Head of Planning & Analysis

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £62,125 - £69,027 pro-rata, per annum & EBCU £3800 per annum

Location: Hermiston Quay (Edinburgh)


This role will be responsible for the leadership and management of the Planning and Analysis Team and related functions within the Trust. This includes the following key areas:

• Tri-Annual Budget Process,
• Quarterly Forecasting,
• Monthly Performance reporting,
• Strategic and Project Planning,
• Financial Support for Decision making,
• Analysis and insight reporting,
• Business Partner Support across the Trust.

An area of priority will be to lead and guide the team in the design and roll-out of a 3 year Budget Planning Process. It is expected that the Head of Planning and Analysis will strive to improve the breadth of business partnering support provided to the Trust through the on-going development of finance systems and processes, and coaching and mentoring the team to provide appropriate financial advice and support.

Reporting to the Finance Director, the postholder is required to support them in delivering programmes of work that meet the Trust’s objectives.


As a senior manager in the Finance Team:

• Lead and manage the Planning and Analysis Team, ensuring that they are supported, developed and performance managed in accordance with the HR policies of the Trust to ensure that the functions of the team are delivered efficiently and effectively, and members of the team are able to continually improve and develop.
• Develop and maintain best in class Financial Performance reporting which provides clarity and insight to all stakeholders, ensuring that Forecasting and Reporting is accurate and presented in an appropriate format for users.
• Provide Insightful advice and guidance to support the long term sustainability of the organization having due consideration of the Trusts policies and principles.
• Provide insightful Financial Support and Guidance to all key decisions and Projects in the Trust.
• Provide strong leadership support to corporate services operations, including capital projects
• Lead the creation and roll out of the corporate wide 3 year operating plans, co-ordinating all Budget Holders.
• Working with and influencing the Senior Managers of the Trust to ensure that they are supported and guided to achieve financial objectives within budget.
• Active member of the Finance management team and will be involved in supporting cross-Trust initiatives and representing the Finance team in these.
• Support the Finance Director in the leadership of the development and implementation of a sustainable structure and culture for the team which embodies the Trust’s values and focuses the team on customer service, performance and stewardship.
In relation to the key areas of responsibility for specific role:
• Strategic Planning
Working closely with the Senior team to formulate the business’s medium to long term financial and strategic plan. Understand the Trust wide strategy and the KPIs which are important
Lead project based work, including owning financial modelling for the Trust wide FP&A
• Planning and Forecasting

Developing and owning the rolling 3-year model
Coordination and production of the consolidated Annual Operating Plan and Quarterly Forecasts, including presentation to Exco,
Managing a team responsible for the entire forecasting process; managing revenue, costs and KPI’s,
Update forecasts for each region and Team, and consolidate the forecasts for the Trust
Business partner with Regions and different departments to attain relevant information and support them to build their annual budgets and forecasts
Evaluate previous budgets and expenditure performance to inform the development and implementation of future budgets
• Analysis and Insight
Provide insights to senior management, around financial modelling, forecasts and profitability
Producing models to project long term growth and determine the impacting business factors
Analyse financial and operational results to better understand company performance
Utilising BI tools to deliver meaningful insights into business performance

• Reporting

Produce regular, relevant and insightful forecasting and planning packs for reporting to key stakeholders
Communicate results and recommendations to senior management for improvements that will lead to cost reduction, revenue generation and streamlining operations
Communicate to senior management the reasons behind the product/department performance and results

• Decision Support

Make informed suggestions about the best way to improve margins for the Commercial elements of the Trust
Model potential “product” launches and assess the viability of profitability for these products
Preparing business cases to support new investment, strategic and other business decisions

• Team
Building a high-performance FP&A function based on understanding of what best-in-class looks like
Review existing processes and procedures to develop recommendations for improvement efforts
Develop the team through coaching and mentoring with a strong focus on learning and progression
The current duties of this job do require a criminal records (Disclosure Scotland) check to be carried out


• Fully qualified with a relevant professional accounting qualification (ACCA, CA or CIMA);
• Degree Level qualified with high quality directly relevant experience.
• Significant and varied post qualifying financial management and leadership experience, Strong cross functional business partnering and FP&A background
• Experience of influencing and advising at a senior level to secure necessary organisational engagement and change required to implement financial best practice processes.
• Proven experience in a senior financial leadership role, with the ability to coach, influence and motivate a large team of staff (qualified and non-qualified).
• Demonstrable experience of using a Significant analytical skillset, including the utilisation of BI, modelling and reporting tools to deliver large complex initiatives.
• Experience in leading and delivering significant projects, within a complex organization to achieve growth, ensuring these are delivered on time and within budget.
• Experience in creating and leading periodic and long term Budgeting and Forecasting processes for large complex organisations
• Demonstrable experience of ability to communicate data-driven insights through charts and visuals. Strong oral and written communication skills
• MS Dynamics 365 Experience;
• Charities/Third Sector Experience.
Skills & Knowledge

• Must be highly motivated with a proactive approach to generating the best outcomes for the Trust
• Ability to consider the strategic direction of the Trust & identify opportunities, to accept challenges and responsibility, and initiate and implement positive change which support growth and sustainability
• Excellent people management skills, including motivating and managing people through change
• Ability to lead at a Strategic level, interpreting Trust Strategies and providing advice and guidance to support the delivery of organization wide objectives
• Ability to provide strong leadership of complex and diverse corporate services operations, including capital projects, and provide vision and structure to the team supporting delivery
• Excellent communication skills and confidence in dealing with a wide range of specialist and non-specialist staff at all levels, including excellent narrative report writing skills and able to present complex financial information in an understandable way.
• Well-developed analytical and numerical skills with a high level of attention to detail and accuracy.
• Ability to work under pressure, juggling conflicting priorities, managing change and delivering to tight deadlines without compromising accuracy or work or provision of customer service
• Excellent Computer Literacy skills; an advanced user of spreadsheets; and ability to assimilate and adapt quickly to new packages and other information technologies and systems. Must have the ability to look at systems from a strategic perspective and identify future opportunities for process improvement or automation

People Management
• Direct line management of 4 Finance Managers.
• Organisation Structure is as follows:

• Responsible for the continuing professional development of the resources within their responsibility.
• It is imperative that the post-holder is confident in dealing with colleagues at all levels within the organisation.

Financial Scope
• Not a budget holder;
• The post holder will need to make sound, justifiable decisions with regard to financial issues and organisation wide process change. These will generally be required only after consultation with senior staff.

The Key Responsibilities, Scope of Job, and Required Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge reflect the requirements of the job at the time of issue. The Trust reserves the right to amend these with appropriate consultation and/or request the post-holder to undertake any activities that it believes to be reasonable within the broad scope of the job or his/her general abilities.

Application Deadline: Friday 12/05/2023