Finance Leader – future Director, Finance & Administration

Our customer is the $20 million, 70 employee, Canadian division of a 178 year old Switzerland-based manufacturing, service and custom engineering, public, multinational. After eight years with the company, the incumbent is leaving to become a CFO at a larger company and the VP, North America needs to find an equally competent, hands-on with financial planning, analysis and staff leadership CPA or CFA to help continue to grow the business in Canada. Based in either Mississauga or Edmonton (depending on candidate preference) and reporting directly to the VP, North America (in Mississauga) and indirectly to the Corporate Controller in Switzerland, the Canadian business requires a highly communicative and competent Finance Leader to be hands-on with financial and business analysis, forecasting, budgeting, staff management, cash management and banking and contract monitoring functions. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Finance Leader also proactively assists the VP, North America to strategically run the entire Canadian operations while supporting the Controller and four Accounting and Administrative staff staff in Alberta and Mississauga.

Working closely with the VP, North America on Canadian strategic and financial planning while proactively assisting the Sales and Operations leaders across Canada to run the business efficiently via effective interpretation of the numbers and KPIs, the salary range for this hands-on Finance Leader position is $120,000 to $150,000 (dependent upon experience), benefits including a 6% matched RRSP, car allowance, a 15-20 % profit sharing bonus and payment of annual CPA/CFA membership & training/P.D. fees. Some travel (Canadian and Switzerland) is required – approx. 10%. 

Please note; the VP, North America is a Canadian professional engineer who enjoys developing staff . For the right person, professional growth towards Director, Finance & Administration will be possible, Candidates with staff management experience currently working in public accounting will also be considered.

If you are or know of a dynamic and proactive CPA or CFA financial leader who is a very effective communicator and leader of people and processes while also being highly competent at personally performing financial and business analysis, interpreting data and contributing to business strategy, plus able to quickly learn and take over cash management, banking, insurance and the Canadian outside accounting firm relationships, please arrange for a resume to be sent to client0131@financialinterviewer.com e-mail subject line: Finance Leader by August 25, 2022.

Initially, this is an onsite position and then a three days onsite and two days working remotely could become possible. 

Knowledge of local Canadian corporate tax laws, ASPE and IFRS standards is important.

Position Behaviours

*Maintain and promote a strong safety culture for all employees, vendors, and customers and follow all safety policies, procedures and regulations. Identify and communicate workplace hazards and correct or seek assistance in correcting unsafe actions or conditions.

*Have drive and are hard working and resolute in focusing on results, thereby ensuring that accurate financial reporting timelines and analysis outcomes are achieved. The full set of financials is presented to corporate head office in Switzerland on day seven after period-end.

*Will actively manage and develop staff in Edmonton and Mississauga so a team culture of strategic excellence is maintained and enhanced.

*Interpret the numbers and challenge the status quo in order to achieve a culture dedicated to continuous improvement and best practices.

*Encourage people to communicate effectively and through example and expertise create an even more customer-focused, team, atmosphere.

*Personally provide a positive and innovative atmosphere and encourage people to achieve the tasks in hand.

*Gather facts and figures, monitor self and others and achieves goals in a timely and factual manner. 

*Be disciplined in developing organizational systems, procedures, rules (internal & inventory controls) and norms. 

*Always remain alert to changing situations, show flexibility in approach, adaptability in challenging circumstances and continuously strive to achieve positive results.

*Maintain a friendly approach and influence and persuade others while improving processes and delivering precise information from which important business decisions are made.

*Be honest, customer focused and have a desire to learn while genuinely caring for the business to succeed and grow. The VP, North America and others on the senior leadership team want interpretation of the KPI and other financial information so next step decisions can be made.

*Bring and maintain impeccable analytical and reporting skills utilizing Microsoft Excel. (V Look Ups & Pivot Tables) for financial analysis modeling and KPI monitoring.

*Always act as a hardworking, ethical and professional example for the team and within the community. 

*Lead, encourage, train and support others in order for them to meet their work objectives.

*Communicate effectively, professionally and frequently (oral & written English). 

*Actively and effectively assess the skills of and manage, supervise, train, encourage, support and lead the Controller – and the other Finance & Administration team members.

*Coach, support and challenge all departments financially within the Canadian business.

*Continually seek out and identify opportunities to support the growth and development of the business.

*Maintain confidentiality of pertinent data. Always protect operations by keeping financial information and business plans confidential.

*Proactively identify financial risks and opportunities and ensure that internal control mechanisms are in place and reviewed on a regular basis.

*Make decisions as appropriate to the role while at the same time ensuring others do likewise.

*Focus on results and willingly tackle problems or conflicts which threaten their achievement.

*Hire, train and mentor new staff as needed.

Position Responsibilities

Upon arrival, analyze and evaluate existing financial reporting and internal control processes and begin to assume autonomous responsibility and accountability for the financial functions and provide reporting for the VP, North America and the Switzerland head office by day seven after period-end.

Take responsibility for the Finance department and lead the Controller and department staff in Alberta to maintain and improve performance and enhanced reliability of the information. 

Meet regularly with the Controller and provide coaching and feedback and facilitate personal development and training plans. Advise the Plant/Site Controller in Edmonton regarding effective management techniques of their staff and help make important business and people decisions.

Within 30-60 days, learn the fundamentals of the company’s MS-based Traverse ERP system and the ADP payroll solution and receive training on the payroll system so the Finance Leader can successfully review and sign off on the confidential Canadian payroll prior to formally submitting.

Establish and maintain a positive relationship and credibility with the senior leaders in Sales and Operations in the comparison of sales and profit projections to actual figures and budgeted expenses to actual expenses. Oversee, suggest and make and adjustments to future projections and budgets. 

Professional direct the Controller towards the accurate preparation and review of monthly financial statements.

With 60-90 days, mange the monthly variance analysis process and then supervise/oversee the Controller in performing this function. Direct the preparation of all financial statements through Controller and continuously improve accuracy and performance – including income statements, balance sheets, statement of cash flows, shareholder reports, tax returns and governmental agency reports.

Lead the Finance and Administration team and ensure precise and timely outputs from A/R, A/P, payroll, bank reconciliations, tax remittances and other Finance and Administration activities. 

Lead financial planning, forecasting strategies and practices to improve profitability and cash flow.

Within 90 days, work cooperatively with the treasury department at the head office and the local Canadian bank to facilitate foreign currency hedging services that best serve the bottom line of the company. The Canadian business buys products primarily from the Switzerland head office but also from the United States, and United Kingdom. (Euro, Swiss Franc, US funds and UK lbs. hedging)

Work with the VP, North America and operational and sales leaders in developing short-term and long-term CAPEX requirements.

Ensure that the company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements as well as with guidelines set by the parent company in Switzerland.

Update and maintain documented systems of accounting policies, procedures and controls and ensure implementation for all Canadian locations.

In conjunction with the Controller, ensure appropriate for the business, effective, financial controls are in place and adhered to.

After 90 days, start to form positive business relationships with the current lenders and the outside accounting firm representatives and insurance providers and stay on top of those written agreements and relationships.

Provide financial models and support for new product development and assist with any mergers and acquisitions.

Take responsibility for managing banking relationships and reporting requirements.

Be well integrated within the senior leadership team and start to contribute to the strategic planning discussions.

At approximately 120 days, with the objective of providing proper financial analysis and clarity on financial and business status, be effective at interpreting the financials and KPIs so operations and sales leaders can take positive action towards business improvement and enhanced profitability.

Within approximate 150 days, while continuing to learn about the business, become a trusted right-hand to the VP, North America and establish and develop positive business relationships with the head office Corporate Controller, CFO and other senior leaders at the head office in Switzerland.

Work closely with Sales and Operations leaders and the Canadian management team in the renewal process and monitoring the risk insurance program, including General Liability, Property, Workers Compensation, Offshore coverages, Auto insurance, etc.

Provide strategic recommendations to the VP, North America and members of the leadership team and actively participate in key decisions regarding the company’s direction.

Prepare for, organize and help the VP, North America to lead the quarterly and annual planning process.

After approximately 180 days, in cooperation with staff, regularly monitor risk management policies and procedures to ensure that risks are minimized and external and internal auditor recommendations are implemented.

By approximately 210 – 240 days, liaise with external tax professionals to ensure that all statutory requirements are met.

Prior to 365 days, present the fully budgeted financing plan needs to the VP, North America and then, once approved, assist in presenting to the leadership team at the corporate head office in Switzerland.

Engage with lawyers and other key advisors as needed.

Within, or soon after, approximately 365 days, keep learning more about the business and contributing during senior leadership team discussions regarding the overall business strategy and tactics. 

Organize, compile and deliver the annual budget and provide short, medium and long-term forecasts of earnings, cash flow and financial position.

Act as the most senior Canadian financial professional contact for the outside accounting firm during their notice-to-reader and corporate tax reporting procedures . And, liaise with the Switzerland had office appointed external accountants during their annual full audit.

Support the VP, North America with internal and external legal issues including contracts, claims and suits.

Other related tasks and projects assigned by the VP, North America as expected of a proactive, communicative and energetic Finance Leader consistently looking to add value while working cooperatively and collaboratively within a positive, team environment.