Head of Operations

Location: Northfields (Piccadilly Line)
Deadline: 11 December 2017
Salary: £28,500
Hours: 35 hours
Contract length: Permanent

We are currently looking for an exceptional individual to become Head of Operations in London’s newest and most ambitious Law Centre.
The Head of Operations will be responsible for the smooth operational running of the Law Centre.  This is a hands-on role that offers responsibilities across a wide range of activities, and the opportunity to make a major contribution to a growing and dynamic organisation.
Ealing Law Centre was set up in 2013; since then we’ve gained an outstanding reputation for our work on housing, immigration and welfare rights   We challenge disadvantage, poverty and exclusion by providing our clients with expert legal services free of charge, by undertaking strategic litigation to improve or change the way the law is administered, and by developing partnerships with other voluntary sector agencies to provide services, and to take on cases which require specialist legal expertise to resolve them.
Responsibilities of the post will cover all aspects of the organisation, to ensure that ELC has the best business processes and working environment possible. They include developing the financial and operational management and business efficiency of the organisation, overseeing effective reporting and driving the continuous improvement of systems to make us better able to fight poverty and exclusion.
The Head of Operations will be managed by the Supervising Solicitor. The primary duties and responsibilities are set out below. This is a multi-faceted role and the candidate will be able to tackle a range of tasks as part of a small dynamic team

Further details and an application pack are available by emailing info@ealinglaw.org.uk

Contact address: 210 Northfield Avenue, London, W13 9SJ

The Law Centre’s office is located 2 minutes from Northfield station on the Piccadilly line with easy access to Central London (30 minutes)

Job Description

Primary duties and responsibilities will include:
1. Overall management of the Law Centre
• Being a member of ELC’s Management Team – led by the Supervising Solicitor, and with other solicitors and the Finance Officer – to develop and update plans and budgets for ELC’s development and ongoing operations for approval by The Board, and monitor their implementation.
• Managing and supervising ELC’s front office staff, interns and volunteers, ensuring that there is rota cover during business hours, and overseeing the work of the Finance Officer.
• Attending meetings of ELC’s Board of Trustees, producing reports for The Board and presenting them at Board meetings as necessary.

2. Project Development, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting
• Helping to represent ELC on borough-wide forums and other external bodies to ensure that it stays in touch with new developments and needs, and can forge appropriate partnerships.
• Assisting the Supervising Solicitor, other staff and Trustees in setting up new projects, including activity and timeline planning and finalising contracts with funders.
• Overseeing and developing key information management tools to collect information about ELC’s activities, the demand for its services and client satisfaction.
• Analysing information collected in order to monitor ELC’s performance against stated aims and objectives and to evaluate its impact, and communicate this to the Supervising Solicitor and Trustees.
• Assisting the other staff to prepare progress and evaluation reports for the funders on specific projects.

3. Office management
• Improving ELC’s operational systems, processes and policies; in particular: compliance, management reporting, information flow, business processes and organisational planning.
• Overseeing day-to-day operations including premises, equipment, IT systems, ordering supplies, procurement. and workflow management.
• Establishing a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations.
• Managing the organisation’s premises, ensuring that issues arising with the premises are reported and repairs are carried out promptly. Ensuring that the office facilities are fully functional including printers and photocopiers.
• Identifying new premises for the organisation and overseeing the office move and set-up.

4. Human resources
• Assisting the Supervising Solicitor with the recruitment of new staff.
• Overseeing the implementation of HR policies, procedures and practices, including leave recording, and ensuring that all necessary personnel records and documents are kept.
• Managing ELC’s relationship with its outsourced payroll supplier and ensuring that payroll instructions are issued and authorised as laid down in ELC’s Financial Regulations
• Coordinating the organisation’s volunteer programme.
• Ensuring that all staff and volunteers are properly inducted when joining Ealing Law Centre and identifying ongoing training needs and resources.
• Working with the Supervising Solicitor and Trustees to ensure that clear, realistic and achievable targets and objectives are set for staff and that they are reviewed regularly.
• Monitoring staff performance against targets on an ongoing basis and reporting back to the Supervising Solicitor and the Trustees
• Coordinating and scheduling staff appraisals, training and development.

5. Financial management
• Assisting the Management Team with financial planning, management and reporting and the implementation of the operational business plan.
• Working with the Management Team to develop and document financial policies, systems and controls.
• Overseeing systems for monitoring and accounting for all income and expenditure; ensuring that accurate records and accounts of monies claimed and held by the organisation on all cases are maintained, and that client ledgers and the Client Account are maintained in line with the Solicitors Accounts Rules.

• Working with the Finance Officer to ensure that financial systems are effective and up to date and that the required data and reports are produced for the Management Team and Board.
• Working with the Finance Officer and Independent Reviewer to ensure the year-end financial accounts and independent review process is completed satisfactorily and delivered on time.
• Using key information management tools (i.e. case management system and financial software) to collect and communicate financial information.
• Measuring performance against budgets and using information to improve productivity
• Ensuring the most effective use of resources and identifying areas for cost reduction or cost avoidance along with process and functional improvement.
• Ensuring that all of the processes and procedures laid down in ELC’s Financial Regulations are implemented.   These include:-
 Ensuring that invoices are raised promptly and that amounts due are received in full and without delay.
 Liaising with the solicitors and finance officer to ensure that the monthly Controlled Work report is submitted to the Legal Aid Agency and that all the claimed amounts are identified and posted to the correct accounts and ledgers;
 Maintaining ledgers of income due and received from the LAA
 Maintaining records of disbursements made on behalf of clients, and amounts claimed and received
 Oversee the billing process of all closed files to ensure that closed files are claimed from the Legal Aid Agency without delay and that all other files are closed and assessed and monies claimed promptly;
 Ensuring that all items of income and expenditure are recorded on Quick Books and – where they relate to cases – on Advice Pro
 Dealing with suppliers, insurers etc and negotiating new contracts or renegotiating existing ones as required;  maintaining ELC’s list of Approved Suppliers
 Reconciling ELC’s bank accounts, liaising with the bank over queries and changes to authorisations and managing on-line banking facilities as appropriate
 Liaising with the Supervising Solicitor to assess the likely amount and timing of income from litigation activities, and using this information to update ELC’s cash flow forecast
(NOTE:  the implementation of the financial procedures will be carried out on a day to day
basis by the Finance Officer;  the role of the Head of Operations is to oversee the Finance Officer’s work and ensure that all of the required processes are carried out – however, the Head of Ops will need to be familiar with them, and be able to carry them out in the event of the Finance Officer’s absence)

6. Quality Assurance and Compliance
• Working with the Supervising Solicitor and Trustees to ensure compliance with the requirements of the LAA, SRA, SQM, Charity Commission, Companies House and other regulatory bodies
• Maintaining the Office Manual and associated policies and ensuring that they are up to date and reviewed as appropriate
• Monitoring compliance of all individuals, and taking appropriate action to remedy any deficiencies.
• Coordinating staff and trustee meetings.

7. Risk and Information Management
• Maintaining a risk register and working with the Supervising Solicitor and Trustees to manage risk.
• Implementing appropriate policies to ensure organisational compliance with data protection regulations, including data retention and destruction, home and remote working, emails and the internet.
• Ensuring that sensitive and financial information is securely stored and confidentiality and privacy is maintained;
• Maintaining an effective archiving system and ensuring that paper records are stored securely and archived in line with that system;
• Ensuring that all relevant insurance is kept up-to-date and that staff understand and work within the scope of the coverage.
PERSON SPECIFICATION

Essential competencies
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Highly organised with strong organisational and planning skills. Able to set priorities, meet goals and evaluate the process and results.
• Confident, self-reliant, capable of taking the initiative and working autonomously.
• An eye for detail and concern for accuracy, together with the ability to think strategically.
• Resilient and calm under pressure.
• Professional manner, able to develop good working relationships with people both internally and externally at all levels. Ability to manage effective collaboration.
• Exceptional problem solving skills. Able to assess problems, identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and resolve the problems.

Essential knowledge and experience
• Strong intellectual ability, as evidenced by a good degree or similar qualifications. A legal background it not required but the candidate must be able to demonstrate that they are able to learn quickly and assimilate complex information quickly.
• Experience of working in an operational leadership role with significant overall responsibility for an organisation’s core functions.
• Proven experience of working to and delivering against targets. Able to demonstrate competence in planning and running services.
• Computer literate, ideally with experience of financial or client management databases
• Knowledge of financial planning, management and processes. Ability to understand accounts and to communicate financial information.
• Experience of managing and working within budgets and making informed decisions about business activities in light of the financial picture.
• Experience of overseeing or supporting organisation’s governance and compliance alongside functions such as HR and Health and Safety.
• Experience of human resources management to include recruitment, performance management, target setting, appraisals and staff training.
• Experience of complex administration and record keeping in an office environment.
• Knowledge of risk management

Desirable knowledge and experience
• An appropriate management qualification and knowledge of leadership and management principles.
• Relevant accountancy / financial qualifications. Knowledge of bookkeeping and preparation of management accounts.
• Knowledge of relevant legislation applicable to charitable / voluntary sector including employment law, health and safety legislation, charity law, HMRC, companies law.
• Knowledge of the Legal Aid regime and contract compliance.
• Experience of working within commissioning or fundraising environment including direct experience of writing formal proposals or completing monitoring reports

Finance Officer (part-time)

Location: Northfields (Piccadilly Line)
Deadline: 11 December 2017
Salary: £27,000 – £30,000 pro rata, depending on experience
Hours: 14 hours
Contract length: Permanent

We are currently looking for an exceptional Finance Officer to become the head of finance operations in London’s newest and most ambitious Law Centre.

Key objectives of the role:
• To manage, maintain and develop comprehensive financial records and systems for Ealing Law Centre
• To liaise with the appointed Independent Reviewer to complete the process of producing ELC’s annual accounts;
• To prepare financial reports for Board meetings;
• To prepare other financial information as required.

Role Outline
1. Finance
• Maintain the accounts and financial records of Ealing Law Centre in a correct manner and in accordance with ELC’s Financial Regulations and statutory requirements;
• Process all transactions, payments, income and regulatory returns in a timely and efficient manner and ensure that all transactions are recorded on QuickBooks and, where they relate to cases, on Advice Pro;
• Reconcile ELC’s bank accounts, including Client account, liaise with the bank on BACS payments, changes to authorisations and payment instructions,  and manage on-line banking facilities as appropriate;
• Maintain individual ledgers on the Client Account for all cases where payments of client funds are received; ensure that funds received on behalf of clients are paid out to the appropriate recipients as quickly as possible so as to minimise the average balance on the Client Account
• Process all legal aid transactions, undertake the monthly Controlled Work report to the Legal Aid Agency;
• Maintain ledgers of income due and received from the LAA, and records of any changes made by the LAA to sums claimed;  reconcile any unidentified payments received from the LAA with ELC’s records
• Work with Solicitors to ensure that closed files are claimed from the Legal Aid Agency without delay and that all other files are closed and assessed and monies claimed promptly;
• Liaise with the Supervising Solicitor to assess the likely amount and timing of income from litigation activities, and use this information to update ELC’s cash flow forecast
• Ensure that invoices are raised promptly and that amounts due are received in full and without delay.
• Prepare monthly Management Accounts and a detailed cash flow forecast to ensure that all payments and other obligations are met in full as they fall due;
• Ensure that all invoices received from suppliers are recorded on the accounting system as soon as they are received, notify the relevant members of staff, ensure that payment documentation is properly prepared and authorised, and that payment is made within the period allowed for payment
• Deal with all supplier enquiries, answering calls and emails promptly;
• Operate a system to control disbursements, matching payments to income receipts and ensuring that, where Payments On Account can be claimed, this is done at the same time as the expenditure is incurred
• Reconcile Advice Pro to QuickBooks
• Process staff expense claims
• Operate ELC’s petty cash system, balance the petty cash ledger at least once a month, and post petty cash payments to the main accounts system
• Provide timely and accurate information to ELC’s outsourced Payroll provider to ensure staff salaries are paid on the due dates, and that monthly and annual salary information is provided to all staff as appropriate;
• Liaise with statutory authorities on all tax matters, including VAT, PAYE and National Insurance;
• Monitor income and expenditure against budgets – liaising with key staff – and meet regularly with other staff and the finance committee to review this;
• Work with the Supervising Solicitor and other members of the Management Team to prepare a detailed Annual Budget for approval by the Trustees, and to update it as necessary;
• Manage the processes for making regular claims to HMRC for Gift Aid income and issue letters/emails to donors as appropriate;
• Maintain ELC’s financial procedures manual, ensure that these procedures are complied with, and train other staff to follow the financial procedures.
2. Financial Accounts and Audit
• Liaise with and prepare information required by the appointed Independent Reviewer for the completion of the annual accounts and independent review;
• Make timely returns of the annual accounts as required by the Charity Commission and Companies House.
3. Board meetings
• Prepare and present papers including management accounts, cash flow forecast and budget preparation and monitoring and any other financial reports required by ELC’s Board of Trustees.
4. Other Financial matters
• Assist ELC staff by preparing financial information to support funding applications, and provide financial reporting information which may be required by funders, or in respect of other types of income or payment made to the charity.
5. Administrative Duties
• To carry out a share of administrative tasks including those detailed in ELC`s Quality Manual.
• To undertake any other duties as may be reasonably required.

All employees have a duty to:
• Ensure that their work conforms to SRA, SQM and the LAA Quality Assurance standards and other Ealing Law Centre approved policies and procedures
• Work within the spirit of our Equal Opportunities Policy at all times
• Take due care of their own Health and Safety and that of others in their working environment

Person Specification
Essential:
• Demonstrable knowledge and experience of financial and accounting matters;
• Experience of dealing with auditors and a clear understanding of their requirements;
• Excellent IT skills with extensive experience of working with Excel, Microsoft Office applications and accounting packages (ideally Quickbooks);
• Excellent communication and service skills and an ability to build good working relationships with colleagues and external stakeholders;
• Excellent organisational skills
• A flexible attitude with the aptitude to work well in a team and under pressure; diligent and with an eye for detail.
• Willingness to attend meetings and events outside office hours.

Desirable:
• Knowledge and experience of charity accounting (SORP) in a ‘not for profit’ organisation;
• Experience of setting up financial procedures and implementing them with other staff;
• Legal aid experience.