Date: ___________________________ job descriptions/be024cfa-7290-4103-a28e-55bcc2fac2ea.doc 5 PERSON SPECIFICATION Principal Accountant (Financial Accounting) Qualifications i) A full CCAB accountancy qualification (preferably CIPFA). E Experience i) Recent post qualification experience of working in local government, or in a E similar complex public or private sector organisation ii) Experience and understanding of key financial accounting and financial E management principles iii) Understanding of the local government accounting framework E iv) Experience of co-ordinating the work of a group of staff via line or matrix E management v) Use to a high level of core financial systems including general ledger E applications and reporting tools Abilities/Skills i) Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, to management, E members, staff, Government departments, auditors and members of the public. ii) Demonstrate a high degree of numeracy and accuracy. E iii) Prioritise and programme workloads to meet specified deadlines. E iv) Flexible approach and ability to work under pressure. E job descriptions/be024cfa-7290-4103-a28e-55bcc2fac2ea.doc
"ROYAL BOROUGH OF KINGSTON UPON THAMES"