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Director of Finance and Resources

Solar Aid
Walthamstow, London (Greater) + Hybrid
circa £60,000+
Closing date
1 Jul 2022
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About SolarAid

SolarAid’s mission is to light up every home, school and clinic in Africa by 2030, using safe, clean, solar power. There are 578 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living without electricity. When the sun goes down at night, families are reliant on dangerous and expensive forms of lighting such as candles and kerosene lamps.

SolarAid has played an important role helping to create vibrant and sustainable solar markets across Africa through a trade-not-aid model in rural areas. Through our social enterprise, SunnyMoney, we have distributed over 2 million solar lights, directly impacting over 11 million people across Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Senegal. Families across the continent can now rely on safe, renewable solar lights as the sun sets, but there is still a long way to go to reach everyone who is being left in the dark, and we are stepping up our efforts.

SolarAid is now looking for an experienced Director of Finance & Resources who is passionate about solving energy poverty through social enterprise.

Equal opportunity

SolarAid is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or age.

About the role

The Director of Finance & Resources will be a member of the senior management team of the SolarAid Group, and play a crucial strategic part in leading all Finance, IT and HR related strategy and planning. 

Within a growing and ambitious organisation, the Director of Finance & Resources will play an important role in shaping the strategic direction, decision making and operations.  The role is key in the future success of SolarAid and the SunnyMoney social enterprises. 

The successful candidate will be hands-on and participative and will lead and develop an international team to support the following key areas: finance, business planning and budgeting, human resources, administration and IT.

Your values

You will be expected to uphold the values and ethos of SolarAid in the way we engage with audiences, and inspire support, at all times.

Role Purpose

This role has a strong strategic dimension while also being a hands-on and participative manager to support the strategic financial needs of the organisation, improving business performance, planning and budgeting, ensuring there is effective financial reporting and compliance with all statutory requirements, effective human resource management, administration and IT.

  • Business performance, planning and budgeting  (30%)
  • Strategic  (25%)
  • Financial Reporting  (15%)
  • Statutory Compliance  (15%)
  • HR, Administration and IT (15%)

Specific tasks

Expert Advice and Strategy Development

  • Lead on the development and implementation of a multi-year finance strategy for the SolarAid/SunnyMoney Group, which is aligned with wider organisation strategy
  • Advise the Senior Management Team, Operations Directors and other Heads of Department on financial policies and key financial decisions
  • Represent the group finance function at Board meeting and any Trustee Committee meetings
  • Provide financial oversight to the retendering and negotiating of all key contracts, ensuring compliance with relevant procurement procedures
  • Identify and implement cost saving opportunities to drive efficiency across the SolarAid/SunnyMoney Group

Financial Reporting

  • Oversee and finalise the preparation of quarterly management reporting pack containing management accounts, forecasts and cash flow forecasts and SolarAid funding analysis to the management team and the Board

Budget and Forecasting

  • Lead the annual group budgeting process, working with relevant senior managers, Heads of department and the Board
  • Lead the management of cash flow forecasts across the Group
  • Lead the preparation and consolidation of quarterly P&L forecasts for the Group
  • Support SunnyMoney teams with stock forecasting and ordering

Statutory Compliance

  • Co-ordinate the annual group audit for the SolarAid/SunnyMoney Group, working with the Group Management Accountant and SolarAid Accountant to ensure the group audit is completed and statutory accounts signed off within nine months of the financial year end.
  • Prepare annual consolidated statutory accounts for the group for audit.  Oversee the preparation of the SunnyMoney entity annual accounts. 
  • Responsible for all SolarAid and SunnyMoney Global statutory filings, including Charity Commission Annual returns and Companies House annual returns
  • Working with African Operations, ensure the timely submission of all local statutory filings

Tax Compliance

  • Oversee the processing of group payroll, ensuring all relevant PAYE and employer taxes are filed correctly
  • Oversee the filing of all relevant VAT filings for the group
  • Manage the corporate tax exposure across the group, working with external advisers for any group tax planning needs

Human Resources

  • Working with an external consultant, oversee the on-going development of our staff and HR systems.

Donor compliance and reporting

  • Oversee donor reporting procedures, with respect to all financial reporting requirements
  • Support the fundraising team as required with respect to fundraising bids

Treasury management and foreign exchange

  • Oversee the management of all group funds and bank accounts, developing an investment policy for any surplus funds and monitoring charity and company reserves
  • Expand and refine the foreign exchange management policy of the group, minimising foreign exchange exposure and losses

Finance Systems and Processes and IT

  • Oversee the development and refinement of the SolarAid finance system
  • Oversee the refinement of SolarAid’s IT systems and needs.

Company Secretarial

  • Responsible for submissions to Companies House and Charity Commission
  • Prepare minutes for quarterly board meetings

Personal Specification

Skills and Competencies

  • Qualified Accountant (ACCA, ACA, CIMA CIPFA)
  • Excellent analytical and interpretive ability
  • Experience in the preparation, monitoring and reporting of budget and financial management information
  • Experience in group cash flow management and forecasting
  • Excellent knowledge of accounting principles and best practice, and the preparation and audit of charity and company financial statements
  • Awareness of company secretarial, legal and tax issues relating to companies and ideally charities
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to present to a broad range of people internally and externally, including non-financial specialists
  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, teambuilding, and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent working knowledge of Word and Excel and ideally Quickbooks and Sage or similar accounting package.

Experience – Essential

  • Substantial experience of management within a charity setting and at senior level
  • Experience of developing, delivering and monitoring financial strategy
  • Experience of managing HR in a smaller organisation.
  • Experience of providing financial expertise to Fundraising departments, supporting on the financial aspects of applications, grant management and grant reporting.

Experience – Desirable

  • Highly desirable is experience gained of operations across multiple countries and currencies. Dealing with remote offices and different administrations.
  • Experience of working with social enterprise in an African context

What we offer

  • A tight knit, friendly and close working team
  • Employer pension contributions, with employee contribution
  • Culture where you are encouraged to develop
  • An annual organisational training budget
  • Flexible working-hours.
  • Remote working 
  • 25 days’ annual leave
  • A working environment where new ideas and testing new things is strongly encouraged.

Application Details

Applicants are invited to email their CV and a covering letter to:

Please entitle your email as follows: Director of Finance & Resources + [Name Surname]

Covering letter:  Your covering letter is important.  It should explain how you meet the criteria in this job description and why you are a good fit for SolarAid.  Please use it to let us know your relevant experience and your motivation for applying. 


INTERVIEWS:  Early July 2022

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