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Senior Manager Accounting Expertise

Posted: 9 Nov 2020 Closes: 9 Jan 2021
London, United Kingdom Competitive
Permanent & Full-time URUVGLOBAL2419

JOB TITLE: Senior Manager Accounting Expertise

JOB LOCATION: 100VE (London Blackfriars)

Salary: Competitive + Excellent Benefits  


The Group Chief Accountant’s Department (GCAD) is part of the central Finance team. GCAD is responsible for Unilever’s external financial reporting and global financial reporting controls (including Sarbanes Oxley compliance), managing the global auditor relationship; determining and implementing Unilever’s accounting policies; and many other projects related to how Unilever measures its performance and presents and communicates this to the external world. GCAD are responsible for the collection of the monthly management result, the monthly financial results as well as the collection process for the forecast.

The GCAD Accounting Expertise group is responsible for:

  • Expertise on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and application within Unilever:
    • Determine global accounting policies, implement them and ensure compliance
    • Provide timely and clear guidance on the accounting implications of business decisions.
    • Assess the impact of proposed changes to IFRS and identify the actions required internally to comply with them. Where necessary act as advocate for the company with the standard setters or other governance bodies to defend its interests.
    • Developing and implementing a training strategy to support Unilever's financial reporting community. Deliver the training through various mediums, to address the needs of different audiences and learning preferences (such as e-learning, guides to best practice and live meetings)
    • Exclusive responsibility for developing and implementing an accounting and reporting knowledge management strategy to deliver ongoing support to Unilever's finance community

The team is responsible for reviewing all external GAAP, controls and reporting developments, lobbying on potential developments and identifying the implications and actions required internally to comply / meet all related challenges that arise.

The purpose of this role of the senior manager accounting expertise is to take overall responsibility for the group’s accounting policies, interpretations and advice – including all accounting resources available to Unilever employees.  They should have extensive accounting expertise and be externally focussed to ensure that Unilever’s financial accounting policies, advisory and resources are best in class amongst our peers.

Leading technical accounting and reporting

The job holder will lead on the Group’s compliance with IFRS (plus some UK, Dutch and US GAAP and International GAAS) accounting and reporting requirements for listed companies and leading conversations with external auditors on upcoming accounting developments and how they might impact Unilever.  They will also lobby the standard setters towards the desired outcome for Unilever.

The job holder needs to be comfortable reading accounting/draft accounting standards and legal agreements / contracts, referring to them frequently, and also writing accounting papers – either in deep technical detail or high level summaries, depending on the intended audience, which will include the Group CFO and Audit Committee.

The job holder will lead on accounting advice provided to anyone within Unilever, including all resources and reference materials. They will maintain a tracker of the most material / judgemental matters for regular discussion with the VP Group Chief Accountant and EVP Group Controller. The job holder will need to be able to apply accounting knowledge to these internal queries and assess facts / situations, such as whether an economy is hyperinflationary under IAS 29.

Annual Report and Accounts and quarterly press releases

The job holder will be required to review the consistency and compliance of the Group accounts with the external requirements and support the Financial Reporting Expertise Manager in related conversations.  They will also own disclosure of accounting policies.

Ad hoc projects

In addition to frequent accounting questions from a range of internal stakeholders, ad hoc tasks will also be assigned depending on projects as they arise and will likely involve acquisition accounting expertise, internal legal entity reorganisations and compliance with UK and Dutch Company Law regarding distributable reserves.


  • Managing and leading a small team, including a WL1 employee, a secondee from a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm and temporary resources as needed for projects
  • Tracking of external technical accounting developments, summarising for management, preparing lobbying letters
  • Interpretation of new standards / legislation and ensuring readiness and actual application to the Unilever group, across all countries
  • Ad hoc related assignments within the Group Chief Accountant’s Department (GCAD)
  • Accounting Policy Steering Group Secretary
  • Provision of consistent, high quality accounting advice to the rest of Unilever on application of the Group’s accounting policies
  • Custodian of financial accounting expertise in Unilever
  • Networking with other teams and functions to solicit accounting queries where appropriate
  • Technical accounting acumen at the leading edge
  • Lead Unilever’s interpretation and implementation of the most technical accounting areas
  • Assist in delivering the training strategy for accounting skills and capabilities throughout Unilever via supporting the Accounting and C0ntrols Training Lead – provides content to the Training Lead to enable them to deliver effective, high quality training and resources
  • Maintain contact with accounting firms for additional temporary resources as required depending on workload (e.g. implementation of major new accounting standards)
  • Validation of claims/statements made in the Annual Report and Accounts - engaging with all different parts of the business, including many outside Finance supported by short term secondees from other departments – managing them and ensuring the work is complete to a tight timetable


  • Qualified Financial Accountant with solid post qualified experience
  • Understanding the requirements of external auditors and the Sarbanes Oxley act
  • Knowledge of the UK Companies Act and experience of its application to distributable reserves
  • Corporate Centre experience of a large global listed group (either as an employee or consultant / auditor / advisor)
  • Highly technically capable accountant; previous experience of technical accounting matters for large multinational group (either as an employee or consultant / auditor / advisor)
  • Advanced organisational skills and task management
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to read and interpret IFRS exposure drafts, analyse impact, and prepare lobbying comment letters
  • High standard of writing English language


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