Senior Finance Operations Manager

Glasgow, Glasgow City
16 Feb 2021
17 Apr 2021
Role Classification
Other Professional
Vacancy Type
Finance, Generalist
Contract Type
Experience Level
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 Operations

Role: Senior Finance Operations Manager

Location: Based in Ashurst’s Glasgow office. Regular visits to the firm's London office will be required and occasional visits to other offices including the sister office for our shared service function in Brisbane, Australia.

Reporting to: Head of Ashurst Service Central

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.

Due to the global nature of the role flexibility in working hours are required.

Department/ Role Overview:

Lead part of the centralised finance operations team which sits within a newly created shared service function called Ashurst Service Central ("ASC"). The team includes accounts payable, cashiering and working capital management and is currently managed through three (3) direct reports with a headcount of circa 50 across the UK and Australia. A key deliverable over the medium term will be to develop the teams in Glasgow and Australia so that we can support every Ashurst office and realise the full benefits of a centralised global business service offering.

Main responsibilities:


  • Work with ASC management to develop and embed the target operating model
  • Provide leadership to the global ASC Finance team ensuring that all members are engaged and aligned with the firm's objectives
  • Ensure roles and responsibilities for team leaders and members are defined and communicated clearly
  • Establish SMART objectives for team leaders and meet regularly with direct reports to track progress and provide support
  • Identify and develop the skills/experience required within the teams to meet SLAs (qualitative and quantitative) and eliminate single points of failure
  • Recruit effectively to fill vacant positions as they arise and manage performance issues promptly and appropriately
  • Work collaboratively with the Global FM Leadership Team, lawyers, partners and other internal clients to ensure we understand their needs and meet their expectations

Process and Service

  • Act as a lead in identifying and transferring additional services into ASC Finance
  • Set KPIs and define SLAs based on accurate baselines and sensible targets
  • Work with global process owners to ensure that processes are as effective and efficient as possible, identifying and pursuing improvement opportunities in accordance with the ASC Ways of Working (from business case to benefits tracking)
  • Forecast resource and system requirements to ensure we can meet expectations through peak periods of activity and smooth those cycles where possible
  • Ensure prompt and appropriate response to any service issues

Internal controls and risk management

  • Work with the ASC Business Assurance Lead to risk assess your function and embed effective internal controls (incl segregation of duties) and business assurance activities
  • Ensure controls are in place and operational to meet SRA and other relevant accounting rules, including compliance with firm's client monies obligations
  • Ensure controls are in place to provide assurance on the accurate capture of output and input VAT and other relevant tax on transactions
  • Act as bank signatory and payment authoriser/releaser

Essential skills and experience:

  • Proven ability to manage a finance function of comparative size and complexity
  • Proven process improvement and/or change management experience on a substantial scale
  • Excellent verbal and written communicator, inspiring trust and confidence at all levels
  • Excellent customer service attitude and ability to find/create commercial solutions
  • Strong problem solving and decision making skills
  • High personal standards in terms of integrity / trust
  • Effective planning and time management skills
  • Strong negotiation and persuasion skills

Desired skills and experience

  • Leadership experience in a finance shared service environment
  • Proven experience in Accounts Payable and/or client trust accounts
  • Experience in utilisation of Lean Six Sigma methodology
  • Qualified accountant
  • A strong understanding of a law firm or other professional services environment
  • Strong working knowledge of VAT and/or GST

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.