Position title: Group Lodge Controller (GLC)
Reporting to: Chief Operating Officer | Hospitality & Director of Finance | Hospitality
Supervises: Lodge Controllers at each Lodge, Camp & Hotel
Duty station: Nairobi Head Office, with frequent travel to Lodges, Camps & Hotels
As part of the senior management team for lodge Operations, the GLC is a multi-disciplinary, multi-functional professional, responsible for the training, development and proper performance of lodge control and finance functions.
This person possesses commercial acumen & reasoning flair, effectively assessing operational performance, as well as oversight over optimum utilisation of available resources.
This is a hands-on operational finance position of strategic importance, with multiple reporting obligations, requiring flexibility of movement and an ability to handle multiple locations simultaneously; all whilst timely managing internal control compliance across the group.
The GLC leads the group’s lodge SOP Continuous Improvement Program, synergizing and improving our systems, processes, data analytics and reporting.
The GLC assumes overall accountability for lodge financial operations, whilst maintaining a supervisory (controller) role over lodge-based financial management, accounting, internal control and transaction processing.
The GLC is responsible for maintaining the accuracy, consistency and completeness of all operational financial information, associated budget performance and KPIs reporting, including effective analysis of lodge reporting to identify and address optimisation opportunities.
At its core, the GLC position requires an internal control compliance professional who will work closely with the Lodge Managers, Lodge Controllers, head office Operations, Finance, Revenue Assurance and Group Shared Services functions to provide operational reporting and data analytics, assurance and SOP compliance.
The GLC is accountable for design, development and compliance with all lodge-based operational controls, local and national laws and regulations, SOPs and commercial contracts, achieved by carrying out periodic audits, spot checks and control assessment of the revenue, cost, human resource, property and equipment, procurement, logistics, custody, working capital and treasury control cycles at lodges.
The GLC will conduct periodic operational audits detailing relevant observations noted, associated risk impact, recommendations and corrective action plans with (action closure) timelines; whilst maintaining an updated register of unresolved operational control risk(s) and events of non-compliance.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Controller - Oversee Accounting, Financial Operations & Compliance
- Oversee lodge accounting, financial operations (and associated transaction processing cycles) for all group hospitality locations.
- Oversee timely submission of lodge financial reports, ensuring consistent periodic submission compliance with all reporting SOPs is maintained.
- Oversee compliance with all operational (financial) policies & procedures; ensure systematic processes & workflows are being implemented.
- Audit (& analyse) key lodge financial reports on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to ensure that all transactions & balances reported are accurate, & in compliance with standard operating procedures.
- Timely support, coordinate and liaise with the DOO & the Head Office Finance staff to resolve any audit queries and reporting discrepancies.
- Collaborate with lodge finance team(s) to resolve cost cycle discrepancies and queries that arise between the lodge and the head office.
- Coordinate and liaise with the head office revenue assurance and finance teams to timely address revenue cycle discrepancies & queries raised.
- Ensure month-end & year-end (financial & operational) close processes take place conclusively and are appropriately signed off, within the prescribed timelines.
- Contribute and participate meaningfully in the annual (operational) budgeting process, providing useful input on underlying (operational) budget assumptions.
Operational Audit at Lodges/ Camps & Head Office Central Stores (HO CS)
- Carry out scheduled audit visits to ensure that at least 2 lodges are audited monthly, including necessary liaison with Lodge Management, reporting & follow-up of action closure (to conclusion).
- Carry out scheduled audit visits to ensure that all the HO CS locations are audited at least once monthly, preferably during the monthly stock take.
- As a minimum, the audit visits must include review of internal control procedure compliance, (cash & inventory count) spot checks, review of materials control (system) integrity, treasury (accuracy), financial (system & records) audit (covering revenue and cost cycles), fixed asset (management), including review of any relevant associated reconciliation(s).
- All confirmed control weaknesses and risks observed from the audits must be timely reported (with recommended corrective measures and associated action closure timelines) for the action of the Lodge Manager, with a copy to the Chief Operating Officer (Hospitality), Director of Finance (Hospitality) and Group Internal Auditor.
- Coordinate & facilitate ongoing internal, external, regulatory & compliance audit processes to conclusion.
- Perform any other operational audit tasks /projects, as required by the senior management.
Internal Control Compliance Management
- Ensure an effective operational control environment; constantly surveil internal control framework(s), associated procedures & performance dashboards to proactively manage potential & realised (internal control) compliance risks.
- Maintain open lines of communication with the Lodge Management Team, Operations Management Team, Finance Management Team and the Group Support Service Team(s), to ensure that all prevailing risks are timely identified and reported/ escalated & addressed.
- Foster control & risk self-assessment as a desired culture practice amongst lodge management, with a view to motivate operational finance teams in proactively addressing control weaknesses.
- Ensure commercially advantageous & optimum utilisation of available resources is maintained; encourage the practice of carrying out cost-benefit analysis as a basis for effective decision making
- Recommend & implement (approved) improvements to existing systems, procedures & controls as necessary, timely updating relevant Policies & Procedures as necessary.
- Ensure persistently adverse control risks are timely managed, and reported on; such that the Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee and the Leadership team are timely kept well informed of the same.
Oversee Materials Control & Asset Custody Management
- Monitor all operational assets (including fixed assets, motor vehicles, plant & machinery) to ensure that they are safeguarded via appropriate procedures, controls & established reporting mechanisms
- Maintain consistent oversight over all inventory balances at both the micro and macro level; monitor demand forecast levels taking lodge-specific seasonality & occupancy into account.
- Oversee that all lodge, central stores & warehouse locations are securely maintained with inventory items stored & arranged in a structured, systematic & accessible manner.
- Oversee that stock takes are carried out at the lodge stores, central stores & warehouse at least twice a month to confirm the accuracy of physical inventory (to system inventory balances).
- Followup occurence of regular inventory spot checks for (elevated risk) stock items; oversee any losses identified are appropriately reported & addressed/ recovered
- Followup resolution of stock variances/ discrepancies identified during the monthly stock take, overseeing the escalation of any significant variance(s) for further necessary action.
- Interface with lodge stores, central stores & warehouse staff on a weekly basis to review cycle counts & oversee adjustment of stock discrepancies, slow moving, non moving, expired & obsolete stock; identify & report resultant gaps in training, systems, technology, including recommendations & improvement opportunities.
- Review consumption performance reports periodically; examine key financial metrics diligently, ensuring that any discrepancies and exceptions identified are timely addressed.
System & Procedure Enhancement
- Contribute to the development & enhancement of operational financial systems & associated internal controls; recommend & implement (approved) revenue & cost cycle control procedural improvements.
- Ensure that all requisite operational information is readily available within the ERP system, such that it is enabled to generate information in a consistent & efficient manner; avoiding manual (processing) intervention to the largest extent possible
- Improve the reliability of financial reports by integrating/ automating process flows (& the associated document audit trail) enabling seamless reporting to the largest extent possible
- Continually scrutinise & optimise lodge resource utilisation; enhance operational value chains in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, system capability & integration.
Team & People Management
- Effectively train, support and provide leadership to the lodge finance teams; hold weekly meetings to manage performance & mentor staff effectively; achieve optimum staff performance
- Provide guidance & on job (system, SOP, report, software) training to the lodge finance teams in relation to the front office, materials control & back office; carry out necessary formal training(s)
- Develop lodge finance teams in a collaborative manner through effective communication, continuous learning & system optimization initiatives; delegate authority to utilise available skill set strength(s)
- Evaluate performance of staff in order to acknowledge efficient employees & guide underperforming employees; identify relevant staff who require training & implement necessary training accordingly
- Provide feedback to staff who are persistently under performing; ensure that HR is kept well informed of staff performance challenges.
- Provide support by regularly visiting group locations to mentor & supervise financial operations staff
- Consistently validate and maintain oversight over the scope & quality of operational financial (reporting) deliverables submitted by the lodge finance teams.
- Compile operational (revenue, cost & asset) statistics & analytics on a periodic basis to monitor operational performance; ensure all relevant financial/ non-financial and qualitative/ quantitative compliance metrics are consistently reported in a matrix format, in harmony with reporting procedures.
- Compile Budget Performance Exception Reporting; monitor & analyse Key Performance Indicators for adverse trends and values; report and address all adverse variances and trends to resolution
- Prepare & submit periodic operational audit reports in the agreed form & content to the Lodge Manager, submitting a copy to the Chief Operations Officer, Director of Finance & Group Internal Auditor.
- Provide consistent periodic follow-up reporting on high risk areas, including relevant mitigation measures & (audit finding) action closure status.
- Timely report & advise the operational management of any operational actions/ changes that require implementation, indicating priority & impact of action(s); attend periodic operation meetings to document actions taken & progress achieved.
- Report at least quarterly to the Chief Operations Officer & Director of Finance on the effectiveness and impact of the (operational) internal control compliance improvement initiative
- Prepare & submit any supplementary operational financial schedules and related reports, as required
Custodian of Documents & Records
- Be the custodian of original copies of all (signed off) lodge financial related reports and documents; ensure maintenance of effective up to date document management systems
- Contribute towards the development of the group (online) document & record library so as to facilitate ease of access (& reference) to all (original) lodge finance documents & reports
- Account for all lodge (financial) reports; ensure that all requisite reports are timely completed, reviewed, audited (either weekly, monthly, quarterly as appropriate), signed off & duly submitted.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- % Compliance with Lodge Reporting Requirements (Matrix Format) for daily, weekly, monthly reports (on a monthly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
- % Extent Coverage of Periodic Lodge Operation Performance Exceptions, Statistics & Analytics - Financial/ Non Financial (on a monthly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
- Lodge (controllable) KPI variance to budget analysis (on a monthly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
- No. of Lodge audits documented & concluded in entirety within schedule (on a quarterly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
- Recurring control weaknesses identified (on a quarterly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
- No. of Control risks mitigated/ resolved via successful action closure of audits (on a quarterly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
- Overall non-compliance (to operational SOPs) - No. of events escalated & addressed (on a quarterly basis)-Per Unit|Jurisdiction|Brand
Key Results Areas (KRAs)
- Timely Reporting Submission & Analysis
- Effective KPI & Budget Exception Reporting
- Timely Internal Control Compliance
- Effective Internal Control Optimization
- Effective Control Self Assessment
- Effective System (Capability) Utilisation
- System Data Accuracy & Balance Integrity
- Efficient and Effective Resource Utilisation
- In depth knowledge of financial internal controls, accounting principles and procedures
- Proven experience in managing & controlling finance, budgeting & accounting functions
- Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and Google Suite applications
- Highly analytical with the ability to swiftly organise, interpret & report on large data volumes
- Highly effective communicator, with a flair for training, leadership & team-building
- Possess commercial acumen & flair, with a positive ‘can do’ attitude, enthusiasm & initiative
- Professional, confidential, impartial & trustworthy and with a highly ethical demeanour
- Independent, objective and non-partisan with a reasonable degree of professional scepticism
- Proactive critical thinker with effective planning, scheduling and supervision skills
- Highly disciplined and well organised, with a systematic structured work approach
- Highly effective written & verbal reporting (communication) skills
- Qualified Certified / Chartered Accountant (ACCA, CA or CPA) or holder of a similar bachelor's degree in a relevant Finance and Accounting discipline
- 3 to 5+ years work experience in accounting, audit & internal controls in a reputed hospitality and/or audit environment
- Works cross-functionally across a multi-faceted group
- Experience in Oracle Netsuite or similar ERP, related POS and ResRequest would be advantageous