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Finance Manager at the Boutique Chalet Company

About the Job

The Boutique Chalet Company are looking to recruit a Finance Manager who will take on a senior level of responsibility within the company. Day-to-day you will drive all the main financial and administrative processes but you will also become a trusted member of the leadership team helping to shape the future growth and direction of our business.

You’ll be highly organised and efficient at basic accounting tasks, allowing you to spend more time on analytical and performance-related work that can add value. Their business is transaction-heavy and has multiple P&L streams as each property we manage operates with financial independence, so it’s important you can work at varying levels of detail whilst always keeping sight of the big picture.

They are a small team so you will be reporting directly to the Managing Director and working alongside other leads daily. There will be a lot of autonomy in your role so you’ll need to be proactive and self-motivated to achieve success both in your specific area and for the company as a whole. You will also have a lot of exposure to key external contacts, particularly their property owners who are, in effect, investors in their business. For these reasons, it’s vital that you’re a strong communicator and that you’re able to make considered judgement calls that don’t just rely on numerical data but also the context of a given situation.

As a UK-limited company with a French branch, there are accounting responsibilities in both countries. They have experienced accountancy firms appointed in both jurisdictions to support us in statutory tasks. You’ll need to work with them to ensure all their responsibilities are met – it’s a great opportunity to gain first-hand exposure to international accountancy practices in a small business environment.

The position represents an exciting opportunity for an experienced Finance Manager to have real influence in a small dynamic business where you’ll not only need to utilise your accounting expertise but also challenge and develop your wider business skills.

About

The Boutique Chalet Company is a specialist operator of luxury ski chalets in the French Alps. There are two sides to their business. First, they provide a property management function to their property owners, helping to look after their homes throughout the year. Second, they market and let out the properties for luxury summer and winter holidays. As part of this, they employ a large seasonal team of operational staff, providing many of the services you may find in a full-service hotel.

They are a small team split between two locations. In the UK, they are based in Bath, where we also manage a shared office space in the heart of the city – this is where their sales and back office function is based. In France, they are based in Morzine, where their operational team is located.

Established in 2011, they’re now one of the most respected brands in the luxury ski industry and have parallel activity in luxury property through our sister company, Dunsford Property in the UK.

Role Summary

  • Bookkeeping – you will take overall responsibility for accurate and timely bookkeeping and account reconciliation – during the peak season you will be supported by an additional resource or graduate accountant.
  • Payments and Bank Account Management – oversee and schedule a wide variety of supplier payments across multiple currencies and a variety of bank accounts – the ideal candidate would also bring an understanding of key treasury skills to optimise their Fx exposure and savings interest positions.
  • Personnel Finances – you will be responsible for working closely with their accountants to process the monthly payroll in both the UK and France, as well as handling appropriate deductions and invoicing where applicable.
  • Statutory Reporting – oversee monthly and annual reporting requirements including the production of VAT returns and annual accounts – working alongside their accountants in both the UK and France. You will have a strong understanding of basic accounting principles for accrual-based accounting.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting – using established models and historical data, you will help to set suitable budgets for all aspects of operations. You’ll also have a keen understanding of relative risk, focussing your analysis on high-value decision areas.
  • Management Accounts – you will produce regular management accounts both for their internal use and also for their property owners, to help track and manage the performance of their business in critical areas.
  • Process Design and Governance – you will provide a design input to all processes that have a financial consequence, helping to ensure suitable governance is in place to control financial risk – a key part of this will be the management of their Soldo platform which enables budget controlled payments by operational teams in France
  • Contract Management – you will oversee the diligence of their contact management for both suppliers and property owners, ensuring that contracts remain up to date and that they are accurately managed accordingly.
  • Communication – you will need to possess strong communication skills – your role will directly interact with their property owners – who are essentially the investors in their business – and also their staff – who are their most valuable assets. You’ll be adept at varying your town and messaging style with a strong awareness of how you represent both your ideas and the wider company.
  • Language – whilst speaking French isn’t expected, you will need to be able to communicate with people in France so where necessary, will be adept and comfortable at using translation tools. At the very least we would expect you to have an interest in progressing some basic French language skills.

Benefits

  • Strong base salary of between £45,000 and £65,000 per annum dependent on experience.
  • Performance related bonus – typical target is 8% of base salary
  • Holiday is 25 days annual leave per year plus bank holidays
  • 1 extra day annual leave on (or within a week of) your birthday
  • 1 ‘charity’ day per year allowing you to volunteer or raise money for a good cause

They operate a hybrid working pattern which can afford great flexibility once you’re established – most of the team work from home several days a week. Your main base will be in Bath where the UK team is located, but you’ll also need to occasionally travel to France – particularly during the winter season – to interact with colleagues and suppliers.