General Info

Council: Sevenoaks Town Council

County: Kent

Salary: £35,000 - £40,000. Inclusive of Outer Fringe Allowance.

Closing date: 25/10/2019

Responsible Financial Officer

Applications must be returned by 25/10/2019

Main Purpose and Objective of the Role

1. To provide day-to-day financial management of the Town Council under the direction of the Town Clerk, and to supervise the work of the finance assistant(s). To manage the Town Council’s financial affairs within the legal framework for local authorities and to comply with current legislation, statements of recommended practice and accounting codes of practice. To ensure that the Town Council complies with the Financial Regulations as approved from time to time by councillors.

2. To act as the Town Council’s “Responsible Finance Officer” (RFO) described in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003, section 2(2)(a) as: “the person who, by virtue of section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972, is responsible for the administration of the financial affairs of a relevant body or, if no person is so responsible, the person who is responsible for keeping the accounts of such a body”. The Regulations impose specific duties on the RFO to (i) establish a sound system of internal control and arrangements for the management of risk (section 4(1)); (ii) carry out an annual review of the system of internal control and to prepare and publish an annual statement of internal control (section 4(2)); (iii) determine the accounting records and ensure they are maintained in accordance with proper procedures and are kept up to date (section 5); and (iv) determine the accounting control systems and ensure that they are observed (also section 5).

Duties and Responsibilities

Year-end financial statements: Prepare the Town Council’s annual Financial Statements in accordance with applicable legislation and guidelines.
Within applicable time constraints, make the Financial Statements available to Town Council’s auditors and to provide such working papers, explanations and information as the auditors may require to carry out the annual audit. Prepare the annual Statement of Internal Control and to seek the Council’s approval of such statement every year.

Management Accounts: Prepare monthly management accounts for presentation to Council, together with explanations of major variances. Provide same to managers and investigate discrepancies. Prepare working hours summaries from information supplied by the finance assistant.

Annual Estimates: Prepare revenue and capital estimates for the council and to make recommendations to the council for the amount to be precepted in the following year. To prepare forecasts for subsequent years on a three year rolling basis.

Internal Control: Review and monitor the Town Council’s systems and ensure that proper checks and controls are in place. To liaise with the Town Council’s internal auditor. Carry out investigations and prepare reports on an ad hoc basis.

Risk Management: Devise and implement a system of risk management covering all aspects of the Town Council’s activities. Carry out an annual review of the Council’s risk management strategy.

Other strategies: Participate in the preparation of the other strategic reviews e.g. fraud and negligence, investment strategy, IT strategy etc. and to make recommendations.

Pensions: Monitor the LGPS and Stakeholder pension. Attend occasional seminars. Review annual pension returns prepared by the finance assistant.
Apply FRS17 rules to the Financial Statements if applicable.

VAT: Review the Council’s VAT exemption status and, if necessary, to prepare annual schedule of exempt inputs. Deal with HM Customs and Excise as required.

Investments: Comply with the investment strategy. Review periodically and make recommendations to Council.

Payroll: Be up to date with payroll legislation. Be able to prepare monthly payroll if finance assistant is absent. Check annual Inland Revenue returns. Check annual pay award calculations. Prepare monthly statement of staff working hours for comparison with budget.

Utilities & Services: Regularly carry out reviews of provision of service ensuring most cost effective suppliers are in place, bearing in mind the opportunity to purchase on behalf of all council facilities.

IT: Overall responsibility for IT (including arrangements for IT Working Party).

Meetings: Attend appropriate meetings (normally evening) to provide financial advice.

Department Budgets: Monitor and ensure implementation of all necessary procedures and documentation to ensure appropriate financial management in all departments across the Council.

Asset Register: Ensure that the Council’s Asset Register is maintained in a suitable manner to meet auditor’s requirements.

Leases and Licences: Ensure that a record of all of the Council’s Leases and Licences are maintained in a suitable manner to meet auditor’s requirement and are reviewed at appropriate times (rent reviews etc.).

Insurance: Responsibility for insurance contracts.

Stag Community Arts Centre Charity: The Council has close links with the charity and financial assistance may be required

General: To assist as a senior member of the Council’s team with its overall performance management. This could involve undertaking different tasks at the request of the Town Clerk.

GDPR: Being aware and compliant with General Data Protection Regulations.

Précis of Main Terms and Conditions

1. 37 Hours per week
2. Flexible to cover meetings
3. Annual Full Time Salary £35,000 – £40,000. Inclusive of Outer Fringe Allowance.
4. Local Government Pension Scheme with employer contributions.
5. Annual paid holiday 21 days rising to 25 days (pro rata) after 5 years (&Bank Holidays)

Person Specification – Main Attributes

1. Recognised Financial Qualification
2. Experience of Accounting Software
3. Preferred knowledge of local government statutory framework
4. Organised and diligent
5. Experience of line management preferred
6. Diplomacy and discretion skills.

For further information and an application form please email Linda Larter, Town Clerk at: townclerk@sevenoakstown.gov.uk