Head of Finance

We're looking for a Head of Finance to lead the financial management of Donald Insall Associates and be a key advisor to board on business matters and management.

Donald Insall Associates is a leading specialist professional architectural services firm established over 60 years ago. The Practice employs 120 people across 8 locations in the UK in the field of Conservation Architecture, Historic Buildings and Planning consultancy. The Head Office is in Marylebone, London W1. Annual turnover in 2019 was £9 million, and work is undertaken on fee based and time structures, tailored to the needs of the Practice’s client base, which includes commercial and public sector organisations and private individuals. The Practice is wholly owned by a trust (the EOT) established in 1991 for the benefit of employees

The Role

This role will lead the financial management of the Practice and be a key advisor to Board on business matters and management. The role involves working with the Chairman, architect/studio leaders, HR, legal and IT support; and leading and managing the day-to-day running of the Accounts team, and will provide company-wide expertise, including in terms of reporting, systems, and supporting ‘customers’ across the Practice.

This is a highly operational, ‘hands on’ role, which will be suited to a commercially aware individual who is able to operate both as team leader, mentor and team player, with strong business acumen and imagination, technical knowledge and IT skills, an approachable personality and the ability to execute to consistently high standards.

It is our intention that the successful candidate will become a key person in driving the business forward and will therefore be encouraged to take initiative and advise Board accordingly.

Duties and responsibilities will be as follows:

Management Accounts and Business Planning

  • Overseeing the production of the monthly management accounts undertaken by the Accounts Assistant, ensuring data is quality checked before distribution to Office Leaders and Directors within specified timescales.
  • Guiding and supporting the team as required on various day-to-day accounts matters, including treasury/bank management and credit control, exercising judgement and knowing when to adopt a coaching or more directional style to solve problems in a timely and pragmatic manner.
  • Overseeing provision of accurate and timely information about project costs to the management teams, which will require close interaction with the Associates running the projects, and processing closure requests.
  • Prepare annual plan/budget/model for the company and each branch, update time cost/’tolerance’ review for each branch to help with maintaining Practice shape and proportion and, with HR and directors (remuneration committee), advise Board on salaries and annual reviews of salaries and charge rates.
  • Review premises’ occupancy, costs and management, and advise and assist as necessary.
  • Monthly payroll – working with HR, including pension, cycle to work, loans etc, and entering payroll journal onto Sage.
  • Overseeing preparation and submission of quarterly VAT returns and PAYE Settlement Agreement and file with HMRC
  • Supporting the ongoing operation and development of accounts system and job costing/time recording systems, ensuring that all information (including within the monthly reconciliation cycle) is as up-to-date as possible.
  • Provide company information for project bid submissions and assist teams with commercial aspects.

Financial Accounts

  • Preparing the Annual Accounts including supporting schedules up to the stage ready for audit including detailed review of the work in progress figures (amounts recoverable on contracts, progress payments in advance, unbilled receivables) and debtors for annual accounts.
  • With consultant, lead on the annual application for R&D tax credits.
  • Liaison with auditors re completion of the annual accounts and corporation tax return.

Other Governance, Compliance and Risk Management Aspects

  • Companies House – filing Confirmation Statements with Companies House.
  • Employee Ownership Trust (via DIA (Trustees) Ltd) – prepare and file accounts with Companies House.
  • Review and renew various insurances, including PI policies with teams’ insurance brokers
  • Appraise and, with legal team, advise on identified potential Practice acquisitions/mergers.
  • Prepare periodic clear, concise and relevant reports for EOT director trustees.

The new Head of Finance will report to the Directors and will attend all important business focussed meetings including Board Meetings. Excellent presentation and personal skills will therefore be required.

Please note that job descriptions are not exhaustive and the duties/responsibilities of the post may be amended from time to time, in consultation with the post holder.


The successful candidate will be a qualified accountant with a practical and proven track record in business. Experience in professional practice or the construction industry would be an advantage, though not essential for the right candidate.


Please email a CV and covering letter to Erica Bomphrey, erica.bomphrey@insall-architects.co.uk stating your notice period and salary expectations.

Donald Insall Associates is an Equal Opportunities employer.