Financial Controller - a new part time role at FIRST

Financial Controller at FIRST Location: Gateshead, North East, UK Job Type: 21 hours per week Salary: £35,000 - £40,000 Pro Rata - based on experience.

Application form can be found here

About FIRST:

FIRST is a pioneering learning and development agency, empowering enterprise skills and entrepreneurship in collaboration with government, employers, education and community organisations. Our accredited courses, workshops, consultancy, and events inspire courage, self-belief and motivation, giving learners equitable opportunities to progress into meaningful education, decent work or resilient self-employment.

Specifically working with underrepresented groups, our work facilitates inclusive economic growth by challenging the status quo and improving the quality of entry-level teaching and learning within enterprise skills and entrepreneurship.

We have contributed millions in social return on investment for the North East economy and improved the quality of life for thousands of learners in some of the UK's most under-resourced communities.

Based in central Gateshead, UK, the team is made up of 9 employees with a non-executive director board to support and maintain quality during this exciting period of growth.

Our Culture:

The FIRST team takes pride in our fun, supportive and innovative approach to project design, delivery and evaluation. As team players, we are positive and professional creative thinkers with the shared desire to do the right thing and produce meaningful project outcomes for learners, clients and our wider society.

Job Overview:

You will be responsible for the financial operations of the company. Initially, you'll manage all daily financial tasks and report to the Managing Director. Your role involves building a finance team aligned with our ethos of empowerment and inclusive growth. As the team forms, you will shift to a strategic role, overseeing the department and delegating daily financial operations to your team.

Is it right for you?

The Financial Controller role at FIRST is perfect for someone who:

  • Desires a meaningful shift from traditional corporate settings to make a positive societal impact.
  • Is passionate about helping people and impacting society positively through their work.
  • Is looking for a senior role due to limited advancement in their current job.
  • Values working in a smaller organisation where decisions are made quickly, and impact is immediate.
  • Wants to be involved in the entire project lifecycle, witnessing direct outcomes.
  • Is eager to explore leadership and shape a finance department.
  • Is excited to work closely with an award-winning team of innovators.


Key Responsibilities

You will be supported by a senior team as well as an external accounting agency with duties to include:

Financial Management and Accounting:

  • Oversee daily financial operations, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, and bank reconciliations.
  • Manage payroll processing, ensuring timely and accurate payment to employees.
  • Handle tax filings and ensure compliance with all tax regulations.
  • Conduct regular ledger maintenance and financial record-keeping.

Budgeting and Forecasting:

  • Prepare, monitor, and manage annual and project budgets in collaboration with department heads.
  • Oversee project spending and monitoring grant funding.

Financial Reporting:

  • Prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Present financial reports to the senior management team and board of directors.

Cash Flow Management:

  • Monitor cash flow regularly, ensuring sufficient funds for operational needs.
  • Implement effective cash management strategies to optimise liquidity.

Internal Controls and Compliance:

  • Develop and enforce internal financial policies and procedures to ensure financial integrity and accountability.
  • Conduct periodic internal audits to ensure compliance with financial procedures and regulations.
  • Liaise with external accountants for various reporting needs.

Risk Management:

  • Identify financial risks and implement risk management strategies.
  • Ensure adequate insurance coverage for the organisation.

Continuous Improvement:

  • Continuously assess and improve financial processes and systems for greater efficiency and accuracy.
  • Stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in financial management.

Staff management:

  • Desire to build and grow a finance department
  • Line manage finance team and delegate operational tasks

This role requires a high level of financial acumen, attention to detail and leadership qualities to manage the complex financial needs of FIRST effectively.


Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, or related field, professional accounting qualification (ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA or equivalent) is preferred. However, if you can demonstrate in your application form and during the interview, substantial practical experience, and a history of creating value in a small business environment, we welcome your application even without these qualifications.


  • Sector specific experience working within an education or training setting.
  • Experience of working with public sector contracts.
  • Experience in managing an organisation's finances, including budgeting, forecasting, and reporting.
  • Experience with financial compliance, auditing, and risk management.
  • Proven track record of effectively working with internal and external stakeholders.


  • Flexible working hours.
  • Working from home options (based on business need).
  • Support into a trusteeship/governance role with paid time off to carry out these extra-curricular community duties.
  • 28 days holiday (pro rata) with a day off for your birthday and after 2 years of employment, additional time off during the festive break.

Application Process:

Interested candidates should complete an application from here.

Deadline for Applications: 8th April 2024

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