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Applications Manager - Finance

Who are we?

First Rail is one of the UK's most experienced rail operators and a leading provider of transport services across the UK, carrying more than 345m passengers across four franchises (Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast) and our open access operators (Hull Trains and Lumo). We operate all types of passenger railways - intercity, commuter, regional and sleeper services. Our 30,000 colleagues work across the UK to provide easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities. At First Rail, we are committed to building an inclusive and diverse workforce.


The role

We are looking for an experienced Finance Applications Manager to join our team. This right candidate will be an analytically minded, problem solver. You will be a results-driven, self-starter with a proven ability to work under pressure.

This will be a hybrid role, with the expectation to travel to different offices when required.

This role will lead the team supporting the Group's finance and related applications. This is a pivotal role responsible for driving both efficiency, stability, security, standardisation and innovation across the Finance and Procurement areas of First's UK applications. The focus of the role will be on the SAP platforms used within our UK divisions.

Delivering best practice across the user base at First alongside an appetite for cost reduction where possible, ensures the users can always get the best out of the applications in use. This may involve creating and delivering standard training plans, recommendations, and documentation of standard processes in addition to working alongside the suppliers of the applications to recommend enhancements which benefit the business.


Key aspects of the role

  • Manage and Develop Finance and Procurement Applications
  • Manage the Finance Applications Support team, to assist in the resolution of user and system issues, liaising with suppliers where appropriate.
  • Continuously improve the reliability and functionality of these applications whilst always reflective of cost v benefit of anything you may recommend to the IT Applications Director.
  • Work with the Applications team, key users, support partners and the IT technical team to plan and facilitate all areas of testing required for systems upgrades and developments.
  • Take an active role in both the supplier and user communities for the applications ensuring we are aware of the latest developments and are seen to influence any application developments to the betterment of our users.
  • Ensure security of data and overall applications architecture is at the forefront of any news changes and designs.
  • Plan and manage with users and suppliers for appropriate testing for system updates and integration, to include unit testing, user acceptance testing and regression testing.
  • Manage the user community ensuring creation and cessation of users is undertaken efficiently and the access rights to the application are correctly controlled and authorised.
  • Ensure local IT continuity plans are maintained to Group standards at all times and are tested at least once each financial year.
  • Work with the internal and external audit teams to ensure all Finance systems are managed in line with the appropriate guidelines.

Driving Innovation

  • Recommend and respond to the application steering groups and wider user communities, ensuring appropriate ideas are taken forward to suppliers to either build into future releases or be paid for via the relevant capital authority
  • Instigate, manage, and report on innovation projects using the appropriate methodology and reporting framework.

Supplier and Contract Management

  • Maintain good relationships with suppliers, and attend periodic supplier review meetings, as required.


About you

Core skills & competencies
  • High levels of self-motivation, energy, and initiative
  • Be able to work independently as well as in a team
  • Good communicator
Expertise & knowledge
  • Finance systems and processes
  • Experience of a working in a busy Finance environment
  • Applications development and management
  • Experience in IT Applications preferably SAP or an equivalent ERP application
  • Background in a Finance environment
  • Knowledge of peripheral applications intrinsic to the financial applications e.g. payroll, revenue, engineering
  • Understanding of server and networking architecture is an advantage
  • Appropriate IT Qualifications and experience



  • Minimum of 10% contribution to your Pension (5% employer and 5% employee)
  • 25 days Holiday plus National Bank Holidays
  • Travel Offers for Bus and Rail*
  • Shopping Discounts including discounts and cashback on electrical goods, your weekly shop, holidays, cinema trips, car insurance, upgrading your mobile and lots more
  • All employee Share Schemes* 
  • Buy as You Earn – allows you to buy shares each month, with 2 free ‘matching' shares for each 3 shares you buy. You can vary the amount you save or stop it at any time. You need to participate in the scheme for at least 3 years to receive the matching shares*
  • Employee Assistance Helpline – free, confidential employee support service provided by an independent provider
  • Payroll Giving – donate directly from your pay to a Charity of your Choice

*After 6 months employment


Close map
Remote, SW1V 3JD
  • Ref:
  • Company:
    First Rail Holdings
  • Website Skillset:
    All Other Roles
  • Contract Type:
    Permanent - Full Time
  • Contracted Hours:
  • Location:
  • Salary:
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