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Procurement

Assistant Accountant – 6 months FTC job with Essex County Council

Essex County Council are seeking an experienced assistant account who can hit the ground running and ensure a strong grip is maintained on financial management and performance monitoring within the highways function. Delivering day to day financial support to a service that is delivered under a long term contract in close partnership with the private sector provider.

Please note that this position is being offered on a 6 month Fixed Term Contract or Secondment basis with interviews being conducted on a virtual basis.

This position will initially, in line with current government guidance be based from home, with an expectation of being home based for the foreseeable future, however if / when government guidelines change the role may then revert to being office based, with Chelmsford as the expected location, whilst retaining some flexible working options.

Job Purpose

The Assistant Accountant is responsible for the preparation of high quality financial advice, information, analysis and challenge to a number of (Revenue and Capital) budget holders within a functional area, across the financial cycle. You will be the Finance Contact to a number of high risk/volatile services in delivering timely and accurate financial information and advice to front line budget holders to ensure effective management of their budgets and assist them in carrying out their financial duties.

You will support the Management Accountant in consolidating financial reporting to Heads of Finance and Functional Leadership Teams across the financial cycle and actively participate and contribute to projects.
You will build effective relationships with internal budget holders and external partners and be able to influence, contribute and challenge at budget holder meetings to ensure financial forecasts and future budget plans are based on robust financial information.

You will be an AAT qualified professional with strong technical and systems knowledge to actively contribute and support/instruct/advise budget holders in accordance with Financial Regulations and accounting standards.

Service/Functional Accountabilities

* Deliver timely and accurate financial information including detailed analytics and trend analysis in the development of financial forecasts and future budget plans.
* Provide advice, challenge and support to budget holders to ensure the effective management of budgets, delivery of accurate financial forecasts and budget plans and ensure they deliver value for money services.
* Ensure budget holders carry out their financial management duties in accordance with financial regulations and accounting standards. Able to communicate effectively to non-financial customers understanding their needs and provide a greatly valued service.
* Provides analysis, modelling and interpretation of financial and performance data to senior officers/budget holders ensure the business underpin decision making with robust financial information and advice.
* Develop a high level of service/function understanding and support budget holders to ensure they understand the implications of unit costs and interpret variances. Deliver accurate financial estimates, forecasts and plans, ensuring all risks are quantified, monitored and mitigations appropriately recorded.
* Able to effectively communicate and explain all material variances and how this may affect financial plans to Management Forums such as Head of Finance and budget holder meetings.
* Develop a strong understanding of all financial management and reporting systems and processes in order to support the development and enhancement of system and process improvements. Support the Financial System and Processes Manager in the development of the Finance Hub to deliver sound financial reporting, management and control across ECC and to external bodies.
* Supports and co-ordinates the timely delivery and preparation of information to ensure quality of financial information for both business cases or projects
* Train, advise and support with budget holders to ensure all budget holders deliver information in accordance with closure of accounts deadlines. Advise and ensure budget holders are aware of their responsibilities in accordance with Finance Regulations and accounting standards. Deliver all finance deadlines within timelines as defined by the Chief Accountant.
* Deliver analysis, interpretation and support of financial and performance data to complete financial returns, questionnaires and information requests as required

Knowledge, Skills and Experience * Minimum full AAT qualification or equivalent plus one year’s experience as an Accounting Technician.
* Experience of working in a large complex Public Sector, ideally Local Authority organisation and contributing to change
* Experience of working with a range of financial systems (oracle and hyperion) and processes
* Evidence of working collaboratively and engaging with senior managers and finance colleagues across the finance function, together with good communication skills.
* Experience of supporting multi-disciplinary teams to achieve service outcomes.
* Evidence of continuing professional development and expert knowledge in relevant professional area.

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