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Deputy Director of Finance

The American School in London

Reports to: Director of Finance

Start date:  April 2023 (or earlier if possible)

The American School in London is a non-profit international school offering an outstanding American education with a global perspective to a diverse and international student body of approximately 1,350 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The School community of teachers, students, staff, parents, and alumni hail from more than 60 nations across the world. The School is firmly grounded in its core values of Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, Integrity, and the Courage to Act, and provides each student with an accessible and actionable vision for excellence. ASL’s strong sense of community is a key strength; the School is marked by a distinct respect for individual and cultural differences and by its commitment to producing effective, productive citizens who give back to the world.

The School’s annual budget is £44 million and it is in a strong and stable financial position. The School regularly undertakes fundraising campaigns, has a 10-year, long term maintenance plan and a £27 million loan expiring in 2049 which helped to fund major construction projects.

The School is supported by an American Foundation with its UK subsidiary. These organisations are responsible for most of the fund raising which supports the School and many of the faculty are employed by the US Foundation and seconded to the School, thereby contributing to US Social Security and US Pensions schemes. In addition, the School has its own trading subsidiary company.

The Position

The Deputy Director of Finance is responsible for the effective execution of the financial activities of the School and for the local budgeting, forecasting and reporting of them to budget holders and to the Finance Director. The role-holder will manage an experienced team of 5 in the Accounts Department with another 2 people working in the Bookstore.

The financial activities include oversight of fee invoices and collections; monitoring income including donations; processing payroll and pensions; purchasing and payments; banking and cash flow, monitoring investments and their valuations.

The School has recently migrated its financial systems to a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform and the role-holder will need to identify and exploit the opportunities to provide tight controls and continually improve service to employees and managers across the School.

The successful candidate will have detailed knowledge of management and financial accounting, VAT and other taxes in the UK, preferably with a good knowledge of relevant charity and employment law and experience of working in educational business settings.

S/he will be a systems thinker with great customer service who understands cost-effectiveness and will partner with people across the School for continued success.

The Location

The nature of the School is that the students, faculty and those directly supporting them need to be present in the School every day. Those indirectly supporting the students are also expected to work in the School most days but technology supports distance working when employees need to work without interruption e.g. writing minutes of meetings, finalizing budgets. There is also flexibility to work at home when personal circumstances require this and customer service can be maintained.

Key Responsibility

  • Develops the financial infrastructure for the School – robust, well-controlled, compliant systems, regulations, policies, procedures and best practices which are exemplified by a motivated, skilled, well-qualified Finance team in the service of budget-holders, senior administrators, the Board and external regulators.

Other Responsibilities

  • Reports directly to the Director of Finance, but collaborates school-wide with budget holders and senior administrators on budgets, actual and potential spend, and resolving financial and related problems promptly and effectively.
  • Generate budgets and projections for the School’s income, expenditure, cashflow, capital, to ensure financial sustainability and loan compliance.
  • Ensuring all financial ledgers are accurate, complete, compliant with internal policies and external regulations to enable reporting of performance and stewardship of assets.
  • Deliver robust Payroll, Pensions and Payments services to the community ensuring that these are resilient, responsive and well-controlled and externally compliant.
  • Manage banking relationships and signatory on accounts for all 3 legal entities.
  • Generate the Statutory Accounts and manage the Audit as well as prepare materials for Board meetings including three other companies which support the School.
  • Manages and effectively motivates, supervises and evaluates staff in the Business Office and Bookstore.
  • Demonstrates own commitment to personal and professional growth and for all members of the teams.
  • Demonstrates sensitivity, consistency, trustworthiness, integrity, fairness, and respect for others; acknowledges and respects diverse perspectives and opinions
  • Communicates effectively in person and in writing.
  • Works with others to ensure a school environment that is safe for all and respectful of the diversity in the community.
  • Any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the Director of Finance or the Head of School.

Selection criteria

Essential qualifications/experience:

  • Substantial experience as Deputy Director of Finance or similar role with a successful record of motivating, recruiting, developing and evaluating team members.
  • Operating cost-effective processes and procedures, recognizing that complexity may be required to comply with regulations (e.g. US and UK charity and tax legislation).
  • Successful implementation of new initiatives and technology.
  • In-depth knowledge of non-profit and corporate accounting principles, taxation, laws and best practices.
  • Qualified member of an accountancy body or holder of an equivalent qualification with demonstrable commitment to continuous professional development.
  • Integrity, communication and interpersonal skills at all levels, with attention to detail
  • A proven commitment to the safeguarding and welfare of children.

Desirable qualifications/experience:

  • Experience in participating in school management, planning, budgeting and reporting as part of a senior team in a K-12 school.
  • Proven experience of managing systems improvements or other large projects.
  • Commitment to the not-for-profit sector through previous jobs or voluntary work.
  • Knowledge of US accounting, payroll, charity, tax legislation.

Search Process and Timeline

Interested applicants should submit a completed application form, alongside a letter of interest addressed to John Robinson, via www.asl.org/employment.

Phone or in-person interviews will be scheduled with semi-finalist candidates. Finalists, will be invited to campus for two days of interviews with various School constituencies. The appointment is expected to be finalized by January 2023.

This position description is current at the date shown but following consultation may be changed to reflect or anticipate changes in the role that are commensurate with the job title and salary.

The American School in London is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment. All new appointments will be subject to appropriate checks: Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS enhanced), Disqualification by Association Self-Declaration, Declaration of Criminal Record, checks against the Prohibition List (Teacher Status Checks) including Identity, Address, Date of Birth, a Full Employment History, Right to Work in the UK, overseas checks where applicable, EEA checks, at least 2 references (one with current or most recent employer, where appropriate) and original documentation of Qualifications (where appropriate). For positions into Senior Management a Prohibition From Management Check (s128 Directive) will also be undertaken. 

Diversity and equality of opportunity are cornerstone values of The American School in London.

Location: London
Salary: Competitive
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 2nd December 2022
Closes: 21st December 2022
   
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