Operational Finance Manager
Pearson is a global education company that helps people around the world to make progress in their lives through learning. With a rich heritage that combines 50 years of experience in publishing with the latest learning technology and digital services, we help people to learn whatever, wherever and however they choose.
We are now transforming Pearson to accelerate our activity in digital learning, education services and emerging markets. This will enable us to make a lasting impact in helping to solve some of the most important challenges in global education. We're here to help people make progress in their lives through access to better learning. By helping them along their journey of discovery and inspiration, we aim to cultivate a lifelong love of learning that enables them to enjoy a robust and fulfilling life – whether that's through employment or simply the ongoing joy of learning.
Pearson Finance Services:
Pearson Finance Services (PFS) is a dedicated captive finance shared service centre established in 2016 as part of a major efficiency programme across Pearson's global finance function. PFS is a central part of the 'FInance Operations' organisation within Pearson which is accountable for the delivery of all finance services, including financial control to the business. The services provided by PFS to its internal customers are Financial Reportng &Control; Financial Planning & Analysis; Project Accounting & Fixed Assets and Operational Finance. PFS receives transactional finance services (P2P, O2C, R2R) from Pearson's Business Process Outsourcing centre in Bangalore, with PFS being responsible for reviewing the quality, completeness and timeliness of these services.Both the Reporting Centre of Expertise and Intelligent Automation functions are also located at the Belfast site.
There are currently over 120 employees in PFS servicing four Senior Vice Presidents (SVPs) across Pearson finance who are accountable for finance services in the UK, North America and a number of Pearson businesses.
Job Title:PFS Operational Finance Manager – Reporting to PFS Delivery Director.
Summary of role:
The Operational Finance team in PFS is responsible for the management and resolution of escalated issues pertaining to the P2P and O2C processes within Pearson. It works closely with the BPO to ensure strong financial controls are maintained within these areas and that payments and receipts are processed accurately and on a timely basis. The manager of the Operational Finance team will:
- Ensure efficient & effective management and delivery to customers of all operational finance activities within the Pearson Finance Services and BPO organisations
- Undertake effective demand management processes to manage, prioritise, delegate and deliver an optimum service to the customer that aligns to their strategic requirements
- Liaise closely with the Relationship Manager group who act as the single points of contact for the Finance Business Partnering Teams;
- Liaise closely with the PFS Governance Manager in order to maintain effective service delivery to PFS from the BPO centre in Bangalore;
- Be a fully integrated member of the PFS leadership team to assist the continuing and effective operations of the organisation
- As a member of the PFS leadership team, work to develop & continuously improve the services performed by PFS, constantly seeking further efficiency & effectiveness through standardisation, simplification & elimination as appropriate.
- Support the Finance Business Partnering Team in educating the business on the Finance Operating Model as required.
- Lead, coach and mentor staff across the organisation
Manage the activities in the running of the Operational Finance team. This includes establishing and managing operating plans and goals for the team, developing work schedules, back–up procedures and managing staffing requirements to ensure maximum and minimum coverage levels at all times;
Ensure that teams function effectively and efficiently.
Continuously control of processes to ensure that the Operational Finance area operates in an efficient and cost effective manner and identify upcoming opportunities for improvement
Develop and manage short and long term operational goals and tactical objectives ensuring customer goals are incorporated
Negotiate and ensure key performance metrics are met and service is delivered to customers as expected
Develop, build and maintain relationships with all finance areas serviced by PFS
Develop, maintain, and update personal knowledge and expertise through appropriate means to ensure understanding of relevant knowledge areas and to identify possible future developments
Monitor, control & identify improvements required to systems, processes and databases to ensure system and data security and ensure they are up to date and comply with current legislation
The manager of the Operational Finance team will display deep technical knowledge in the areas under their remit for example P2P and O2C, including debt management strategies, supplier management and SOX controls across all process areas.The manager will lead a team of analysts and senior analysts to:
- Review and sample test the transactional work performed by the BPO;
- Be a point of escalation for queries unable to be resolved by the BPO, providing prompt resolution to all queries;
- Liaise with the BPM teams and Pearson operations to ensure transactions are processed promptly and queries are resolved;
- Advise on best practice processes and controls across operational finance;
- Keeps abreast of latest developments in the operational finance arena, benchmarks performance against similar shared service organisations;
- Works closely with the Global Capability Leads to implement robust and standardised global processes;
- Works closely with the Controls CoE and the PFS Financial Reporting & Control team to implement SOX controls
- Ability to multi–task; co–ordinating the delivery multiple priorities in parallel across disparate teams and locations
- Identifies areas of risk and escalates appropriately
Ensures the team and self:
- Obtain working knowledge of the finance systems landscape, it's integration and data flows
- Monitor the applications and effectiveness of the finance systems to support the work of the team.
- Proactively share finance systems knowledge across PFS .
Leadership, people management and development
Recruit, retain and motivate staff and build a high performing team
Work collaboratively with the wider senior management team to promote and support the vision of the future PFS organisation.
Lead, inspire and motivate your team to achieve collective and individual success.
- Create a culture of high performance. Set high performance standards, continually review performance, provide feedback and recognise success and achievements. Carry out on–the–job coaching and mentoring to improve performance.
Empower people to take ownership and responsibility.
- Create a culture of continuous learning and development. Identify and plan training needs within the team and ensure each team member has a personal development plan. Provide support for staff to achieve their learning and development objectives and evaluate the impact of learning and development activities on performance.
Encourage people to share their ideas for making improvements to their own and others performance and development.
Manage / own all operational people processes and activities.
Provide ongoing pastoral care and support for teams – including work–life balance and well–being.
- Delivery of all work to agreed key performance indicators.
- All statutory accounts delivered on time, signed and filed with companies house by deadline
- Clean audit close report.
- Process improvement over time including simplification, standardization and elimination, crystallising measurable benefits to the organisation.
- Leverages the work of the Reporting, and Intelligent Automation Centres of Expertise to deliver efficiencies.
- Ownership of service deliverables and outcomes, and a high performing team of analysts recognised for their knowledge and quality output.
- Flexibility to meet tight and changing deadlines
- Operational finance manager with at least 7 years experience in managing medium to large operational finance teams in a shared service environment
- Experience of SOX controls and RACM matrices, and are comfortable operating in that environment;
- Complex systems experience with Oracle R12 experience preferable
- Global /matrix environment experience preferably shared services experience
- Analytical and strong problem solving capability
- Strong at working within agreed constructs and holding those to account who don't
- Experience of managing medium sized teams (15–30)
- Experience of managing multiple internal and external stakeholders in order to deliver against requirements
- Strong commercial acumen and business specific experience