Financial Controller

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £41,550 - £46,167

Location: Hermiston Quay


This role will be responsible for the leadership and management of the Financial Reporting and Control Team and related functions within the Trust. This includes the following key areas:

• Investment & Fund Accounting,
• Taxation Accounting & Advisory Services,
• Banking & Cashflow Management,
• Income Accounting & Management (inc. Credit Control/Sales Ledger),
• Fixed Assets
• General Accounting and Balance Sheet Management, and
• Accounts Payable/Purchase Ledger.

The delivery of these will have to be planned and managed around a variety of deadlines which can be anything from daily/weekly to annual. An area of priority will be to lead the delivery activities required for the preparation of the month-end results and completion of the Trust’s annual report and accounts, and the external audit for the Trust. The role also involves ensuring that the Trust’s systems of financial and internal control are operating effectively; leading the development and implementation of processes / controls; and skills and capabilities for these activities within the Finance Team.

Reporting to the Finance Director, the postholder is required to support them in delivering programmes of work that meet the Finance Team’s objectives and secure a strong position going into the 2020/21 External Audit in March 2021.


As a senior manager in the Finance Team:

• Lead and manage the Accounting Team, ensuring that they are supported, developed and performance managed in accordance with the HR policies of the Trust to ensure that the functions of the team are delivered efficiently and effectively and members of the team are able to continually improve and develop.
• Develop and maintain appropriate policies, processes and procedures to ensure the Trust’s financial operations are compliant with all relevant legislation and regulations in particular in relation to VAT, banking and accounting. Will require liaison with and management of external advisers to support compliance and submission activities. Focus will be on making these compliant, effective and efficient.
• Identification and management of risks through the Trust’s Risk Management Framework ensuring that appropriate governance, policies, procedures and financial controls are in place and carried out to effectively manage and mitigate risk.
• Working with and influencing the other Finance Managers and Senior Managers in other teams to ensure that the necessary processes and controls are developed and implemented. Active member of the Finance management team and will be involved in supporting cross-Trust initiatives and representing the Finance team in these.
• Support the Finance Director in the leadership of the development and implementation of a sustainable structure and culture for the team which embodies the Trust’s values and focuses the team on customer service, performance and stewardship.
In relation to the key areas of responsibility for specific role:
• Investments
Ensure that the monthly and quarterly accounting, reconciliation and reporting requirements for the Trust’s Investments (circa £200m) is timely and accurate, including producing information for the Trust’s Investment Committee and liaising with Fund Managers and Custodian.

• Funds
Ensure timely and accurate production of monthly summaries of the income and expenditure for each of the restricted and unrestricted funds within the Trust, and securing a process that enables regional Finance and Business Managers to identify funding opportunities for planned project expenditure to ensure best use of the Trust’s financial resources.

• Banking and Cashflow Management
a) Ensure there are robust and controlled processes for cash management across the Trust
b) Develop and implement Treasury policies and models which ensure that the Trust benefits from usage efficiencies.
c) Develop and maintain a rolling cash forecast model, with KPI reporting and measurements.
d) Maximise opportunities to increase automation and efficiency and limit the need for manual processing and reconciliations.

• Income Management
(a) Lead the delivery of an effective and efficient accounting, monitoring and reporting function for external grants and secure processes with the wider Trust to ensure that all grant claims are prepared, submitted and monitored in line with the grant conditions and timeframes.
(b) Ensure timely and accurate collection of direct debits for memberships, donations and rents. This will involve working closely with Customer & Cause and Commercial Consultancy & Estates teams and also engagement with the IT Team.
(c) Ensure that all income and associated VAT and balance sheet accounts accurately reflect the financial position for the Trust, embedding the necessary control framework to ensure this and that there is active credit control management of outstanding money due.

• Purchase Ledger
(a) Securing the return to timely supplier payments within agreed terms.
(b) Ensuring an effective, efficient and appropriately managed purchase to pay (P2P) process which delivers accurate accruals reporting
(c) Lead improvements to streamline work in this area, including payments and supplier reconciliation processes.
(d) Maximise opportunities to increase automation and efficiency and limit the need for manual processing
(e) Play a lead roll in the scoping and development of the Invoice Capture capabilities within Dynamics.

• Fixed Assets
(a) Ensure that the fixed asset register for the Trust (circa £28 m of NBV) is accurate and up to date reflecting additions and disposals in a timely manner and ensuring periodic review of expenditure for capitalization in accordance with accounting requirements for Charities.
(b) Ensure projections of future depreciation are available to inform quarterly forecast and budgeting processes.
(c) Work with other Senior managers to develop the functionality of the Dynamics PO processes with a view to the early and seamless capture of Fixed Asset purchases.

• Taxation
(a) Ensure timely and accurate submission of all tax and National Statistics returns and voluntary disclosures, and compliance with the Making Tax Digital agenda.
(b) Develop and maintain appropriate tax guidance to support the Team and colleagues across the Trust and advise (or secure advice) on complex situations to ensure compliance with taxation requirements.
(c) Key point of contact for HMRC in relation to VAT, Income Tax and Gift Aid.

• Trial Balance Management
(a) Responsible for the ongoing integrity of the trial balance, especially the balance sheet, and the management of the chart of accounts and financial dimensions. Ensuring that the Trust’s balance sheet (circa Net Assets of £220 m – £240m) is accurately reported and substantiated.
(b) Ensuring that there are robust controls around the trial balance including journal and reconciliation monitoring and assurance processes, including prompt resolution of identified differences.
(c) Ensuring general and sub-ledgers are maintained in line with the current accounting regulations and guidance.
(d) Undertaking reviews of provisions, accruals and prepayments to ensure that these remain valid and establishing and continually improving the processes around these to ensure that these are efficient from an end-to-end process perspective.

• Monthly & Annual Reporting
Lead the delivery of the timely and accurate production of the monthly and annual accounts and report for the Trust and associated subsidiaries ensuring compliance with all relevant accounting regulations. Manage the delivery of the internal and external audit requirements.

The current duties of this job do require a criminal records (Disclosure Scotland) check to be carried out


• Fully qualified with a relevant professional accounting qualification (ACCA, CA or CIMA);
• Degree Level qualified or demonstrably significant and high quality directly relevant experience.
• Minimum of 10 years post qualifying Experience
• Significant and varied post qualifying financial management experience, including audit, financial and transactional accounting, balance sheet integrity and VAT. Demonstrable experience in developing and implementing a wide reaching internal control framework for a large complex organisation.
• Demonstrable experience in leading the production of annual report and accounts for complex organisations and managing the external audit process associated with this.
• Proven experience in a senior financial leadership role, leading a team of finance staff (qualified and non-qualified) and advising and influencing at a senior level to secure necessary organisational engagement and change required to implement financial best practice processes.
• Working on integrated, complex financial systems with a focus on internal control frameworks and accounting resilience and compliance and experience of post implementation recovery and embedding activity;
• Experience of identifying, developing and implementing policy, procedure and process change and training colleagues (both finance and non-finance) in these.
• MS Dynamics 365 Experience;
• Charities/Third Sector Experience.

Skills & Knowledge

• Excellent people management skills, including managing people through change
• Strong communication skills and confidence in dealing with a wide range of specialist and non-specialist staff at all levels, including excellent narrative report writing skills and able to present complex financial information in an understandable way.
• Well-developed analytical and numerical skills with a high level of attention to detail and accuracy.
• Ability to work under pressure, juggling conflicting priorities, managing change and delivering to tight deadlines without compromising accuracy or work or provision of customer service;
• Working knowledge of and application of Accounting Principles and standards, taxation (especially VAT) and other areas relevant to the role. Able to proactively scan the horizon for changes in legislation (e.g. charities, pensions, tax), accounting standards, IFRS, processes and techniques, with the ability to interpret and identify what is required to change and implement these changes.
• Must be self-motivated with a proactive approach to work, ability to take initiative & identify opportunities, to accept challenges and responsibility, and initiate and implement change;
• Excellent Computer Literacy skills; an advanced user of spreadsheets; and ability to assimilate and adapt quickly to new packages and other information, technologies and systems. Must have the ability to look at systems from a strategic perspective and identify future opportunities for process improvement or automation;

People Management
• Direct line management of 2 Interim Financial Accountants and the Ledgers Supervisor.
• Interim Organisation Structure is as follows:

• Responsible for the continuing professional development of the resources within their responsibility.
• It is imperative that the post-holder is confident in dealing with colleagues at all levels within the organisation.

Financial Scope
• Not a budget holder;
• Will deputise for the Finance Director, being an authorizer for banking transactions and the custodian of bank mandates.
• The post holder will need to make sound, justifiable decisions with regard to financial issues and organisation wide process change. These will generally be required only after consultation with senior staff.

The Key Responsibilities, Scope of Job, and Required Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge reflect the requirements of the job at the time of issue. The Trust reserves the right to amend these with appropriate consultation and/or request the post-holder to undertake any activities that it believes to be reasonable within the broad scope of the job or his/her general abilities.

Application Deadline: Friday 08/10/2021