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Financial Controller

Born Free Foundation
Flexible remote with regular presence at our office in Horsham, West Sussex
Salary up to £40,000 FTE depending on experience
Closing date
18 Jun 2021
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Job Details

About the Charity

Born Free works tirelessly to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs.  As a leading wildlife charity, we oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild.

We promote Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of wildlife, especially threatened species in the wild, and to protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. We seek to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world.

Set up initially as Zoo Check in 1984 by Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna and their son Will Travers, Born Free has worked tirelessly for nearly 37 years to prevent captive animal suffering and phase-out zoos.  Will continues to lead the organisation as Executive President, and Virginia remains active on the Board of Trustees, working closely with the team to share our vision and programmes on public forums. 

The Opportunity

We are recruiting a credible and motivated Financial Controller with a proven track record of delivering to deadlines in a busy and dynamic environment. This is a varied role that will work across the financial and management accounting disciplines. It would particularly suit an individual looking to take the next step in their career by building up a wide base of experiences.

The Role

The Financial Controller is an essential role that will ensure financial data and monitoring is robust and that the charity and its trading subsidiaries satisfy reporting and regulatory requirements. The successful candidate will have a “can do” attitude and will work well with colleagues across other disciplines to ensure processes are fit for purpose, efficient and understood.

Key tasks will include:

  • Working with the Legacy Officer and Accounts Assistant to ensure the integrity of all data held within the finance system (currently Sage 50);
  • Understand the data flows into the finance system and review opportunities to use automation and improve the efficiency and robustness of processes for recording financial transactions. Undertake the planning and project management of implementing new systems and processes;
  • Ensuring the correct recognition and treatment of accruals and prepayments and restricted funds, and that transactions are accounted for in the correct legal entity. Performing month end and year end procedures;
  • Production of monthly management accounts for UK and overseas branches, including liaison with budget-holders to ensure variances are understood;
  • Monitor the cash flow and in liaison with the Chief Financial Officer, plan for transfers to/from the investment portfolio;
  • Maintenance of the fixed asset register;
  • Preparation of the monthly payroll, including liaison with our outsourced HR, Payroll and Pension functions;
  • Preparation of the quarterly VAT return;
  • Support the preparation of the annual budgets and regular forecasts;
  • Support the annual audit of accounts and implementation of auditor recommendations;
  • Preparing payments in both the UK and overseas.

The successful candidate should ideally demonstrate the following attributes: 

  • Qualified CCAB or part-qualified with substantial, relevant experience
  • A good understanding of the rules regarding Charity accounting and the Charities SORP;
  • A sound appreciation of the principles of VAT;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build constructive relationships with colleagues from different disciplines and to explain complex financial issues to colleagues from a non-financial background;
  • Proficient use of Excel;
  • Experience of using accounting packages, ideally Sage 50;
  • Quick to understand systems and data flows;
  • Experience of designing and implementing internal financial controls;
  • Ability to plan, prioritise and deliver to tight time frames and to work intuitively with a “can do”, entrepreneurial approach, in a small, fast-paced and dynamic team;
  • Excellent financial/business acumen and numeracy skills with strong attention to detail; comfortable with data and budgetary control;
  • A strong appreciation of the role of finance within the wider organisation and how it can support sound decision-making;
  • A strong empathy and engagement with the work of the Foundation, and the desire to drive it forward, bringing energy and determination to its mission;
  • Decisive and straightforward; low ego and a team player; high levels of drive and energy; a sense of humour; honesty, integrity and reliability;

The candidate will report directly to the Chief Financial Officer and work closely with the Accounts Assistant and Legacy Officer. This role has no direct reports.    

Our excellent benefits package includes opportunities for continuous professional learning, a generous annual leave entitlement, working from home with regular team meetings (Covid permitting) to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, wellbeing support, and a competitive pension.

Born Free is an Equal Opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates, regardless of age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital/civil partnership status, or pregnancy and maternity. We welcome requests for flexible working.

Applications are by a CV with a covering letter that should demonstrate your skills, experiences and attributes that make you suitable for the role. Your CV and covering letter should be sent to by 5pm 18th June 2021.

Important: Please include “Financial Controller Application” in the subject of your email. 

Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert at any time.  Born Free politely requests no contact from recruitment agencies or media sales. We do not accept speculative CVs from recruitment agencies nor accept the fees associated with them.

If you do not receive an invitation for an interview by 23rd June, then you have unfortunately not been shortlisted.  The first round of interviews are scheduled to take place week commencing 28th June.  The interviews will take place on Zoom. 

Thank you for your interest. 

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