Head of Finance - Bellevue Children's Academy, Willows Preparatory School

Bellevue, Washington, United States
Competitive salary
26 Oct 2020
27 Oct 2020
Job role
Head of finance
Experience level
International Schools Partnership

Head of Finance - Bellevue Children's Academy, Willows Preparatory School

(Part of the International Schools Partnership )

Location - Bellevue, Washington, USA

The Role:

Bellevue Children's Academy (BCA), Willows Preparatory School (WPS) are looking for a Head of Finance position, to cover all three schools. This position will have a direct reporting line into the Heads of the schools and a dotted reporting line into the Regional Financial Controller, based in Dallas. The individual will be responsible for ensuring all financial and tax information is controlled and accurately reported, in accordance with strict deadlines, to satisfy all internal and external reporting requirements for the legal entities of each school and to support the Heads of the schools, in the day to day financial operations and commercial activities of the school.

Main Responsibilities:

1. Statutory and Management Reporting
  • Review and control to ensure financial transactions are recorded accurately in the ISP Group transactional and consolidation system NetSuite, in accordance with IFRS reporting standards
  • Produce timely financial statements, P&L, Balance sheet and cash flows, in a statutory format, including regular reconciliation to internal management reporting
  • Conduct quarterly reviews of balance sheet movements, providing useful explanations for significant variances
  • Review intercompany and intracompany balances, to ensure full counterparty elimination, where possible, on regional and group consolidation
  • Support the Regional Head of Financial Planning & Analysis in the annual budget and bi-annually P&L forecasting process for the schools
  • Support in the review of the monthly actual variances to the schools' budgets and provide useful explanations, to drive corrective action, if needed
  • Support in the data collection and review of monthly KPI data for the schools' enrollments and the schools' headcount

2. Control and Compliance
  • Regular balance sheet reconciliations
  • Implement internal financial processes and procedures to ensure the accurate recording of all revenue and expense transactions for the schools
  • Establish and maintain a robust internal control and compliance environment to ensure external and internal reporting is free of material misstatement
  • Establish and maintain strong control around credit collections for the schools
  • First point of contact with Group and local auditors for the legal entities
  • Monitor and follow up on external audit issues and implement recommended improvements
  • Ensure accounting treatment is consistent and aligned with Group accounting policies. Where there are local differences, maintain a reconciliation of locally reported figures to Group reported
  • Ensure all external statutory, financial and tax filings are made in accordance with required deadlines

3. Cash Flow and Capex
  • Responsible for ensuring that local cash management is optimised
  • Record and report local bank balances regularly
  • Cash pooling is in place where possible
  • Record capital expenditure for all major projects and assess the impact of significant cash outflows on cash forecasts
  • Working with the Regional Financial Controller, to ensure that cash flows are forecast accurately, and that surplus cash is repatriated to the UK
  • Assist in the completion of Capex investment papers, providing financial and analytical input
  • Conduct regular review of actual expenditure for capital projects versus approved budget spend and highlight deviations

4. Tax
  • Assist to develop strategies, policies and plans to ensure that the school is fully tax compliant
  • Ensure the policy, procedures and practices relating to taxation comply fully with all legal and regulatory requirements and codes of practice /conduct
  • Liaising with external tax advisors as appropriate
  • Maintain a good technical knowledge of relevant tax policies and processes

5. Commercial Support
  • Develop a business partnering approach, providing financial guidance and analysis to the school management, to support the school in its ongoing development
  • Conduct regular financial review meetings with the school management to drive understanding and accountability of the school's performance
  • Provide analysis and support to evaluate strategic, tactical and operational initiatives, to drive sound business decisions for the school
  • Evaluate business and financial risks and opportunities and report any possible impact to the delivery of targets

6. Systems
  • Champion the use and full adoption of the ISP core accounting platform, NetSuite in the school and support other key ISP core system implementations, such as Engage Billing module.
  • Provide feedback, suggestions and input from the school, to help develop the systems and facilitate efficient and consistent finance processes and reporting across the school.

7. Team Leadership
  • A key finance representative for the Bellevue Children's Academy (BCA), Willows Preparatory School (WPS) and Willows High School and for the wider regional US Finance team
  • Ensure that finance resource and capabilities, in the school, are continually assessed and improved, as required

The School

The Bellevue Children's Academy (BCA), Willows Preparatory School (WPS) and Willows High School are three schools united by one philosophy. Beginning in 2000, BCA started to push the boundaries of early education and elementary education. As an International Baccalaureate® World School, BCA provides an educational framework that fosters the development of the whole child.

Willows Preparatory School (WPS), an International Baccalaureate® World School, offers a middle school program for students in grades six through eight. The success of both BCA and WPS schools has led to the addition of a new high school, which opened its doors in September 2019 to its first freshman class.

All three schools provide a dynamic learning environment where students are able to explore and be challenged in multiple areas of interest, while being comfortable to freely engage in academic pursuits with independence and collaboration.

The Company

The International Schools Partnership (ISP) is creating a leading learning-centered international family of private schools that provide high quality education for 2-18 year-old students. ISP has grown rapidly over the past 6 years and is now one of the largest schools' groups globally and currently has 45 schools, delivering multiple curricula and building on local brands and reputations, operating in 6 regions with ambitions to be 75-100 schools within 5 years. With over 45,000 students and 7,000 staff, it is a complex group and one which is growing very rapidly both through investment in its existing schools, opening new schools and through acquiring schools.

The North America region currently has 6 school sites, offering a combination of international and national curriculum to nearly 2,400 students across 6 schools in the USA.

ISP's vision is to be an international schools' group of quality and scale recognised across local communities and the education sector for amazing learning, ambition and growth. We believe that successful schools are the ones that put learning first; always aiming to create rounded individuals that are able to forge successful careers and lives in a rapidly changing world. Progressively, our goal is to position our schools as the leading School of Choice in their local area.

All our schools:

Help children and students learn to levels that amaze them.

Inspire children and students to be successful now and equip them to be successful later.

Are truly international, working in partnerships within and across regions, cultures and languages.

Aim to be the schools of choice for children, students and their families, wherever we are.


  • Qualified accountant, with experience of a similar role in a commercial environment, ideally reporting into a regional or overseas Head Office, in either the USA or UK
  • Fluent in English
  • Comfortable in setting policy and direction and influencing others in the achievement of objectives
  • Strong understanding of tax, statutory accounting and financial control best practices for the region
  • Knowledge of IFRS
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships at senior levels of the school and wider organization and influence key stakeholders.
  • Strong people management skills and emotional intelligence
  • Ideally will possess some international experience
  • CPA Preferred
  • 10 years of progressive experience
  • Some travel may be required