Spark Inside

Head of Finance and Resources

Spark Inside
Near London Euston Station, London (Greater)
£40,000 - £60,000
20 Nov 2018
20 Dec 2018
Full Time
Contract Type

About the position

Responsible to: CEO
 Full-time, permanent (35 hours)
Location: Spark Inside’s office in Euston
Salary band: £40,000 - £60,000
Start date: As soon as possible (by April 2019)
Holiday entitlement: 31 days per year

Role description
The Head of Finance and Resources reports to the Chief Executive. S/he manages the finance and resources team, currently comprised of a full-time Office Administrator and external, outsourced consultants providing payroll, HR, legal and IT services.

This is a wide-ranging role for a vibrant, growing charity that undertakes groundbreaking work in prisons. The post-holder will lead on the following areas at Spark Inside:
• Financial management
• HR function
• Office systems and central administration
• Governance support and business planning

In addition, the Head of Finance and Resources will be a key member of the Senior Management Team, working closely with the Chief Executive and colleagues in the development of the charity. Spark Inside has been in existence for seven years and has had considerable success to date, in terms of impact, reputation and funding streams. Though small (with a team of 10 staff and a turnover of £700k) the charity punches above its weight in terms of impact and influence. The time has come to strengthen the internal infrastructure of the organisation to help ensure Spark Inside continues to thrive and achieve its aims. The Head of Finance and Resources is a new permanent position (the current part-time Head of Finance position will be disestablished once the new postholder is in place and after a handover period).

The Senior Management Team comprises of:
• Founder and Chief Executive – leads the organisation with a strong ambassadorial and influencing
role, including securing philanthropic support
• Head of Programme Operations – leads development and delivery of the charity’s coaching programmes in prisons, including responsibility for securing contract income
• Head of Communications – leads marketing and communications, including responsibility for securing grant income
• Head of Finance and Resources – leads on internal infrastructure and back office functions.

We are looking for a qualified accountant with a proven track record in the charity sector; and
also, crucially, a people-person who can confidently lead on HR and other cross-organisational
workstreams. You will need a strong understanding of all aspects of running and administering a small to medium sized organisation, and excellent communication skills. We are looking for a leader who can think strategically, with a strong commercial instinct, who is also able to see the details and work in a ‘hands-on’ problem-solving way. In short, we need you to take full responsibility for the back office functions of Spark Inside, giving clear direction and achieving excellent results.

The HR function is a particular area for development at Spark Inside and you need to be able to lead
this area with confidence and credibility. Although there is external expert advice available (you will be managing an external HR consultancy), you need to have sufficient experience and knowledge of HR management to drive this forward. You may have gained this experience in leading the HR function for a small organisation, or contributing to HR management in a larger organisation.

This role provides a great opportunity for someone to take on a role with huge scope to influence and
add value. You will not only have the freedom to shape the back office functions of the charity, but
also play a large part in the development and success of the whole organisation as part of the Senior
Management Team.


• As part of the Senior Management Team, contribute to strategic and operational planning, including new developments
• Take a lead on updating the organisational Business Plan, co-ordinating input from others
• Update Spark Inside’s Finance and Resources Strategy as needed
• Oversee frameworks for planning and monitoring organisational performance (e.g. KPIs, budgets)

• As part of the SMT, take responsibility for the overall success of the organisation
• Maintain strong working relationships with other team members, ensuring an effective interface between own function and other parts of the organisation
• Along with other Senior Managers, deputise for the Chief Executive when appropriate
• Assist with implementing charity decisions and communicating key messages throughout the
• Model Spark Inside’s values and principles in your leadership role

• Act as Company Secretary, taking a lead on advising the board of their legal responsibilities
• Work closely with the Treasurer to support effective functioning of the Finance committee (e.g.
produce reports, contribute to development of frameworks, administer meetings)
• Assist the Chair and Chief Executive in the administration of board meetings and board communications
• Take a lead on updating the organisational Risk Register and submitting for trustee scrutiny

• Produce and implement organisational budgets and forecasts
• Develop the system of budgetary control, liaising with budget holders and developing their
understanding and skills
• Oversee financial administration and bookkeeping ensuring efficiency and high standards
• Support other staff with purchasing and commissioning of expenditure
• Provide timely, accessible and useful financial reports for internal audiences, and proactively
develop the quality and usefulness of financial reporting and communications
• Work with external accountants /auditors to manage the preparation and audit of end-of-year
• Oversee the payroll system including pensions
• Evolve and ensure adherence to finance policies and procedures

• Assist the Chief Executive with planning and monitoring income generation
• Contribute to the development of pricing models for sales, commissioning and licensing
• Provide financial information for funding bids and pitches, attending funder meetings as necessary
• Work with colleagues to ensure that income generation processes are effectively integrated with
finance systems (e.g. Gift Aid declarations)
• Ensure systems are in place for tracking spend against specific funded projects, and produce
reports for funders as needed
• Manage investment of surplus cash

• Act as lead for the HR function at Spark Inside, ensuring the right inputs are in place for effective
HR management (sourcing external expert support as needed)
• Oversee development of HR policies and procedures that are values-aligned and effective
• Oversee the recruitment of new staff
• Ensure effective systems are in place for all stages of a staff member’s journey at Spark Inside (e.g. induction, line management, appraisals, exit interviews)
• Work with line managers and external advisers to ensure that employee relations issues are handled appropriately
• Oversee effective HR administration
• Drive forward workplace well-being and initiatives
• Lead on overall planning and monitoring of staff training and development

• Manage the central administration function for Spark Inside, ensuring that teams receive the administrative support they need
• Ensure effective IT systems are in place, including management of external support provider, purchasing of equipment, security and disaster recovery arrangements
• Take a lead on premises, ensuring there are effective office facilities in place and making / implementing plans for improvement
• Oversee day-to-day office systems for security, maintenance, housekeeping and visitor welcome
• Act as budget-holder for office and administration budget lines, ensuring value for money

• Take a lead on legal, regulatory and compliance issues for Spark Inside, sourcing expert external advice as needed
• Oversee insurance requirements across the organisation
• Act as health and safety lead for Spark Inside, managing expert advice as needed
• Oversee timely submission of accounts and reports to HMRC, Companies House and Charity

• Lead and take overall responsibility for the Finance and Resources function (including staff and
external consultants) ensuring high levels of performance
• Ensure that all staff members are properly supervised, appraised, supported and trained
• Develop the structure of the team to meet changing organisational needs

Person specification

• Qualified accountant (ACA, ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA) – compulsory

• Strong post-qualification experience at senior level within a charity
• A strong track record in all aspects of financial management for an organisation, including budgeting, reporting, cashflow, treasury and audit
• Considerable experience with computerised accounts software including creating and tailoring reports (Spark Inside uses Xero)
• Previous experience managing an HR function
• Proven experience of contributing to strategy and business plans
• Excellent working knowledge of financial issues for charities (e.g. VAT, SORP reporting requirements and restricted fund accounting)
• Good working knowledge of law and practice relating to HR, Data Protection, and Health and Safety, and other relevant areas
• Experience of working with a board of trustees in the charity sector
• Strong track record in staff management and getting results out of others

 • Excellent problem solving skills.
• Excellent numeracy skills, with ability to analyse and interpret complex information
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to communicate complex
information in an accessible way
• Ability to think strategically and creatively
• Confident and able to work under pressure to prioritise and meet deadlines
• Committed to providing a highly professional service

• Energetic, self-motivated and proactive approach
• Confident communicator with credibility and gravitas for working at a senior level
• Collaborative approach
• Strong commercial instinct
• Commitment to professionalism and achieving results
• Enjoy working in a small organisation


For more information about the organisation, you are encouraged to visit our website and to view our accounts on the Charity Commission website. For an informal conversation about the post, please contact Dave Fisher, the current part-time Head of Finance on 07741568829 (before 20 December 2018).

To apply for the role, we require a covering letter (max 2 pages) and a CV (max 2 pages). Your covering letter should: explain why you want this job; how your background and experience make you a suitable candidate; and outline relevant skills and knowledge. No agencies please.

Your CV and covering letter should be returned by email to Charlie Cole at no later than 11:59pm on 1st January 2019. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified by phone by/on 4th January 2019. Due to our limited resources we are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

There is a three stage interview process, which includes panels with the Senior Management Team, Board of Trustees and the team you would be managing. The first stage interviews will be held on the 8th and 9th of January 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by phone by/on 10th January. The second stage interviews will be held on 15th January. Applicants will be contacted by phone by the end of the day. Third stage interviews will be held on 16th and 17th January. Please keep the interview dates clear in your diary and advise us of any timing preferences, as we are unable to accommodate alternative dates.

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