Head of Finance & Administration, University of Warwick Science Park (UWSP) – Coventry.

Role Overview.

To be a key member of the UWSP Senior Management Team with specific responsibility for:

  • Supporting the strategic and operational financial management of UWSP and its subsidiary and associate companies
  • Steering and controlling of financial policy and operations within UWSP, including under the
    Management Agreements for additional Innovation Centres and University third party lettings
  • Leading the Finance team to optimise commercial performance
  • Ensuring efficient and effective administrative processes are in place taking responsibility for and overseeing the preparation of quarterly accounts, five-year plans, statutory accounts and board reports for UWSP Ltd and its subsidiary and associate companies
  • Oversight of the University lease process, including the preparation of quarterly accounts and five-year plan.
  • Contributing directly to the provision of excellent service performance and business development
    across all UWSP operations.

Responsible for line-managing:

  • Management Accountant (FA6)
  • Senior Finance Assistant x3 (FA4)
  • Dotted line responsibility for Property Surveyor (FA6)

Duties and responsibilities.

  1. As a member of the UWSP Senior Management Team, support the strategic and operational decision making and provide financial and business expertise (including development of business plans). Support will include advice and challenge on projects and new initiatives within the Science Park, as well as playing a key role in developing the master-plan and business case for the creation of a future Science Park.
  2. Managing the preparation of accounts and providing strategic financial expertise,
    advice and oversight on all aspects of Science Park activities, including:  Offering advice and direction on all financial matters, including pricing and
    utilisation, capital expenditure, restructuring, cost control, tendering/purchasing,
    financial control and performance indicators. Identifying opportunities for performance improvement and agreeing on the strategic management of the businesses. Advising on strategic projects including preparation of business plans, advising on
    new commercial ventures and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of new
    business proposals by creating and presenting complex financial models. Responsible for ensuring the completeness, accuracy and timeliness of financial
    accounts, financial forecasts and financial reports; this includes financial accounts, five year plans, quarterly management accounts and analysis reports for the Boards of the subsidiary companies, and other ad hoc reports. Responsible for ensuring value for money around all expenditure (including
    maintenance & renewals expenditure). Identifying and making recommendations
    to implement cost savings as needed. Ensuring that appropriate financial controls are in place, complying with financial
    regulations and procedures, audit and regulatory requirements of external bodies
    (ERDF) and ensuring that all coding and processing (including VAT) is accurate and timely to underpin management reporting. Ensuring the production of internal management reports for UWSP managers in
    order to monitor the performance of their departments, recommending appropriate action as required. Responsible for balance sheet management, including controlling fixed assets and
    depreciation balance sheet accounts, managing cash flow and reconciling balance sheet accounts to ensure integrity. Overseeing the preparation of service charge budgets and accounts in a timely
    manner in accordance with RICs guidance. Responsible for ensuring timely and accurate quarterly accounts are prepared for
    Blythe Valley Innovation Centre and managing the preparation of the three-year
    budget. Leading the continuous development of efficient administrative support functions
    within UWSP, in support of effective delivery of all business activities, alongside financial, operational and compliance team activities.
  3. Oversight of the University lease process, including liaising with solicitors, Estates
    department and departmental contacts. Managing the preparation of quarterly accounts, forecasting and five year plan of this activity
  4. Oversight of Wellesbourne accounts including advice on service charge. In conjunction with the Estates finance team, responsible for quarterly reporting, forecasting and five year plan of this activity. Advise on and implement cost control procedures to minimise budgetary overspends.
  5. For relevant statutory entities (currently four) associated with businesses: Production of the statutory accounts, audit files and tax returns in conjunction with the UOW Tax team, and external audit files; Information, guidance and papers for statutory boards and members thereof; Liaising with external auditors and other advisors as appropriate; and
  6. Leading, motivating and directing the Finance team within UWSP.
  7. Appropriate deputising for the Chief Operating Officer/Facilities & Buildings Manager as requested, plus undertaking other duties and responsibilities commensurate with the grade of the post as and when directed by the Group Finance Director or Chief Operating Officer.

Experience and skills required.


  • A good honours degree of equivalent experience
  • A recognised accountancy qualification (CCAB) with a dedication to continuing professional development as required.

Previous Experience

  • Significant post qualification experience of working within an accounts function and working at a senior management level – to include experience of management and statutory accounts production and knowledge of statutory accounts disclosures (essential)
  • Proven experience in a commercial environment and of business development, including accounting treatment for commercial leases, grant accounting and eligibility (essential)
  • Experience of costing & evaluation (essential)
  • Experience of IT systems, with excellent spreadsheet skills and experience of large-scale financial management systems (ideally SAP) (essential)
  • Significant experience of assessing and implementing financial control and other systems (essential)
  • Experience of leading, managing and influencing teams with diverse requirements (essential)

Knowledge and Skills

  • Exceptional abilities in cross department working (essential)
  • Ability to act at a high level in a business and maintain a very clear understanding of multi-faceted financial issues, ideally gained through wide and extensive experience in a complex environment (essential)
  • Excellent working knowledge of UK and international accounting standards (SSAPs and FRSs) (essential)
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and project management skills and the ability to manage change (essential)
  • Proven experience of reviewing legal contracts and negotiations (desirable)
  • A thorough understanding of business and the ability to analyse and assess new opportunities, identifying and managing risk (essential)

For further details and to apply for this vacancy visit the SEARCH HIGHER website

Applications close on 17th January 2021

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