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Finance Business Partner - Edinburgh

Non-for-Profit Sector - Accountant (Qualified)
Ref: 2798 Date Posted: Thursday 21 Feb 2019
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iMultiply are exclusively retained to recruit a permanent Finance Business Partner for The University of Edinburgh paying £51,630 - £58,089.

  1. Job Details
Job Details Finance Business Partner 
School/Support Department  Finance Department     
Unit Business Planning 
Line Manager  Director - Specialist Services 

  1. Job Purpose

The role of the Finance Business Partner (FBP) is to provide professional Business Partnering support across the breadth of the University, in particular to assist in the production of robust, clear and insightful Business Cases supporting capital investment decisions and strategic developments. 

The post-holder will engage with senior colleagues at all project stages, ensuring that financial planning is comprehensive, transparent and inclusive. Continually developing tools and techniques to enhance the financial elements of project development the FBP will also introduce and carry out regular and probing post implementation review processes.

The FBP will become the first point of contact for colleagues considering significant capital or revenue investment, ensuring a consistent yet innovative approach to forecasting and modelling is undertaken. 


  1. Main Responsibilities 

Approximate % of time

Act as business partner for colleagues across the University involved in the development of Business and Capital plans for major initiatives from a Finance perspective. Assisting and guiding colleagues in the appropriate use of tools and the integration of financial data into both Outline and Full Business Cases. Provide regular briefings to senior colleagues on progress of projects within their areas.


Create, develop and enhance the toolset required to facilitate the production and refinement of Business Cases across the full breadth of activities within the University. Apply novel and innovative techniques to enhance the tools and skills available.


In conjunction with colleagues in Estates and Finance develop effective long range cash flow forecasts associated with planned projects, directly feeding into the execution of the University’s Treasury Policy.


Assist in the development of detailed Business Cases with compelling narrative and confidently deliver presentations on the financial elements to staff colleagues, management and committees as required.


Provide training and assist in the development of staff required to produce Business Cases.


Develop and maintain comprehensive post-implementation reviews of major projects from a financial perspective. Apply lessons learned and best practice to the development of future initiatives.


Maintain effective networks and identify opportunities for involvement in evolving initiatives, working closely with the University Tax Manager and Estates Development Managers to maximise the use of resources.


4. Planning and Organising

  • Maintain and develop an effective Business partnering role within the University, identifying full scope and remit and embedding service effectively. 
  • Determine the levels and quality of service to be delivered and develop effective performance measures and metrics to demonstrate value.
  • Plan and prioritise own workload to ensure that project deadlines are met and periodic reports and analyses are provided on time.
  • Manage engagement in multiple complex concurrent projects, providing timely support and guidance for both strategic and operational planning.
  • Provide effective links between all major projects and Finance, ensuring consistency of approach and uniformity in reporting.

5. Problem Solving

  • Establish, develop and maintain tools to support the preparation of Financial Forecasts and Statements to support Outline and Full Business Cases.
  • Assist in the completion and interpretation of tools to support the financial elements of Business Cases.
  • Challenge and review critical assumptions made in Business Cases and provide effective business insight to maximise use of resource and demonstrate best value; for example assessing funding assumptions (have all sources been considered); and reviewing application of policy (such as tax strategy).
  • Provide advice and guidance in response to queries raised by Project Managers and other stakeholders. 

6.Decision Making

  • Contribute to strategic planning processes of both the Finance Department and other University Units through the development of robust analysis and forecasting.
  • Seek to continually improve service and associated procedures to all stakeholders through sustained personal development – keeping up to date with developments both internally and externally and providing innovative support and solutions where required.
  • Identify opportunities for improvement at project level and at Institution level: providing insight on specific capital investments or strategic guidance on Institution level approach.                                                                                               

7.Key Contacts/Relationships 

  • Senior management (Director of Finance, Director of Estates, Heads of Colleges, Heads of Support Groups, Project Board members)
  • Other Colleagues involved in developing Business Cases, including Academic staff, Estates support staff and others across the breadth of the University.
  • External advisors / Organisations involved at various stages of project development and delivery, potentially including Financial Advisors, Quantity Surveyors and Funders.
  • The FBP should seek to ensure that all appropriate stakeholders are engaged in projects, seeking to provide regular updates to College Registrars and service Heads of Finance on progress in their relevant areas.
  • The FBP should subscribe to and exhibit the core values and behaviours embedded in the Finance Department, and should approach all stakeholders with tact, diplomacy and professionalism.

8.Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


  • Be qualified to degree level, or equivalent. 
  • Holding a professional accountancy qualification (e.g. ICAS, ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA)
  • Ability to provide professional advice and guidance on a large number of significant (high value and complex) projects concurrently.
  • Highly developed knowledge of Business Case preparation and project development and review.
  • Experience of working with and influencing senior management in planning for significant business change and the effective deployment of resources.
  • Ability to interpret and assimilate information from a breadth of activities and professional colleagues into clear financial statements and strategies.
  • Willingness and the capacity to develop personal skills relevant to the role and to apply innovative solutions as opportunities emerge.
  • Very strong interpersonal skills with a track record of building effective relationships with colleagues from varied backgrounds 
  • Ability to negotiate and persuade, and to explain potentially complex financial issues to non-finance colleagues.
  • Highly developed ability in MS Excel and software solutions designed to assist in business planning.


  • Postgraduate qualification in financial or general management. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the key finance issues likely to affect higher education in the next five years


  • £1.5bn Capital Programme to 2025
  • Circa. 15,000 Staff
  • Circa. 41,300 Students
  • Net Assets of £2.2bn and annual turnover of c. £984m

10.Job Context and any other relevant information

The FBP will operate at a senior strategic level across all areas of the University, partnering with colleagues in the development of Business Cases relating to very diverse activities. The FBP will also play an integral role in the development of Finance Cash forecasting and will lead on the development of post-implementation reviews of major capital investment projects.

The closing date for applications is Friday the 22ndof February.

Please do not hesitate to contact John Gilbertson at iMultiply on 0131 603 7747 or johngilbertson@imultiplyresourcing.comfor a private & confidential chat regarding this opportunity.

All third-party applications will be forwarded iMultiply.