Job Title Accounting / Finance
Client Accounting Project Lead
Based in Leighton Buzzard
18 Month Contract
Through its residential and commercial property management businesses and its conveyancing company, the Connells group, including Countrywide businesses, is responsible for over £500 million of client funds, held in segregated bank accounts and under three regulatory bodies. This is a huge responsibility which we take very seriously. We have five main client accounting teams but additionally some satellite teams around the country, using a number of client accounting applications. The day to day operation of the client accounting teams are the responsibility of the operational businesses; the accountability for client accounting and the control environment has now been brought under the finance function.
Following the acquisition of Countrywide with its significant amount of client accounting operations, it has been decided to bring client accounting across the group under one standard framework reporting into finance, establishing the minimum controls and recommending changes.
This contract role is recruited to review, consolidate and implement an overall control environment for client accounting.
Main duties & responsibilities
- Establish a framework that will guide client accounting behaviours and monitoring
- Review and recommend the client accounting team structure and reporting lines
- Improve the control environment, embedding minimum control standard through regular review and ongoing communication, enforced by periodic audits
- Maintain and develop policies and procedures; driving standardisation (where appropriate) and change
- Ensure processes are optimised to record client funds accurately and timely, working with colleagues in a wider process optimisation project
- Review existing client accounting managers; experience, training and competency
- Development and preparation of a monthly dashboard to inform the CFO and Managing Directors of the status of client accounting
- Reviewing the control environment and procedures at each client accounting centre
- Reviewing the controls in branches where clients funds may be handled
- Review our regulatory obligations relating to client accounting
- Develop a plan to consolidate the smaller remote client accounting teams into the main centres
- Work with the Lettings operations team to develop plans to onshore client accounting functions
- Work in partnership with Finance Directors, Client Accounting managers and their teams to identify synergies and share best practice, skills, insights and feedback to enhance effective, consistent delivery of financial reporting activities to the business
As the ideal candidate:
- You will have a recognised financial qualification (fully qualified ACA, ACCA or CIMA) and at least five years post qualification experience
- You will have worked as an auditor and have a good understanding of risk and control environments
- You will have had experience as an auditor, internal or external, and a good understanding of risk and control environment
- You are recognised for your diligent approach and attention to detail
- You have developed and maintained robust procedures strengthening controls and mitigating risk
- You have strong written and verbal skills to communicate succinctly
- You will be motivated and enjoy working autonomously and have effective project management skills to ensure deadlines and conflicting priorities are managed
- You will also enjoy working as part of an open and friendly team, with demonstrable experience of commitment to delivery of wider team goals and getting hands-on under pressure
- You will have thrived in dynamic environments, challenging the status quo and driving genuine change and improvements across businesses
About Connells Group
Connells Group is one of the largest and most successful estate agency and property services providers in the UK. Founded in 1936 and with a network of over 1200 branches nationwide, the Group combines residential sales and lettings expertise with a range of consumer and corporate services including new homes, mortgage services, conveyancing, EPC provision, surveying, corporate lettings, asset management, land & planning, LPA receivers and auctions.
Connells Group UK is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, transgender status, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.