North West Academies Trust Finance Officer

Role: Trust Finance Officer

Hours:  Term Time Only – 18 hours per week (flexible)

Based: Chester city centre and surrounding areas

Salary: Based on experience

Closing date: 6th of August


The North West Academies Trust (NWAT) was established in 2011, with the aim of providing world-class education within the academy and free school sector. A decade later we now have 10 schools across the primary and secondary education sectors

Whilst education is at the heart of NWAT, we also provide each school with access to a team skilled in school-to-school support, finance and accounting services, HR, legal services, catering and marketing and communications. This allows us to deliver practical and effective support and solutions to all of our schools.

A role has opened up in the central support team at NWAT to provide financial assistance to our schools ensuring that they are adhering to their budget and managing the schools’ financial position in a sustainable way in accordance with ‘The Academies Accounting Handbook’. All schools in the Trust use Access Financials (a bespoke schools accounting package) and payroll is processed by a payroll bureau.


The role has two distinct strands – providing the accounting function for NWAT itself and engaging and working directly with school Headteachers and School Business Managers, undertaking a wide and varied range of duties and responsibilities as outlined below. The role is based in the central trust team in Chester city centre but with regular travel to the individual schools you are responsible for and a flexible approach to working hours.

NWAT Responsibilities

  • Complete the full range of administration and financial activity required to ensure effective bookkeeping support.
  • Working with both sales and purchase ledger.
  • Processing purchase orders, purchase invoices and payments accurately to suppliers on a timely basis.
  • Process sales invoices (mainly to Trust Schools) and ensure that payments are received on a timely basis.
  • Ensure that NWAT sales and purchase ledgers are complete and accurate – agreeing balances with individual schools and significant customers and suppliers identifying and resolving discrepancies or escalating as appropriate.
  • Process all bank transactions and prepare the bank account for end of month reconciliation.
  • Agree, prior to authorisation, the monthly payroll with the payroll bureau.
  • Manage the cash balance ensuring that adequate cash resources are available at all times.

Individual Schools

  • Work directly with allocated schools offering financial support and oversight, supporting the School Business Manager and Headteacher to ensure that school operations run smoothly.
  • Overseeing the cash position of the school ensuring that the school has adequate cash resources.
  • Review and complete the monthly school bank reconciliation.
  • Process into Access Financials the monthly payroll report and reconcile through Access Financials the payroll cost for the month including investigating any variances. 
  • Upload pension information to the LGPS and Teachers Pension portals on a monthly basis.
  • Review outstanding customer and supplier invoices with the Business Manager investigating and resolving any issues.
  • Ensure that the sales and purchase ledgers are complete and accurate – agreeing balances with individual schools, NWAT, significant customers and suppliers, identifying and resolving discrepancies or escalating as appropriate.
  • Review parental debt with the Business Manager and resolve any significant or old balances.
  • Meet allocated school Headteachers monthly and discuss any significant variances to the annual budget.

Person Specification

An enthusiastic, committed and fast learner with previous experience of a busy office environment having:

  • Book keeping and financial transaction processing experience.
  • Strong numeracy, technical and IT skills.
  • Access Financials knowledge desirable but not essential.
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills.
  • The ability to communicate verbally and in person, on the telephone and on e-mail within the immediate team and with others identified above.
  • Good understanding of bookkeeping and accountancy procedures.
  • Solid organisational skills and the ability to prioritise a varied workload.
  • Excellent problem solving skills and able to develop ideas through to the execution stage.
  • The ability to work with minimal supervision and to a deadline.
  • Ability to prioritise workload.
  • Ability to work well in a team.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.

Please contact for an application form and to register your interest.  Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted w/b 9th of August 2021.