City of Surrey
General Manager, Finance
Surrey is a recognized municipal leader in financial accountability and it maintains a sustainable financial status through comprehensive financial management and meticulous planning. The City’s financial procedures and control systems are transparent, compliant and ensure sound long-term financial stewardship for its residents.
This role provides foundational financial leadership to the Council, the City Manager and senior management, for budgeting, long range financial planning, auditing, risk management, purchasing, taxes, payroll, and financial reporting. The General Manager Finance identifies innovation and global best practices to ensure Surrey is a thriving, green, inclusive City.
Reporting to the City Manager, and working collaboratively with the Senior Management Team (SMT) across City Departments, the General Manager Finance plans, controls and analyzes the financial transactions of the City in alignment with Council’s direction. The General Manager Finance provides strategic leadership, direction and structure for the City’s
(and related utilities and entities) finance structures. As a member of SMT, this position participates in establishing corporate direction and in achieving corporate goals and objectives.
The General Manager Finance leads approximately 104 staff (both union and non-union) and manages key relationships with outside consultants, subject matter experts, vendors and contractors.
KEY OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES
- Contribute to the City’s goal of best serving its residents, businesses, staff and other stakeholders into the future.
- Sustain transparent, accountable and credible financial systems and services; lead the development of multiyear finance plans to achieve Council’s vision. Review, evaluate and optimize existing and new financial practices, systems and technology.
- Work with SMT to ensure financial excellence across all departments; provide financial support, guidance and advice to City Council, City Manager, City Staff and outside agencies.
- Demonstrate the City’s values of service, community, innovation, integrity and teamwork.
- Effectively articulate the role finance fulfills in all areas of City services, highlighting opportunities for future opportunities and overcoming challenges.
- Explore, evaluate and consider finance best practices both in municipalities and with other organizations to deliver the best results for Surrey residents.
- Provide strategic leadership, direction and structure for external vendors/partners/agencies.
- Manage the complex and challenging change efforts necessitated by the evolution of technology, customer service models, privacy requirements and legislative requirements.
- Perform the statutory duties of a Financial Officer as outlined by Section 149 of the Community Charter.
- Direct all functions of the Finance Department, including financial planning, financing, financial reporting, accounting, budgeting, payroll, tax collection, auditing, risk management, and purchasing.
- Exercise general control of the overall accounting methods in accordance with generally recognized accounting principles, legislative standards, and the information requirements relating to finance and budgeting.
- Direct and coordinate financial impact and feasibility studies in regard to residential, commercial and industrial development and report to the City Manager and Council.
- Direct the preparation of rate studies for the various City utilities and enterprises.
- Develop strategic and operational plans. Develop and recommend various financial strategies, budgets and tax rates to Council.
- Direct the preparation of capital and revenue forecasts and report to City Council on funding/financing and prepare related economic reviews.
- Manage the RCMP Contract.
- Direct the preparation of financial information for release to the public and for publication.
- Attend City Council meetings and advise on financial and administrative matters.
Engage: Lead the Finance Team in the delivery of complex financial services. Lead by supporting/encouraging others in gaining personal mastery, having autonomy and understanding the purpose. Lead a diverse team of financial experts, with a strong commitment to service, in a spirit that is inclusive, engaging and rewarding. Coordinate and evaluate team efforts.
Innovate: Model the City’s value by learning, being comfortable with new ideas, and having the curiosity to seek innovation and the courage to try change; explore new technologies/best practices, to re-think finance practices, and to identify initiatives that can deliver greater benefit for Surrey residents
Collaborate: Work with staff, stakeholders, subject matter experts, other City departments, and residents on finance strategies to continue building the best City. As a member of the Senior Management Team, provide input to and coordinate and integrate the work of other City Departments in various City-wide issues and policy matters. Provide advisory services to SMT on such issues as the status of financial resources, financial trends and operational results revealed by accounting data, development of methods for improving operations, and capital investment analysis. Maintain an effective working
relationship with the Provincial Government, interpret the Community Charter and ensure the City conforms to the Provincial Government's accounting requirements and reporting standards established by Statistics Canada.
Lead: Implement the optimal financial practices that resolve long-standing business challenges, share the solutions with others, and create best in class financial performance to financial standards. Increase financial services to the public as part of the transformation of the delivery of City services. Lead the development of strategic finance plans. Collect, interpret and preparing data for studies, reports and recommendations. Coordinate work with other departments and with other stakeholders.
Measure: Lead the use of appropriate financial metrics across the City (including the balanced scorecard) by creating, evolving and implementing financial metrics, policies and procedures that establish and sustain excellent standards of performance. Prepare multiyear City wide financial plans and budgets, assuring sound fiscal control. Provide strategic advice on the evaluation, selection, implementation and maintenance of financial systems to ensure appropriate investments in strategic and operational systems.
Coach: Support others by providing financial practice/budget advice to City Council, City Management, City Staff, and external stakeholders; represent the City at various conferences, symposiums, finance meetings, sharing and gaining technology insights adding value to the bigger municipal financing discussion.
The successful candidate possesses the communication skills necessary to motivate financial excellence within the City; inspires change, stimulating both staff and key stakeholders to embrace new technology; develops relationships within the City, and with key external stakeholders; acts as a Finance leader and advisor to City Council, City Manager, City Staff and outside agencies; and manages the complex and challenging change efforts necessitated by the size and diversity of operations of the City.
The successful candidate will hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Finance) or a related field, with a professional accounting designation. A post graduate degree is preferred. S/he will have ten (10) plus years of related experience in progressive leadership roles in complex organizations (preferably including experience in the public sector) with strong business acumen and technical understanding. S/he has a thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of accounting associated with proven professional skills in municipal Finance.
- Innovative, inclusive and transparent leader; motivates, develops, empowers and engages others.
- Comfortable with new ideas and has the curiosity to seek new opportunities and implement change. Collaborative decision maker focused on practical, timely solutions. Self-assured and confident; drives towards results while constantly problem-solving. Learns quickly; recognizes and adapts to evolving conditions. Translates knowledge and ideas into action and tangible and measurable outcomes.
- Business acumen, including a keen understanding of the business issues that municipalities face (i.e., strategic and operational planning, municipal funding, staff administration, relevant laws, marketing, financial and cost analysis, trends in the public sector and the primary services models/goals of municipalities). Anticipates the future. Comprehends complex, business subjects; able to link and apply complex financial practices to business strategies. Demonstrated experience managing complex and demanding projects with competing interests and resources; keeps projects on track and hold teams to deliverables.
- Demonstrated ability to relate to and/or appreciate all levels of stakeholders with multiple and sometimes competing priorities. Demonstrated team building and relationship management skills and a proven ability to work across departments and stakeholders. Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with the public, staff and management.
- Solutions focused; demonstrated track-record for building financial strategies that address significant business opportunities. Works independently, organizes workload and sets priorities. Analyzes and evaluates data for the solution of complex problems.
- Establishes an efficient execution of work and motivates subordinates to develop to the highest potential of their capabilities. Plans, directs, co-ordinates, assigns and reviews the work of professional subordinates. Delegates effectively and ensures individual and team accountability. Uses judgment, makes decisions and takes actions that move issues to closure.
- Meets with and negotiates effectively with other government bodies, representatives of business, the development industry, other levels of Government, and other local governments.
- Resolves conflicts without major disruption to workflows or interpersonal relationships.
- Communicates effectively with large audiences. Works effectively with media.
- Establishes complex records and proceedings on confidential matters.
- Flexible and willing to change priorities to meet constantly changing and unrelenting deadlines.
- Private sector experience in a relevant field or sector.
- Management experience in a unionized environment.
- Knowledge of and experience in a variety of technology and financial best practices.
- A team player and builder who is trustworthy and accountable.
- Mature and respectful; level-headed.
- Analytical and creative.
- Service orientation.
- Excellent communication skills; for example, the ability to effectively and persuasively articulate high-level financial information to diverse audiences and organization levels.
- A demonstrated ability to forge partnerships, alliances and strong working relationships.
CITY OF SURREY
Guided by our core values of Community, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation and Service Excellence, the City of Surrey provides municipal government services to the residents and businesses of Canada's 12th largest city. We value the contributions of our 4000+ employees and are proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People. We’ve created a culture that reflects our desire to work collaboratively with our employees, our residents and our communities. Originally incorporated in 1879, the City of Surrey has received national and international awards for financial reporting, building excellence, recreation, policing and sustainability initiatives.
Surrey is set to be the most populous city in BC by 2041 and the Light Rail Transit project will help shape and focus this growth along the LRT corridors. With a capital cost of over $1B for the first phase of the project, this will be the largest capital project in our City’s history. Phase 1 will not only comfortably and efficiently transport over 18 million passengers per year, but will also transform Surrey into connected, complete and livable communities.