Head of Finance

Start Network

Location United Kingdom with hybrid working options
Salary £54,400 - £65,000 per annum
Team Operations
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 5th Mar 2023 GMT

Job Description


Start Network is a global membership of 55 organisations, working across six continents, to tackle what we see as the biggest systemic problems in the global humanitarian system. Start Network is an independent charity. We also work with Save the Children UK, which acts a grant custodian for Start Network.


DECENTRAISLING & LOCALLY-LED ACTION: Shifting power and resources and decentralising decision-making to locally led networks and organisations.

 EARLY & RAPID FINANCING: Building a global financing system that reduces risk, anticipates, and acts ahead of predictable crises.

 COMMUNITY-LED INNOVATION: Incentivising innovative, locally led, and contextual solutions and learning from them together with people affected by crises.

To devolve and decentralise power within the global humanitarian system, we are working to become a distributed and global network of civil society hubs and members supported by a global platform that fosters connections, alignment of members, and innovation. Hubs are locally led networks of local, national, and international humanitarian actors working together to develop contextualised ways of dealing with humanitarian crises. We currently have five hubs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guatemala, India, the Pacific, and Pakistan.

For more information about Start Network and what we do, please visit our website.


The Head of Finance will lead our Finance Team, shaping its work to respond to the changing needs of a dynamic organisation. With a recognised finance qualification, you will be responsible for leading the function, ensuring it is a trusted partner delivering an exceptional financial service to internal and external stakeholders.  You will identify and adapt best practices and innovations from within the sector to enable Start Network to meet its needs as it evolves. You will ensure that we are well positioned to take on more grant funding and develop new and innovative financial products. This is an outstanding opportunity for someone to shape and lead our finance function, making an important and lasting contribution to the sector.



  • Provide robust, expert financial support and advice to the Chief Finance & Operations Officer (CFOO), leadership team and Finance and Audit Committee (FAC)

  • Deputise for the Chief Finance Operating Officer on financial matters as required

  • Lead on financial strategy and planning to enable us to become a major international grant recipient, including supporting development and roll out of grant management systems and processes

  • Ensure that our financial systems and processes are agile, providing support and guidance to colleagues in using them

  • Lead on specific and innovative finance projects to meet the changing needs of the organisation

  • Work as part of the Senior Management Team to help lead on delivery of the organisations strategy.

  • Identify and evaluate financial risks and opportunities.


  • Lead on key aspects of financial planning across the organisation, including risk management and scenario planning, working closely with the CFOO.

  • Create financial models to assist the organisation in managing financial sustainability as its operating model evolves.  This will also include monthly management of going concern forecasting.

  • Provide financial modelling and impact analysis e.g., inflation, activity projections, workforce fluctuations or indirect cost recovery for the CFOO and FAC.

  • Work with the CFOO to manage all areas of tax compliance including VAT and corporation tax

  • Lead on monitoring and managing the annual budget delivery plan to inform business decisions.

  • Oversee production of monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports and ensure they are provided to managers.

  • Lead the statutory accounts process, ensuring relevant resourcing and processes are in place to meet our needs, acting as the main point of contact with the external auditors. 

  • Ensure that financial systems are robust (including those relating to the grant custodian and any other financial arrangements) and that adequate controls are in place to provide assurance that funds are applied appropriately.

  • Ensure that all process and procedures and arrangements are in place for detecting and reporting fraud and support any investigative procedures as required.


  • Monitor donor grant pipeline to ensure future funding targets are accurately communicated to Resource Mobilisation team

  • Oversee the monitoring of donor income against budgets and manage recoveries and fund balances

  • Oversee donor financial reporting and compliance to donor T&Cs, and manage risk of disallowances

  • Support the Resource Mobilisation Team in negotiating donor T&Cs for new grants


  • Line manage the Finance Manager and Start Ready Programme Manager and support the growth and development of other finance team members currently including the Finance Officer, Grants and Finance Coordinator, and Finance Administrator

  • Monitor performance and ensure KPI’s and targets are met or exceeded.

  • Manage consultants and other third-party contractors as required., specifically Payroll and VAT services providers at present

  • Provide team leadership to enhance ways of working as a team, providing high quality advice and levels of service to the organisation.


  • To carry out the responsibilities of the role in line with the Start Network Code of Conduct and with a commitment to safeguarding adults and children

  • A commitment to the Start Network vision, principles, values, and approach

  • The Start Network team is an agile group of individuals who use their experience and skills across the network, so flexibility to work in and with different teams and functions is a part of our culture.



  • Track record of leading a successful financial partnering service, managing a high-calibre, multi-disciplinary team to deliver against demanding timescales.

  • Excellent analytical and reasoning skills.

  • Proven experience of developing financial models, operating principles, and managing complex budgeting and reporting processes.

  • Demonstrable experience of working at a strategic level and being responsive to change.

  • Experience of developing finance practice and making improvements to service provision.

  • Proven project and team management capability.

  • Qualified Finance professional: ACCA, ACA, or CIMA.


Communication: Flex communication style to convey complex information concisely to different audiences, avoiding jargon and using simple language.

Strategic Thinking: Hold both a strategic perspective and enough detail to work with one part of the organisation whilst understanding the impact on other parts of the organisation and network through listening and engaging with other teams.

Collaboration: Develop teams by creating safe spaces for them to be challenged and supported to try new things and learn from one another.

Leadership of self and others: Create and promote a learning culture, authentically sharing own learning and supporting others to do the same at organisational, team and network level

Ability to adapt and learn: Promote a culture that delivers, learns, and iterates, sharing evidence across the organisation and network by enabling others to establish rhythms and shared spaces

Getting things done the Start Network way: Provide an enabling environment for the organisation to try out new approaches to technology, financial and people management through openness to experimentation and learning from outside the sector


  • Centrally located office space if based in the UK.

  • Hybrid working with options to work from home and remotely

  • Flexible working arrangements

  • Contributory pension

  • Life Assurance

  • Family friendly policies

  • Learning and development opportunities for individuals and cross-organisationally

  • 25 days’ holiday plus 2 company days over the Christmas/End of Year period


Start Network can sometimes support job shares and part-time working. Please get in touch during the application stage to discuss options.

Start Network is committed to protecting people, particularly children, at-risk adults and affected populations from any harm. We are also committed to safeguarding staff from any forms of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power as outlined in the Dignity at Work policy. Start Network embraces diversity, promotes equality of opportunity and eliminates unlawful discrimination. We are an equal opportunities employer and treat every application on merit alone. We particularly encourage applications from disabled, BAME, LGBTQ+ and non-binary candidates. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our essential selection criteria set out in the Person Profile.


If you have any questions or need support with your application, please email us using peopleandculture@startnetwork.org

Closing date: Sunday 5th March, 11.59pm (GMT)

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if we receive sufficient applications for the role. Applications may be reviewed on an ongoing basis, so please apply early where possible

Any offer of employment will be conditional subject to relevant checks. Please refer to our privacy statement and candidate privacy notice regarding treatment of your data. Start Network also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. The core of the scheme is that participating organisations share information about safeguarding-related misconduct (i.e., sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment) that a candidate has been found to have committed during employment, or incidents under investigation when the candidate left employment. For more information regarding this scheme, please visit their website: https://misconduct-disclosure-scheme.org/

Removing bias from the hiring process

Applications closed Sun 5th Mar 2023


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Sun 5th Mar 2023