Commercial Accountant

Gowling WLG
13 Jun 2019
26 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Gowling WLG is a new international law firm created by Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading UK-based international law firm. We built Gowling WLG to provide clients with legal services at home and around the world, and to help you succeed no matter how challenging the circumstances.

Gowling WLG clients have access to in-depth expertise in key global sectors along with a top-tier suite of legal services. With more than 1,400 legal professionals across offices in 18 cities worldwide and specialised expertise in countries around the globe, we're positioned to help clients rise to the challenges they face - both today and tomorrow.

Main purpose of the role: To provide financial support and analysis to the Commercial Director (CD) and legal groups (including to partners, fee earners (FEs) and PAs) covering all aspects to drive financial performance and control from P&L to cash flow.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Performance Review and Analysis

Review (with Practice Leaders (PLs) and Team Leaders (TLs) where appropriate) and distribution of management accounts and month-end reports

Work with CDs to analyse and identify opportunities to improve performance and work with the legal group(s) to develop clear plans to achieve these including the monitoring of delivery

Work with CDs, PLs and TLs to produce rolling reforecasts to ensure an accurate assessment of business performance and a "no surprises" environment

Business Planning

Work with the Reporting & Planning team, CDs, PLs and TLs to prepare business plans, budgets and forecasts within the prescribed timetables

Work with CDs to evaluate, challenge and build business cases to support key proposals (e.g. lateral hires, Partner and Director promotions, mergers and other strategic proposals) and ensure appropriate post-investment appraisal and monitoring.

Co-ordinate and be responsible for the input of the Groups' budgets and forecasts

Financial Control & Reporting

WIP & billing management:

Work with the Groups' Senior Finance Analysts (SFAs) to ensure that there is a full understanding of the Groups' WIP position

Production and distribution of regular flash reports to monitor progress against billing and cash collection targets

Debt & cash collection:

To assist in reducing the working capital requirement of the Firm (by completing the above and other relevant procedures as appropriate)

Time Recording:

Preparation and distribution of time recording reports as appropriate

Monitoring of overhead expenditure against budget (e.g. travel, accommodation, entertaining, training, disbursements etc.)

Assist in co-ordinating the year-end WIP valuation process, and work with other members of the Finance team to provide appropriate support to the year-end accounts process

Ensure all central reporting deadlines are met (planning, budget, forecast, month-end, year-end)

To prepare monthly Firm-wide reporting on standard KPIs (e.g. Partner reports, sector reports, top clients etc.)

Business Development

Supporting CD with profitability, financial evaluation and support for sales pitches and tenders, to include pricing, discount structures, commercial terms etc.

Profitability analysis of clients, sectors, business types, and working with CDs and partners to identify options and recommendations to increase sales and profit margins

Working with CDs and partners to maximise the value of client relationships (e.g. sales volume, pricing, discounts, annual fee rate increases, secondment reviews, client financial reporting, debt collection, contingent fees etc)

Ensure efficient and effective working with the Business Development team on the above where appropriate

Project Work

Supporting the CD with any project based work (e.g. time recording, benchmarking or other strategic projects) as appropriate

Continuous Improvement

Actively search for, highlight and develop ideas for improvement across all aspects of the role


Supporting the CD with any finance training delivered to non-finance staff as appropriate


Key Skills and Experience:

Essential Requirements

ACA, ACCA or CIMA qualified

Professional, credible and confident in dealing appropriately with people at all levels

Strong financial and commercial acumen

Strong analytical and financial modelling skills

Advanced Excel

Desired Requirements

Previous experience of working in a law firm or professional services organisation

Use of, and familiarity with, IBM Cognos (or similar planning, budgeting and/or forecasting software tools)

Equal Opportunities:

Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment. The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion or belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, sex, gender re-assignment and gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy, maternity and paternity. This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.

At Gowling WLG we seek to attract and retain talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures, to create an exciting and rewarding place to work. Our aim is to fulfil everyone's potential and together to achieve personal and business goals.

Standard hours of work are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday with 1 hour for lunch (35 hours per week).

More searches like this