Who we are:
At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.
We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world; our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production, and technology.
Wunderman Thompson Regional EMEA Director, Risk Assessment & Controls
This role is critical within the Wunderman Thompson network of operating companies to achieve the following goals:
- Trusted partner and adviser for the WT EMEA CFO’s and CEO’s in the area of internal controls and compliance
- Partner with the various operating companies to drive change and establish processes and controls under a comprehensive controls framework to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), WPP and WT accounting and control policies;
- Assess processes and provide process improvement solutions balancing the business requirements and the control framework requirements;
- Be actively involved with and understand the business. This is not an audit position although this person will work closely with auditors and an audit background is required;
- Support the culture of control compliance and continuous controls improvement;
- Provide training and development to our operating companies – at regional and office level.
This role will report jointly to the Wunderman Thompson Global Director, Risk Assessment & Controls and the Wunderman Thompson EMEA Regional CFO.
The candidate must be extremely knowledgeable in business controls and documentation thereof, and auditing requirements including the Financial Reporting Council (UK), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) requirements, IFRS, US GAAP, European GAAP, and Risk and Compliance best practices and emerging trends.
The job will require approximately 35% travel, primarily within EMEA, although some meetings may require global travel. Travel is currently not expected due to the global COVID pandemic. Remote working skills are essential.
- Work with local finance teams to develop and document the necessary processes, based on the WPP Controls Framework. Be a source of support and guidance.
- Lead and manage the EMEA Risks Assessment and Control team
- Partner and collaborate with the EMEA Finance Team in formulating and implementing efficient and effective regional and office level controls
- Adopt risk-based approach for EMEA companies, lead and participate from internal controls perspective in special projects such as integration of new companies, new finance and business systems implementations, induction trainings for new CFO’s and senior financial positions and other projects
- Assess the process and controls in place by “walking through” these with the operating companies to identify gaps.
- Partnering with local finance teams set a timetable for improvement, including the necessary remediation plans and process documentation.
- Educate and train local finance teams on control requirements and the control structure that makes sense for their business.
- Support and assist local finance teams on management responses to all audit reports.
- Participate in close meetings with auditors
- Liaise and build relationships with peers across Wunderman Thompson and WPP including WPP Internal Audit and the Risk and Controls group.
- Manage the annual self-certification process for Wunderman Thompson EMEA.
- Manage and support ad hoc requests from WPP Internal Audit or Risk and Controls Group
- Collaborate across functions, particularly Finance and IT.
- Identify digital compliance solutions to and development of online tools to reduce paper usage and become more efficient.
Qualifications and Skills:
- Minimum of 10 years of accounting and internal/external audit experience, with 5 years in a more senior role in a fast-paced environment.
- Postgraduate professional qualification in Accounting, CPA (or Chartered Accountant) required.
- Public Accounting experience required.
- Extensive experience with IFRS, GAAP, GAAS, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, SEC, PCAOB requirements, etc.
- Process narrative and risk & control matrices documentation experience.
- Capability to make actionable recommendations to senior management for process improvement solutions.
- Effective communicator at all levels in the organization, with strong oral and written skills.
- Organized and detail-oriented
- Smart and strategic with a collaborative and team first mindset.
- Strong and proven leadership.
- Can communicate diplomatically and skillfully; can settle issues calmly and win concessions without damaging relationships.
- Ability to work under pressure in an environment with constantly changing priorities.
- Proven track record of influencing change.
- Large company process reengineering and change management experience for systems implementations a plus.
- Controllership experience a plus.
- Experience with quantifying financial statement impact of deficiencies at a large company a plus.
At Wunderman Thompson, we are committed to actively building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcomed, valued and heard, and is treated with dignity and respect. As leaders and creative partners across industries, it is our responsibility to cultivate an environment reflective of our greatest asset; our people. We believe that this commitment inspires growth and delivers equitable outcomes for everyone as well as the clients and communities we serve.
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