1st December 2015

Finance / Office Manager for a London-based private family office and companies

The office looks after the bookkeeping and accounts of a family’s businesses along with other family financial matters.  It is a busy office with a small team of people who need to work closely together.  The role became available after the previous incumbent resigned.

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On the face of it this was straight forward role requiring the person to carry out all the day-to-day processing of operational and financial administration, and bookkeeping up to trail balance.  They would also look after VAT returns, bank reconciliation and the general office management.

Upon meeting the client we had the opportunity to learn about the role and company culture in greater depth, which provided an insight into the personal qualities and skills beyond the job description, which our client had identified as essential.  These qualities included stability and reliability, high levels of accuracy and attention to detail, total discretion, good organisational ability, and strong team skills.   Additionally an ability to speak French would also be beneficial.


Armed with the job description and person specification we had a clear idea of the key skills and qualities necessary to perform the role.  The challenge was to create a short-list, of candidates who would match the client’s exacting standards and produce a winner.

Our initial approach was to identify a short-list of potential candidates who appeared from their cv to possess the required technical bookkeeping and accounting skills.  They were then screened by telephone.   From these initial conversations, we identified the most suitable candidates whom we then interviewed face-to-face and carried out an assessment of their’ basic bookkeeping and accounting skills.

We then selected the best four whom we considered capable of carrying out the practical aspects role and had the character and personality the client required.

Our client then saw our four and chose two for a final interview, from which the winner emerged.  An offer was made and five years on the person hired has progressed to a more senior role in the business.

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