Salary: SEO £43,300 – £47,939 (SEO Accountant £49,901 – £54,861 available for CCAB qualified accountant)
Do you want to make a tangible difference to the lives of children across England? Can you use your skills to be a catalyst for creating meaningful change? Are you ready to join a committed team dedicated to giving children and young people a voice on the issues affecting them?
Now is the perfect time to join the Children’s Commissioner’s office (CCo) as the team launches ‘The Big Ambition’, a new campaign to hear directly from children and young people across England about what they need to make their lives better. In the lead up to the next General Election, the Children’s Commissioner wants to take children’s thoughts, opinions and ideas to decision-makers, to ensure that the Government reflects children’s voices in the decisions that will affect them in years to come.
What children want and need underpins all the work we do, with the Children’s Commissioner working across sectors, Government, and the civil service to deliver for their needs.
Joining the team is a chance to be involved in shaping children’s policy, making sure children’s voices are heard and be part of an exciting environment which puts children’s needs at the heart of everything they do.
We are working to make the changes children said mattered to them. And we’re looking for dedicated, highly skilled people to join the team.
We are looking for a wide variety of people to take on our roles, however we would particularly welcome applications from care leavers or individuals with experience of being ‘looked after’ by the state. We are also actively encouraging applicants from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds to join our team.
We welcome applications from both inside and outside the Civil Service.
Purpose of the role
The Children’s Commissioner for England sits at the heart of Government, delivering for children and championing their voices and needs. This includes a particular responsibility towards children who rely on the state for their safety or protection.
The Children’s Commissioner is a unique statutory role with powers to help bring about long-term change and improvements for children. Their messages to policy and decision makers, leaders of industry, charities and sometimes parents provide insight, evidence and challenge to us all to provide the best support possible for children as they grow up.
The Corporate Services team ensures the effective delivery of all internal support services and those provided through shared service agreements. Support services include governance, finance, commercial, risk management, HR, IT, office and buildings management.
Working closely with the Director of Finance and Resources, this role will manage the operational delivery of all aspects of the Children’s Commissioner’s financial operations to ensure efficient financial transactions, business planning and modelling.
The post holder will be instrumental in the development of systems and processes, and build effective relationships across the organisation to ensure effective financial delivery.
- Ensure all financial controls, policies and procedures operate effectively and on a timely basis.
- Manage the monthly payroll process to ensure accuracy of processing, journals and reporting.
- Monitoring of aged debtors and creditors, and authorisation of supplier payments.
- Manage the monthly drawdown of cash and ensure effective cash management and forecasting.
- Development and delivery of effective finance processes and systems, including the Dynamics Business Central finance system, ‘Jet’ reporting tool, and Access Payroll, liaising with external parties as appropriate.
- Month-end management accounts
- Perform month-end processes including journals and month-end reconciliations, and review journal and review those performed by the Corporate Services Assistant.
- Produce first draft management accounts, forecasts to year-end commentary.
- Identify, investigate and report exceptional variances, and trends.
- Statutory Annual Report and Accounts
- Manage the production of the first draft year-end accounts and audit working papers, with the support of the Director of Finance and Resources.
- Support the production of the Annual Report.
- Produce pension, HMRC and cabinet office returns.
- Produce monthly and annual returns to DfE’s central finance team to allow for accurate and timely consolidation into the department’s accounts.
- Audit and Risk Committee
- Write and review papers as required for the ARC Committee.
- Liaise with internal and external auditors to ensure the effective delivery of all finance audits; review advance requests from auditors; locate documents and extract data from the finance system; prepare files and folders ready for inspection.
- Manage the budget setting and forecasting process with the support of the Director of Finance and Resources. This includes the administration, programme, capital and depreciation budgets as relevant.
- Support budget holders in the development of budgets and commentaries, and engage in first draft review of budgets.
- Produce first draft budget for presentation with the support of the Director of Finance and Resources.
- Liaise with the HR Manager in the production of staffing budgets and models.
- Support the Director of Finance and Resources with the maintenance and update of the long-term finance model based on business planning.
- Provide support to Directors and budget managers throughout the year in the development and management of budgets, ensuring the effective use of budget.
- Support in the resolution of finance and funding queries.
- Support staff in the developments of costings for business cases.
- Line management of the Corporate Services Assistant including scheduling of work, monitoring performance, formal appraisal, coaching and training and development.
- Work effectively with the corporate services team to deliver business objectives.
- Provide regular updates and reports to the Director of Finance and Resources on projects and tasks.
- Liaise with key DfE contacts in support of service delivery, representation on project groups as required.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of financial standards, government reporting requirements and legislation, and implement changes for systems and reporting as required.
- Undertake similar tasks as required and willingness to work flexibly to meet the delivery requirements of a small finance team.
Knowledge and Experience:
- Either Qualified (CCAB) Accountant, Qualified by experience, Finalist.
- Demonstrable financial management and reporting experience.
- Experience of managing a computerised accounts system.
Skills and Abilities:
- Competent in the use of Microsoft office/ in-house systems.
- Highly numerate, enjoys working with numbers, with excellent attention to detail and a thorough approach to generating and checking documents.
- Excellent Excel skills, confident with the use of formulas and able to create and manipulate spreadsheets.
- Very good analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Good written and verbal communication skills, including ability to write clear, concise reports highlighting key issues.
- Good organisational skills, efficient in prioritising, planning, and monitoring of workflows/loads and the ability to work independently.
- Skilled in working flexibly across competing and changing demands and tasks.
- Ability to plan, prioritise and work across diverse workload.
- Ability to initiate and develop effective relationships with colleagues and work collaboratively with stakeholders.
- Ability to use discretion and diplomacy, and to demonstrate sensitivity when handling confidential information.
- Self-starter with desire and willingness to learn and develop in role.
- Willingness to keep up-to-date on relevant policy and procedures in line with the duties identified in the job description.
- Drive and commitment to producing high standards of service with real attention to detail, customer care, and an ability to deal effectively with the conflicting demands of various stakeholders.
- A strong commitment to providing excellent customer service.
- Team player with the ability to work independently and proactively to complete routine tasks in delegated areas.
- Understanding of (and commitment to) equality and diversity issues.
Knowledge and Experience:
- Educated to degree level or equivalent.
- Knowledge of Government and Government reporting requirements.
- Knowledge of Government Accounting and processes.
- Knowledge of MS Dynamics/Business Central.
- Project management experience.
- Experience of managing payroll.
Skills and Abilities:
- Experience of providing secretariat support to groups and boards.
- Advanced Excel skills.
- Appreciation of what is important to children and young people and the issues confronting them.
- Flexible team-working approach.
Alongside your salary of £43,300, Office of the Children’s Commissioner contributes £11,691 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
- Learning and development tailored to your role
- An environment with flexible working options (Please note that all CCo staff are dividing their time between our offices in Westminster and home working)
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
- A Civil Service pension
- 25 days annual leave in your first year, increasing by one day for each year of service to a maximum of 30 days, plus 8 bank and public holidays and 1 day of privilege leave for the King’s birthday
- Employee wellbeing initiatives
- Enhanced maternity/paternity pay
Things you need to know
Selection process details
To apply please download the job specification and send an anonymised (name-blind) copy of your CV, statement of suitability, candidate information form and the Equality and Diversity form to our recruitment team at [email protected] by 23:55 on 03 December 2023. The job description will not be available online after the closing date. Applicants are advised to download a copy for future use.
Your statement of suitability should be anonymised (name-blind) and should set out how you meet the essential skills and any relevant experience to the key duties of the role (no more than 500 words).
Applications will be sifted against the requirements set out in the essential and desirable skills/experience listed in the job description.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates are expected to take place during the week commencing 13 December 2023.
Please note that the successful candidate will be expected to join at the base of the salary band unless joining on a level move from another government department at a higher salary.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
- UK nationals
- nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
- nationals of the Republic of Ireland
- nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
- relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
- relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
- certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
Our recruitment process is based on fair and open competition and is committed to:
- ensuring equality of opportunity for all applicants, with selection decisions made solely on the basis of merit.
- ensuring all applications are dealt with professionally and in confidence.
- ensuring applicants are treated with respect and courtesy at all times.
- candidates invited for interview will be asked if they require any adjustments, we will make every effort to provide reasonable support.
- procedures are in place to ensure that the OCC is safe environment for the children we come into contact with, as part of our work. All applicants are required to complete a Child Protection Declaration Form and Declaration of Criminal Convictions.
- Development opportunities including access to senior people within our organisation and across Whitehall and Westminster.
- A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options.
- A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
- Civil service pension scheme, although our staff are public servants not civil servants.
- Cycle to work scheme
- Season ticket loan
Successful applicants are required to provide proof of their entitlement to work in the UK and complete a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service process to an enhanced level.