Job vacancy: Finance Manager

The successful candidate will lead the organisation's day-to-day financial management.

20 December 2019
Location openDemocracy office based in Dalston
Salary £37k-£42k based on experience
Contract 40 hours (full-time)
Holidays 25 days per annum plus statutory holidays
Pension Currently 4% employee contribution, 4% employer contribution
Reports to Chief Operating Officer

openDemocracy is a global, non-profit media platform that challenges power and inspires change through tenacious reporting, thoughtful analysis and democratic debate.

Our recent investigative reporting on ‘dark money’ and on the global threats posed to human rights have collectively triggered law change, parliamentary probes and criminal investigations, and have been picked up across the global media.

Our site currently attracts more than 8 million visits per year, and we host a diverse range of independent projects – including those publishing in Russian, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese as well as English.We collaborate with a rich and diverse network of NGOs, media, think tanks, policymakers, activists and academics across the world; and we have an open submissions policy committed to diversity of voice and perspective.

The Finance Manager role will report to the Chief Operating Officer. This role is responsible for financial control and reporting at openDemocracy. 

Purpose of the role & key responsibilities

Responsible for financial accounting as follows 

  • Lead the day-to-day financial management of openDemocracy, including annual audit and quarterly budget re-forecasts
  • Donor reporting and delivering management accounts
  • Record keeping and annual audits 
  • Arranging payments and responsible for checking invoices on expenditure, including online banking input prior to authorization
  • Financial accounting which includes maintenance and reconciliation of control accounts. Responsible for VAT reporting with partial recovery.
  • Payroll and pension processing: being the focal point for payroll and pension processing, working in close collaboration with the operations manager.   
  • Working closely with the operations manager as part of the finance and operations team
  • Set an example for financial transparency and integrity across the organisation and independent media as a whole

Main duties

Financial management and reporting 

  • Assist the annual budget-setting process and complete quarterly re-forecasts, working with the COO
  • Prepare and distribute monthly management accounts, including cashflow forecasts, for each section / funding stream and the organisation as a whole, including budget comparisons, analysis of variances and re-forecasts
  • Develop and improve openDemocracy’s financial management and reporting procedures to enable accurate reporting to funders, partners and other stakeholders as required  
  • Support the COO and section editors with preparing funding applications, partnership bids and financial reports, offering sound advice and providing financial sign-off for all applications, bids and funder reports
  • Check and arrange company payments, including payroll, and take the lead in administering openDemocracy’s pension scheme, ensuring ongoing auto-enrolment compliance
  • Lead on financial compliance, including VAT, employment taxes, and corporation tax

Financial controls and statutory compliance 

  • Develop and maintain strong, practical systems of financial control covering the organisation’s financial commitments, authorisation and payment processes, and invoicing and debt collection
  • Monitor the cash position of openDemocracy across multiple currencies, investing surplus funds appropriately and ensuring restricted funds are not used for unrestricted purposes 
  • Prepare year-end figures and oversee the audit process, liaising with the auditors and maintaining a regular dialogue throughout the year. 
  • Ensure financial policies are regularly reviewed and that staff and contractors receive induction and training and adhere to finance procedures 
  • Manage relationships with outsourced service providers
  • Ensure openDemocracy complies with its legal obligations

General duties

  • Adhere to and promote the policy for equality of opportunity in all aspects of work.
  • Maintain the highest professional standards at all times to maintain and improve the reputation of openDemocracy, helping to ensure that all work is delivered within agreed budgets, time scales and specifications.
  • Ensure effective quality control and continuous improvement in all aspects of the work and responsibilities attached to this post.
  • Demonstrate professionalism towards sensitive and confidential information.
  • Act responsibly in terms of the health, safety and welfare of yourself and colleagues, in accordance with openDemocracy policies and procedures.

Person specification

Please provide evidence of:

Essential Skills and Experience

  • Study towards a recognised accountancy qualification or related experience 
  • Broad financial project management experience 
  • Good knowledge of financial reporting requirements, relevant legislation, and accounting best practice
  • Track record of working with multiple budgets and funding sources
  • Experience of Payroll, PAYE and Pensions 
  • Ability to develop and implement monitoring and reporting systems 
  • Excellent working knowledge of Xero or similar accounting system

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Experience of working for an international NGO, media organisation or charity working with multiple funding streams and currencies and/or experience of working in a small, growing organisation

Personal Qualities

  • Understanding of and commitment to openDemocracy’s mission
  • Energy and enthusiasm
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills 
  • High personal integrity

How to apply
Candidates must be able to provide evidence they have the skills, knowledge and experience detailed in the person specification section of the job description.

To apply please submit to Recruiterbox your CV and a cover letter outlining how you fit the criteria for the role as detailed in the job description.

Application deadline: 5pm on Monday 20th January 2020.

openDemocracy is an equal opportunities employer and we are determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable. This is a full-time position, but we are open to accommodating family-friendly hours and other caring responsibilities.

Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

Join us for a journey through a shadowy world of dark money and disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

Sign up to take part in a free live discussion on Thursday 13 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET

In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.


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