Date posted: Tue 1 Dec 2020
Closing date: 9am, Wed 6 Jan 2021

This new role at CAfS will be responsible for strategic financial management, working alongside our Trustees and CEO – an important member of our new senior management team. You’ll also oversee day-to-day resources management with the help of the CAfS administration and finance team, which you’ll manage, working alongside specialist HR and IT contractors. As an experienced business and finance manager, you’ll set and monitor budgets and oversee day-to-day financial management. Your advice, guidance and financial reports will inform the development and delivery of our strategy and business plan. You’ll also help CAfS to fulfil its legal and regulatory requirements.

You’ll join us at an exciting time. The climate crisis has led to ever-increasing demand for our skills and experience and we are restructuring to accommodate our rapid growth. Our staff team will soon have doubled in size since June 2020, and we are preparing to deliver the biggest climate change programme in the country with the support of a £2.5 million National Lottery grant. You’ll be central to future-proofing our financial health and ensuring the conditions in which we work are the best they can be, so that we can play our full part in delivering a zero-carbon Cumbria to the best of our abilities.

Application & Interview Process

Please apply by completing the application form below. We do not accept CVs. Guidance for submitting your application is included in the form.

Application Form – Finance & Resources Manager

Closing date for return of applications is 9am on Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Candidates shortlisted for interview will be informed by Thursday 7 January 2021.

Interviews will be held via Zoom on Thursday 14 January 2021.

Job description

If you prefer to download the job description and person specification, please use the link below:

CAfS Job Description – Finance & Resources Manager

EMPLOYER:  Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS).

LOCATION: Eden Rural Foyer, Old London Road, Penrith, CA11 8ET when Covid-19 restrictions allow. Homeworking beyond Covid-19 may be possible by agreement.

REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer.

HOURS: 22.5 hours a week (3 days).

SALARY RANGE:£29,000 – £33,000 pro rata per annum (full-time equivalent), depending on skills and experience.

DURATION: Start date February 2021. Permanent contract.


Our vision is a zero-carbon Cumbria and we strive to bring about a better way of life, in balance with our environment.

Our mission is to empower and enable people, communities and businesses to live and work more sustainably by sharing our knowledge, practice, skills, networks and practical experience. We manage and deliver events, advice, training and practical projects across the county as well as providing specialist consultancy services to enable individuals, communities, businesses and local authorities to drive a shift towards a zero-carbon Cumbria.

CAfS is an award-winning charity with a team of seventeen highly skilled staff, working with a pool of specialist contractors and volunteers to deliver around 20 major, transformational low-carbon projects each year. CAfS is the leading organisation in Cumbria showcasing low-carbon living, energy-efficiency improvements, renewable technology and reduced use of fossil fuels, both on a domestic scale and in the community. Now in our 22nd year, CAfS is the first point of reference in the county for information on sustainability. CAfS is a dynamic, pro-active and responsive organisation, continually striving to deliver effective projects that make an impact and drive real change towards a low-carbon future. As such, we continually initiate, scrutinise, refine and launch new projects, accessing funding from a variety of sources or earning income from delivering specialist services.


To work with Trustees and the CEO to ensure efficient and effective financial management, including setting and monitoring budgets, overseeing day-to-day financial management, and providing advice and guidance and financial reports, to inform the development and delivery of our strategy and business plan.

To work with Trustees and staff to ensure CAfS fulfils its legal and regulatory requirements, including coordinating the implementation of health and safety, GDPR and other policies and procedures, and to lead on human resources support and oversee office management and IT. (Note that specialist HR advice and support and IT are provided to CAfS by external contractors.)

The role manages the administration and finance team, and sits within the Senior Management Team.


  • Ensuring the day-to-day financial and accounting operations are delivered.
  • Taking responsibility for budget planning, monitoring and review and year-end accounts process.
  • Supporting the development of CAfS’ strategy and business plan’ including providing financial projections and conducting risk analysis.
  • Ensuring effective day-to-day management of HR, IT, H&S and data protection.
  • Ensuring financial, HR and data protection policies and procedures comply with relevant legislation/regulations, reflect best practice and are applied throughout CAfS.
  • Ensuring that the office and home workspaces, IT, telephone and internet provision are fit for purpose.



  • Responsible for annual budget setting and 6-monthly review and cashflow forecasting.
  • Prepare quarterly reports to Board, yearly or six-monthly projections and analysis, and ad hoc reports as necessary.
  • Preparation of year-end accounts.
  • Manage the internal finance and accounting systems and databases.
  • Oversee delivery of payroll.
  • Ensure appropriate levels of financial authorisation are in place and followed.
  • Ensure compliance with HMRC, including monitoring VAT threshold, tax and gift aid, and undertake necessary returns.
  • Ensure compliance with State Aid rules.
  • Commission specialist VAT and other financial advice as required.
  • Support the Trustees and CEO with financial forecasting/planning, and allocation and funding of staff and other resources.
  • Support staff with preparing and managing project budgets with the aim of ensuring full-cost recovery.


  • Develop appropriate staff, trustee and volunteer recruitment, induction and retention policies and processes, including performance management.
  • Support and encourage staff, trustee and volunteer training.
  • Ensure all staff have up-to-date contracts and other HR documentation.
  • Regular (minimum annually) review of staff handbook.
  • Development and implementation of employee satisfaction survey.
  • Manage specialist HR contract and commission additional advice as required.
  • Support CEO to deliver their responsibility to ensure staff wellbeing.

Effective Organisational Administration

  • Oversee policy and procedure development and implementation, including safeguarding, data protection, H&S, complaints, etc.
  • Conduct horizon scanning and recommend opportunities to revise policies and procedures to ensure legal/regulatory compliance and/or in line with best practice.
  • Review, improve and ensure implementation of project management processes.
  • Ensure appropriate equipment and infrastructure resources are in place for staff, volunteers and Trustees.
  • Ensure insurance is in place for all activity.
  • Continually improve and manage IT, phone and internet contracts.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to ensure optimal use of the CAfS customer relationship management system (CRM).


  • To work with the Trustees, CEO and staff to develop and implement the strategy and business plan.
  • Provide support for effective governance.
  • Take part in Senior Management Team meetings.
  • Line manage the Administration & Finance Officer.
  • Deputise for CEO when needed.
  • To work with the rest of the staff team to carry out any other task or project required from time to time, as directed by the CEO or Trustees.


Essential skills and attributes

  • Experience of management accounting, including analysis and commentary.
  • Experience of audits, invoices, bank reconciliations, accounts payable and accounts receivable and budget preparation.
  • Experience of working with and co-ordinating expenditure across multi-project budgets.
  • Knowledge of financial regulations, including VAT, and accounting processes.
  • Ability to manage payroll.
  • Knowledge of health and safety legislation and employment law.
  • Experience of recruiting and managing staff.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to manage time-sensitive tasks.
  • Ability to work flexibly and occasionally out of hours.

Desirable criteria

  • Fully or part-qualified ACCA, CIMA, ACA or CIPFA.
  • Use of payroll software.
  • Working knowledge of using QuickBooks.
  • Experience of charity sector accounting/finance.
  • Experience or understanding of project management.
  • Understanding of and commitment to the aims and objectives of CAfS.
  • Experience of developing and delivering HR, IT, H&S, and data protection policy and procedures.
  • HR training or qualification.
  • Understanding of VAT.
  • Understanding of State Aid.

If you have any questions about the role, please contact Karen Mitchell: [email protected]