Chief Accountant

Job Title: Chief Accountant
Contract Type: Temporary
Location: Reading, Berkshire
Salary: £600.00 - £750.00 per day
Start Date: ASAP
Reference: 3651983_1565785075
Contact Name: Neil Rutherford
Contact Email:
Job Published: August 14, 2019 13:18

Job Description

We are recruiting on behalf of a local council, who require an interim Chief Accountant for 6 months

We are recruiting on behalf of a local council, who require an interim Chief Accountant for a 6 month assignment

Main Purpose of the Job:

  • Leading the Technical, Financial Systems and Exchequer Teams.
  • Influencing the wider Finance Team to drive improvements, set and subsequently maintain internal technical accounting standards, systems and processes to ensure that the Council can swiftly and accurately report its financial performance, both monthly and annually, to support decision-making, scrutiny and good custodianship of public resources.
  • Ensure that systems exist for managers to effectively control and manage their budgets;
  • Financial Accounts, driving high standards of compliance with external guidelines and requirements, statutory or otherwise, reliably meeting set deadlines.
  • Advising on and implementing changes to the accounts in line with changing accounting standards and guidelines;
  • Ensure that the Council's taxation, banking, income and payment arrangements are robust and compliant with the relevant regulations guidance and best practice guidance;
  • All control accounts and reconciliations are routinely performed and up to date;
  • All VAT and other tax matters are fully up to date and accurate. Advising on tax matters as required

Person Specification Qualifications

  1. Relevant professional CCAB Accountancy qualification
  2. Evidence of continuous professional development


  1. Significant experience of leading or delivering a Technical Financial Service at management level and or in advising at Committee/Cabinet/Board level.
  2. Proven experience of developing and delivering strategies that support organisational ambitions and priorities.
  3. Experience of senior management in a large, diverse and complex organisation.
  4. Experience in the formulation of policy, analysis, advice and implementation to senior managers, Members and partners in a climate of legislative and organisational change, enabling managers to manage within fair, straightforward and efficient processes.
  5. Demonstrable experience of engagement with high profile stakeholders in a political environment, including politicians and unions.
  6. A successful track record of working with partners to negotiate, agree and influence outcomes to help further corporate objectives.
  7. Significant experience as an efficient and effective people manager, leading, motivating, managing and developing a professional function and teams to achieve desired outcomes.
  8. Experience of successfully managing budgets of a comparable scope and scale.
  9. A successful record of delivering high quality professional and customer oriented services.


  1. Excellent understanding of the relevant law and legislation.
  2. Up to date and relevant knowledge of Finance best practice.
  3. Knowledge and understanding of large and complex public service organisations.
  4. Awareness and understanding of local government operations and how Council services interface with key public service partners e.g. police, health.

Skills and Abilities

  1. A strong corporate player, able to develop shared approaches with colleagues across the council and beyond and enable joined-up planning and shared values and objectives.
  2. An enabler, with the ability to manage a wide range of complex issues and agendas at the same time and drive change through influence and diplomacy.
  3. Tenacity and resilience, for example challenging existing ways of doing things and raising performance and standards.
  4. The ability to lead, develop and motivate staff and teams to effect change and deliver improvement and achieve desired outcomes.
  5. Excellent judgement and analysis with the ability to broker solutions to complex problems.
  6. Political awareness and good political judgement, with an ability to gain the confidence of Members, senior managers, partner organisations, unions, colleagues and employees.
  7. Creativity and imagination in seeing new approaches, painting the vision, overcoming obstacles and showing that ambitious goals can be achieved.
  8. Ability to provide timely, accurate and correct written and verbal advice for Members, Corporate Leadership Team and Officers to develop and articulate the strategic direction for the organisation.
  9. Commercial awareness and approach, recognising the importance of value for money in all Council activity.
  10. Ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders, obtaining the trust of a wide range of individuals and organisations, working as part of multi-function teams.
  11. Commitment to and understanding of equalities issues in service delivery and employment, with a commitment to corporate policies including the Equal Opportunities Policy and to ensuring that the service is compliant.
  12. Excellent communication and negotiating skills with the ability to present complex issues in a simple and easy to understand way for internal and external audiences.
  13. Ability to manage conflicting demands to tight timescales.
  14. Ability to work flexibly, including attending evening meetings if required.

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