Financial Controller/Head of Finance

Experience level: Advanced
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Department: Accounts
Location: Uxbridge

As West London’s leading law firm, IBB enjoys a reputation for representing significant clients in complex legal matters. Our practice areas span commercial, employment, charities, commercial and residential real estate, family, private client, and community legal services. The firm and its partners are ranked highly by independent legal guides Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

The Business Support Group

IBB’s Finance team is part of the Business Support Group (BSG) which includes HR, IT, Business Development and Marketing, Compliance, Facilities and the Document Management Centre. This Group is headed up by the Managing Partner.

The Accounts team is headed up by the Finance Director and consists of 15 employees. The team is sub divided into specialist teams e.g. management accounting, legal cashiers, purchase ledger, credit control and the criminal costs team.  This position reports directly into the Finance Director.


Job Purpose

The purpose of the role is to manage the provision of a complete finance service to fee earners in the practice.

To support the Finance Director in directing and controlling the financial management of the practice including Strategy; to ensure compliance with the solicitors’ accounts rules and budgetary limits.

To support, assist and deputise for the Finance Director.


Key Responsibilities
  • Work with the Finance Director and Group Heads to build annual budgets, 3 year strategy in line with business plans and Finance timetable.
  • Produce monthly management accounts packs and statistics including performance management analysis.
  • Work with the Finance Director and Accounts Manager to ensure that systems and procedures comply with the Solicitors Accounts Rules.
  • Work with the Finance Director to produce rolling re-forecasts to ensure an accurate assessment of business performance.
  • To assist in the monitoring and control of expenditure within the parameters of the approved budget.
  • Project work as and when required.
  • To liaise with the Finance Director and the Partnership’s accountants to ensure a smooth conclusion of the annual audit in order that they may report compliance under the solicitors’ accounts rules and to assist in the compilation of the Partnership’s annual accounts for distribution to the Partners.
  • Prepare year-end Partnership accounts.
  • Assist with debt and cash collection by: -
    • Supervising cash flow weekly
    • Assisting the Credit Controller to produce regular reports to monitor progress against cash collection targets
    • Monitoring overhead expenditure against budget (eg. Travel accommodation, entertaining, training, disbursements etc) and authorisation of such expenditure.
  • Responsible for a variety of balance sheet reconciliations
  • Supervision of VAT returns ensuring compliance with all VAT regulations and requirements and provide advice and guidance as required.
  • Preparation and reconciliation of monthly payroll through liaison with HR and in conjunction with outsourced payroll provider.
  • Ensure timely and accurate payment of staff, supervision of HMRC year end returns, P11Ds, P60s, etc as prepared by the payroll provider.
  • To process/authorise incoming and outgoing CHAPS and BACS payments daily using online banking systems.
  • Liaison with auditors, HMRC, companies, Government agencies and banks; and assisting the Finance direct with projects.
  • Deal with ad-hoc requests e.g. Reporting and providing management information to Partners daily.
  • Liaison with other Business Support Groups eg. Marketing, to provide profitability analysis and key account management (KAM) analysis.  At times liaising with IT to gather raw data which can then be manipulated as required.
  • Completion of a wide range of annual industry benchmarking surveys which can later be analysed and reported to Senior Partners.
  • To develop and maintain a good working relationship with the accounts staff.
  • To contribute towards the efficiency of the department by deputising for the finance Director when required.
  • Deliver finance training as and when necessary
Person Specification

Experience and knowledge

  • Qualified Accountant – ACA, ACCA, CIMA
  • Minimum 3-5 years Post Qualification experience
  • All experience needs to be gained from a Professional service background (Partnership/Legal background distinct advantage)
  • IT Literate – advanced Excel skills (e.g. Pivot and look-up tables); Outlook, MS Word and knowledge of Financial reporting systems. Also an interest in automating process and systems would be of value.
  • Previous supervisory experience essential and management experience advantageous.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Highly organised and able to coordinate/delegate a varied workload and manage workflows. 
  • Ability to problem solve effectively and have a results orientated approach
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills with the ability to build and maintain credible relationships with internal clients and the wider Finance team.
  • Good understanding of a wider accounts function and to develop and maintain a good working relationship with the accounts staff in each of these areas
  • Experience of using a computerised practice management system.