Zoological Society of London, Financial Controller

London (Greater)
Competitive DOE
07 Aug 2019
18 Sep 2019
Contract Type
Full time, Permanent


About Us:

We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Through the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists and our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos, we guide and enable others in the UK and all across the world. Inspiring, informing, empowering – working for wildlife.

Job Overview:

This role will report to the Financial Accounting Manager (FAM) and lead their team to develop and operate a high-quality financial accounting service that enables effective and efficient management of ZSL’s financial resources, within statutory and regulatory guidelines. This role will supervise and manage staff in the transactional services team to ensure:

  • accurate and timely processing of financial transactions,
  • appropriate internal controls are in place and adhered to, and
  • improvements are delivered for greater efficiencies.

This role will be responsible for delivering the month end balance sheet reconciliations and reporting supported by the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivables team.

Main Duties:

  • Manage and develop the accounts payable and receivable team, ensuring departmental, individual KPIs and objectives are achieved
  • Ensure accurate accounting of income and expenditure. Make sure that all financial transactions are recorded, filed and reported in line with ZSL’s processes. Provide analysis in order to give accurate information to enable effective decision making within ZSL
  • Motivate and lead team members and provide consistent evaluation feedback.
  • Develop and lead a “continuous improvement” ethos within the team and help drive this culture across the finance function
  • Working with the Financial Accounting Manager (FAM) to develop the treasury management policy to optimise return from excess cash balances and funds held on deposit
  • Work with the FAM to ensure VAT is accounted for correctly, particularly in the risk areas of purchase cards and expenses (on ITrent) and ZSL’s partial exemption status and assist with the preparation of quarterly VAT returns to HMRC.
  • Become a system administrator for the RBS purchasing cards and Amazon Business account
  • Responsible for ensuring all trade and adhoc invoices are raised within agreed SLA’s and debt is recovered in a prompt manner
  • Reconcile and review aged debtors / creditors on a monthly basis and set targets for recovery of debt. Set up monthly balance sheet reconciliation for sign off by the FAM
  • Lead the resolution of queries, liaising across all the ZSL teams to establish an appropriate solution
  • Responsible for preparation of the following month-end journals, with correct coding and VAT coding ensuring that income is recognised in the correct legal entity: ZSL, ZEL and online shop cashbooks; sales invoices; credit notes; ZEL agency commission reconciliations (Ampersand and Levy) and ITrent expenses RBS purchasing card and Amazon business account
  • Enable the delivery of timely and accurate Management account reporting
  • Deliver the business objective of an increase in the use of purchase orders across the whole of ZSL (100% by April 2020) through training stakeholders and setting up processes for suppliers to follow.
  • Approve new supplier’s bank details and requests for changes of bank details, ensuring the relevant information is obtained.
  • Provide team cover for cashier and accounts assistant and any other ad-hoc tasks when necessary

Person Specification:

  • Be a qualified accountant (either ACCA or CIMA). Previous Retail / other commercial operations and monitoring outsourced contractors is preferable.
  • Have proven experience of successfully managing, motivating and developing a team including performance management.
  • Preparation of VAT returns, particularly in a partial recovery environment, is a preference, along with the desire to acquire greater knowledge.
  • Preparation of statutory accounts (charity experience would be advantageous).
  • Ability to robustly challenge decision making and drive continuous improvement in business performance whilst maintaining positive relationships Experience of engaging with non-finance business areas and their process owners.
  • Ability to translate a business process end to end into accounting processes.
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills with the ability to multitask.
  • Proficient with Microsoft packages – Excel, Word and Office.

Benefit Package:

This role offers a competitive salary plus a comprehensive benefits package including 25 days holiday (pro-rata), stakeholder pension where the employer minimum contribution is 7%, complimentary zoo tickets and more.

To Apply:

Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the "Apply for this job online" button on the ZSL website. If you have any queries regarding this position or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) Sunday 18th August 2019

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.