Portsmouth, Portsmouth
£45,000 - £50,000 per year
Temporary, Full-time
Job description

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth

Financial Controller (12 month contract)


£45-50,000 per annum depending on experience plus contributory pension

Full time 35 hours per week (Monday to Friday)

Reporting to the Director of Finance and IT


About us


An exciting opportunity has been created for an experienced Financial Controller to join a newly redesigned Finance team. Our focus is to transform the systems and processes currently in use and expand the service offering across the Diocese. The Diocese of Portsmouth comprises 90 parishes across Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire (except Slough), South Oxfordshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Formed 19th May 1882 by the division of the Diocese of Southwark, the Diocese of Portsmouth has a presence in every community and can offer ministry and mission to all who come to us, working towards the Bishop’s vision of Bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through his church. 


About You


We are looking for an experienced Financial Controller, with a proven track record of successfully managing and delivering change within finance teams.

You will be an ACA/CIMA/ACCA qualified accountant.

It will be advantageous if you have experience in working with charities and particularly faith-based charities.

You will have an understanding and sympathy with the mission and values of the Catholic Church.


Main duties of the role


The Financial Controller will be responsible for ensuring the Diocese of Portsmouth’s financial systems, processes, and policies and meet the needs of all those who rely on the services and outputs of the Financial Accounts Team. This responsibility will include line management of the Financial Accounts team, to ensure they provide a consistent high-quality service.

The post holder will be expected to deliver radical change. This will involve centralising Curial finance systems and changing processes, expanding services and developing the team so that the department better supports colleagues both in the Curia and in the Parishes.

You will be expected to work closely with the Management Accountant to develop the capabilities of the whole finance department to make finance a key enabler within the Diocese.

If you would like a confidential discussion about the role, please contact:

Mark Van Wijk – Director of Finance and IT


Please apply by sending in the following:


Covering letter:  Please tell us how your motivation, values, skills, experience, and personal qualities demonstrate your suitability for the role (around 500 words).  Please make it clear why you are excited about this role, and why you specifically want to work for the Diocese of Portsmouth.


Current CV and the details of two referees: This should include full education and employment history (including dates, with no gaps left unexplained). Please include your current or most recent employer as one of your referees.


Closing date for applications: 29th September 2020 at 1300 hrs


Interviews: week commencing 5th October 2020



Notes to candidates


1. Interviews: all shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a face-to-face interview.

2. Unsuccessful applications: if you have not been contacted within 3 weeks of your application, we regret that you will not have been offered an interview on this occasion.

3. General: this post will be subject to review under the relevant Diocesan Terms and Conditions of Service.

4. New employees to the Diocese will be subject to a probationary period of six months.



Financial Controller

Main accountabilities

  1. Responsible for the services being delivered by the Financial Accounts Team.
  2. Develop and maintain efficient systems that safeguard assets, ensure regulatory, contractual and other requirements are met, and that capture financial information to facilitate reporting and financial business partnering
  3. Areas of responsibility include purchase ledger, sales ledger, credit card provision, payroll, banking, NL maintenance, Gift Aid, VAT, processing of DDs and electronic donations, Legacy Administration, the accounts mailbox, intercompany balances, intercompany payments, and the monitoring of grants, and restricted and designated funds,
  4. Line manage the Financial Accounting Team, including Senior Accounts Assistant (35hrs), AAT Apprentice (35hrs), Accounts Payable Officer (7hrs) and Payroll Officer (17.5hrs)
  5. Change is required within the Financial Accounting Team, this role will be responsible for finding efficiencies and improvements through bringing about effective change.

Financial Systems - Change

  • Find improvements by centralising the processing of Curial financial transactions and financial data, bringing them under the control of the Financial Accounts team
  • Design centralised accounting systems and processes that safeguard assets, ensure regulatory, contractual and other requirements are met, and that capture financial information to facilitate improved reporting and financial business partnering
  • Communicate changes with colleagues across the diocese and roll out new systems
  • Work with the Finance Business Partner to review the current accounting package and consider redesign or replacement as part of the changes to be introduced
  • Continue current systems and services whilst new systems are developed
  • Support staff members that have moved into the finance team
  • Plan and allocate roles within the new system between the financial controller, Senior Accounts Technician, AAT Apprentice, Accounts Payable Officer and payroll officer. Ensure there in shared understanding of systems so that there cannot be a single point of failure.


Parish Support

  • Parish support should be a key focus of the Financial Accounts Team.
  • The financial controller will oversee the services, finance packages, prescribed procedures, guidance and support provided to the parishes by the Curia. The support should enable parishes to operate efficient systems to effectively safeguard assets, meet regulatory and other requirements, and capture financial information to facilitate understanding of finances and risks
  • Develop training to support Parish treasures (in collaboration with the Financial Business Partner)


  • Work with the Financial Business Partner to redesign the nominal ledger to support improved reporting and provide more efficient processing and accounts production.
  • Reporting needs to be developed to capture a complete a picture of diocese finances and should report on funds, grant making trusts, cash flow, investments, subsidiaries Projects
  • Agree month end timetable of deliverables to enable the production of timely management accounts
  • Feed back to the business partner any matters that could be useful in BP relationships.

On going support

  • The Financial Accounting Department should provide expertise to support the diocese
  • In particular be the reference point for Gift Aid, VAT, financial transaction management and requirements and Payroll
  • This expertise should be made available to support colleagues across the diocese

Ad hoc duties and projects

  • Carry out ad hoc duties as requested by your line manager


  • To maintain the ethos and values of the Catholic Church and positively promote the work and activities of the Catholic Church.
  • To undertake any task that may be requested from time to time that may be consistent with the nature and scope of this post.


Person Specification – Financial Controller


Supporting Evidence

In the supporting evidence of your application form, you must demonstrate your experiences by giving specific examples for the criteria within the person specification.


A –   Application Form

I    –   Interview

T   –   Test

C - Certificate



Knowledge, Training and Experience

Qualified with ACA/CIMA/ACCA - Essential A/C

Knowledge of Payroll and auto enrolment pension regulations - Essential  A/C

Knowledge of VAT and Gift aid - Desirable  A/C

First class organisational skills including the ability to prioritise work, balance conflicting priorities, monitor progress and exercise judgement about chasing progress as necessary - Essential  A/I

Advanced proficiency in use of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and Powerpoint - Essential A/I

Knowledge of the values and teaching of the Roman Catholic Church - Desirable A/I

Understanding of Data Protection legislation - Essential A/I

Communication Skills

Excellent interpersonal skills and the confidence to deal with people at every level - Essential A/I

Ability to work effectively as part of a team - Essential A/I

Problem solving skills - Essential A/I

Equality and Diversity

Understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships - Essential A/I


Able to work on own initiative, organising and prioritising own workload to set deadlines - Essential A/I


An ability to maintain high degree of confidentiality and trust - Essential A/I

Good time keeping - Essential A/I

Positive and flexible approach to work - Essential A/I




Posted on: 15 September 2020
Closed date: 29 September 2020
Tags: Christian, Finance

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