Director of Finance

Allerton, UK
Closing date
28 Sep 2020

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We are national charity and social enterprise, growing consistently since we formed as a company in 2008. We read with all kinds of people, thousands of them each year, helping them find the friendly hand that is waiting in literature, providing meaning, social connection and personal insight. Since September 2019, when we completed a £5m Heritage Lottery Fund backed refurbishment, we have been headquartered at our organisational home, The International Centre for Shared Reading at Calderstones Mansion, in Calderstones Park, Liverpool.

We are now looking for a dedicated, emotionally intelligent leader with over 5 years people management and high-level financial experience to take on a central role in our senior leadership team. If you understand the social and personal value of the quotations above, the necessity to develop values-led organisational structures, and have masses of energy and creativity to add to our business thinking; if you could be happy putting people before processes when the situation calls for it, and if can demonstrate the technical requirements below, this role could be for you.

The Reader is a fast-paced, creative and demanding place to work. We offer the opportunity to thrive and grow as a creative business leader, with flexible and inclusive working, in a great collegial atmosphere, on a moving and inspiring mission - we want to give everyone something real to take home when day is done - and we're based in Liverpool's most beautiful park. We work to the following values;
  • We read to lead
  • We are kind but bold
  • We make our own pattern in the world
  • We learn new stuff and we learn from our mistakes
  • We love The Reader and take responsibility for it

Reporting to the Founding Director, and working closely with the other members of the Directors Group, the Director of Finance will play a significant role in the delivery of the Reader's Organisational Strategy, across the charity and the wholly owned subsidiary company (Calderstones CIC), with three key areas of responsibility:
  • Leading the development and delivery of the Financial Strategy
  • Oversight of Governance within the organisation
  • Active, creative and values-led member of the 5 strong Directors Group - the charity's senior leadership team.

The Director of Finance will report directly to the Founding Director and also to the Board of Trustees, including the Audit Committee, on a regular basis. We are looking for a leader who works well with others, and wants to take part in the ongoing development of a successful social business. Ideally, we're looking for someone who can also oversee the management of the IT Team, so candidates with experience in this area will be especially welcome. If you are the successful candidate you will:
  • Inspire your departments through strong leadership; coaching and developing staff to achieve their full potential.
  • Encourage innovation, keep processes to a safe minimum and seek best practice from inside and outside the sector.
  • Lead an open, engaged and learning culture with the organisation's values at its core
  • Be an active and engaged member of the organisation's leadership team, collectively responsible for organisational success, achieving our vision and living our values.
  • Build a culture of collaborative working across the organisation, ensuring high quality service for internal and external customers.
  • Lead our strategic approach to finance and resources including annual and longterm budget setting, performance analysis, capital expenditure/investment, risk management, project evaluation and decision making.

The Director of Finance will specifically manage the following areas:

1. Development and delivery of the Financial Strategy Manage and oversee all financial activities for both the Charity and Calderstones Mansion House Community Interest Community (CIC), including:
  • Develop and implement a financial strategy that ensures the organization is financially sustainable, especially in light of current challenging global financial context
  • Lead and support the budgeting process including the business planning cycle
  • Provide overall financial oversight and monitoring, including cashflow, production of monthly management accounts and the annual consolidated accounts
  • Ensure that relevant financial data is presented to the Charity Board, CIC Board, Audit Committee, Directors Group and the wider organisation in a timely manner
  • Lead on liaison with the External Auditors and ensure that accounts are approved by the Board and submitted to both the Charities Commission and Companies House on time
  • Work closely with the Development Team to cost new products and review existing ones
  • Work closely with the Programme Teams to provide financial reporting to funders
  • Provide leadership and training to budget holders
  • Maintain the fixed asset register
  • Oversee and ensure strong processes are in place for monitoring finances
  • Develop strong processes within the social businesses, ensuring financial processes are balanced with wider organisational values
  • Provide specific support on business thinking to the Director of Social Enterprises

2. Governance Governance Activities include:
  • Ensure appropriate governance of The Reader and the CIC, including compliance with regulatory bodies
    • Oversee the process for Charity Commission reporting and ensure the timely production of the necessary returns for the Charities Commission, HM Revenue & Customs, Companies House and other regulators
  • Oversee risk management and legal activities including responsibility for risk register
  • Supervise the production of Board papers, working with Executive Assistant and Company Secretary, liaising with the Director and Chair
  • Oversee management of The Reader's KPIs and measurement reporting process
  • Keep abreast of current Charity Governance and Charity Law updates and ensure these are disseminated to the Trustees and organisation
  • Undertake governance work as requested by Trustees

3. Leadership and Management activities
  • Work with Directors Group on organisational development/ strategic planning
  • Oversee the production of the Operational Plan and reporting
  • Help strengthen systems and processes across the organisation
  • Support the development of the Calderstones site project, including the Capital Project to redevelop the Coach House
  • Ensure compliance with our lease terms at Calderstones including reporting, business rates, and managing the operation of the building's sink fund
  • Any other duties that are reasonably necessary within the role and requested by the Founding Director Person Specification Essential
  • Qualified accountant with at least 5 years' post-qualification experience
  • At least 5 years' experience at a senior management level
  • Excellent relationship-building and communication skills
  • Excellent leadership skills, evidenced in a variety of ways
  • A clear understanding of the aims of the organisation and the challenges that come with achieving these in line with our values
  • A reader who understands the power of literature to change lives
  • A flexible and humble approach to work, demonstrating a willingness to get stuck in where necessary and learn from all successes and mistakes
  • Comfortable reporting to, working with, challenging and being challenged by an engaged and experienced Board of Trustees
  • Evidence of the ability to bring innovative solutions to everyday organisational challenges

How to Apply:
  • Note. Please do not just send in a CV. We will only consider applications that adhere to the following process -
  • Visit our website and select the 'Get Involved Section' where you will be able to view the full job description, recruitment pack and download an application form. Please complete the application form and submit to

Deadline for applications: 9am, Monday 21st September
  • NB: applications arriving after 9am will not be considered
  • A high volume of applications may make replies to everyone impossible. Selection Process: If successful at shortlisting you will be invited to attend a panel interview.

You may be required to complete a selection task at the interview if this is the case you will be informed of this prior to the interview date.

The Reader is committed to providing equality of opportunity to positively encourage and benefit people from all groups. We aim to promote a diverse and inclusive community - a place where we can all flourish and be ourselves. Applicants and employees will be treated fairly and equally irrespective of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, marital status, class, disability, sexuality, age, political or religious beliefs. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, and flexible working whenever possible in all roles, to support staff with varied needs and from different backgrounds
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