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Head of Financial Control

Who we are

FirstGroup plc is a FTSE 250 company and leading transport operator in the UK and North America. During the last year around 2 billion passengers relied on us to get to work, to school or college, to visit family and friends and much more. Each day every one of our 100,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our customers.

We are one of the UK's most experienced rail operators, carrying around 140m passengers across our three franchises and our open access operation.

Purpose of role

The Head of Financial Control is responsible for the accounting and reporting across First Rail, ensuring that the accounting and reporting across all the train operating companies (TOCs) as well as the Rail consolidation is consistent and in line with Group accounting policies.  The Head of Financial Control is also responsible for the management of the capital expenditure requests as well as the Audit Committee meetings and related papers.

Key accountabilities

  • Leads the application and communication of correct accounting treatment of financial transactions within First Rail, ensuring appropriate control and compliance, in line with the relevant accounting framework
  • Manages the preparation of consolidated monthly accounts for First Rail and responsible for the production of financial information within the division
  • Leads the review, reconciliation and commentary on balance sheet accounts ensuring where required outstanding queries are cleared and specific assurance measures are implemented where required
  • Proactively reviews business processes and provides a constant challenge of the status quo to enhance and improve existing reporting procedures
  • Acts as the core interface for all financial accounting support to finance and business unit teams, directing and co-ordinating internal and external resources to best support individual divisions
  • Challenges the business on the accuracy of financial data and application of financial policy and accounting standards, ensuring appropriate control and compliance, in line with the relevant accounting framework (e.g. IFRS)
  • Prepare monthly financial reporting pack with input from the FP&A team
  • Drafting positions on long financial judgements for the division and advising on technical accounting
  • Manage cash position at half year and full year
  • Manage the Audit Committee meetings and papers, ensuring any issues are followed up and resolved in a timely manner
  • Work with the Internal Audit team and the Train Operating Companies to ensure that any issues are captured and addressed
  • Responsible for the capex authorisation process, ensuring all capex requests are reviewed and authorised in line with the Group DoA.
  • Ensuring all statutory reporting for the division is completed in full and on time

Qualifications and memberships

  • Educated to degree standard or equivalent
  • Qualified accountant (i.e. CIMA/ ACA /ACCA) or equivalent

Job specific knowledge and skills

  • Preparing financial transactions, statements and information
  • Prepare consolidated financial statements
  • Systems and software
  • Planning and preparing for audits
  • Controls
  • Professional Accounting principles and standards, including technical accounting advisory
  • Forecasting
  • Management reporting and external reporting and ad-hoc communication
  • Commercial acumen

Relevant experience

  • Previous experience in a financial control role, at a group, divisional or entity level
  • Experience within Rail would be useful but is not essential
  • Head office / group finance experience would be advantageous but is also not essential

What you'll get in return

· Minimum of 10% contribution to your Pension (5% employer and 5% employee)

· 25 days Holiday plus National Bank Holidays

· Travel Offers for Bus and Rail*

· Free Bus Travel on your local FirstGroup Operated Network

· Payroll Giving – donate directly from your pay to a Charity of your Choice

· Shopping Discounts including discounts and cashback on electrical goods, your weekly shop, holidays, cinema trips, car insurance, upgrading your mobile and lots more

· All employee Share Schemes* 

o Save as You Earn - gives you the opportunity to save a regular amount each month for three years. At the end of the savings period, you can use your savings to buy shares at a discounted price set at the start of the Scheme, or take your savings as cash.

o Buy as You Earn - allows you to buy shares each month, with 2 free ‘matching' shares for each 3 shares you buy. You can vary the amount you save, or stop it at any time. You need to participate in the scheme for at least 3 years in order to receive the matching shares.

· Employee Assistance Helpline – free, confidential employee support service provided by an independent provider

*after 6 months of employment

FirstGroup plc welcomes applications from a diverse range of candidates regardless of background, gender, race, religious beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age. We aspire to be a diverse and inclusive organisation because we believe that diversity brings benefits for our customers, communities and our people. Valuing our differences and drawing on our collective knowledge and experience helps us develop new services, open up new markets and broaden our customer.

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Capital House London
Capital House, Chapel St, London, England, NW1 5DH
  • Ref:
  • Company:
  • Website Skillset:
    All Other Roles
  • Contract Type:
    Permanent - Full Time
  • Full Time / Part Time:
    Full Time
  • Contracted Hours:
  • Location:
    Capital House London
  • Closing Date:
    16 December 2019
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