Principal Accountant

Michael Page
£350 - £375 per day
08 Jun 2021
22 Jun 2021
JN -062021-2922425
Niall Kirby
Public sector
Contract type
Full time
Experience level
Qualified accountant

This role covers all aspects of DSG budgeting, allocations to schools, monitoring and reporting. The Principal Accountant sits within a team of a Head of Finance (People) and Schools Finance Manager, whilst line managing two Accountants and an assistant accountant.

Client Details

Our client is a Local Authority within London who are looking to bring on a new Principal Accountant within their Schools service.

The council has been supporting schools in financial difficulty with one day a month support from the finance team. Additionally, they have started to provide a traded service to schools for financial support. There are currently four schools taking their service and they will be expanding their offer. The team also provides business partnering support the Integrated SEND and Early Years services.

Furthermore, the team provides training to school business managers, head teachers and governors. Whilst supporting the council committees, Lead Member for Early Years, Children and Families and the Director of Finance as their s151 officer.


The key responsibilities of the Principal Accountant are but not limited to:

Financial Planning:

  • To support managers to identify and implement savings, value for money improvements.
  • To provide high quality financial information and analysis and undertake complex financial modelling and forecasting to support decision making and budget planning. (eg unit costs, trends, cost driver analysis.)

Budget Monitoring/Financial Reporting:

  • Prepare or contribute to the preparation of high quality financial reports for both finance and non-finance professionals, including members and senior officers to support proactive and informed decision making
  • To be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of effective systems and processes for budget management or financial reporting and control.

Closure of Accounts:

  • To ensure budget holders are aware of the closure timetable and protocols to follow to ensure that the appropriate year-end adjustments (Accruals, etc) are acted on.
  • To satisfactorily respond to complex internal and external audit queries and recommendations in line with the Council's current audit protocol with the aim of continually improving the Council's financial management and reporting.


  • To provide appropriate support, guidance and training to enable officers to carry out their financial accounting responsibilities.
  • Participate in all council staff management and development processes including appraisals, my conversation, finance forum etc.


This Principal Accountant role would compliment a candidate who has:

  • Accountancy Qualified (ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA or equivalent)
  • Previous experience within Public Sector and Government, Local Authority would be beneficial.
  • Ability to work with high level internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to exercise initiative and good judgement in delivering service and Council aims and objectives.
  • Current or Relevant DSG (Dedicated Schools Grant) experience.

Job Offer

  • £350- £375 per day
  • Principal Accountant
  • Local Government
  • Public Sector

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