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Senior Accountant

Salary rangeConfidential | Contract type: Permanent

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Job Summary

The Accountant is expected to:

  • Align with the vision of the Managing Partner, support and challenge the Managing Partner in leading the business.
  • Create value by identifying and evaluating financial strategies for enhancing the firm’s value and performance.
  • Enable value by providing sound financial data to the Management committee and senior management in making decisions.
  • Facilitating the understanding of performance of the firm’s functions or units.
  • Preserve value by asset and liability management, managing risk in relation to setting and achieving the firm’s objectives, and implementing and monitoring effective internal control systems.
  • Report value by ensuring relevant and useful internal and external business reporting
Knowledge/experience/skills/behaviours/qualifications
  • At least 5 years senior level accounting experience in a medium – large size professional service firm including some experience in the financial operation of a law firm
  • Thorough understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • Proven understanding of corporate and partnership taxation.
  • Significant knowledge of legal ethics rules, guidelines and compliance issues relating to client representations and engagements.
  • Familiarity with law firm financial systems/tools and able to stay current on such technologies.
  • Academic qualifications: a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance or some other appropriate area, a CPA/CFA certification.
  • The ability to operate in a strong intellectual environment and provide strategic thought and direction to financial function.
  • Ability to provide analytical solutions to problems and have a demonstrated history of sound judgment.
  • The Accountant must appreciate the strong client service ethic the Firm brings to its clients and manage the financial functions with the same service ethic, including an appreciation of urgency, persistence and results orientation.
  • Strong business acumen and ability to think strategically in the context of the firm and the dynamic market.
  • Superior analytical, problem solving, organisational and project management skills.
  • Ability to build a successful team.
  • Client focus and high-quality standards oriented.
  • Track record of leading the development and delivery of leading-edge solutions that have a strategic or firm-wide effect.
  • Ability to develop and sustain effective working relationships with each partner, team leader and staff.
  • Management and delegation skills necessary to lead, motivate and enable a team of managers and staff.
  • Experience of leading change and ability to balance competing priorities.
  • Drive, enthusiasm, self-confidence and a good sense of humour.
  • A natural leader and manager who commands mutual respect.
  • Strong influencing and negotiating skills and the ability to understand a variety of perspectives and differing situations.
  • Resilient and able to work in a constantly changing environment.
  • Proactive and decisive.
  • Articulate, diplomatic and confident communicator, orally, in writing and in working with partners and staff at all levels and in public.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotionally intelligent.
  • Integrity, empathy and a sense of fair play.
  • Strong computer skills including the ability to lead the use of the Firm’s financial management programs.

Responsibilities

Strategic planning
Objectives;
Serve as a member of the Management Committee and participate proactively with other Senior Executive Staff in developing and executing strategic plans to support the firm’s business objectives.
Actions

  • Provides strategic and tactical planning, development, evaluation and coordination of the firm’s financial systems.
  • Develop and maintain an appropriate organizational structure capable of supporting the financial needs of the firm through appropriate and cost-effective systems.
  • Develop a pricing strategy that is competitive and profitable.
  • Ensure provision of timely and accurate management information to facilitate effective decision making.
  • Facilitate financial analysis and benchmarking of the firm’s performance against its peers and competitors.
  • Provide a financial perspective on innovation and profitable growth; leverage this perspective to improve risk-awareness, strategic decision-making and performance management integration.
  • Represent the firm to third parties/suppliers/external stakeholders, eg professional societies, banks, insurance underwriters.
  • Analyze potential profitability of lateral candidates and the viability of merger/acquisition opportunities.
Finance and Accounts
Objectives
Overall responsibility for the financial management and strategy of the firm and ensure its financial security.
Actions
  • Develop and implement the following functional areas and related policies and procedures: billing and accounts receivable collections, banking relationships, forecasting and performance monitoring, business insurance, cash and treasury management, capital structure, borrowing, cash flow management, capital expenditure, partner compensation and employee payroll, escrow and client trust account administration, financial reporting, independent audit and tax engagements, financial planning and analysis, general accounting, lease support, retirement/benefits accounting, tax administration/planning, and filing/compliance.
  • Work with firm’s Management Committee and Managing Partner to ensure profitability, growth targets, and revenue goals.
  • Keep firm leadership continually apprised of financial performance and identify areas of concern and recommend improvement strategies.
  • Advise on capital structure, partner compensation, lateral attorney acquisitions, client billing rates, alternative fee arrangements, new matter intake, taxation and approaches/solutions.
  • Partner with firm’s leaders and talent to develop analyses, metrics, benchmarks, dashboards, and systems to manage revenue, utilization, realization, leverage, expenses, and collection speed.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate internal controls for cash flow and cash management and institute improved electronic payment and cost control initiatives.
  • Analyse data on a regular and timely basis whilst effectively leveraging analytical and decision support tools.
  • Oversee the preparation of financial statements, financial reports, special analyses, and information reports.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate internal control safeguards.
  • Manage relationships with the bank and external accountants, finance experts and auditors on significant finance matters.
Client Management
Objectives
With the support of the Operations Officer, successfully manage the client’s need for improved efficiency and value, and most importantly, reduced cost.
Actions
  • Ensure various fee arrangements are developed and implemented.
  • Develop cost structures for clients.
  • Produce timely and informative reports based on clients’ billing and collection performance, and then using those metrics to determine where the firm can offer more competitive fees.
Regulatory compliance
Objectives
Ensure firm compliance with financial reporting and control requirements.
Actions
  • Ensure the timely filing of all taxes.
  • Monitor current business trends and best practices; maintain expert understanding of regulatory rules and guidelines and their impact on firm; communicate the impact of new developments and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Ensure compliance with national government and county budgetary reporting requirements.
Human Resource
Objectives
Develop, document, communicate, and enforce policies and procedures relating to financial functions.
Actions
  • Invest in and retain talent by employing diverse talent and attracting talent to organically grow the business, sourcing from diverse backgrounds working closely with HR executives.
  • Build, manage, and mentor a firm culture committed to professional excellence and client service.
  • Promote clear and effective lines of communication and collaboration across the firm.
IT/management
Objectives
Deliver financial efficiencies through the use of ICT.
Actions
  • Create, coordinate, and evaluate the financial programs and supporting information systems of the firm to include budgeting, tax planning, and conservation of assets.
  • Implement the use of various digital technologies involved in finance that reduce costs whilst offering more value to the firm and its clients:
  • Modernize the firm’s financial system including conversion to a new enterprise level system and drive continuous improvement and innovation.
Risk management
Objectives
Assess and manage the risks associated with firm’s financial strategy.
Actions
  • Calculate risks and ensure that all decisions lead to the firm’s expansion and development.
Key deliverables
  • Ensure the firm delivers:
  • The strategic and business plan aims and objectives
  • A highly profitable business and consistent and upward growth in revenues
  • Optimal department effectiveness via automation and continuous process improvement
  • Financial revenues that can attract and retain high performing staff
  • Managed risk and regulatory compliance
  • Investments of firm profits and realisation of benefits from these investments
  • The seamless implementation of change
  • Cost efficiencies through transparency and control of budgets
Knowledge/experience/skills/behaviours/qualifications
Professional experience:
  • At least 5 years senior level accounting experience in a medium – large size professional service firm including some experience in the financial operation of a law firm.
  • Thorough understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • Proven understanding of corporate and partnership taxation.
  • Significant knowledge of legal ethics rules, guidelines and compliance issues relating to client representations and engagements.
  • Familiarity with law firm financial systems/tools and able to stay current on such technologies.
Academic qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance or some other appropriate area, a CPA/CFA certification.
  • The ability to operate in a strong intellectual environment and provide strategic thought and direction to financial function.
  • Ability to provide analytical solutions to problems and have a demonstrated history of sound judgment.
  • The Accountant must appreciate the strong client service ethic the Firm brings to its clients and manage the financial functions with the same service ethic, including an appreciation of urgency, persistence and results orientation.
  • Strong business acumen and ability to think strategically in the context of the firm and the dynamic market.
  • Superior analytical, problem solving, organisational and project management skills.
  • Ability to build a successful team.
  • Client focus and high-quality standards oriented.
  • Track record of leading the development and delivery of leading-edge solutions that have a strategic or firm-wide effect.
  • Ability to develop and sustain effective working relationships with each partner, team leader and staff.
  • Management and delegation skills necessary to lead, motivate and enable a team of managers and staff.
  • Experience of leading change and ability to balance competing priorities.
  • Drive, enthusiasm, self-confidence and a good sense of humour.
  • A natural leader and manager who commands mutual respect.
  • Strong influencing and negotiating skills and the ability to understand a variety of
    perspectives and differing situations.
  • Resilient and able to work in a constantly changing environment.
  • Proactive and decisive.
  • Articulate, diplomatic and confident communicator, orally, in writing and in working with partners and staff at all levels and in public.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotionally intelligent
  • Integrity, empathy and a sense of fair play.
  • Strong computer skills including the ability to lead the use of the Firm’s financial
    management programs

Job Requirements

Required education: Bachelor's degree
Required relevant work experience: 5 years
Required languages: English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)
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