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Urban Outfitters - Brand Accountant

  • Location
  • London
  • Salary
  • Competitive plus benefits
  • Job Advert Description
  • JOB TITLE:                               Brand Accountant

    FUNCTION:                              Brand Finance

    REPORTING TO:                      Head of Brand Finance (within 6-12 months)

    LOCATION:                              Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EA

    MAIN STAKEHOLDERS:          Multiple


    This newly created brand role (transferred from Shared Accounts) will lead and develop the brand accounting process and support cost centre management for specific departments.

    The role will initially transfer specific workload from the URBN shared finance team, thus will initially report directly into the Brand Finance, International Finance & Operations Director, and would be based in our West Street Office (sitting within the URBN shared finance function).

    In the mid-term, the aim of the role will be to integrate the role within Brand Finance and transform how the brand and shared finance team(s) work to complete the month-end process (across both EU & USA). That coupled with reviewing and enhancing the month-end reporting and reconciliations documents, to ensure that the right information, is getting to the right people and thus ultimately to ensure the right business decisions are made.

    The individual will act as the brand lead in the preparation of accurate and timely financial statements and ensure appropriate accounting control procedures, working in collaboration with the Brand Commercial Finance Team and the URBN shared finance function. The over-arching aspiration of this role is to complete the accounts efficiently and effectively, ensuring that all sales and cost lines are fully accepted and understood.

    This role would suit a newly qualified accountant who is looking to develop their career in a dynamic, fashion retail business, who ideally has core management accounting experience though more importantly has the right mindset to succeed. Some of key pre-requisite skills are a detailed further down in this job spec – under “competency profile”.

    Main Responsibilities:

    1) Finance Leadership / Partnership

    • Be an active partner with the Brand Finance team and rest of the organisation, driving business & financial performance, by developing a profit-centric culture
    • Champion financial discipline, process and calendarization across all areas and levels across the business
    • Enhance work practices by constantly challenging how we work, looking to improve as we scale the role & organisation to ensure that we can spend more time on adding value

    2) Month-end Financial Reporting

    • Responsible for the financial close process for all Urban Outfitters EU business channels; Stores, Direct, Wholesale & Franchise. Partnering with the Brand Commercial Finance team and shared finance team as required,
    • Lead, co-ordinate & complete the month-end close process and actualization of the monthly financial statements and support the shared finance team on balance sheet reconciliations
    • Ensure accuracy and integrity of financial statements with the execution of brand led posting(s), journal entries, accruals and reclassifications. Review and understand all shared finance posted lines
    • Ensure completeness of initial variance analysis and explanations to ensure accuracy, before signing off commentary with the Head of Brand Finance
    • Responsible for all internal monthly reporting and reconciliations, examples of reports as follows:
    • Compiling and distribution of the monthly accounts pack – which is sent to our Global USA team
    • Complete the post month-end cost centre review pack, and ensure timely distribution to brand teams
    • Complete deeper dive analytics and reconciliations as required, to ensure the P&L lines are fully endorsed

    3) Cost Centre Management

    • Partner with Brand Commercial Finance team to support cost-control and expense tracking for brand business partners. Whilst the role will support across all cost lines, it will have specific cost centre management responsibility for specific brand departments (i.e. PR, Merchant Travel, Studio costs, etc). This will include,
    • Creating and developing brand cost trackers, to ensure accuracy and the reconciliation to invoices & accrual/prepayment schedules
    • Monthly cost centre review with brand teams – review, understand and challenge actuals vs comparatives, reviewing & updating forecast and securing final approval from the Head of Brand Finance,
    • Provide ongoing accounting/business support to brand partners as liaison between brand functional areas and corporate shared service teams
    • Initiate new procedures and process as needed to support new business activities; identifying appropriate accounting measures and partnering with corporate partners to ensure consistency within the URBN brands
    • Consistently monitor, recommend and implement improvements to current methodologies and practices within the accounting and finance department

    4) New Business Accounting Practices – Wholesale & Franchise

    • Work closely with the Brand Finance, International Finance & Operations Director in delivering robust general accounting processes, for instance
    • Monthly reconciliation documents for cash & sales postings, including Bad Debt reporting
    • Generating any ad-hoc invoices as required
    • Liaising with Franchise & Wholesale partners as needed, to ensure compliance to contract obligations

    5) Ad Hoc / General / Other

    • Ad hoc support as appropriate when required & able to deputise as/when required
    • Support the brand commercial team across the annual budget process as needed, particularly around brand owned cost lines
    • Keep abreast of accounting rules and regulation changes as required – updating processes as appropriate


    Skills / Key Competencies:

    • A highly organised and structured individual who is naturally detailed and enjoys creating & coordinating frameworks to meet pressurised deadlines with complete accuracy
    • ‘Can do’ and positive attitude, who is solution orientated and who has a strong innate sense of accountability and ownership
    • Self-motivated and driven – who can adapt & prioritise workload, timelines and able to manage expectations appropriately
    • A naturally curious and engaging individual, who constantly self-evaluates processes and learns, to drive effectiveness
    • Great team player, who understands their differing and varied role within various groups, who can foster strong relationships
    • Able to interpret large volumes of data accurately, into meaningful, presentable format and story
    • Quick learner and flexible & ready to learn and adapt methods of thinking


    • Strong desire to work in a dynamic, evolving fashion business
    • Nearing to Newly qualified with relevant accounts experience, ideally with some management accounts background/experience
    • Extremely competent across Microsoft office reporting – with strong excel a pre-requisite
    • Strong ‘other’ systems experience, able to demonstrate or keen to learn new systems quickly and adeptly
    • Highly resourceful and able to both learn a) the business process & operations and b) new systems quickly (sometimes with limited training), due to curios nature. A preference of someone who can demonstrate their ease working in new systems
  • Job Advert Attachment
  • Job_Description_Brand_Accountant.doc