ROYAL BOROUGH OF KINGSTON UPON THAMES
Directorate: Finance Job Title: Principal Accountant (Financial
Division: Corporate Financial Services Grade: K
Section: Accountancy & Technical Post No: 13 6026
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
Audit Committee - Chair and members
4. Important External Relationships:
Local Authority Associations
Finance professionals in other local authorities
Key local partners (including voluntary agencies)
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
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
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
(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
(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
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
(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
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
(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: ___________________________
Principal Accountant (Financial Accounting)
i) A full CCAB accountancy qualification (preferably CIPFA). E
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
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
v) Use to a high level of core financial systems including general ledger E
applications and reporting tools
i) Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, to management, E
members, staff, Government departments, auditors and members of the
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