Simmons and Simmons are looking for an experienced Accounts Payable Manager to join our growing Finance department in Bristol. Responsible for the firm's Accounts Payable function, this is a proactive role seeking to achieve full compliance with the SRA Rules and adherence to internal financial controls and policies in relation to all transactions and processes. In addition, this role involves advising the business on acknowledged best practice and is also responsible for producing and interpreting key management reports.
Main Duties & Responsibilities
Using technical expertise to provide accurate and timely payments to suppliers and ensuring compliance with the relevant Customs & Excise legislation, the provisions of the SRA Rules and Money Laundering regulations:
- Responsible for ensuring full compliance with provisions of the SAR and SOPR.
- Ensuring that all financial controls and the firms policies and procedures are adhered to.
- Responsible for timely and accurate payments to all suppliers and the monthly reconciliation of the top ten supplier accounts (by transactional volume).
- Responsible for the firm’s Office bank accounts, ensuring daily, weekly and monthly bank reconciliations are carried out. Liaising with the Group Financial Controller regarding the funding and pooling of these accounts.
- Monitoring and reconciliation of Counsel fee notes, ensuring the correct and timely reclamation of VAT.
- Authorisation of transactions on behalf of the finance department, providing corporate governance and financial control.
- Responsibility for coordinating the audit, liaising with the auditors in preparation for the audit, reviewing findings, challenging where appropriate and collating responses.
Building and driving forward effective relationships and networks inside and outside of the firm in order to ensure the firm’s adherence to SAR legislation and the timely processing of payments to external suppliers:
- Building strong relationships and developing mutual understanding with the firm’s external suppliers, to ensure the smooth operation of the accounts payable process.
- Liaising with the Financial Accounting Manager ensuring accurate information is provided re cash flow forecasting.
- Accepting responsibility and taking ownership of operational issues, finding practical solutions and escalating problems where appropriate.
- Interacting with a wide range of contacts at different levels, including all budget holders, partners and secretaries, providing a professional and responsive service.
- Obtaining advice and opinions from appropriate individuals within the firm to aid in making process change recommendations.
Applying commercial logic in order to advise the business on best practice in order to obtain the maximum financial benefit for the firm:
- Anticipating and acting upon changes in VAT and other legislation and to make the appropriate changes to procedures.
- Continuous review of processes to ensure latest technology and best practice thinking is being applied.
- Providing commercial and legislative advice as appropriate.
- Undertaking project work as required.
Managing direct reports to provide a quality service and ensuring that the team processes and objectives align with business needs:
- Continuous monitoring of the service levels provided by the team, in particular turn-around times, accuracy and quality of service. Obtaining relevant feedback in order to make improvements to the processes of the team and actively promoting the finance function
- Ensuring the team has an understanding of the needs of the individual practice areas and business service departments in order to provide a high quality service. Adhering to agreed best practices, policies and processes whilst adapting to local requirements as necessary.
- Providing constructive feedback and encouragement to ensure that team members are motivated, learn new skills, gain experience and develop in line with the firms appraisal and competencies processes.
- Holding regular team meetings to foster an environment of open communication and to encourage others to make positive contributions.
Preparation of key management reports, applying advanced excel functionality as necessary, to provide the practice and senior finance managers with timely and relevant information:
- Issuing client balance reports to MPs and meeting with them regularly to understand and agree details of individual balances.
- Reporting on a monthly basis the status of creditor and expenditure balances to help the business monitor significant balances and manage business risk.
- University degree (2.1 or above) or equivalent professional qualification (preferable but not essential).
- Experience in a Law firm environment with experience of Accounts Payable and Legal Cashiering.
- Demonstrated experience in the delivery of process change leading to improvements in quality and levels of service.
- Demonstrated experience in advising on and successfully applying best practice to SAR to achieve compliance for the firm.
- Demonstrated experience in successful team leadership and management.
- Advanced Excel skills.
- Excellent working use of Microsoft office.
- Ability to advise on the functionality of advanced system transactions and to extract relevant data for analysis.
- Ability to advise the business on, and ensuring compliance with, GAAP, the provisions of the Solicitors Accounts Rules and Money Laundering requirements.
- Ability to ensure the correct VAT treatment is applied, providing guidance on new or difficult issues re application of legislation.