Senior Accountant - Commercial & Taxation
About Us and The Role
Warwickshire County Council is a highly successful and financially resilient local authority. Responsible for a £473 million gross revenue budget annually and a 5-year capital programme of £693 million, we deliver vital public services, from highways management to complex social support. Within a challenging budgetary context, we rely on innovative financial thinking and inspired strategic planning to ensure we deploy our resources to maximise value and impact of investment for our 570,000 residents.
A successful finance or taxation professional, ideally with experience of working in a local authority, or similar complex organisation. Your in-depth technical knowledge is matched with well-developed people skills.
You relish a new challenge and expect the opportunity to make a difference. You’re comfortable analysing a multi-dimensional financial picture, alongside relevant tax and commercial legislation, without compromising your keen eye for detail. This demanding role will take you further, offering opportunities to support and advise managers at all levels of the organisation to ensure projects and service delivery remain compliant with the latest strategies, business plans, taxation rules and regulations.
Building on your finance and taxation knowledge, with Warwickshire embarking on an exciting journey as part of its commercial strategy, there is also a requirement to control and report on its commercial arrangements and their impact on the Council’s finances, particularly in respect of the recently approved Warwickshire Property Development Company.
Therefore, candidates must have a basic/intermediate level of proficiency with word, an intermediate/advanced level of proficiency with excel and ideally have financial systems experience using Agresso. Attention to detail is important and candidates must be willing to continuously scan for opportunities to develop improvements to new and existing processes. Experience of VAT and Local Authority Trading Companies is preferred, however overall willingness to take on all aspects of commercial reporting and taxation relevant to the Council is equally important.
You will be confident dealing with all levels of the organisation with excellent written and verbal communication skills, you will develop excellent internal and external working relationships to ensure an efficient exchange of information, providing guidance to colleagues in the service and other members of the Finance service.
Sitting in the Strategic Finance team and directly responsible to the Lead Commissioner – Technical Finance, you’ll play a key role in the provision of advice on all VAT, taxation and commercial issues to officers at all levels of our organisation.
The key focus of this role is twofold:
- providing financial monitoring and evaluation support to the Council on its arrangements with its local authority trading companies and joint venture partners.
- providing strategic and professional taxation support and advice, particularly regarding VAT, where the role will develop and manage all aspects of tax planning, reporting and compliance across the Council.
Primary responsibilities will include financial oversight and reporting of the Council’s traded arms (with particular focus on the recently approved Warwickshire Property & Development Company). This will include monitoring the performance of these entities against the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy, ensuring the funding arrangements within the wider Warwickshire group receive a high level of assurance, financial accuracy and integrity and meets the Council’s financial regulations and, crucially, the Warwickshire Property & Development Company’s business plan and funding requirements.
You will provide financial advice and guidance, financial modelling capability, supporting the evaluations of business cases for approval at various stages and supporting the consolidation of subsidiaries and Joint Ventures into the Warwickshire County Council group accounts.
You will proactively anticipate, research, interpret and analyse current and proposed tax regulations, determining their effect on the Council and the services it provides. You will use your initiative in problem solving in minimising the Council’s tax liabilities
You must be comfortable giving day to day VAT advice to service departments and assist in the provision of training on VAT across the council. Development opportunities exist with working on more complex areas of taxation to support and assist the Strategic Finance team, especially on VAT implications arising from investment proposals and capital projects.
Key responsibilities will consist of:
- overseeing the monthly VAT return to a high-quality standard on a timely basis through the newly implemented ‘Making Tax Digital’ process.
- work proactively on maintaining HMRC VAT compliance across the council, including monitoring the Council’s partial exemption position.
- undertaking regular monitoring of the financial system to ensure the correct treatment and coding of VAT.
- providing expert input into current and emerging VAT projects as they arise.
- Being WCC’s day to day liaison with HMRC.
- ensuring consistent and correct treatment of other tax matters across the Council such as SDLT, the Construction Industry Scheme and Reverse Charge.
The applicant is expected to possess adaptability and the capability of undertaking a number of tax tasks and potentially conflicting demands with minimal supervision, to a high quality standard and within tight timescales.
This is a fantastic opportunity to take your Finance experience to the next level, maintaining and developing the reputation of our high-profile Strategic Finance team and ensuring its success.
Initially this post will be home based, and we are open to discussing flexible working requests as part of your application.
The normal working week is 37 hours however you may occasionally need to work beyond normal office hours. In return we offer flexible working hours, free car parking, eligibility to join the Local Government Pension Scheme, support for maintaining CPD and a generous holiday entitlement.
For information about this role or to arrange an informal chat please contact Andrew Harper (Lead Commissioner – Technical Finance) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: Monday, 8th March 2021
Interview Date: Tuesday, 16th March 2021
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As part of being a Disability Confident employer we guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application demonstrates that they meet the criteria for the post. This means the qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential in the person specification.
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Warwickshire County Council is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff. Would particularly welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons from the BAME community, people with a disability and people from the LGBT+ Community.