Senior Finance Assistant

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £26,892 - £29,711 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Edinburgh


The core purpose of the role is to provide support to the Assistant Accountant & Finance Manager whilst gaining a wide exposure to technical issues and in turn, being supported to study towards a recognised accounting qualification. The role will report to the Assistant Accountant in the first instance with mentoring towards an accounting qualification provided by the Finance Manager.

Critical to the success of the role will be to gain an active understanding of monthly processes, key controls, external compliance, and technical requirements; to embed this knowledge through working with the Assistant Accountant & Finance Manager and working as part of the team to achieve tight deadlines without compromising accuracy. The postholder will play a key role, along with the rest of the team, in the delivery of the accuracy of the trial balance to support timely reporting and preparation of the year end accounts.

Reporting to the Assistant Accountant, the postholder is required to support them in delivering programmes of work that meet the Finance Team’s objectives ensuring complete accurate and compliant reporting to tight deadlines.


• Working with the wider Financial Control team to develop, update and implement strong financial processes and controls.
• Working effectively as part of the team to ensure the delivery of high standards of financial accuracy in a timely manner.
• Developing and maintaining good working relationships with other departments and to ensure the sharing of knowledge collaboration.
• Contributing to additional trust wide projects when required on behalf of the Finance Manager.
• Working towards and achieving the individual objectives set by the Finance Manager.
• Working in accordance with a professional body to ensure that practical experience requirements are understood and being met.
• Development of technical knowledge through self-study and exposure to technical issues as they arise within the Trust.
• Working with the Finance Manager to ensure the accuracy of accounting for the complex VAT arrangements across the Trust.

Key areas of responsibility specific to the role:

Monthly Processes

a) Completion of allocated monthly processes, ensuring controls are in place to mitigate risk. This could include but is not limited to membership & donation collection, holiday let income, rent collection process, payroll and expenses journals, gift aid process.
b) Reconciliations between non-finance systems (e.g., CRM & Estateman) and finance system ensuring accuracy and resolution of differences.
c) Working with the wider Financial Control team to review processes and to improve the accuracy of data to support internal and external reporting.
d) Assisting the Finance Manager on a review of VAT treatment across the Trust to ensure consistent compliance with HMRC regulations.

Month end & Reporting

a) Completion of month end tasks in accordance with the month end timetable and supporting finance assistants in the same.
b) Preparing and journalling month end postings with appropriate back up including expenses, accruals, and other costs.
c) Preparing accurate reconciliations with close attention to detail for review by the Assistant Accountant.
d) Working with the Finance Manager on technical accounting issues as they arise to ensure technical compliance with accounting standards and accuracy in all month end postings and processes.
e) Assisting in the overall Balance sheet management, reconciliation, ensuring balances (GL & Sub-Ledger) are accurate, substantiated, and complete with no aged items.

Statutory accounts & Audit

a) Play a key role in supporting the preparation of the statutory accounts under FRS102 and OSCR SORP, working autonomously on assigned areas and submitting to the Finance Manager for review.
b) Support the annual audit cycle, taking on more responsibility as technical knowledge develops over the course of studies.

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


• A strong commitment to undertake study towards a relevant professional accounting qualification (ACCA, CA, or CIMA). Financial support and study leave will be offered towards this study.

• Experience of manipulating large volumes of financial data with confidence.
• Exposure to accounting for VAT in NTS or previous organisations and the willingness to further develop VAT knowledge.
• Must be proficient in use of IT packages, including intermediate level word and excel.

• Will preferably hold an HNC (or equivalent) level qualification in Finance, Business or Accountancy
• MS Dynamics 365 Experience
• Knowledge of FRS102
• Charities/Third Sector Experience

Skills & Knowledge
• Strong numerical and analytical skills
• Strong communication skills and confidence, demonstrating the ability to serve internal and external customers and the ability to speak with clarity to non-finance staff, adopting a “can do” approach.
• Strong organisational skills, ability to prioritise workload.
• Understanding of the Trust’s conservation work and the ability to marry its primary conservation objectives with financial and commercial initiatives.
• Initiative in resolving or escalating areas or items of concern.
• Ability to work under pressure, managing change and delivering to tight deadlines without compromising accuracy of work.
• Must be self-motivated with a proactive approach to work, ability to take initiative & identify opportunities and to accept challenges and responsibility.

People Management
• No Direct reports
• Reporting to Assistant Accountant but will be mentored for accounting qualification by Finance Manager
• Will directly assist Finance Manager in some technical areas in order to gain experience for study towards accountancy qualification.

Financial Scope
• Not a budget holder.

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.