Appointment of the Head of Finance

Welcome

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for expressing an interest in applying for the post of Head of Finance at Affinity Trust.

Affinity Trust supports over 900 people with learning disabilities across England and Scotland, enabling them to live as independently as possible.   We have a track record of supporting people with more complex needs including autism, mental health, and profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Set up in 1991, we have grown steadily ever since and are now delivering £60m of services a year.  Behind this success is our belief that everyone with a learning disability has the right to an active and fulfilling life.  Whether enabling people to live in their own homesgiving opportunities to enjoy community-based activities, or supporting people into work, we aim to ensure that those we support can live life to the full. Affinity Trust is a values led organisation and our values are at the core of everything we do.

This is an exciting time to be joining Affinity Trust.  The last two years has been a very challenging time across social care, but Affinity Trust has successfully managed its way through the pandemic and remains in a financially stable position.

Throughout the last two years the organisation has continued with a major transformation programme which will see us move from being a heavily paper based organisation – with a lot of manual processes and systems which do not talk to one another – to much more electronic ways of working with integrated systems.   Alongside this we have also taken the opportunity to streamline our ways of working and review roles and responsibilities to improve the working experience for our staff

As part of the transformation programme we are implementing a new finance system and a new payroll system.  The successful candidate will play a key role in ensuring the organisation captures the full benefits from these new systems which will include the roll-out of procurement functionality, processes and procedures for the first time across the organisation.   The new systems will also deliver significantly enhanced management information capabilities and another key area for the successful candidate will be to understand the key drivers and pull together clear and insightful reports which will lead to improved organisational performance.

The current finance team has been built over the last 18 months and is doing a great job of delivering core BAU finance requirements which will provide the capacity for the successful candidate to be able to focus on value adding activities whilst also supporting the team in their development and with more complex areas.

Affinity Trust is currently in the last year of a 3 year strategic plan and as such is commencing a deep-dive review into its go-forward strategy for the coming 3-5 years.  This review will include consideration of growth targets, whether to diversify and what our property offer should be. Having successfully navigated the pandemic the organisation has a strong balance sheet and is a very attractive partner for lenders and other organisations in the sector and is therefore well placed with both the financial resources and a strong operating platform to deliver on the strategy going forwards.

I joined Affinity Trust 2.5 years ago from a career which up to that point had been entirely in the commercial sector and whilst there are differences to adjust to in a charity I have overall found it energising to work in an organisation which really means what it says about values.   It has also been rewarding to be able to use my commercial experience to deliver change for the organisation which will really make a difference to the lives of the people we support.

I hope you will be excited about this role and inspired to come forward and submit an application.

Simon Hubble
Director of People and Finance

About us

Affinity Trust exists to empower the people we support to live the life they want. Operating in England and Scotland, we provide support to around 1000 people with learning disabilities and other complex needs, employing over 2,300 people.

Ours is a diverse organisation. While our main model is  supported living, we also provide residential support, housing and day opportunities, support people into work, and even have a garden centre that employs people with learning disabilities. Our Children and Young People’s service is changing the outcomes for young people and their families through Positive Behaviour Support. It’s a large organisation, but we are all connected by shared values and a single aim: to enable the people we support to live as independently as possible.

Equality and inclusion are of paramount importance to us – as you would expect of an organisation that puts the needs and wishes of people with learning disabilities at the heart of what we do. This role will be key to developing our inclusion offering, along with critically important areas of Employee Relations, Pay and Reward, and Employee Engagement.

The care and support sector continues to face challenging times, but with that challenge comes opportunities. While we celebrated our 30th anniversary in 2021, Affinity Trust is a forward-thinking, ambitious, innovative organisation that is going through an evolution. We are currently moving to more digital-based systems that will ensure we are all more connected, no matter where we are based. We welcome innovation and challenge the status quo and have a Discovery Group empowered to do just that.

Our people are our greatest asset, and in 2021 we increased pay rates, making us a sector leader. We invest in our staff because they are the ones that provide the support that is central to what we do and to us achieving our objectives. We know that if our staff have the best experience, the people we support will have the best experience.

The role

Head of Finance

Job reference:
AQ1377

Job Title  Head of Finance

Reports To  Director of People and Finance              

Please see here the 2022 HO Finance Organisational Chart.

About Us

Affinity Trust is a charity that employs over 2,000 colleagues, currently supporting around 1,000 people with learning disabilities across England and Scotland, helping them live as independently as possible. We have been supporting people with learning disabilities for nearly 30 years. Whether enabling people to live in their own homes, giving opportunities to enjoy community-based activities, or supporting people into work, we aim to ensure that those we support can live life to the full.

We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and taking action to address inequality. We particularly welcome applications from anyone who is from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, anyone who considers themselves to have a disability and members of the LGBTQ+ community. As a Disability Confident employer we guarantee an interview to anyone who meets the essential criteria for the role.

Introduction

This is a key senior role in the organisation with responsibility for the full breadth of finance activities as well as payroll, procurement and insurance. The role has leadership of a team of 15+ individuals across the different functions.

Job Purpose

The purpose of the role is to lead all finance activity across the business, ensuring there is timely and accurate financial accounting and reporting, appropriate financial control and the finance team partners with the organisation to provide insightful analysis to help drive business performance.  This role needs to support the existing managers and organisation to continue the transformation programme which will streamline processes and systems to enable the team to spend more time on value adding activities.   The role will have responsibility for concluding the implementation of a new finance system and ensuring the finance team and wider organisation maximises the value from the new system.  This will include developing new MI reports to pull together both operational and financial data available from new systems in clear, coherent dashboards which can drive action.

The role is the lead for procurement activity across the organisation in ensuring we obtain value for money in all key purchasing decisions, contracts perform in line with expectation and costs are effectively managed.

The role also has day to day responsibility for managing the organisations insurable risks, insurance policies and claims.

The payroll function reports into the Head of Finance role and this team processes weekly and monthly payrolls for c.2,500 staff a month.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Lead the finance team of 10, ensuring that team members have sufficient responsibility and capacity to develop and there are succession plans in place.
  2. Provide support and guidance as required to the two Finance Managers in ensuring core finance activities are performed effectively and on time including support delivery to invoicing; cash collection; procure to pay; tendering and annual uplift negotiations; management, financial and regulatory reporting.
  3. Ensure an effective environment of internal control is in place and can be evidenced.
  4. Lead the financial planning processes across the organisation including strategic planning, budgets, reforecast and any ad-hoc analysis.  Provide support and guidance to the Finance Manager – Management Accounts who will manage the processes.   Work with the Director of People and Finance to identify the key drivers and key issues.   Lead the preparation of Senior Management and Board/Trustee reports and packs.
  5. Lead the preparation of the finance papers for Senior Management Meetings and Board Meetings.  In many cases this will be reviewing drafts prepared by the Finance Managers and in others it may involve taking leadership of the first draft.
  6. Conclude the implementation of the new finance system and ensure the finance team and organisation fully captures the benefits.
  7. Working with the Head of Payroll to ensure all weekly and monthly payrolls are processed and paid on time.
  8. Support the Head of Payroll in ensuring the new payroll system is implemented on time and all the benefits are delivered.
  9. Establish new procurement processes to ensure material purchasing decisions are made following a set criteria and process.   Establish a way to capture, monitor and manage the performance of key material supplier contracts ensuring that the organisation obtains value for money.
  10. Lead the implementation of new procurement capabilities in the system and establish and roll-out procurement processes across the organisation for key spend lines which enable greater cost / control without overloading operational managers where the cost/benefit does not justify it.
  11. Build strong relationships with key finance customers including Operations Directors, Divisional Directors and other functional Heads.
  12. Work closely with senior leaders to develop Management Information reports which pull together key operation metrics (which may include Commissioned Hours / Delivered Hours / Establishment / Vacancies / Turnover / Headcount etc) with key financial metrics (Revenue / Staffing costs / Agency costs etc).
  13. Lead the management of all insurable risks across the organisation including risk management, the annual insurance renewal and the management of claims.
  14. Accountable for all financial analysis to support tenders and cost analysis, supporting the finance manager who will lead this activity on a day to day basis.
  15. Accountable for ensuring all reporting to the regulator, CQC Market Oversight, working with the Finance Manager who will manager this activity.
  16. Lead the annual statutory accounts and external audit process
  17. Lead all direct and indirect tax activities across the organisation
Factor Essential Desirable
EXPERIENCE
  1. Proven ability to deliver on initiatives and drive change which has helped improve business performance.
  2. Strong focus on data driven analysis to help build the case and influence senior stakeholders of the need for change.
  3. Experience of developing effective MI dashboards/reports which identify emerging issues/trends and are used to drive action.
  4. Proven experience of system implementation.
  5. Proven ability to develop strategic relationships with business partners.
  6. Previous experience of leading high performing teams.
  7. Broad depth of finance experience including financial accounting and control, financial planning and analysis, finance transformation and strategic analysis.
  8. Managing external audit and preparation of statutory accounts
A mix of commercial and not-for-profit experience would be preferable.

Some insurance, procurement and payroll experience would be beneficial.

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATONS Degree or equivalent.

Qualified Accountant (ACA/ACCA/CIMA)

Significant Post Qualified Experience

KNOWLEDGE Comprehensive knowledge of finance including strategic decision making, financial control and financial planning and analysis.

Knowledge of procurement best practice, insurance and payroll.

Knowledge of the social care sector.
SKILLS & COMPETENCES Values led – able to work in accordance with Affinity Trust values. 

Communication – able to communicate effectively at all levels, both verbally and written, translating finance knowledge into pragmatic and professional approaches ensuring internal communications are accessible to and understood by the workforce.

Stakeholder management – can build and manage relationships at all levels, demonstrating an understanding of operational needs and influencing outcomes.

Leadership – able to inspire and lead teams with flexible leadership styles.

Planning and organisation – able to manage complex projects in a timely manner.

Solutions oriented – pragmatic problem solver.

Data Analysis – able to analyse management information and identify trends.

Enthusiastic – able to add value and  work independently.  Able to manage the demands of a challenging environment.

E
OTHER SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS Available to work flexible hours with some requirement to travel throughout the UK.

Committed to equal opportunities and diversity.

Terms of appointment

Salary: £75k

Holiday: 25 days annual leave + bank holidays

Pension: 5% company contribution.

 

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Affinity Trust. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 1 April.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV including the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates
  • Please complete a covering letter of no more than 2 sides of A4 which answers the following questions:
    • What motivates you to join Affinity Trust and why will you be successful?
    • What will you bring of yourself, your life experience and your perspective to the organisation?
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at www.andersonquigley.com/candidates using the AQ reference number AQ1377.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Rob Hilyer on +44(0)7719 325 771 or Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44 (0)7808 648 559.

Timetable

Closing date: noon on Friday 1 April
Longlisting: Tuesday 12 April
Preliminary interviews with AQ: Monday 18 April – Wednesday 20 April
Shortlisting: Friday 22 April
Final Panel Interviews: 29 April; 03 May; 04 May