Financial Controller (EU)
Permanent - Full Time
What are we looking for?
The Financial Controller (FC) is a key role in our Finance management team, supporting the Firm’s senior management and legal divisions and overseeing the financial accounting function. The role focusses on improving profitability through better provision and use of information for decision making, assistance with the formulation of divisional business plans, improved cost management, financial education, advice and support. The FC role is responsible for overseeing the preparation and audit of the Firm's accounts, including all UK and international subsidiaries, under relevant accounting standards. This role also works closely with the Tax team to deliver partner accounting and tax filings.
The FC has responsibility for the Firm’s European offices, but the role will also involve working in liaison with the APAC and US finance team.
The ideal candidate will be willing to go the extra mile, joining a team who are dedicated and committed to supporting the firm in its client-focussed work. We are looking for a candidate who is strong willed – but calm, and who is eager to take responsibility and drive projects forward. You will be an excellent communicator, inquisitive but discrete, enthusiastic and willing to work with lawyers and support staff at all levels and in differing jurisdictions.
- Day-to-day managerial responsibility of the London finance team including their recruitment, training, development, goal-setting and performance measurement.
- Support the finance functions in overseas offices in Europe, liaising as appropriate with the APAC and US finance teams.
- Administration and control of the global banking facilities (revolving credit facilities, overseas office funding requirements and the preparation and submission to our bank of monthly management information and quarterly covenant information) and cash flow management, including forecasts and monthly FX Swaps.
- Assist in the Firm’s commercial decision-making, strategy and business planning.
- Ensure all regulatory and compliance requirements are met in line with the Solicitors Accounts Rules, including review of static client balances.
- Assist in the preparation of the annual budget and of forecasts during the financial year.
- Review of Europe bank reconciliations.
- Oversee the reconciliation and maintenance of partner reserves within the general ledger (profit, drawings, and capital accounts), including the payment of monthly drawings and quarterly distributions
- Liaise closely with the Tax team on Partnership matters.
- Oversee the reconciliation of various general ledger control accounts.
- Oversee the preparation of quarterly commission calculations in respect of consultancy agreements.
- Review of the monthly UK payroll (and others as required) with a view to authorisation and ensure control over salaries and deductions.
- Oversee production of the Annual Report and Financial Statements in respect of Withers LLP, Withers Professional Services Limited and other related entities.
- Oversee the SAR and LLP audits.
- Assist in the management and development of current systems used to support the accounting needs and financial reporting function on a day-to-day basis.
- Oversee the preparation and reconciliation of VAT returns.
- Ensure the smooth financial integration of current and future overseas operations.
- Liaison with external suppliers i.e. banks, reporting accountants, landlord etc.
- Contribute to the development of the department’s intranet content.
- Oversee new employee and trainee inductions.
- Develop content and deliver Finance training to fee earners and partners in conjunction with an external trainer.
- Review of reports circulated to the EU Credit Committee and chairing the monthly meetings with the Regional Divisional Leaders and Revenue Control Manager.
- Review of the EU monthly management profit and loss account and variance analysis.
- Review of payment practice reports, filed at Companies House biannually.
- New partner inductions.
- Review of partner leaving statements.
- Ad hoc projects and reports as required.
This list of duties, responsibilities and deliverables is not exhaustive. It is intended to describe the general content of, and requirements for the performance of this job, and as such, the role may also include the undertaking of additional tasks as required.
Technical skills and experience
- Professionally qualified (ACA, ACCA) accountant with minimum 5 years’ PQE.
- Experience in the legal or professional services sector and working in an international environment.
- Proven experience in a management position with strong leadership skills and the ability to motivate a team.
- Knowledge of UK GAAP/Reporting Standards and SAR.
- Experience of working in an international and multi-currency business.
- Highly PC literate.
- A high level of commercial acumen and numerical reasoning skills.
- Excellent people management skills and a team working ethos.
- Ability to win the confidence and respect of Partners.
- The energy and enthusiasm to manage new initiatives, challenge the norm and strive towards excellence and innovation.
- The ability to stay calm and work under pressure whilst maintaining a high level of attention to detail.
- A flexible and adaptable approach to work.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Excellent attention to detail and accuracy, with a high level of professionalism, integrity and responsibility demonstrated daily.
- An organised approach to work which allows you to manage conflicting deadlines and priorities.
- 9.30am to 5.30pm but flexibility is a must
- 12 week probation period
- 12 week notice period
- Flexible benefits package including pension, season ticket loan, subsidised gym memberships, lifestyle discount scheme, on site café plus more
Withersworldwide has been acting for successful individuals, families and institutions for over 100 years. We advise clients on the full range of their business, personal and philanthropic legal needs, both at home and abroad. With offices in the key financial centres of Europe, Asia-Pacific, the United States and the Caribbean, we provide coverage and services that other law firms focussed on the needs of the individual cannot. We have represented 70% of the Top 100 in The Sunday Times Rich List, 25% of the Forbes 400 List, 35% of the Hong Kong Forbes Rich List, and 35% of Forbes Asia's Richest Families list. In 2018 Withers became one of the first law firms to adopt fully agile working practices with people splitting their time between their home and the office.
Information for recruitment agencies
Withersworldwide endeavours to recruit and fill vacancies directly. However, when we do need to engage with agencies, Withersworldwide operates a preferred supplier list and will not be accepting unsolicited applications from non-PSL agencies for this role.
Equal opportunities employment statement
It is the policy of Withersworldwide to provide equal opportunities for all employees in relation to recruitment, training and promotion. Decisions in these areas will be made only by reference to the requirements of the job and shall not be influenced by any consideration of ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability.