They conduct extensive data analysis and are proficient with forecasting models. The results of this analysis are used to advise senior managers on how to increase business profitability. They understand the agency business model, products and services and seek ways to grow and generate more revenue as well as reduce costs. They work with and advise the leadership team on strategies to remain profitable.
- Internal: Agency management/leadership team; Agency account team, including planners/strategists; Creative teams and directors; Creative services and production staff; New business team; Human Resources/Talent Team; Finance/accounts teams across the network, if required. Internal Audit team.
- External: Client marketing team; Client procurement personnel; Other agencies in their client's roster e.g. Media, Public Relations; Regulatory bodies, External Audit team.
- The Head of Finance will report to the senior management team of the agency, usually the Managing Director.
- They will manage and motivate staff within their team, being accountable for their performance and providing them with professional development opportunities.
- Creating long-term finance department strategic plans which align with the agency’s strategic plan and business plan.
- Managing all financial aspects of the company.
- Overseeing business financial management and identifying areas which need improvement.
- Assessing the financial risk of any and all business operations, investments, and innovations.
- Collaborating with department heads about budget, commercial opportunities, capital expenditure, investment opportunities, recruitment plans and divestments.
- Creating and executing the business investment strategy, monitoring and adjusting for risk when necessary.
- Ensuring impeccable and detailed financial records; overseeing that taxes and record filing are done correctly and to government standard.
- Identifying patterns in company spending and revenue; create and propose solutions to any problem areas.
- Exploring new commercial models to improve business profitability.
- Providing financial data for new business pitches and client meetings.
- Conducting and cooperating with internal and external financial audits.
- Liaising and collaborating with stakeholders, Client Services and the agency senior leadership team, providing advice, recommendations and progress reports.
- Communicating with outside financial entities on behalf of the company.
- Managing, developing and motivating the financial team including coaching and developing employees and teams for a more effective skill-set and work environment.
- The personal and professional development of their team.
Those who succeed are...
- Strong in their finance understanding and experience and can analyse the commercial consequences of financial decisions.
- Knowledgeable in the agency business model, products and services.
- Confident in conducting contract negotiations and lead client and procurement meetings.
- Adept in lateral, analytical and strategic thinking, they are able to apply creative thinking to business problems.
- Highly numerate and able to understand, interpret and use complex and varied sources of data and statistics.
- Strategic Advisor to the senior leadership team and the Managing Director.
- Connected and closely collaborate with the HR/Talent teams
- Strong and persuasive communicators, able to communicate numbers in a user-friendly way.
- Knowledgeable about their client’s business and market, and where and how advertising contributes to its success.
Where they come from, and where they go...
A Head of Finance or typically must have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, economics or a similar field along with their professional qualifications, such as CIMA. They may also consider an MBA. They have strong experience of all aspects of finance; in depth understanding of cash flow management, bank reconciliation and book keeping, budgeting and risk management, Finance professionals have a strong interest in detail, can critically evaluate and interpret numbers to present the financial narrative to the leadership team. They are also highly proficient in accounting software.
They can come from a variety of businesses; typically, professional services related, with experience of working with clients. They may join consulting firms, start-ups, or design business.