Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer
Location: Peterborough (with some UK & European travel)
Competitive salary + bonus + benefits
Buckles is a successful and growing legal firm which provides a comprehensive range of services to businesses and individuals in the UK and internationally from offices in Peterborough, London, Nottingham and Stamford, and via resident consultants in Paris and Milan.
The firm currently has over 100 people in the UK together with access to more than 40 European commercial lawyers via an alliance. Turnover is currently in the region of £12m but with plans to grow significantly.
The firm has been Investors in People accredited since 2001 and in 2014 was awarded the gold accreditation. The firm is also recognised as an Exemplar Employer and in 2016 it was awarded a two-star rating by Best Companies.
The core values of the business are teamwork, respect, excellence and trust.
The firm continues to grow both organically and by acquisition. We now have a requirement for a dynamic, highly motivated, action-orientated finance professional with a strong track record in managing and supporting high-growth professional services businesses.
In line with our growth strategy, the business requires a CFO who can play a central role in driving and supporting the firm’s growth plans. In conjunction with this the incumbent will be expected to develop capability to ensure robust systems, processes and controls are in place, as well as compliance with SAR and SRA Regulations. They will consequently act as the firm’s COFA
The CFO will play a vital role in the continued success of the business and will be a key business partner to the CEO, the Operations Board, and the business as a whole.
Key areas of responsibility will include:
- Overseeing and owning the firm’s strategic planning and budgeting processes;
- Acting as a commercial partner to the CEO and senior team to facilitate profitable growth;
- Providing influence and guidance to business operations to maximise commercial success and identify synergies and cost saving opportunities;
- Monitoring and driving financial progress of the business through timely and relevant financial reporting;
- Providing commercial leadership to the business;
- Managing liquidity and cash flow maximization;
- In conjunction with the Operations Board, reviewing and improving KPIs for all areas of the business in order to improve the quality and relevance of management information and ultimately to drive performance improvement;
- Financial controls – overseeing and improving all financial controls and processes across all functions and business units;
- Budget and Reporting – overseeing the production of budgets and financial reporting, including monthly, quarterly and annual P&L and balance sheet reports;
- Reviewing job and client profitability, including work in progress and debtors;
- Ensuring clients are billed on a timely basis and outstanding amounts are collected promptly to minimize work in progress and debtor days;
- Continuous reviewing of key supplier contracts, in conjunction with key business leaders, to ensure best value for money is obtained;
- Identifying material variances in budgets and plans on a timely basis and working in partnership with relevant business leaders to agree remedial action where necessary;
- Driving a best in class analytical culture across finance and elsewhere in the business;
- Providing all supporting analysis to validate the strategy and business plan;
- Developing a forward-looking, strategic finance team which can support all areas of the business and help drive significant growth of profits in line with company strategy.
Skills and Experience
The ideal candidate will be a qualified ACA/ACCA and is likely to have a demonstrable track record of success as a CFO or FD in a high-growth, medium sized service-based business. Prior experience and track-record in M&A will be an advantage, as will experience of working within a partner-owned and managed professional service business.
Cultural and personality fit will be crucial. The successful candidate must have a commercial mind-set, high intellect and strong influencing skills. Responsibility, empowerment, sharing, positivity, enabling and expectations, communication and trust are core client values, and the successful candidate will need to be able to demonstrate his/her ability to work within this cultural framework.
This role demands an individual who can be both strategic and ‘in the detail’ and who knows how to prioritise and get things done. In addition to being a high-performing, self-starting individual the new Chief Financial Officer will have:
- A strong academic record to degree level supported by a recognised accounting qualification (ideally ACA/ACCA);
- A minimum of 5 years’ post qualifying experience of which at least 3 should have been in a Head of Finance/FD/CFO post within a similar sized organisation;
- The ability to act as a business partner to the CEO, Operations Board and the business as a whole providing strategic, analytical and business support;
- The ability to thrive in a hands-on, dynamic environment where there is a constant requirement to add real value to the business;
- Strategic and corporate development capabilities;
- Experience in managing growth (both organic and via acquisition) both in relation to due diligence and managing integration to deliver incremental business benefits;
- A commercially orientated financial leader with a business-enabling-mind-set and positive attitude;
- First class presentation and stakeholder management abilities;
- Excellent communication skills with the authority and credibility to gain respect both internally and externally with people at all levels;
- A positive, collaborative, open and supportive approach to leadership and management.