Purchase to Pay Finance Assistant – Southampton

Purchase to Pay Finance Assistant

Maritime and Coastguard Agency



Job summary

We welcome applications from all communities, and we don't discriminate against any identity. We're interested to hear from you, regardless of your background.

Do you have outstanding communication skills?

Can you work under pressure, deliver to deadlines?

Have you got a proactive approach to problem solving?

If so, we have an exciting opportunity for a Purchase to Pay Finance Assistant to join our team at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and we would love to hear from you!

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) implements the government's maritime safety policy in the United Kingdom and works to prevent the loss of life and occurrence of pollution on the coast and at sea.

Safer lives. Safer Ships. Cleaner Seas.

Our vision is to be a world-leading organisation, accelerating the transition to sustainable shipping with non-negotiable safety standards. We put our people, our customers and our planet at the heart of everything we do.

Job description

Here at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) we are looking for a Purchase to Pay Finance Assistant to work within the Financial Transactions team and support the Purchase to Pay (P2P) Lead.

This role involves providing support to a range of stakeholders to ensure compliance across financial processes, in line with Government requirements. This role will focus on Purchase to Pay responsibilities, including supplier master data, fraud checking, purchase order (PO) and invoice processing or queries, expense queries, compliance checks and data cleansing.

As the Purchase to Pay Finance Assistant it will be your responsibility to assist the P2P Lead in ensuring that all transactions are processed in accordance with the MCA's policies, procedures, and controls. Support the work of the regions and other business areas whilst liaising with Shared Services as necessary. Help resolve pro-actively any MCA queries with the Shared Service provider.

This is a fantastic opportunity to become a part of the MCA Team whereby your daily role provides a valuable enabling function for the delivery of a life saving service. It is a fast paced and diverse role where no two days are the same. You will have the opportunity to meet and build lasting relationships with stakeholders at all levels as well as plenty of development opportunities to either learn or build on your existing finance knowledge.

Full training will be provided to develop you as a Purchase to Pay Finance Assistant. Therefore, you don't need any experience to join us, just a willingness to learn and dedication to provide a high-quality service to the public.

This role will be based in the Southampton HQ. MCA supports flexible working and operates a hybrid working model between home and office for this role, giving you greater flexibility over where and when you work. Details of the arrangement will be discussed further with your line manager.

There may be a requirement for occasional travel on official duty within the UK, which may involve overnight stays.


Your responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:

  • Input, review and approve Supplier master data within the accounting system in a timely manner, ensuring all fraud checks have been completed.
  • Resolve requisition and purchase order queries in support of all Business Areas, to ensure 3-way matching process is accurate and timely, and that prompt payment targets are met.
  • Process internal credit/debit, manual and one-off payments to ensure payments are processed and supplier account balances are accurate.
  • Support Business Areas with expense queries within the expense platform, develop a working knowledge of MCA policy on UK and Overseas subsistence rates to ensure correct rates are applied.
  • Undertake compliance checks at the instruction of the P2P Lead, this may include PO approvals, expense claims, Government Procurement Card transactions.

For further information about the role please see the attached role profile.

Person specification

About You:

To thrive in this role, it is essential that you have an in-depth working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, being able to confidently and comfortably use its varying features formulas, data sorting, conditional formatting etc.

You will be an excellent communicator a range of stakeholders, including internal, external and non-financial and will have great customer service as one of your core values.

You will be someone who is thorough with their work and has exceptional attention to detail as accuracy is a key part of this role. You will also have a proactive approach to problem solving with a passion for identifying and resolving issues.

You would be described as a diligent person, happy to concentrate on your work and do a thorough job even when under pressure and can carry out your duties with minimum supervision.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Managing a Quality Service


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window) , and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

How to Apply

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Within your CV and personal statement please demonstrate your knowledge and experience of:

  • Working under pressure to deliver to deadlines and work on concurrent tasks.
  • Confidently working with MS Office 365 products Excel, word.
  • Having a proactive approach to problem solving & issue resolution .

Your personal statement will be limited to a maximum of 750 words.

The sift is due to take place from on 28th & 29th March 2023.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held from 11th April 2023.

This interview will be conducted face to face at one of our Southampton office. Further details will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

This vacancy is using Success Profiles. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

You're encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:

an interview and an Excel assessment

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Further Information

For more information about how we hire, and for useful tips on submitting your application for this role , visit the How we hire page of our DfT Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Recruitment in detail page of the DfT Careers website. You will find detailed information about the entire recruitment process and what to expect when applying for a role in the Civil Service.Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers Website , which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email . for assistance.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant's details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window) .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.


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