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Financial Controller

Experienced Financial Controller leading financial control activities.

The role

We are currently seeking an experienced Financial Controller for our Hong Kong Office. Reporting directly to the Head of Finance for Asia, with a dotted reporting line to the Hong Kong Office Head, this pivotal role will lead financial control activities, optimise processes, and provide critical insights to enhance overall office profitability. The position involves close collaboration with senior stakeholders and the regional and global Finance teams.

Key responsibilities

1 Financial Accounting, Reporting and Compliance

  • Oversee monthly and year-end closing of accounts, prepare and review monthly management accounts for the Hong Kong Office, including variance and profitability analyses. Submit reports to London, review KPIs for the office, and handle ad-hoc information requests.
  • Coordinate the preparation of financial schedules for the UK group audit, the accountant’s report, and gross fee income reports for local requirements. Liaise with auditors and London on annual audit requirements.
  • Assist with accounting and reporting needs for the Shenzhen Representative Office as requested.
  • Work closely with auditors on local client monies audits, ensuring compliance with local SRA equivalent filing requirements and deadlines.
  • Handle external agency liaison, calculate, post, and arrange payment of salaries/pensions and statutory payroll obligations.
  • Manage partner remuneration and benefits packages.
  • Collaborate with external accountants on tax computations and statutory filings.
  • Ensure compliance with the group’s policies and serve as the first point of contact for the London internal audit team.
  • Maintain bank mandates.
  • Resolve day-to-day questions and issues related to the accounting system, acting as a technical resource for non-routine accounting and tax queries.

2 Strategic Planning and Business Partnering

  • Lead annual budget preparation and forecasting.
  • Improve profitability by analysing financial performance and presenting insights to partners to support strategic decision making.
  • Provide financial mentoring and training to newly promoted partners / laterals / promotion candidates / new firm joiners.
  • Collaborate with partners, practice group leaders and business services managers to promote a high performance culture and growth mindset.

3 Operational Finance – Revenue & Collections, Client Money, Accounts Payable

  • Responsible for the operational Finance activities ensuring best in class service levels are provided to the business.
  • Ensure that client funds are managed in accordance with Solicitors Accounts Rules and ensure that residual client balances are returned promptly.
  • Support the Working Capital Manager with managing WIP/Debt and recommend recoverability strategies.
  • Produce monthly cashflow forecasts, manage remittances to London and liaise with banks.
  • Drive efficiency improvements across financial and operational processes.
  • Supervise and develop Finance team members in their professional and technical growth.

4 General

  • Undertake any other tasks as may reasonably be required.

Key Skills & Experience Required

Qualifications and Experience

  • Fully qualified Accountant
  • 8+ years’ proven track record of operating in a senior finance role in an international legal or professional services firm.
  • 8+ years’ experience in building and leading/managing/motivating finance professionals.
  • Strong business acumen.
  • Cantonese and/or Mandarin language skills preferred but not essential.
  • Familiarity with Hong Kong employment and tax (corporate and personal) regulations. Knowledge of regulatory requirements of the Law Society of Hong Kong would be advantageous.

Technical Skills

  • Proficient in financial analysis and reporting
  • Good accounting systems experience, ideally of a modern legal firm Practice Management System (knowledge of Elite 3E would be desirable).
  • High-level expertise in Microsoft Excel.

People Skills and Personality

  • Self starter, all-rounder with strong financial and commercial awareness.
  • Ability to effectively manage relationships with key external stakeholders (clients, banks, auditors, tax advisors).
  • Capable of building relationships and influencing internal stakeholders across all levels of the Firm, but particularly with senior management, partners and business services managers.
  • Ability to work independently when needed, proactive and pragmatic approach, strives for continuous improvement.
  • ‘Safe pair of hands’ and meticulously detailed.
  • Ability to ensure confidentiality.
  • Can deliver on multiple and tight deadlines.

Additional Information

Competitive remuneration package will be offered to the right candidate.

Kindly note that this job description is not contractual. It will be reviewed periodically and may be amended or altered to meet the needs of the firm.

About HFW

HFW is a global, sector-focused law firm providing expert advice to clients in Aviation, Commodities, Construction, Energy & Resources, Insurance & Reinsurance, and Shipping. We pride ourselves on our deep industry expertise and our entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.

We have over 600 lawyers in 21 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

It’s an exciting time for our firm as we continue to build on our already strong presence in Asia and particularly in Greater China. The firm’s culture is high performing yet down to earth and the business is appreciative of hard work, enthusiasm and proactive solutions.

Vacancy Details
Hong Kong
Full time
Posted 28/06/2024
Leading financial control activities, optimise processes, and provide critical insights to enhance overall office profitability.