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Director of Commercial Finance

Location: San Francisco, CA.
Company Description:

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency's heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 5,500 employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 24 additional offices in the US and 25 offices in Europe and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.

Job Description:

We are looking for a Director of Commercial Finance who is eager to manage a team across complex accounts with a multitude of moving pieces. This position is ideal for an individual with 5-10 years of commercial finance or financial project management experience within an agency environment. This person will report to the Chief Financial Officer.

Your technical skills and experience are as important to us as your passion for helping to make a positive impact to our finance team and business. Your ability to interact with the client delivery teams in the business, earn their trust and be their go-to person for finance/commercial support will be essential. In addition, you’ll need to be confident interacting with clients and the senior leadership of the business.

As the Head of Commercial Finance, your responsibilities will fall into three categories:

1)     Functional leadership of the commercial finance team, setting processes/standards and supporting the business/team as needed across DWA’s biggest global accounts

2)     Managing Finance Project Managers working on individual portfolios of key clients

3)     Providing financial support and leadership on your own portfolio of clients

Functional Leadership Responsibilities:

·        Ensure and audit compliance with client contracts by building strong processes for all activities undertaken (to be executed by media teams and Finance Project Manager)

·        Create and maintain summaries of key contractual terms and conditions

·        Collaborate with Finance Project Manager to ensure correct media and revenue recognized in Salesforce

·        Work with Finance Project Manager to review and stress-test forecasts for revenue recognition in future months

·        Monitor invoicing to make sure that no projects are left partially unbilled and that there are no build-ups of funds on accounts if activity is cancelled/reduced

·        Work with relevant Finance Project Manager as needed to support audits of media buys in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the relevant client MSA

·        Maintain strong working relationships with team members, partner agencies, and clients across all territories and agencies, identifying opportunities to improve project efficiency and communication and ensuring that we have all information required for accurate global completion of finance deliverables

·        Act as the main escalation point for issues, concerns, and problems both internally and externally

·        Use revenue forecast, staff costs, and timesheet data to drive decision making on where to invest resources, ensuring efficient delivery and sufficient margin on all key clients

·        Assist with the creation of staffing plans for new wins and prepare monthly global staffing updates on existing accounts

·        Work with new business team and CFO to build pricing models for pitches/proposals

·        Create reporting templates and ensure data required by client is included in all reports

·        Ad-hoc projects and other duties as assigned

Managerial Responsibilities:

·        Manage a team of Finance Project Managers, identifying each individual’s strengths, weaknesses and support needs and guide their training and development

·        Take responsibility for recruiting, retaining and developing team members as needed over time, working with HR

Responsibilities on Your Client Portfolio:

·        Build, or learn and manage, client-specific processes to ensure compliance

·        Maintain budget summaries and rigorous billing/PO processes, including quarterly PO reconciliations  

·        Work with client’s finance team to support the audit of media buys in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the MSA

·        Ensure key deliverables in SOWs are met

·        Work with media team to provide budget pacing reports, accrual reports or any other financial reporting required for the client

·        Work with media team to review Salesforce bookings to ensure accuracy and correct phasing to drive revenue recognition

·        Manage client invoicing, issuing invoices in a timely and accurate manner and working closely with the media team to complete invoice requests

·        Manage credit collection and client query resolution

·        Assist with the creation of staffing plans and prepare monthly global staffing updates

·        Prepare weekly timesheet reports where required

·        Ad-hoc projects and other duties as assigned


·        Strong interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills

·        Detail orientated

·        Demonstrable technical accounting ability, especially a strong conceptual understanding

·        Strong organizational and project management skills

·        Effectively works autonomously, as well as with a team

·        Driven and self-motivated, with a passion to seek the best solution, think creatively, better the output and demonstrate good stakeholder management

·        Willingness to really roll your sleeves up and get involved with team members in a highly dynamic business

·        Ability to work respectfully and constructively with colleagues from different countries to drive unified performance. This will include a willingness to occasionally work according to different time-zones.


·        Postgraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification, preferably including studies in accounting

·        At least five years of commercial finance/finance project management experience within a media/marketing agency or professional services business

·        Experience in the media/marketing sector and understanding of industry norms

·        Experience managing a team, ideally across diverse locations

·        Advanced capabilities in all Microsoft Office applications, including strong knowledge of Excel and the ability to manipulate data via Pivot tables, VLOOKUPS, etc.

Additional Information:

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

At Merkle, we believe that a diverse environment improves us as a community and as a business. We want to foster an environment of growth, where all ideas and contributions are encouraged. We need this culture of courage to continue to thrive in our fast-paced industry. We embrace differences of opinion. We value diversity of experience and thought, which help us to challenge and define industry-leading solutions, and support our goal of being a great place to work.

More Information:

Graduate Opportunities: Whether you're still studying, recently graduated or are already working and fancy a career hop, we could have a perfect opportunity for you.
Experienced Hires: Leverage your expertise, challenge the status quo and grow your career at Merkle.

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