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Head of Group Shared Services - Dundee

Competitive Salary and a great benefits package - Industry & Commerce - Finance Executive/Management
Ref: 2630 Date Posted: Friday 12 Oct 2018
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DC Thomson is one of the leading media organisations in the UK. Still a privately owned and operated family firm, their interest in publishing began in the mid 19th Century, when William Thomson, a shipping entrepreneur, bought the Dundee Courier. Their breadth of interests has expanded over time and the DC Thomson Group now comprises 8 main trading companies operating across digital services, marketing, cloud services, education and premium gifting in addition to the core media businesses.  Over the last century the company has continued to grow its interests in publishing and today includes Sunday Post, The Press and Journal, The Courier as well as magazines Shortlist, Stylist, The People’s Friend, My Weekly, Beano and annuals The Broons and Oor Wullie in its portfolio of media titles.

The company is headquartered in Dundee and maintains a base in Fleet Street. Globally, the portfolio companies operate from 21 different offices and employ 1700 staff. DC Thomson currently has four directors all of whom are descendants of the founder.

The company expects to see continued growth in new markets outside traditional media and in 2016-17 the company reported revenue of over £270m with a pre-tax profit of £38m.While revenues in the core publishing business have been affected by digital media disruption, the company has re-organised its print business to operate efficiently into the future and is performing particularly well in comparison to its peers. The business continues to be open to new acquisitions and it is expected that their broader portfolio of managed and investment interests will grow.

Looking ahead to the future, DC Thomson will become a more diverse business and this journey is likely to include further reorganisation, rationalisation and significant M&A activity. The complexity of DC Thomson requires focused support from the Group Finance function and a number of key finance leadership roles have been identified to shape and guide the function forward to meet the challenges effectively.

Of particular importance is the Head of Group Shared Services position which will support the CFO and a centralised transactional team focussed on providing best-in-class service to both internal and external customers.


Why apply

This is a fantastic opportunity for an individual to take a lead role an exciting senior position within DC Thomson. Based in Dundee, The Head of Group Shared Services role will be part of the senior leadership team and will be responsible for a shared services team of 22, managing all finance back-office functions with 5 direct reports. Predominantly the shared services team is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, expenses, banking and cost monitoring of the function.

The role will also have a particular focus on driving continuous improvement and efficiencies to strive for a best in class function ensuring that the business continues to see value for money and a high level of excellent service.

This is an exceptional opportunity to join an established and highly regarded business steeped in history and contribute to its future success by playing a key role in its development.


Key to success

The Head of Group Shared Services position requires a high calibre, qualified accountancy professional who has a proven track record in leading and motivating large teams, continuous improvement around processes, procedures and systems along with excellent stakeholder management skills. Given the scale and complexity of the business, it will also be important that the successful candidate has a strong grasp of business architecture, process design and transitioning of existing services into a shared service function.

The role would be well suited to someone with previous experience in a shared services environment who is already operating at a senior level in a multi-site, complex business. Demonstrable experience in successfully leading projects, transitioning new business functions and a focus on delivering best in class service for both internal and external stakeholders will be attractive attributes.

Essential criteria for consideration will also include the ability and gravitas to operate across the business at all levels. Being able to inspire the shared services team in a fast-paced environment, whilst also managing the expectations and requests from senior stakeholders and external customers.


Job description

The Head of Group Shared Services role is responsible for the management and oversight of the following teams within the Transactional Services department:

  • Purchase to Pay – including expenses, accounts payable and payments
  • Accounts Receivable – including cash allocation, accounts receivable and credit control
  • Banking & Cash team
  • Master Data Management – responsible for customer, vendor and banking data

The role is expected to establish and manage a highly efficient, flexible and responsive finance processing operation - ensuring costs are minimised and service targets are met in line with Service Partnering Agreements (SPA) and best practice benchmarks. This includes minimising working capital funding by driving process improvement and compliance with customers, suppliers and internal functions.

The role will be a key point of contact for managing issues and escalations with customers and suppliers, as well as a key internal business partner to various other teams across the business, including customer management, procurement and finance.


Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead and provide day to day management of the Shared Services department
  • Provide information and recommendations to the Chief Financial Officer to develop and implement new services/policies/procedures for Shared Services
  • Ensure continuous delivery of Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable processing services to agreed Service Level Agreement
  • Support change across both Group Shared Services and the broader group wide finance function
  • Ensure all suppliers are paid to agreed terms, maximising credit available to the company
  • Continually manage credit risk and debtor performance via close management of the sales ledger
  • Support the Chief Financial Analyst in delivering challenging cash outcomes at Half Year, Year End and quarterly reporting dates
  • Rigorously measure Shared Services performance, drive service efficiency and productivity against industry benchmarks and best practice, provide frequent reporting against internal KPIs
  • Be key point of contact to a wide range of stakeholders, both internally (procurement, customer management, commercial finance and FDs) and externally (senior contacts at customers and suppliers
  • Be a key point of contact for escalations of both internal and external issues and challenges
  • Provide leadership to Accounts Payable, Receivable and Banking team through effective objective setting, delegation and communication
  • Provide direct people management to 5 direct reports, and broader leadership to team of circa 20
  • Champion the team’s development, including professional development and supporting the ICAS graduate programme;
  • Ensure policy and procedures are reviewed and updated regularly



  • Significant experience of working in and managing in a Shared Services environment
  • Experience in identifying and implementing significant process improvements
    • Excellent customer service and delivery focus.
    • Ability to lead, organise and motivate large teams
  • Strong relationship builder
  • Performance management skills
  • Challenges the status quo, identifies new opportunities and delivers innovative solutions


Package on offer

Salary:                          Competitive salary DOE

Benefits:                      Car allowance, Bupa Cover, Company-paid health cash plan with Healthshield, Life Assurance 3 x base salary, defined contribution pension up to 9% employer for 6% employee and access to an additional superannuation fund after 1 years’ service. A range of other benefits are available to select to suit personal circumstances.

Annual Leave:               34 days per year (inclusive of all public holidays) + your birthday off after 1 years’ service.


All applications should be sent to our retained advisor Daryl Harper, iMultiply, at

Please note any direct or third-party introductions will be sent to iMultiply for review and assessment