Finance Officer – MENA

Reporting to: Global Finance Officer

Location: Tunis, Tunisia

Type of position: L4-S1

Application closing: 27 January 2023

Background

Interpeace is an international organization for peacebuilding that supports locally led peacebuilding initiatives around the world. Interpeace tailors its approach to each society and ensures that the work is locally driven. Together with local partners and local teams, Interpeace jointly develops peacebuilding programmes and helps establish processes of change that connect local communities, civil society, government and the international community.

As a strategic partner of the United Nations, Interpeace is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and has offices around the world.

For more information about Interpeace, please visit www.interpeace.org

Position within the Organization

The Finance Officer is a member of the finance section of the Global Operations Unit which encompasses Finance, Administration, Internal Audit and HR.  The Global Operations Unit is led from the Headquarters Office in Geneva, although team members are based in different locations around the world. The Finance Officer supervises an Administrative Assistant in Tunis.

Under regular supervision from the Global Finance Officer, the Finance Officer works closely with other administration staff and programme staff to create a more efficient and effective Finance function for an agile, responsive, and high performance Interpeace.

Purpose and General Overview

Under the direction of the Global Finance Officer, the Finance Officer is responsible for the financial performance of the assigned Interpeace office. S/he is also responsible for HR and legal administration, in the assigned Interpeace office This includes Accounting, internal controls, audits, budget management, financial reporting, monitoring and capacity building, local legal compliance (taxes, entity), QuickBooks, scanned supporting documentation, cash management, procurement, payroll, insurance portfolio, personnel files, leave administration, and management of office space.

The Finance Officer oversees the financial management of the offices assigned, maintaining complete and accurate financial records and approving (in coordination with the programme team) the different project budgets from development to implementation, monitoring, reporting and auditing.  S/He ensures that project budgets are implemented according to Interpeace policies and procedures and respecting the donor regulations. S/He also works closely with the Global Finance Officer to closely monitor the cost coverage of the programme and/or offices in the assigned areas to anticipate potential risk and financial gaps.

The Finance Officer plays an important role in monitoring and supporting the implementation of the programme overseeing compliance with internal policies, donor regulations and local Laws (i.e. Taxes).

This position requires to consult with and/or coordinate activities with internal and external actors. There is an element of persuasion, influence and provision of professional advice and direction, but it is not a regular activity.

Guided by and in collaboration with the Global Finance Officer, within the first 3-5 years, a successful Finance Officer will:

  1. Understand applicable policies and procedures to support their successful implementation and guide colleagues in MENA Region
  2. Monitor implementation of the Conditions of Service for MENA Region to ensure compliance with Interpeace policies and local regulations
  3. Ensure accuracy and completeness of Admin, HR and Financial records in Sharepoint (with special focus on the Grant Management library), the online HR system (including personnel files, leave records and contracts) and QuickBooks (including the FSD – Financial Supporting Documentation).
  4. Ensure segregation of Duties and a clear approval matrix for all expenses in MENA Region; register properly the accounting records in QB; upload all the supporting documents at the FSD; perform monthly closure checks on financial records. Support on elaboration of budget design, reporting and analysis.
  5. Maintain accuracy of all accounting information and documentation posted in the accounting software (QB) and ERP (SunSystems) including internal procedures (recruitment, procurement, etc.)
  6. Achieve unqualified project and statutory Audits and on time donor and internal financial reports
  7. Budget monitoring: produce and distribute Budget versus Actuals (BvA) reports with detail analysis on potential risks.
  8. Deliver on a monthly basis, timely, accurate and complete reviewed set financial records and supporting documents for the offices assigned through the online tool for consolidation.
  9. Manage the implementation of the internal controls recommendations until resolved (monthly checks, internal and external audits, internal reviews, etc.)
  10. With the guidance of the Global Finance Officer, support Interpeace performance by reviewing policies and procedures, providing training to staff and/or partners, monitoring financials or assessing risk within the partners and/or offices assigned.

 

Duties and responsibilities

Specific Duties

Budget Management

  • Approve the final version of the budget or any subsequent amendment designed in collaboration with the relevant programme team before is sent to the (Manager) for further approval before final submission.
  • In coordination with the partner/s and the programme team, develop the PoWB according to available funding, distribute the approved annual budgets to partners and oversee the entry of budgets and budget revisions at QuickBooks and SunSystems.
  • Create donor reports in Q&A to monitor budget implementation and performance (BvA) of all the projects implemented at the designated geographical area and reports to the (Manager) and the programme team on any variances or potential deviations according to actual and forecasted expenditures.
  • Check monthly that the final booked expenses are in line with Approved budgets (including cost sharing) and that resources are utilized in line with the approved budgets and donor requirements.
  • At year end, prepare Partner draft Financial Statements for the consolidated Audit. Coordinate any Statutory or Donor audits and, with the assistance of the (Manager), respond to audit queries.
  • Monitor that organizational performance actions stated at the Summary of Outstanding Audit Recommendations Report SOAR report for the assigned partner/s are implemented until issues are resolved.
  • Review monthly that Cash Transfer Request (CTR) are produced by each partner according to cash flow and budget availability and that funds are utilized according to approved plan (CTR). Update estimates included in the CTR in discussion with relevant programme team.
  • Monitor that expenditures are processed and authorized according to Interpeace Delegation of Authority and other policies (as Procurement Manual).
  • Monitor compliance with grant funding requirements (Donor rules and regulations as eligibility of expenditures).
  • Prepare grant expense reports for all the projects implemented at the designated geographical area and ensure accuracy with SunSystems before they are submitted to any external party.
  • Participate in Programme team meetings and contribute to Programme strategy, activity planning and Programme development as requested.

Accounting Support in MENA Region and to partners

  • Oversee the maintenance of the QB file for MENA Region and assigned partner/s. Ensuring data accuracy of COA and other analytical dimensions.
  • Review supporting documents for expenditures of assigned partner/s to ensure compliance with Interpeace and Donors Financial Rules and Procedures.
  • Perform monthly, quarterly and annual checks on the partner/s assigned and document them on the online tool to ensure and document data accuracy, correct coding and financial performance. Follow up on non-compliant items and implement corrections requested by Headquarters until resolved.
  • Import of Partners’ Quick Books into SunSystems. (This is an envisaged role at the moment this is done by HQ focal point)
  • Document with clarity any potential risks identified regarding the financial performance of the partner/s assigned and communicate to (Manager). If no actions taken, escalate the issue to the CFO.
  • Communicate issues arising from the monthly review of financial reports and supporting documentation to partners and to Interpeace Programme Officers within the stipulated timeframe. Follow up on all outstanding issues until they are resolved.
  • Support procurement as needed and help ensure it is in accordance with Interpeace and donor specific procurement procedures.
  • Ensure proper filing done by the partner/s assigned, checking that all relevant documentation is archived according to internal practice.
  • Ensure that partner/s have and maintain an up to date inventory data base as per donor standards that enables Transfer of Assets to the beneficiaries at the end of the grant period.
  • Undertake periodic visits to Partners (in coordination with Manager and Programme officers) for internal monitoring and capacity building:
    • Review that all payment vouchers have correct supporting documentation and have been properly authorized. Review also for reasonableness and for improper transactions.
    • Review all balance sheet reconciliations
    • Identify areas of weakness and, develop and provide training in coordination with (Manager)
  • Assist in the due diligence for new partners and support in setting-up of new QB files, establishment of local systems, training to finance staff and subsequent follow up.

Audits and Internal controls support (specific tasks)

  • Under the supervision of the Global Finance Officer, S/He coordinates statutory and donor audits for the region in line with statutory and donor requirements and donor terms of reference. S/He ensures that a timetable outlining the tasks that need to be completed is prepared in discussion with the Finance and Programme team and then used to monitor preparations leading up to the audit.
  • Oversee the production of accurate and timely financial information (both succinct and comprehensive) to assist Finance and Programme teams respond to internal and external audits (both projects and statutory).
  • Act as the regional focal point on internal controls matters being developed globally like the monthly/quarterly/yearly checks, the organizational capacity indicators, summary of outstanding audit recommendations, the tier partnership model, etc. S/He will supervise the implementation of the different action plans for these initiatives leading to strengthening Interepace’s performance as well as its implementing partner organizations.
  • Provide financial training when needed and build awareness about the importance of compliance and internal controls.

Others

  • Participate in Proposal development team meetings and contribute by providing technical guidance/suggestions to proposal development, activity planning, interpretation of donor requirements etc.
  • Maintain updated contractual documentation for grant implementation (project proposals/budgets (ProDocs) and grant agreements or relevant documentation) at SharePoint (DRD, Project Connect, etc.)
  • Assist Headquarters in the review of existing policies and procedure and in the development of new procedures, including internal controls.

Administration of employee work cycle

  • Assist in organizing successful employee onboarding. Coordinates contracting and effective personnel onboarding across MENA Region
  • Informs the Global HR Manager of specific issues of employee conflict or grievances related to organizational policy and procedures
  • Assist in coordinating employee separations including disciplinary processes, and terminations in MENA Region.  Ensures that all required paperwork is filed including relevant letters, PAF forms, End of Service form, employee certificates, insurance notifications, and notification to relevant authorities
  • Management of Personnel and Resources Creates an enabling work environment that fosters learning and innovation, where programme staff can achieve their potential, demonstrating gender-responsive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes
  • Monitors, evaluates and documents the individual performance of direct reports through a staff development lens

Others

  • Participate in Proposal development team meetings and contribute by providing technical guidance/suggestions to proposal development, activity planning, interpretation of donor requirements etc.
  • Maintain updated contractual documentation for grant implementation (project proposals/budgets (ProDocs) and grant agreements or relevant documentation) at SharePoint (DRD, Project Connect, etc.)
  • Assist Headquarters in the review of existing policies and procedure and in the development of new procedures, including internal controls.

Qualifications:

Education

  • Degree in Business Administration, finance, or related field from a recognized University
  • Accounting certification (partial or full CPA or equivalent) considered an asset
  • Professional membership with a recognized body is an added advantage

Experience

  • Relevant and progressively responsible experience in the professional field of finance and accounting in a not-for-profit setting
  • Experience in financial bookkeeping within the local context
  • Experience of computerized accounting software, preferably QuickBooks and ERPs, preferably SunSystems. High level of IT proficiency in use of all MS Office applications
  • Proven experience in budget management and internal controls
  • Experience in conducting capacity-building for partners and staff on financial systems and good financial practices.
  • Experience working in field locations

Competencies

  • Thorough understanding of finance and accounting preferably within the not-for-profit sector
  • Proficient accounting knowledge and operating capacity
  • Proficient budget management skills; financial internal controls; source documentation verification; preparation of payment vouchers; and procurement processes
  • Ability to perform detailed work of a confidential nature and/or to work systematically and accurately
  • Ability to foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment successfully and to demonstrate gender-responsive and non-discriminatory behavior and attitudes
  • Advanced level of English required
  • Ability to travel within and outside the country

Interpeace Competencies

  • Collaboration and Weaving
  • Communication
  • Driver for Results
  • Adaptability and Continuous learning
  • Respect for Diversity

Success factors

  • Identifies with and is committed to Interpeace’s core values and working principles
  • Commitment to inclusiveness
  • An innovative, critical thinker with extensive problem-solving skills

Interpeace values diversity among its staff and aims at achieving greater gender parity in all levels of its work. We welcome applications from women and men, including those with disabilities.

How to Apply 

Qualified candidates are invited to submit their application no later than 27 January 2022 via the following link:   Finance Officer, MENA

The application must include:

  • A complete curriculum vitae
  • A one-page letter of interest