Department for Transport

Head of Financial Accounting

Birmingham, Leeds, London
06 Dec 2023
10 Dec 2023
Approved employers
Approved employer
Public sector
Contract type

Salary: £64,108

National Minimum - £64,108 London Minimum - £68,751 Plus £5,000 non pensionable recruitment retention allowance

Location: Birmingham, Leeds, London

We recognise the challenges that people with protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Do you have experience of accounting in a complex environment and the delivery of government accounts? 

Can you use your leadership skills and superb interpersonal skills to build positive, productive relationships?  

Do you enjoy delivering in a complex financial and senior management environment?  

If so, we would love to hear from you! 

This is a fantastic opportunity to lead a diverse team responsible for the Department for Transport’s Annual Report & Accounts which consolidate the Department and its Arm’s Length Bodies, whilst working closely with a wide range of stakeholders across the department, the Government Finance Function, National Audit Office and HM Treasury.

Job description

DFT finance and accounting functions are well-regarded across government, and we have a track record of laying the Accounts before the summer recess with a clean audit opinion. 

You will lead the Department’s Financial Accounts team and deliver the Department’s annual financial statements which report total spending of over £20bn and assets of more than £600bn. The Department’s group accounts are one of the most complex in government, consolidating the Core department with 19 arm’s length bodies including major companies responsible for infrastructure assets such as Network Rail, National Highways and HS2 Ltd, in addition to our agencies and other public bodies. The group accounts apply a number of advanced accounting requirements, including financial instruments, defined benefit pensions and fixed asset valuations. These accounts are laid in Parliament and their publication attracts significant interest. The role would suit an individual with a background of leading an accounts or audit team, who is now looking to step up to apply this experience in a complex and fast-paced accounting environment.  

Due to the breadth of work carried out by the role holder, it is unlikely to experience two days the same.


Include, but not limited to:

Delivery of DfT Group financial accounts

  • You will lead the team responsible for delivering the DfT Group Financial Statements, consolidating the Core department with our 19 arm’s length bodies. You will lead and project manage the production of the group accounts and identify and mange down risks to successful delivery. You will ensure the Department achieves a clean audit certificate and that the Annual Report & Accounts are laid in Parliament before the summer recess.
  • You will have a strong track record in the delivery of financial accounts, applying IFRS and FREM accounting requirements. The Department’s accounts are some of the most complex in central government, applying advanced accounting standards such as IAS 19 (Pensions) and IFRS 9 (Financial instruments) and with a number of complex balance sheet valuations. You will have a good understanding of group consolidation, including intragroup eliminations and accounting harmonisation adjustments.

Leading and managing the financial accounts team

  • You will lead the DFT financial accounts team – a diverse team of 10-12 staff. Your team will include a number of fully qualified financial accountants, part-qualified accountants, and more junior colleagues at an early stage of professional qualification.
  • You will directly line manage 3-4 Grade 7 staff, who in turn will manage more junior members of the financial accounts team.

Developing and managing key stakeholder relationships

  • You will lead DFT’s relationship with National Audit Office’s financial audit team, ensuring the department meets the deliverables and standards expected of us by NAO.
  • You will lead the Accounts team’s relationships with other divisions in DFT Group Finance, the wider DFT business, and Accounts teams in our arm’s length bodies.

Finance advisory work

  • Working with other specialists across Group Finance, you will support colleagues with understanding the accounting and financial impacts of business proposals, applying IFRS and FREM accounting standards, Consolidated Budgeting Guidance and Managing Public Money guidance to actual business scenarios and providing sound financial advice to key stakeholders. 

Other Group Finance responsibilities

  • You will be a key member of the Estimates working group responsible for delivering technical aspects of the Main Estimate and Supplementary Estimate.
  • You will oversee the Department’s responses to Parliamentary Questions and FOIs relating to financial accounting and departmental spending.

For further information, please see the attached Role Profile.

Additional information

Some travel between DFT locations may be necessary based on business need. We would expect this to be necessary no more than approximately once a month.

A minimum 60% of your working time should be spent at your principal workplace, although requirements to attend other locations for official business, or carry out detached duty in another DfT workplace, will also count towards this level of attendance. 

Person specification

You will come to us with experience of accounting in a complex environment and the delivery of government accounts.

We are looking for a credible, authentic leader, with the ability to engage and motivate those around you and lead an inclusive culture. 

There will be a lot of interaction with a range of different stakeholders, senior management and colleagues across the organisation. We will look to you to confidentially handle these interactions, using your strong stakeholder management skills to engage with a diverse range of people. You will have excellent verbal, written and presentation skills, with the ability to explain complex financial issues to non-specialist audiences. 

You are proactive with a strong record of delivery. You have fantastic planning and organisational skills, often coordinating conflicting priorities delivering to deadlines.


You will be a fully qualified member of one of the five Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies [CCAB] i.e. ACCA; CIPFA; ICAEW; ICAI or ICAS, or CIMA, or a European or international equivalent qualification


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.  

For more information and to apply, please visit our website via the apply button below. 

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