Finance Business Partner - Pensions Board
The Church of England Pensions Board is a registered charity which provides retirement housing and pensions for those who have served or worked for the Church. We run a number of different housing schemes through which we assist c. 2,700 households, including a dispersed rental portfolio, seven Christian retirement communities, and legacy mortgage and shared ownership arrangements.
The Board also provides pensions for 41,000+ members across more than 700 employers in the Church family. It is a statutory body which is corporate trustee and administrator of three complex defined benefit (final salary, hybrid and CARE) and defined contribution pension arrangements, and also administers two older schemes. On behalf of members, the Board stewards more than £3.2bn of assets, using a common investment fund structure.
The Church of England Pensions Board is one of the National Church Institutions (NCIs) which are national administrative bodies that work together to support the mission and ministry of the Church of England. The Finance Business Partner – Church of England Pensions Board works within the Finance & Resources department which is a shared services function working across the NCIs to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective finance service to each organisation.
We are seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, CCAB qualified finance professional who is able to develop strong relationships with the Executive Team and other staff across the Pensions Board, understand the business and provide meaningful financial insight and advice to support the delivery of strategic and operational objectives.
We Include. You Belong.
Our Belonging and Inclusion Strategy aims for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.
You will act as Finance Business Partner for the Church Of England Pensions Board, providing accurate and timely management information, budget monitoring, analysis and advice to budget holders and key stakeholders, fostering a culture of financial accountability and cost efficiency. You will also provide relevant challenge and insight to support decision-making and ensure that budgets, forecasts and long-term financial models reflect the Board’s strategic delivery plan. You will also be responsible for monitoring compliance with debt covenants and producing regular reporting to enable the Board to meet its obligations in relation to its external debt financing.
An effective communicator, you will be able to explain financial issues to non-finance staff and to help people to use financial information well. You will deliver relevant training and support across the Board’s departments (Pensions Administration, Housing, Investments) to help improve financial literacy and ensure compliance with relevant financial control procedures.
You will be someone who is always looking to improve processes and worker smarter, collaborating with your finance colleagues to drive best practice in everything we do. You will look for ways to improve the quality of management reporting and ensure that your customers receive an excellent service. You will be a confident Excel user, able to use Excel to design and build management reports which can be quickly and easily produced. Experience of using and implementing other reporting tools would also be advantageous, as we seek to improve ways of working.
The Finance team is currently supporting their NCI clients with some major change and transformation projects, as well as undergoing significant changes to their own ways of working to ensure they can deliver a high-quality Finance service which meets the needs of the NCIs. This includes undertaking a Finance Transformation Programme to help Finance develop their service, replacing an ageing finance system as well as associated process improvement and changes to ways of working.
The post is part of the Finance Business Partnering team within the Finance team, with Finance Business Partners dedicated towards different NCIs. Whilst you have autonomy and focus on your ‘lead client’ you will also work collaboratively with the rest of the Finance team to develop a high-quality finance service to the NCIs including best practice internal and external reporting and a robust financial control environment.
The Church of England is for everyone and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds and other under-represented groups.
We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.
Finance business partnering
Work with budget holders to build understanding of their financial position and performance, including:
- Building strong relationships with senior managers and budget holders and work with them to develop a deep understanding of the Pensions Board’s activities, priorities and business including identifying key risks and opportunities
- Participating in senior operational leadership discussions and meetings as a peer to ensure that financial considerations are at the heart of decision making
- Providing constructive challenge to hold budget holders to account for financial performance, probe key issues, financial risks and assumptions underpinning the budgets and focus on the Pension Board’s priorities
- Taking on a value-added role, acting as a trusted advisor and demonstrate an ability to provide constructive challenge
- Acting as the first point of contact on finance matters, directing staff to other parts of the finance team as appropriate but ensuring they receive a consistent and joined-up service
- Working with the other finance business partners to develop the business partnering model, helping to provide a consistent and high-quality service to NCI clients
- Keeping abreast of relevant changes in legislation or wider industry changes to facilitate early engagement with these as required
- Providing financial support for relevant project activity (including pan-NCI projects) as appropriate, including preparation of financial models or analysis to support the evaluation of any proposed changes or key decision making
Financial planning, reporting and monitoring
Produce and present to budget holders and the Executive Team, regular management accounts, and long-term strategic financial modelling including:
- Preparing meaningful analysis, investigating variances from budgets, forecasts and actuals and commenting on key numbers
- Producing regular ‘dashboard’ reporting for the Trustee Board and relevant sub-committees
- Setting and managing the timetable for the production of phased budgets and quarterly reforecasts, supporting budget holders in preparing submissions
- Consolidating departmental budgets and forecasts and work with the Senior Finance Team to produce relevant papers and presentations for the trustees and sub-committees
- Ensuring that budgets and forecasts are accurately recorded in SAP
- Working with the Senior Finance Team, senior Pensions Board colleagues and third-party advisers to develop long-term financial modelling and assumptions to ensure that long term financial modelling is robust and fairly reflects the Board’s financial circumstances
- Ensuring that reporting in relation to external debt financing (including covenant monitoring) is undertaken in line with agreed timetables
- Working with the rest of the Finance Business Partnering team to develop and roll out best practice management reports in response to the operational and decision-making needs of the organisation.
Financial management and accountability
- Working with the Assistant Management Accountants, Financial Analysts and Financial Accounting and Operations team, to ensure that all necessary accounting entries are posted each month’ with no material errors, omissions or miscoding
- Ensuring that relevant journals are prepared and posted to allocate overhead costs across the Pensions Board’s activities, reviewing and updating the methodology to allocate these costs where appropriate
- Working alongside the Finance Business Partner – Central Services to ensure the shared service charges incurred by the Pensions Board are fair, in line with budget and allocated amongst activities appropriately.
- Ensuring that the Pensions Board’s administration costs are recharged appropriately between Charitable Funds and Pension Schemes.
- Working with the Pensions Board staff to ensure they use SAP effectively for financial management purposes, including monitoring the use of purchase orders and supporting the wider Finance team in encouraging compliance with financial control procedures and good practice procurement
- Providing financial training and support to non-finance colleagues as required, promoting financial literacy and accountability across the NCIs
- Collaborating with other members of the Finance team, including the Finance Accounting and Operations team, SAP team, and Procurement, to ensure that services are delivered in a joined-up way
- Providing support for projects within the Finance team (which could include for example, process improvement projects, system projects, implementation of new processes and solutions etc.)
- Developing excellent working relationships and clear communication with the Financial Accountant for the Pensions Board, to ensure a consistent understanding of activities within the NCIs, and that this is reflected accurately in both statutory and management reporting
- Undertaking other ad hoc tasks as required to ensure the Finance team delivers a high-quality, cost-effective service to its customers
- Mentoring and development of Assistant Management Accountant and Financial Analyst team members
The main duties and responsibilities of your post are outlined in your job description. This list is not exhaustive and is intended to reflect your main tasks and areas of work. Changes may occur over time and you will be expected to agree any reasonable changes to your job description that are commensurate with your banding and in line with the general nature of your post. You will be consulted about any changes to your job description before these are implemented.
The Ideal Candidate
- CCAB or equivalent professional accounting body qualification
- Excellent interpersonal skills to achieve cooperation and results from others
- Excellent IT skills including advanced Excel and data manipulation and modelling skills
- Able to analyse information and extract pertinent information for management
- Ability to independently build financial models from scratch to aid strategic decisions
- Excellent attention to detail, but able also to step out of the detail and see the big picture
- Well organised and able to prioritise competing demands
- Customer-focussed and able to partner effectively with key stakeholders
- Ability to work calmly and effectively under pressure
- Good communication skills both written and oral, able to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders and to explain financial issues to non-finance staff
- Proactive, self-motivated and enthusiastic
- Persistent and resilient; able to overcome challenges and find solutions
- Experience gained from working as a finance business partner / management accountant covering all aspects of budgeting, forecasting and management reporting for a large and complex organisation
- Experience of long-term financial modelling and scenario and sensitivity analysis
- Experience of providing commentary and analysis to senior colleagues
- Experience of producing reporting at CEO and Trustee Board level
- Experience of problem solving and implementing process improvements, particularly in relation to internal reporting (e.g. efficient design of Excel reports)
- Up to date knowledge of best practice in provision of management information
- Willingness to work in excess of contracted hours to ensure completion of deadlines
- SAP experience
- Experience of working in the charity sector and knowledge of Charities SORP
- Experience of working in the housing sector
- Experience of working with auditors
- Knowledge and interest in economics, business and the investment environment
In the National Church Institutions (NCIs), we support the mission and ministries of the Church of England. We work with parishes, dioceses, schools, chaplaincies and other ministries, and with national and international partners including mission agencies, and other denominations and faith groups.-.
Find out more about working for the National Church Institutions at Careers | The Church of England
- We strive for excellence
- We collaborate
- We act with integrity
- We show compassion
- We respect others
We believe our commitment to belonging and inclusion fuels our progress and drives us forward. The NCIs are a safe, inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and walks of life. We welcome applications from people of all faiths and of no faith. We want to encourage applications from a diverse group of people who share our values. Even if you have never thought about working for us before, if you have the skills and experience we’re looking for then we would like to hear from you.
If there is anything we can do to support you in your application please get in touch via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.
- We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, and welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.