Deputy Head of Financial Planning
Playing a critical role in delivering value for money, you’ll be a key member of a four-person team that provides advice to the FCO Board on future budgets. This will include challenging and analysing across the FCO’s global network to develop recommendations on affordable spending plans. Reporting to the Head of Financial & Business Planning, you will lead on managing the financial planning exercise, designing the overall process, capturing across the organisation through our Oracle-based budgeting system and ensuring consistency of data to establish the relative balance of funding and spending plans. You will also oversee analysis by more junior team members, using your financial expertise to provide direction and ensure the FCO Board has the necessary advice and information to match resources with organisational priorities.
Roles and Responsibilities
As Deputy Head of Financial Planning, the jobholder will:
• Play a critical role in delivering value for money for the FCO and ensuring that – in a resource constrained environment – the Board and Ministers have the information necessary to make the best possible use of those resources.
• Review and refine financial plans to ensure they remain with wider developments in spending priorities. Produce robust forecasts for the next Spending Review period (i.e. Beyond 2020), reflecting shifting priorities and considering how to handle any spending cuts imposed by HMT.
• Establish and embed the new financial planning process to ensure it delivers improved outcomes. Work with other team members to ensure the right level of data is collected using FCO’s Oracle-based budgeting and forecasting tool (Hyperion), and develop management information for decision-making. Careful design, road testing and rollout will be required, not least to ensure there is no overall increase in bureaucracy.
• Contribute heavily to the design of the overall process and timeline, working very closely with key enablers in the finance community (e.g. Finance, Business Partners, Regional Finance Hubs, and Finance Managers oversee). Contribute to the development of the Medium Term Financial Planning (MTFP) guidance – vital documents that explain the idiosyncrasies of FCO budgets and ensure consistency in financial plans to avoid double counting.
• Identify opportunities to further align financial planning with the FCO’s business planning process, such that we match resources better to our priorities and provide a seamless process for Departments and Posts.
• Check, validate and aggregate financial plans, analysing crosscutting issues (e.g. Pay, rents, travel costs) and troubleshooting problems as they arise. Provide briefing, challenge assumptions and make recommendations to senior managers on the most appropriate approach.
• Work with other team members to design and implement effective internal communication and engagement strategies, merging or aligning messages on financial and business planning wherever possible. Provide clear advice in response to ad-hoc and requests for information, e.g. Ministerial briefings or Board papers.
• Cover for the Head of Financial & Business Planning and, as needed, helping to foster the links between financial and business planning. Support cross-team working within the Financial Planning Team and across the wider Strategic Finance, to enable resilience and increase capabilities within the team.
• Due to the technical finance nature of this role, applicants should be either a part or fully qualified member of a CCAB or equivalent recognised accountancy body (CIMA)
• Strong analytical skills, confidence working with large amounts of numerical data, and a familiarity with Excel spreadsheets.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Working Together
- Delivering at Pace
- Communicating and Influencing
We only ask for evidence of these behaviours in your application form:
- Working Together
- Delivering at Pace
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
- Professional Finance skills
As a Civil Service employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits, including:
- Regular performance and development reviews
- 25 days of annual leave on entry, increasing to 30 days after 5 years
- One further day paid privilege entitlement to mark the Queen’s Birthday
- Paid maternity and paternity leave
- Interest-free season ticket and bicycle loans
- Competitive contributory pension scheme