Senior Manager, Finance Operations

Glasgow, Glasgow City
26 Feb 2018
06 Apr 2018
Role Classification
Other Professional
Vacancy Type
Finance, Generalist
Contract Type
Experience Level
Manager, Senior Manager

About Ashurst:

Ashurst is a leading global law firm with a history spanning almost 200 years, and clear strategy for our future growth. Our in-depth understanding of our clients and commitment to providing exceptional standards of service have seen us become a trusted adviser to local and global corporates, financial institutions and governments in all areas of commercial law. To find out more please visit here

In order to comply with regulatory and client requirements, Ashurst will undertake appropriate vetting of staff. When applicants accept a job offer, Ashurst, alongside a specialist provider, will undertake professional verification and background checks.  These checks are only undertaken with consent, and in accordance with our legal and regulatory obligations

Business Area – Financial Management

Role: Senior Finance Operations Manager

Location: Based in Ashurst’s Glasgow office. Regular visits to the firm's London office will be required and possibly occasional visits to other offices

Reporting to: Head of Finance Operations

Hours of work - Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 5:30, however will be required to work such hours as are necessary to carry out all duties 

Department/ Role Overview:

To lead the UK based finance operations teams to ensure delivery of an effective service to the business and over time drive through process improvements to increase efficiency and service levels. Able to deputise for the Head of Finance Operations when necessary.

Finance Operations includes financial transaction processing and financial systems responsibilities. Transaction processing is managed through 5 direct reports and has a total current headcount of 32. The financial systems team has global responsibility and is managed through 2 direct reports with a total current headcount of 16. A key deliverable will be the further development of finance operations services in Glasgow to a full optimised shared services model.

Main responsibilities:


  • Provide leadership to the UK Finance Operations teams
  • Identify the skills/experience and quantum required within teams to be able to process transactions accurately in a timely manner in accordance with agreed SLAs
  • Determine the most appropriate team structure such as to ensure effective use of resources to best meet SLAs whilst also providing potential career steps for team members
  • Ensure roles and responsibilities of team leaders and members are defined and communicated clearly
  • Identify where key skills exist within teams and take appropriate action to try to ensure the retention of those skills through the definition of a clear development path and develop succession plans to mitigate the risk to the business through the loss of key people
  • Ensure management team and direct report meetings are held regularly
  • Oversee the annual appraisal process, including appraisal and setting of clear goals for team leaders. Regularly assess performance against goals throughout the year
  • Ensure performance issues are managed promptly and appropriately
  • Recruit effectively to fill vacant positions as they arise
  • Define SLAs which reflect high levels of service but which are also normally achievable
  • Ensure prompt and appropriate response to any service issues
  • Monitor and manage service standards, leading service improvement initiatives when appropriate


  • Work with team leaders to ensure that processes are as effective and efficient as possible the constraints of available systems and resources
  • Work with the Head of Finance Operations to identify the long term process model for each functional area
  • Lead and personally contribute positively to the local delivery of changes to achieve those best practice processes
  • Lead local ad hoc process improvement initiatives and contribute to wider business services improvement projects aligned to the business plan
  • Work with Commercial Finance and Business Managers to identify and deliver operational efficiencies to support the provision of client services and fee earning activities
  • Develop strong working relationships with key stakeholders and manage their needs and concerns
  • Act as a lead in the transfer of any services into the service centre

Internal controls

  • Ensure there is appropriate segregation of duties and other internal controls are effective and operational
  • Ensure controls are in place and operational to meet SRA Accounts Rules requirements
  • Ensure controls are in place to provide assurance on the accurate capture of output and input VAT on transactions
  • Act as bank signatory and payment authoriser/releaser

Risk management:

  • Ensure that all activities and duties are carried out in full compliance with our regulatory requirements and internal policies
  • Apply effective risk identification and management procedures across financial systems and processes. 

Essential skills and experience:

  • Proven ability to manage a finance function of comparative size and complexity
  • Significant process improvement experience of a substantial scale
  • Excellent communicator at all levels, both orally and in writing
  • Tactful and diplomatic and able to maintain team working and interpersonal skills even under pressure
  • Role model to all members of the finance function, able to lead through times of uncertainty and change, inspiring trust and confidence
  • Effective planning and time management skills
  • Strong negotiation and persuasion skills
  • Appreciation of cultural sensitivities and differences in working across boundaries

Desired skills and experience

  • Preferably, experience of managing a Finance team within a shared services operation and ideally through its development and optimisation
  • Experience in utilisation of Lean Six Sigma methodology
  • Preferably professionally qualified accountant
  • A strong understanding of a professional services environment
  • Strong working knowledge of VAT

Our Culture is shaped by our core values of Collaboration, Excellence, Innovation, Integrity and Accountability.  They guide how we relate with each other, our clients, our behaviour.