College Accountant

Job Title: College Accountant
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Oxford
Salary: 55000 - 65000
Reference: CA2021
Contact Name: Emilie Walton
Contact Email:
Job Published: March 11, 2021 17:48

Job Description

The Role

The Bursar is responsible for the non-academic functions of the College, including finance. Reporting to the Bursar, the College Accountant is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the College's financial administration. The role involves working closely with a variety of College departments, fellows and staff, including the Domestic Bursar, the Head of Catering, the Head of IT, the Director of Development, the Co-Directors of the conference business, and the Registrar & Director of Admissions.

The College Accountant leads the finance team (“Bursary”), which currently comprises five members of staff (excluding the College Accountant), responsible for all aspects of the college’s financial administration. These include member billing, supplier payments, dealing with queries and issues from students, providing financial reporting and analysis, fulfilling various financial and regulatory compliance functions, as well as supporting and working with other College and University departments. It is currently undertaking a series of system and process improvements, and the College Accountant will be instrumental in leading that effort.

The post holder is a senior member of the College’s management team, and will be expected to make a contribution beyond the immediate scope of their accountabilities, including contributing to strategic developments across the College’s commercial and domestic operations.

The key responsibilities of the College Accountant are:

  • Management of the Bursary department, its staff, and the functions it performs.
  • Ensuring the efficacy of day-to-day financial processes and controls.
  • Developing and compiling the annual budget (with the Bursar), taking input from Heads of Department
  • Financial reporting and analysis to support broader planning and management objectives
  • Producing the annual Financial Statements of the College and its subsidiary undertakings
  • Leading various work on technical matters relating to tax, pensions, commercial arrangements, (financial) compliance and risk management.
  • Developing and operating financial control systems for the College’s commercial, domestic and administrative functions.

In more detail, these will include:

  • Preparation and presentation of financial projections and monthly Management Accounts in a variety of formats suitable for budget holders, the Bursar and the Treasury Committee.
  • Acting as the main contact point for the College’s auditors, and related professional advisers, and overseeing any work commissioned with them.
  • Preparation of Charity SORP Accounts and the Annual Report and Financial Statements (including subsidiaries), and subsequent publication.
  • Maintaining the effective operation and integrity of the College accounting systems and acting as the business lead for associated software (core accounting system, cashless payment service, procurement, payroll etc).
  • Line management of the Bursary Office staff, including recruitment, performance management, learning and development.
  • Management of College bank accounts, cash and equivalents, preparation of forecasts and projections, and arranging for the movement of funds as agreed.
  • Management of student billing, including termly statements of account, University fee collection, and debtor control processes.
  • Issuing of invoices (including student billing), and the timely payment of bills.
  • Payroll processing, including tax and pension payments, as well as the calculation and reporting of bespoke BIK arrangements, or VSAs.
  • Acting as the main operational contact point for various scheme providers (pensions, insurance, healthcare)
  • Ensuring compliance with Tax (including PAYE and CT), VAT regulations, Charity Commission (re financial reporting) and other relevant regulations.
  • Filing financial, charity and related regulatory returns.
  • Maintaining the register of endowment and other funds, managing additions and expenses, and applying income distributions in accordance with College policies.
  • Management of balance sheet recording, including the fixed asset register.
  • Assisting in the monitoring of Risk Management procedures.
  • Representing the College on appropriate inter-Collegiate and University Committees.
  • Attending and reporting to the Treasury Committee and other college committees as required.
  • Provision of regular and ad hoc reporting or analysis to support the Bursar, Heads of Department or committees, including the preparation of briefing papers and proposals.

The Person

Key qualities and experience we are looking for include:

  • A recognised professional accounting qualification (essential), preferably ACA or ACCA.
  • Sound and up to date knowledge of relevant accounting standards, tax regulations, legislation, compliance requirements and best practice.
  • A successful accountancy career in the commercial, educational or charitable sector, to include the management of a financial administration function and team
  • Experience of preparing financial reports and commentaries
  • Able to establish and maintain excellent working relationships across the College.
  • A flexible approach to working at peak times and the ability to work calmly and cooperatively under pressure and with changing needs
  • Experience of modern accounting management systems and software. Experience of using Great Plains is an advantage, but not required. Good general IT skills are essential.
  • Strong analytical skills, accuracy and attention to detail, and the ability to communicate complicated financial issues both orally and in writing
  • The highest standards of personal integrity, discretion, loyalty and commitment
  • Appreciation of, and affinity with, the ethos of an academic, charitable and community-focused institution
  • An understanding of Charity SORP would be highly desirable, but is not essential
  • Ability to manage and develop people, systems and processes, and the desire to drive continual improvement.

Please see our website for full details: 

This is a permanent position, becoming available on the retirement of the present incumbent, and a handover period is envisaged. A start date as soon as possible after the 1st of June 2021 would be desirable. The post is full-time, 37.5 hours per week.

The salary range is £55k to £65k per annum, based upon skills and experience.  The post is eligible for membership of the University Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme. The college offers an annual leave entitlement of 28 working days (five to be used for Christmas Closure), plus Bank Holidays. The College also operates a range of further benefits, subject to amendment from time to time, which currently include a contributory healthcare scheme, travel pass loan, employee benefits platform (vouchers and discounts), employee assistance programme, free use of sports facilities, and a cycle to work scheme. A free lunch is provided when the kitchens are open, which the post holder may take with the Senior Common Room.

Application and Appointment Procedure

Those wishing to apply for the post should email the following documents to by noon on the Tuesday 6th April 2021.

  1. CV (maximum two sides of A4, to include the names and contact details of two referees);
  2. A covering letter setting out why you are interested in the role, and detailing how your experience, skills and qualifications meet the criteria provided. This letter should also set out details of your current employment status (including notice period), and any related remuneration.