England – Old Plaw Hatch Farm hiring Financial Manager

Sussex, England

Farm Financial Manager – Sharpthorne, East Grinstead

This role is key to the success and growth of the farm by liaising with all five enterprises that are based within the farm.  Working as part of the management team, this position is responsible for coordinating the finances of the farm, supervising the administration team and ensuring that all aspects of the farm are working in collaboration to ensure the success and growth of the business.    It is anticipated that the post-holder will become a director of the farm in the future.

Ideally you will have had previous experience of working  in financial management, business, administrative support, and of course an understanding of a Biodynamic Farm.

This job allows you to make a difference, as you will be part of a team and a community that is committed to farming in a biodynamic way that serves the community; a way of life rather than just a job!

Who we are

Old Plaw Hatch Farm is a 200 acre farm on the edge of the Ashdown Forest near Sharpthorne. It has been a biodynamic farm for over 30 years and is owned by a charitable trust. As tenant farmers our aim is to provide as wide a range of produce as possible, principally to the local community. Our prices reflect the true cost of food production allowing for re-investment towards the sustainability of the farm. We are a mixed farm with a dairy herd providing raw milk, cheeses, yoghurts and cream. We also keep some sheep, pigs and laying hens and meat is processed through our butchery. A garden of 12 acres provides a range of seasonally available fruit and vegetables. Most of this produce is sold through our farm shop with a little being sold through other local outlets.

The farm employs approximately 25 people, some of whom live on site, as well as hosting volunteers.  The farm land and buildings are owned by St Anthony’s Trust and the farm business is owned by Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm, a community-owned co-operative.  The farm comprises five enterprises; the shop, garden, farm (husbandry and arable), dairy and butchery.  The managers of these enterprises form the Management Team, which runs the operations of the farm.

Our Values Statement

“We at Old Plaw Hatch Farm employ a biodynamic agricultural approach that values sustainable husbandry of the land and responsible and loving welfare of the animals. We value the people who contribute to the farm’s day to day activities and seek to create a working environment that honours integrity, peace, happiness, honesty, personal responsibility, passion, love, authenticity, freedom and balance, and which celebrates the beauty of the farm’s natural environment.

We embrace challenges. We highly value our connection to the local community, of which we are all also individual parts, and strive to operate a farm business that is a transparent example of ethical and sustainable agriculture on every level, offering on living display the full cycle of food production. We seek to provide a working farm environment which honours learning, teaching, and personal and community growth and development. We operate an ethical financial approach which is in harmony with our values. We see ourselves as stewards of the farm, embodying man’s sacred relationship to the land, creating a legacy of richness at every level for future generations.”

The role

The key duties are outlined below:

  • Oversee and manage the administration team.
  • Manage the financial and report aspects of the farm to include; preparing and interpreting financial reports, liaising with external accountants, maintaining adherence to financial regulations and legislation.
  • Oversee day to day financial operations such as payroll, invoicing, purchasing, banking etc.
  • Negotiate contracts for utilities, insurance, rates, waste management etc. and submit grant applications.
  • Oversee marketing/promotional material.
  • Liaise with and provide information for stakeholders.
  • Work with enterprise managers to identify areas for improvement and assist where necessary in implementing new processes
  • Provide full and comprehensive administrative support to the farm enterprises and management as appropriate, including managing the office and responding to enquiries.
  • Work to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

The person

This role requires the person to be an excellent proven manager, who has strong communication, negotiation and collaboration skills with an inclusive style.  Sharing our values and striving for improvement in embodying them on a day to day basis is essential for this role.

The successful candidate must be approachable, organised, motivated and a team player with flexibility and the capability to solve problems and work as an enthusiastic member of the management team.

This post necessitates a very high level of numeracy and literacy skills, financial management experience as well as a sound understanding of computer packages to manage the everyday needs of the farm.

You must have good time management and have the ability to prioritise with the ability to see the big picture as well as excellent attention to detail due to the variety of the role.

Next steps

Interested?  Please send your CV and a covering letter to recruitment@sussexhr.co.uk

Hours and salary will be discussed at interview.

Closing Date 28th July 2017

Job Title:                Farm Financial Manager

Location:               Old Plaw Hatch Farm

Reporting to:         Board of Directors

Department:          Finance & Administration

The finance and administration department provides the support function to the five enterprises of Old Plaw Hatch Farm Limited.  The role of the Farm Financial Manager is key to the business and combines supervising the administration team as well as coordination of the finances of the business.  This important role produces and provides information and advice for sound decision-making as part of the Management Team. The appointment would be with a view of becoming one of the farm directors.

Fundamental to the role is the need to strive for improvement in embodying the values around safeguarding the sustainability of the farm in terms of land, animals, people and finances.

This is achieved through an open, inclusive and collaborative approach.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Financial Management and Reporting
  • Prepare and interpret financial reports for the management team and provide information for sound decision-making.
  • Collate, analyse and advise on budgets, forecasts, tax and regulatory issues.
  • Liaise with external accountants.
  • Maintain adherence to financial regulations and legislation.
  • Monitor finances and identify areas for improvement.
  • Liaise with and provide information for stakeholders.
  • Work with enterprise managers to identify areas for improvement and assist where necessary on implementing new processes.
  1. Operational Support
  • Perform and oversee the day to day financial operations including payroll, invoicing, purchasing, banking etc.
  • Maintain office supplies and IT system.
  • Respond to incoming emails and phone calls.
  • Negotiate contracts for utilities, insurance, waste management etc.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant regulatory bodies.
  • Oversee the designing and printing of promotional materials such as leaflets and the e-newsletter.
  • Providing information to assist enterprises.
  • Assist with grant applications.
  • To attend regular team meetings.
  • Promote and maintain awareness and compliance of health and safety in accordance with best practice, company policies and procedures and legal requirements.
  • Work with sensitive information with strict confidentiality.
  1. Staff Management
  • Supervise the office staff which currently comprises of a part time bookkeeper and a part time administration assistant.
  1. Ad hoc
  • Undertake any other tasks as required for the post, ensuring all duties undertaken are done so in accordance with Old Plaw Hatch Farm’s values, policies and procedures.

Key Skills/Qualities

  1. Leadership
  • The Farm Financial Manager will contribute to strategic planning with the management team with a proactive approach that motivates and engages people to strive to improve and embody the values.
  • The post-holder will aim to achieve results through leading by example, inspiration and influence.
  1. Sharing Our Values
  • Although the role is office-based, it requires a sound understanding of – and an interest in – the practicalities of producing and selling food and a love for nature which is at the core of Old Plaw Hatch Farm. Sharing our values and striving to embody them is essential.
  • The person who fulfils this role will be ethically driven and able to look at strategy in financial and other terms, and use measures of success that include the sustainability of the farm through the well-being of the land, animals and people as well as financial viability.
  1. Communication
  • The Farm Financial Manager will develop an understanding of the different enterprises. The post holder will work with them in a supporting capacity and monitor the finances and seek areas for development.
  • The Farm Finanacial Manager is part of the Management Team and will therefore attend meetings, share information and contribute to decision-making.
  • Old Plaw Hatch Farm operates within a community that lives/works on the farm and a wider community engaged with the farm. This requires working with honesty, integrity, humility and an appreciation for the needs and views of diverse groups of individuals.
  • Those who work on the farm are visible in the context of the wider community, requiring a friendly demeanour and building good relationships with stakeholders.
  • The office is the hub where information is gathered and disseminated and there is a need to communicate proactively and work in a collaborative way that focuses on gaining agreement and cooperation.
  1.  Financial
  • The post-holder will have proven financial experience and a deep understanding of business. The role requires sound capability in interpreting financial data and identifying trends and issues as early as possible.
  • Working within the context of a farm, the Farm Financial Manager will be able to relate financial information to practical processes and solutions and communicate their interpretation effectively with the Management Team.
  1. Administrative Skills
  • The Administration Department provides the underlying infrastructure that enables the various enterprises of the farm to run smoothly, managing many of the background operations that are required for the farm as a whole. The Farm Financial Manager will have good administrative and organisational skills, keen attention to detail, and will be proficient in using computers, including the Microsoft Office Suite.  Experience with using QuickBooks would also be an advantage.
  1. Uphold Legality
  • The Farm Finanacial Manager will have a commitment to meeting the appropriate regulatory requirements regarding the activities of running the farm.
Factor Essential Desirable
Qualifications

  • GCSE Maths or equivalent
  • GCSE English or equivalent
  • Business Qualification
 

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

Y

Experience

  • Financial/Business
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • QuickBooks
  • Use of office systems and administration including email
  • Preparation and interpretation of financial reports
  • Analysis and advise on budgets, forecasts, tax and regulatory issues
  • Worked in similar environment (Agriculture/Retail)
 

Y

Y

 

Y

 

Y

 

Y

 

 

 

Y

 

 

 

 

 

Y

Knowledge

  • Knowledge of computerised data entry and relevant software
  • Payroll, invoicing, purchasing, banking
  • Finance administration
  • Knowledge of clerical and administrative general office procedures and systems, including filing and record keeping
  • Knowledge of importance of producing high quality work and performance in an office/administrative environment
 

Y

Y

Y

 

Y

 

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skills & Abilities

  • Numeracy skills
  • Computer skills
  • Literacy skills
  • Communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Time management, planning and organising
  • Problem assessment and problem solving for effective customer query resolution
  • Flexibility and adaptability to deal with matters as they arise
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork with ability to work on own using initiative
 

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

 

Y

 

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Qualities

  • Approachable
  • Organised
  • Motivated
  • Team player
  • Collaborative
  • Self Starter
  • Remains Calm under Pressure
 

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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