Principal Accountant (Schools)

Location
Luton, Bedfordshire
Salary
£42,899 - £45,654 + £3,203 Annual Car Benefit (Relocation allowance if required)
Posted
19 Jul 2017
Closes
19 Aug 2017
Ref
TSLJM1122
Contract Type
Permanent
Hours
Full Time

LOCATION: Luton 

JOB TITLE: Principal Accountant (Schools)-Luton, Bedfordshire

SALARY & BENEFITS: £42,899 - £45,654 + £3,203 Annual Car Benefit (Relocation allowance if required) & excellent benefits & pension

WORKING HOURS: Full time, Permanent

Our client is a high-performing, financially viable local authority delivering first-rate services that improve health and opportunity for local people and protect the most vulnerable. Together with its partners, it will help make Luton a place where everyone can learn and thrive and where business can grow and prosper. 

THE ROLE: Principal Accountant (Schools)-Luton, Bedfordshire

To be the Council’s subject expert in relation to schools finance and be the lead Finance Officer on the Schools Forum, providing the Forum with strategic financial advice in the best interests of both schools and the Council. To provide strategic financial advice to Head Teachers and Senior Managers on future models of service provision, budgets and budget modelling

To lead the continuing development of schools finance, ensuring that:

• work for schools is undertaken successfully, to the highest professional standards, to the satisfaction of Head Teachers and at a profit to the Council
• work in relation to the Council’s own responsibilities is separately identified, carried out to the satisfaction of the Section 151 Officer and can clearly demonstrate value for money 

RESPONSIBILITIES: Principal Accountant (Schools)-Luton, Bedfordshire 

• Ensure that the budgets, medium term financial plans, and business plans of locally maintained schools reflect the relevant regimes of formulae and financial planning applicable to each school, including key non-financial information, such as pupil number projections. Regularly review the developments in school finance for all the types of school supported by the Schools Finance Service, including reviewing and developing local funding formulae for local maintained schools, and assess the implications of proposed formulae and funding changes, both nationally and in other local authorities and liaise with and provide timely advice to the schools potentially affected
• Collate and balance Dedicated Schools Grant budgets and monthly DSG monitoring 
• Represent the Council as finance lead at Schools Forum, and at meetings with Head Teachers and School Business Managers, providing high-level strategic financial advice, reports and recommendations in the best interests of both schools and Council
• Ensure that systems are developed and maintained in order to monitor schools finances, in accordance with the latest regulatory and professional requirements
• Ensure schools are provided with appropriate assistance in making spending decisions which reflect the priorities of each individual school and deliver value for money and that schools are able to maximise income and complete all required returns of a financial nature, such as Schools Financial Value Statement Assessments for maintained schools and the education elements of the Section 251 annual budget and revenue returns
• Ensure that accounts held within locally maintained schools are maintained in strict accordance with financial regulations including the reconciliation of accounts with the General Ledger, with bank account details and VAT returns
• Lead the strategic development of the school's finance service, reviewing evolving legislation and making recommendations
• Develop, manage and regularly monitor the Schools Finance Service Business Plan, to ensure that the services provided for schools are in line with their wishes, market-leading standards, and professional and legislative requirements.

KEY CRITERIA- Principal Accountant (Schools)-Luton, Bedfordshire

 Qualified Accountant with experience in Dedicated Schools grants(DSG) experience
 Substantial experience in carrying out all accounting functions (budgeting, monitoring, year-end closure, financial modelling) in a complex accounting environment
 Experience of providing strategic financial advice in relation to schools finance
 Extensive spreadsheet, word-processing and financial system IT skills
 CIPFA qualified or other equivalent accountancy qualification