Job Specification

Position Title:
Business and Fiscal Planning Advisor
Job Code:
5A001 - Finance05
Job ID:

Purpose :

- To provide strategic business, fiscal and program planning advice, analysis and functional support to senior ministry management and central agencies.

Key Responsibilities :

Business and Fiscal Planning
- Serves as key point of contact between ministry clients and central agencies for all activities related to the development of the ministry budget/fiscal plan, and in-year Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet (TB/MBC) decisions, and provides advice and recommendations on ministry business and financial plans and issues.
- Develops, plans, and communicates the fiscal planning process and works with program areas ensuring Branch/Ministry/central agency deadlines and submissions standards are achieved.
- Provides financial, business and fiscal planning advice and analysis to senior management and central agencies to support effective resource management, business planning, budget estimating, budget monitoring and control.
- Coordinates the preparation of the ministry's budgeting/business planning submissions, Printed Estimates, Estimates Briefing Books, and related material to ensure alignment of programs and ministry/government priorities, and provides advice and interpretation of central agency guidelines. Contributes to the development and review of transformation opportunities.
- Provides advice and recommendations in the assignment of ownership/responsibility for identified fiscal/financial risks, and provides recommendations on how to mitigate or minimize risks to ministry plans and in-year financial management activities (e.g. in-year submissions and re-allocations).
- Develops communication plans and advises branches and program areas of budget allocations and budget derived from the approved business plan.

In-Year Financial Management and Analysis
- Serves as point of contact between ministry clients and central agencies for activities related to the preparation of in-year submissions and re-allocations, as well as forecast and expense monitoring (e.g. Quarterly reports, economic statements).
- Supports a comprehensive ministry forecasting process throughout the financial planning cycle for in-year monthly and quarterly reports; liaises with ministry programs and with central agencies; coordinates the preparation of in-year Treasury/Management Board submissions to ensure compliance with ministry direction and in alignment with government priorities.
- Provides advice and recommendations in the development of strategic responses to manage identified fiscal/financial risks in consideration of costs/benefits, resource allocation and the organization's risk appetite.
- Provides advice, options and recommendations on appropriate in-year re-allocations, involving re-alignment of budgets to approved increases/decreases.
- Provides advice and recommendations on forecasted variances and in-year planning needs to identify and resolve expenditure issues, to identify strategies to manage pressures, to assist senior management and central agencies in preparing quarterly reports, and to support other management strategic/business planning and decision-making processes.
- Prepares a variety of regular and ad hoc reports to support senior management decision making processes and central agency requirements; determines and researches appropriate data/information sources required, prepares spreadsheets, summaries, briefings and presentation materials.
- Prepares briefing notes and other reports and delivers presentations in response to financial information requests from senior management and ministry officials.

Program/Policy Advice, Liaison and Training
- Serves as key point of contact for ministry clients in developing reports, advising on financial implications of program design options, and identifying issues and impacts of decisions made on financial reporting and program/policy development.
- Assesses business implications of priorities, strategies and directions, and provides business advice on fiscal/financial risk, and operational and financial issues by consulting with senior management and central agencies.
- Prepares and provides information, analysis, updates, and advice to management and clients to support decision-making related to policy development and program planning/delivery and from a financial and resources perspective, including enterprise risk assessment. Develops financial models with complex variables.
- Provides advice and recommendations to program managers on budgets, expenditures and accounts in order to develop business plans, proposals, and performance measures on ministry initiatives and prepare requests/submissions for new/revised funding.
- Provides issues management, advice, specialized knowledge in the areas of program evaluation, performance management, development of program logic models, and risk assessment from a business and fiscal planning perspective.
- Participates on internal and external steering committees, project and advisory committees to provide business and financial analysis, advice and expertise, reports, and recommendations.
- Prepares communications messages to advise managers and staff of policy changes, and conducts training sessions regarding ministry business, fiscal and program planning topics.

Knowledge / Skill :

Knowledge of and skills in:
- OPS and ministry legislation, policies, standards, priorities, and government policy direction on business planning, budgeting, fiscal management and related areas, to ensure ministry objectives and government requirements are considered in the development of business plans and Treasury Board submissions.
- Government fiscal plan including financial management strategies, strategic business directions and business transformation initiatives to provide advice and expertise to ministry management on the effective planning and financial management of complex programs.
- Budget and accounting procedures, practices and information systems to review and advise on the preparation of budget estimates, identify expenditure issues.
- Financial and accounting principles, policies and processes, to facilitate and ensure financial accountability with respect to business planning and plan management.
- Government processes that impact ministry business, strategic directions, financial plans and key political objectives to provide advice and recommendations on ministry business and financial plans and issues, including for the most complex and sensitive programs
- Ministry program direction and objectives, to determine the impact of relevant financial/ business policies/practices.
- Risk assessment and risk management principles to develop recommendations that align risk mitigation with government's strategic direction.
- Program evaluation and performance management principles to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of policy and program initiatives.
- Communication skills to write clear, concise reports, correspondence, and business cases, prepare and present advice and recommendations, and develop and deliver compelling presentations.
- Standard desktop computer applications (e.g. word processing, presentations, spreadsheets) and specialized/customized databases/financial information systems, to conduct research and analysis; prepare reports and presentations, and assess risk, in order to provide advice to ministry management.

Interpersonal / Influencing Skill :

- Consultation skills to lead and/or participate in consultations with ministry stakeholders on program objectives and directions, and business planning requirements and options; to elicit input; and to provide program-related advice.
- Presentation and persuasion skills to provide convincing explanations on risk and prevention issues and strategies to ministry management and other stakeholders.
- Collaboration skills to work with senior staff in addressing financial issues and to influence program staff to provide certain financial information to meet tight reporting deadlines.
- Influencing skills, and the ability to distill technical/specialized language into presentations that are easily understood and accepted by a variety of audiences on program business/financial issues.
- Political acuity, diplomacy and tact in dealing with and resolving sensitive issues with various stakeholders.

Analyzing / Problem Solving Skill :

Analyzing and problem solving skills to:
- Identify and prioritize a number of concurrent business planning/plan management issues for the ministry program areas, and recommend options for resolution.
- Evaluate complex information/data accurately, to provide advice to ministry management within the broader government/ministry perspective.
- Research, investigate and assess relevance of information and identify key issues to be addressed.
- Apply evaluative thought to identify and evaluate emerging political and fiscal issues and problems, conduct an assessment of risks (e.g. financial and other risks) and develop options to avoid potential negative implications.
- Provide input to developing communications strategy and plan for communicating business plans, fiscal allocations, areas of risk, and plan management principles and requirements to ministry program areas, corporate partners and other stakeholders.

Decision Making / Responsibility :

Responsible for:
- Advice and recommendations to ministry management and central agencies on effective business planning and analysis based on evaluation of program business/financial management practices and processes and risk evaluation.
- Preparing recommendations for changes in policies/programs relating to business planning and fiscal management.
- Providing advice, expertise, and guidance to ministry managers.
Has latitude to: identify problems arising from financial analysis/business reviews and develop recommendations and options for senior management.
Decisions are guided by: government/ministry mandate, legislation, regulatory guidelines, policies, professional practices and precedents, ministry practices and protocols; auditing and accounting principles, policies, standards, procedures and practices.

Contacts / Stakeholder :

- Ministry senior management to provide advice, expertise and recommendations relating to business planning and program financial management.
- ADM, senior management, and related committees to provide issues briefings.
- Central agencies to seek advice and exchange information regarding ministry submissions and other reports.
- Counterparts in other ministries and central agencies to exchange information and participate on inter-ministry teams to develop government business planning polices/procedures.

Guidance / Supervision :

- Provides technical guidance and advice to analysts and other staff.
- Provides training and mentoring to new staff.
- Provides advice on business/financial issues and processes to ministry management, staff, committees, and work groups.

Demands / Pressures :

Work Demands :

- Frequent modifications to deadlines on short notice, unexpected and multiple, competing work demands (e.g. rush requests for advice on financial information/analysis, briefing notes from DM, Minister's Office) with tight time pressures.
- Frequent requirement to work beyond normal hours; frequent disruptions caused by disrupted work schedule; accountable for multiple and competing deliverables.

Mental / Sensory :

- Frequent periods of concentration and reading, listening, writing and speaking in the provision of advice on financial matters with frequent shifts in direction and focus.

Conditions / Environment :

Work is performed in a typical office environment.

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