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Office Finance Head

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Finance
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JR-2331 Requisition #

Job Details

Clifford Chance is seeking an experienced leader for its Finance Team in Spain. The role forms part of the Finance Leadership in Europe driving the business forward for the next decade.

The Office Finance Head will work closely with the Partners and other functional heads to implement the Firm's strategy for the office; provide leadership, direction and coordination to the finance team, helping to ensure that their objectives and activities are aligned with the wider Firm objectives. The Head of Finance will ensure maintenance of and compliance with professional standards and policies, and adherence to risk and audit processes and safeguards.

The Office Finance Head will also work closely with the Regional CFO and the Global CFO to streamline our finance operations for the office and roll out best practices, including the leveraging of our operational hub in Delhi. This role will also provide good opportunities to contribute globally in the form of thought leadership as well as sharing of best practices with other office within Europe or outside.

Key Responsibilities    

KEY TASKS

STRENGTHEN COMMERCIAL PERFORMANCE 

  • Implement robust commercial standards to ensure optimum use of our working capital. Ensure partners and other fee earners understand the right commercial behavior. Engage with them regularly on outstanding WIP and Debt and highlight high risk balances that require immediate action.
  • Manage treasury control, cash flow and funding requirements in conjunction with the Global Head of Accounting and Treasury. 
  • Strengthen performance across matter life cycle, marrying local relationships with support for routine tasks from the Delhi hub. 
  • Assist partners in pricing matters and monitoring profitability of work undertaken.
  • Provide training to lawyers and secretaries on financial matters as necessary.

IMPLEMENT ROBUST GOVERNANCE 

  • Supervision of the local accounting function as a whole including accounts payable, accounts receivable, cashiers, client money and general ledger, etc. Ensure the roles and responsibilities for all accounting staff are clearly documented and adequate segregation of duties is in place to ensure the maintenance of sound internal financial controls in the offices. Consider rotation of duties where appropriate
  • Ensure adherence to the Clifford Chance accounting policies and procedures, in particular that the mandatory controls relating to the Overseas Practice of the Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA") Accounts Rules are operating effectively and any local requirements relating to client money are also complied with.
  • Co-ordinate with the external auditors and global colleagues for the preparation of the annual financial statements and the annual audit clearance. Ensure that internal and external audit recommendations are promptly implemented in the region.
  • Provide weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reporting in line with global requirements.

BUSINESS PARTNERING

  • Monitor and review financial performance, reporting any issues directly to the regional leadership team.
  • Play an active role in assessing and improving financial performance. Ensure the annual budgeting process and bi-annual re-forecasting process meets global deadlines and that relevant regional stakeholders have all been appropriately involved. Also support function heads with controlling and tracking of their respective budgets.
  • Analyse financial results to identify business trends and critical insights. Using this analysis to make recommendations on improving business performance.
  • Manage tax compliance issues including seeking advice from advisers, then advising partners and the group Tax department of the issues and ultimately filing tax returns. To ensure on time filing of all statutory returns including tax returns, Withholding tax returns, VAT returns, etc.
  • Work closely with the Finance Hub in Delhi to identify activities that can be supported from the central team. 

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

  • Promote the development of talent within the finance team. Ensure clear roles and responsibilities across all teams. Roll out a robust program to allow Finance Team members to collaborate better amongst themselves and with other colleagues in the firm 
  • Leverage global finance talent programmes like INGENII (senior leadership development programme), and Global Excellence Programme (for middle management) to reward and recognise the right talent in your team on a global platform.

Skills, Experience & Qualifications

The successful candidate will ideally have the following:

Experience:

  • Successful and solid experience in a similar role with a demonstrable track record in running a finance function with professional services industry experience - whilst an experience of working in the legal market is not necessary, the skill of working effectively in a consensus based partnership structure and culture is preferred.
  • Significant experience working with external auditors, internal controls and compliance-related issues.
  • Experience of partnering with, and influencing management teams.
  • Be a committed leader with a strong passion for team development and optimising team performance
  • Solid knowledge of and experience with Spanish tax requirements and statutory accounting.
  • Be a committed leader with a strong passion for team development and optimising team performance

Skills & Attributes:

  • Exceptional analytical and numerical skills, with a strong ability to analyse numerical information and data, and spot trends.
  • The intellectual rigour and insight to be credible with a highly intelligent and experienced group of Partners.
  • Clear and effective writing, presentational and verbal communications skills. Practical, commercially minded and service driven with a "can do" attitude and hands on approach.
  • Strong commercial skills with the ability to present compelling evidence to persuade Partners to change.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage, supervise and motivate teams through personal leadership and enthusiasm.
  • High emotional intelligence with the ability to gain buy in and motivate Partners.
  • A proven ability to work across the region and an appreciation of different cultures.
  • Good judgement and a skill in identification and prioritisation of added value and strategic tasks.
  • The ability to work effectively and co-operatively with senior internal stakeholders, including Partners, function leaders, Office Finance Heads and other colleagues across the globe.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor degree in accounting or finance.
  • Further qualifications in business administration would be advantageous but is not essential

Competencies

ANALYTICAL THOUGHT AND PROBLEM SOLVING

  • Makes decisions that solve the immediate problem and prevent it from occurring again. 
  • Prepares for potential problems and contingencies in case things go wrong. 
  • Takes prompt action to resolve problems quickly. 
  • Makes pragmatic and practical decisions about how centrally driven initiatives should be implemented locally. 
  • Uses all relevant sources of information, including the team and other colleagues, to generate solutions.

COMMUNICATING AND INFLUENCING

  • Uses a range of different influencing techniques. 
  • Takes account of different needs and concerns in order to effectively persuade others. 
  • Communicates effectively with the team through structured meetings and reviews. 
  • Resolves conflict and delivers feedback in an assertive and transparent way.

COMMITMENT AND SELF-MOTIVATION

  • Makes oneself accessible to clients. 
  • Monitors and reviews the quality of service that is provided in order to ensure that it meets/exceeds client expectations. 
  • Resolves any problems with clients confidentially and professionally.
  • Remains positive even if progress is slow and solutions are diluted. 
  • Is open to learning new skills. 
  • Demonstrates a drive towards continual personal growth and development.

LEADING AND DEVELOPING OTHERS

  • Shapes team around clients' priorities. 
  • Tackles the root cause of performance issues rather than just the symptoms. 
  • Invites and encourages ideas about how the team can share knowledge and develop effectively. 
  • Provides public praise and recognition to those who have made successful contributions.

ORGANISING AND MANAGING RESOURCES

  • Manages multiple work streams/projects/roles and team members simultaneously. 
  • Ensures own and others' time is spent on activities that add the most value. 
  • Reviews plans regularly, adapting to current or future setbacks and obstacles. 
  • Takes a long-term view of the workflow of individuals within the team and takes steps to alleviate potential pressure points. 
  • Recognises and plans for bottle necks and resource challenges in project plans.

WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

  • Is regarded as a 'trusted advisor' by the firm's partners and their senior management. 
  • Is a valued member of networks outside their immediate team. 
  • Demonstrates credibility and influence with senior clients or stakeholders. 
  • Initiates new client relationships. 
  • Takes responsibility for growing the reputation of the team.

ORGANISATIONAL/STRATEGIC THINKING

  • Demonstrates an understanding of what different departments do and how they work together. 
  • Proactively seeks information about changes and projects that are taking place in the department. 
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the firm's priorities - the factors which impact business performance - and the consequences of this for implementation. 
  • Recognises unspoken constraints within the firm - what is and is not possible in certain situations. 
  • Demonstrates a good understanding of clients' operational and environmental pressures, priorities and objectives.

Our Code of Conduct

Our values-based Code of Conduct consists of five Principles that embody who we are and what we stand for. Our Code is not a list of dos and don'ts but a living document that will guide ethical decision-making, the right behaviours and advice on how we can live it in our everyday roles.

PRINCIPLES OF OUR CODE:

  1. Act with Integrity - Our reputation as a Firm and as individuals is built on trust, honesty, integrity, decency and adherence to strong moral principles and is the cornerstone on which our business, our livelihoods and the wellbeing of our families and those who rely on us, depend. Each of us, regardless of our actual or perceived seniority or position, play a critical role in safeguarding the integrity of our business and our reputation.
  2. Be Inclusive - We are inclusive and celebrate diversity – inclusion and diversity are essential for our pursuit of excellence. We embrace our differences. We ensure all voices are heard, and everyone is treated with fairness, dignity, respect and empathy. 
  3. Embrace Challenge - We want to foster an environment where everyone has the freedom to question the status quo. We provide each other with honest, thoughtful and constructive feedback, so that every member of the team can develop and thrive. Failure to provide genuine feedback is a missed opportunity for everyone.
  4. Speak up – We are all encouraged to speak up and to create an environment in which we can be confident that our concerns and views will be taken seriously. If we witness bad, inappropriate, disrespectful, aggressive or unethical behaviour, as well as any potential or actual misconduct internally or externally, we should call it out and report it through the relevant channels of the Firm.
  5. Act Responsibly – We always strive to bring positive, responsible and lasting impact and seek to contribute to building a just, fair, sustainable and prosperous society. We consider the impact of our work on our clients and their multiple stakeholders, as well as the wider community. We promote human rights. We encourage and enable environmentally sustainable practices and minimise our own negative impact on the environment.

Equal Opportunities

At Clifford Chance we understand that our true asset is our people. We believe that each and every one of us should experience an equality of opportunity and an equality of experience here. We are always working to develop and deliver the best and most innovative approaches to make that happen.

Inclusion is good for our team and their families, our firm and society.

We are therefore committed to treating all employees and job applicants fairly and equally regardless of their gender, gender identity and expression, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, social or economic background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, or age. This applies to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment including pay, promotion, training, transfer and every other aspect of employment.

The firm will regularly review its procedures and selection criteria to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and otherwise treated according to their relevant individual abilities and merits.

We have a number of initiatives and networks that support our aspiration to be the Global Law Firm of choice. These include our LGBT, Gender Parity, Ethnicity and Disability networks.

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