• Location: Exeter
  • Reference Number: LSW6417

Legal Southwest Ltd

Our client, an exceptionally well-respected regional practice has a passion for business, clients and the services they offer. Their values (Commercial, Dynamic, Friendly, Integrity, Reliable, Supportive) are at the core of everything they do.

With offices throughout Devon & Cornwall, they feel lucky to be living and working in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

As the top ranked South West law firm in many of their core areas, high profile clients, stimulating work and early responsibility are a given.  Their aim is to make sure that everyone who works for them feels respected, trusted and valued.

On behalf of our client we are seeking to recruit into the role of: The Head of Finance and Reporting. In this role you will be responsible for the operational delivery of a best-in-class finance service alongside developing and maintaining a robust reporting suite fit for the future of the Firm. Leading the Finance team, the Head of Finance and Reporting will ensure that the Firm’s strategic financial aspirations are delivered through day-to-day pro-active and high-quality service delivery, overseeing the component aspects of working capital management, legal cashiering and regulatory compliance, financial modelling and forecasting, monitoring and coordination of practice finances. The role will also pro-actively engage with key stakeholders and act as point of contact in driving financial performance with internal and external stakeholders, external accountants and auditors and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

This role will be partnering with Business Leaders – specifically the Chief Operating Officer and Board Advisor – Finance and will be responsible for delivering the financial components of the Board’s business strategy. This will be achieved through direct contribution to the operational performance of the Finance team including overseeing the work of the Finance Manager and equivalent roles.

Primarily, the Head of Finance and Reporting will be responsible for:

Internal management accounting and reporting of firmwide performance.

  • Cashflow forecasting and producing regular reports on financial movement to the leadership team
  • Purchase Ledger, collections, billing and cashiering management
  • Supporting the business leaders in the monitoring and coordination of the Firm’s finances
  • Keeping the leadership teams informed of all financial matters, as needed and as required.
  • Executing the annual budgetary/forecasting process including preparation of year-end statutory accounts.
  • Ensuring that all information and communications taking place within the Finance team are in line with the regulatory requirements and are managed in line with GDPR, risk management frameworks and the Solicitors Accounts Rules
  • SAR Audits
  • Development of positive relationships to become a trusted advisor to the senior leadership team and key members of the finance team
  • Managing the relationship with external payroll supplier and overseeing monthly payroll and pensions processes
  • Leadership, management and development of the Finance team
  • Financial Process Management and Process Improvement

To be successful in this role you will demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and experience:

  • You will be CCAB qualified Accountant with a minimum of 6 years of fully qualified work experience within a professional services or legal firm (essential)
  • Sound working knowledge of Solicitor Accounts Rules and the Solicitor Regulation Authority Guidance (essential)
  • Proven experience of liaison with company accountants, auditors and assessors (desirable)
  • Experience of financial risk management within a legal environment (highly desirable)
  • Up-to-date working knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering regulations and thorough understanding of the Firm’s HMRC obligations (including the Partnership tax regime) and their financial implications (essential)
  • Knowledge and understanding of GDPR (desirable)
  • Computer literate with strong Microsoft Office skills (particularly Excel) and direct experience of complex finance systems (essential)
  • Proven experience of use and development of legal Practice Management System (essential)
  • Knowledge of Aderant software (desirable)
  • Experience of extracting data from a database using SQL and/or Power BI (highly desirable)
  • Previous experience of managing large teams including coaching, training and mentoring (essential)
  • An ability to manage busy workload, multiple workstreams and demands, applying energy and focus to tasks regardless of owner to ensure progress is continually made (essential)
  • You will be flexible and adaptable and have the ability to critically assess ideas and approaches (essential)
  • You will have highly effective interpersonal and communication skills with people at all levels including the ability to use tact, diplomacy and persuasiveness (essential)

In return you will be offered a competitive salary, 25 days holiday per year (plus bank holidays and your birthday), life assurance and private medical insurance schemes. Employees also benefit from employee share ownership scheme. Their hybrid working model and approach to flexible working enables staff to share their working time between home and the office to support a healthy work/life balance.

Hours: – 9am – 5.15pm Monday – Friday (1 hour for lunch)

Please get in touch if you would like more information about this role or send your CV via the form below in complete confidence and we will get back to you.

Legal Southwest will never, without exception, send out your CV without your prior knowledge or consent so please be assured that we treat every application with the utmost confidentiality.

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