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Head of Finance

Watershed Arts Trust Limited
Bristol (City Centre), Bristol
£52,000 per year
Closing date
Dec 3, 2021

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Job Role
Finance Director/Head of Finance
Leisure & Hospitality, Arts & Entertainment, Nonprofit
Contract Type
Full Time
Level of qualification
Qualified, Other, CIMA
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The Role

Do you possess an accountancy qualification (ACCA/ CIMA/ ICAW) or equivalent work experience? Do you have previous management and team leadership experience, coupled with experience of financial strategic planning and preparing, monitoring and analysing budgets and cash flow forecasts? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you.

Watershed is looking to appoint a Head of Finance to monitor and analyse Watershed Group finances and the efficient and compliant running of the finance department, including the leadership of the team. 

The successful candidate will lead on the digital and systems transformation of the department to ensure we have efficient and appropriate processes and procedures.

Key Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of a Head of Finance include, but are not limited to:

Finance Strategy

  • Lead the development and implementation of Watershed’s Finance Strategy.
  • Work with the CEO and General Manager to produce and deliver Watershed’s annual budget.
  • Ensure income reports, management accounts and cash flow projections are accurate and produced in a timely manner.
  • The analysis of performance and updating of forecasts on a regular basis to inform financial planning.
  • Ensure a full understanding of Watershed’s business plan and make sure departmental strategies and policies are aligned.


  • Develop and deliver a departmental strategy and goals.
  • The development and management of financial systems and processes to ensure they work well for all departments and provide timely, appropriate and accurate information.
  • Line management of the Finance Team including performance management, the identification of training and development needs within the department and the management of workflow across the department.

Control and Compliance

  • Maintain and develop robust financial controls to mitigate the risk of fraud and error.  This includes the continued development of efficient finance policies, procedures and reporting
  • Ensure all financial activities are consistent and compliant with financial regulations (including the Charity Commission and HMRC)
  • Manage Watershed’s annual audit and lead on the preparation of Watershed’s annual statutory accounts.

The Company

Watershed is recognised internationally as a leading centre for film culture, for its distinctive talent development and innovation programmes and as Bristol’s cultural meeting place of choice. We are one of few truly cross-art form organisations in the UK, demonstrating a track record of innovation and risk taking over 38 years.

Watershed is a UK-leading independent cultural cinema, the only multi-screen cultural cinema in the SW and one of very few places outside London where UK audiences can engage with a year-round programme of world cinema.

Watershed is a world-leader in art and technology practice. We established the Pervasive Media Studio in 2008 and its ethos of collaborative innovation has grown an international reputation and network. We gift space to over 164 residents and have a rich network of over 450 creatives.

The Person

The key skills and qualities of a Head of Finance are:

  • Accountancy qualification (e.g. ACCA/CIMA/ICAW) or equivalent work experience.
  • Leadership gained in a similar sized organisation in either the culture, voluntary or third sector – or excellent evidence that you can adapt.
  • Management and leadership of teams.
  • Experience of financial strategic planning.
  • Experience of working with management and statutory accounts.
  • Experience of preparing, monitoring and analysing budgets and cash flow forecasts.
  • Demonstrable experience of change management and/or systems development.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of appropriate accounting software.
  • Experience or knowledge of Charity accounting and Charity compliance.
  • A good understanding of VAT practice and payroll.
  • The ability to communicate financial information clearly and accurately.

We believe our work will be stronger with greater diversity and welcome applications from those who bring difference to our team. Watershed welcomes the whole person to work, and we understand that each of us bring our experiences, our backgrounds and our own unique lens to what we do. Supporting our staff means they are not appointed to represent specific groups or organisations.

You may not have worked in a cultural organisation before, or in an organisation like Watershed. Perhaps you have worked in finance but in other non-cultural organisations which would be a very transferable context. If you are from a background that is underrepresented in the culture sector (for example you are from a community that experiences racism, or you are a disabled person (as defined by the Equalities Act in 2010,) or you did not go to University or you had free school meals as a child), and you would like support to articulate how your experience is transferable to this role, please contact Clare Reddington or Kirsty Young and we would be pleased to help you think this through.

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