Interim Head of Finance- Dartmoor Zoo

Posted: 7 November 2023| Full-Time |Dartmoor, UK


Dartmoor Zoo is set in 33 acres of beautiful wooded countryside on the edge of Dartmoor, in a small village called Sparkwell, just 20 minutes from the city of Plymouth. Plymouth itself has excellent travel links to the rest of the country and is known as the Ocean City of the country.

The charity, Dartmoor Zoological Society, operates Dartmoor Zoo. Its vision is to protect threatened species and enable people to help wildlife thrive.

It aims to promote the conservation, care and breeding of wildlife and endangered species, encouraging and developing public interest in and awareness of the importance of ensuring the survival of species and the diversity of life. It aims to raise awareness and funds for animal conservation, welfare and education projects and to support conservation in the wild and across the world.

The main charity income comes from visitor admissions and donations. The trading subsidiary, Dartmoor Zoological Enterprises, operates the restaurant, retail and events.

purpose of job

You will be responsible for the Charity’s long-term financial health and growth, through effective control of all financial operations of the Charity and its trading subsidiary.

main activities

1. Finance

  • Responsible for all day-to-day financial transactions including sales ledger, purchase ledger, bank reconciliation, cash control, intercompany balances and reconciliations, VAT returns, gift aid administration and payroll.
  • Produce timely management accounts and board reports. Advise on cash flow and financial control.
  • Develop, monitor and update annual budgets and ensure actual income and expenditure is up-to-date and correct.
  • Develop and maintain an effective financial administration system with accurate data and within agreed systems.
  • Manage the payroll and pension administration and complete all relevant PAYE and HMRC returns.
  • Manage all gift aid administration and claim processing ensure adherence to eligibility rules and guidance.
  • Produce Annual Accounts in accordance with the Charity SORP.

2. Charity Business

  • Liaise with, monitor and review utilities and insurance providers to ensure appropriate and cost-effective supplies.
  • Have charity governance knowledge and support the board in all board matters.
  • To assist the trustees in setting performance indicators for the departments and coordinate the performance management process with the other Heads of Department.
  • Support Heads of Department with preparation and monitoring of departmental information e.g. costings, forecasts, applications for funds; milestones and other KPI’s.
  • Contribute to the development of the Charity’s strategy and direction.
  • Be an integral part of the Charity’s projects and contribute where appropriate to the development of business and grant opportunities and other external involvements and partnerships.
  • Liaise with and assist auditors/accountants to ensure the smooth running of the annual audits.
  • Complete and submit annual returns to regulatory bodies.
  • Contribute to the development of the Charity’s Policies & Procedures, e.g. Financial Management, enabling the highest level of awareness and compliance by all staff and volunteers, via appropriate training, monitoring, inspection and review.

3. Systems Management

  • Ensure that financial recording and administrative procedures run smoothly and meet relevant legal standards and quality management systems.
  • Ensure the Charity is able to optimise and develop the benefit of any appropriate technology.

4. Leadership

  • Line manage the Accounts Assistant. Mentor them and provide them with the appropriate training.
  • Line manage the Office Administrators. Ensure they have all of the information and training they require to perform their roles.

5. Other responsibilities

  • Comply with the Charity’s policies, procedures, monitoring and management systems. Promote the Charity’s Equal Opportunities, Environmental and Health and Safety policies.
  • To supervise the overall IT infrastructure whilst working with the external IT support team.
  • Oversee the effective and efficient use of the CRM and EPOS systems.
  • Undertake any other tasks that may be requested from time-to-time as may be consistent with the nature and scope of the post.


In addition to competitive salaries, benefits include:

  • Flexible working and hybrid working
  • Holiday: 22 days plus Bank Holidays
  • A defined contribution pension scheme
  • Enhanced sick pay, maternity and paternity scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Free onsite parking
  • Complimentary zoo tickets for family and friends
  • Discounts in our restaurants and shop, and on experiences
  • Free access to zoo for immediate family
  • Free entrance to other BIAZA zoos.

application process

Please fill in the Dartmoor Zoo Application Form on our website, highlighting your relevant skills, knowledge and experience (

Send your completed form to Clare Lee (
If you have any questions or would like an informal discussion, please call 01752 837645.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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