Reporting to the Head of Finance and Systems, this role will involve supporting the payroll function for Sussex Innovation, as well as dynamic client-facing work providing financial services to our members. You will work alongside our consultancy, finance, marketing and facilities teams to offer world class business innovation and advisory services to start-ups, SMEs, students and academics from our headquarters at the University of Sussex.

Following a recent restructure, an opportunity has arisen within the Finance and Systems team for a Payroll and Client Services Manager. We are embarking on a finance transformation plan, embracing digital technology and best practice processes to drive business insights and a culture of continuous improvement.

Your primary role will involve managing payroll and associated functions (e.g. pensions and employee benefits) for Sussex Innovation and its clients. Additionally, you will provide client services around VAT and R&D tax credits.


You will have exemplary attention to detail and customer service focus, as well as an aptitude for adopting new processes and technology.

Note: you will be required to be present for monthly payroll and pensions administration, approximately between the 17th-22nd of each month. Annual leave will only be approved during this period in exceptional circumstances.

Specific duties include:

  • Accurate, complete and timely processing of monthly payroll, including preparing BACS files and issuing payroll reports and payslips
  • Documenting and maintaining up-to-date payroll policies, processes and procedures
  • Reconciling monthly PAYE figures and preparing payroll journals
  • Administering pensions and employee benefits, including effective handling of SI staff and client queries
  • Giving talks and/or presentations to SI staff and clients about effective payroll management and keeping them informed of important employee benefits or pension updates
  • Liaising and reporting with and to the pensions providers, the Pensions Regulator and HMRC as required
  • Supporting the Finance team with processing SI and clients’ VAT and R&D tax credits
  • Supporting the Senior Management Accountant with management reporting and year end processing as required
  • Attend relevant training, seminars and other updates as required to stay current with changes in payroll, pensions and employee benefits
  • Assistance with implementation of payroll and HR systems (SAGE HR) within SI and clients, including user testing

Essential capabilities include:

  • Experience in payroll, pensions, PAYE/NI and employee benefits management
  • Attention to detail
  • Preparation of payroll, pensions and PAYE/NI management accounts
  • Good systems knowledge (preferably SAGE Accounting and SAGE HR or similar packages)
  • Experience in systems implementation
  • Excellent communication and client service skills

Desired capabilities include:

  • CIPP qualified, or interested in working toward qualification – we will consider part qualified accountants
  • Knowledge of Xero accounting software (used by a number of our clients)
  • Experience of working with multiple clients in the provision of payroll services


A great working environment with an organisation that values our teams’ abilities, voices and unique differences. We have an inclusive and open culture driven by our values to support, educate and develop our people – embracing and prioritising diversity of talent, creative thinking and employee wellbeing.

Salary of £29,120 per annum, for a full-time position. You will be rewarded with a fantastic opportunity to progress your career in accounting within a friendly and supportive company culture. We also offer a competitive package of benefits, including flexible working options, generous holidays increasing with service, private health care, life assurance, staff discounts to any of the available on-site services such as Sussex Sport. University campus facilities also include an Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery, Little Pioneers, which is directly opposite the building.

Location: Based at the University of Sussex (close to Brighton), we also have a site in East Croydon, opposite the rail station. Successful candidates must be willing to work across our other sites when required.

Equal opportunities: Sussex Innovation is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive equal consideration for employment irrespective of race, origin, colour, disability, age, religion or belief, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy or marital status. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Please note that you will be required to demonstrate your right to work in the UK.


To apply, please send your cover letter and CV to our Head of Finance and Systems, Fiona Bennett.

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 23rd September 2022