Finance Support Officer

Reporting to: Finance Officer

Location: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Type of position: L3

Application closing: 10 July, 2019

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 Support Officer is a member of the finance section of the Global Operations Unit which encompasses Finance, Administration, Internal Audit, IT 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.

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

Purpose and General Overview

Under the direction of the Finance Officer, the Finance Support Officer is responsible for the financial performance of Interpeace office in Abidjan. This includes: accounting, internal controls, audits, budget management, financial reporting, monitoring and capacity building.

The Finance Support Officer oversees the financial management of Abidjan office and other offices in the region, maintaining complete and accurate financial records and drafting (in coordination with the programme and operations team) the different project budgets from development to implementation, monitoring, reporting and auditing.  S/He ensures that assigned project budgets are implemented according to Interpeace policies and procedures and respecting the donor regulations. S/He also works closely with the Finance Officer and the Regional Finance Coordinator (based remotely) 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 Support Officer plays an important role in monitoring and supporting the implementation of the approved budgets  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 Finance Officer, within the first 3-5 years, a successful Finance Support Officer will:

  1. Maintain accuracy of all accounting information and documentation posted in the accounting software (QB) and/or ERP (SunSystems) including internal procedures (recruitment, procurement, etc.)
  2. Achieve unqualified project and statutory Audits and on time donor and internal financial reports
  3. Budget monitoring: produce and distribute Budget versus Actuals (BvA) reports with detail analysis on potential risks.
  4. Deliver on a monthly basis, timely, accurate and complete reviewed set financial records and supporting documents for the partners and/or office assigned through the online tool for consolidation.
  5. Follow up on the implementation of the internal controls recommendations until resolved (monthly checks, internal and external audits, internal reviews, etc.)
  6. With the guidance of the Finance Officer and the Regional Finance Coordinator, 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

Scope and Impact

  • Specific responsibilities and objectives are assigned with some latitude for setting of priorities and technical approaches, using established practices and procedures. Unusual challenges may be discussed with supervisor or others for clarification of the policy.
  • Is recognized as the projects first reference for professional/Technical advice relating to accounting, Budgeting and reporting within the projects and grants assigned
  • Informs and interprets policy and practices within the units
  • Work conducted by the Finance Support Officer impacts specific job family, assigned grants and partners

Planning and implementation

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies
  • Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work
  • Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning
  • Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary
  • Uses time efficiently

Management of Personnel and Resources

  • Supervising (intern, accountant or assistant) on a day to day basis and whenever necessary update the (Manager) on any relevant matters
  • Performing appraisals and providing mentoring and on the job training for the staff supervised

Financial responsibilities –None

 

Specific Duties

Budget Management

  • 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 (Officer and Coordinator), 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.
  • Prepare Cash Transfer Request (CTR) for Abidjan office based on budget availability and ensure 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.

Office accounting

  • Reviewing of all source documentation for Regional Office income and expenditure to ensure compliance with Interpeace financial rules and procedures.
  • Draw up payment vouchers and receipts for all expenditures and incomes and ensure proper authorization of payment vouchers.
  • Enter all transactions into QB or Sunsystems.
  • Process travel advances and follow up to ensure their subsequent liquidation.
  • Banking Services.
  • Update the Fixed Assets database with new/disposed assets and ensuring that all assets have insurance cover.
  • Update the Personnel & Logistics database.
  • Review all local expenses for billing purposes and Manage Accounts Payable to ensure all local payments comply with policy requirements
  • Prepare the payroll for the office staff and ensure that all statutory deductions have been correctly made i.e. (social taxes and Withholding Tax).
  • Ensure compliance with Local Tax Laws in relation to statutory requirements relating to financial statements, periodic reporting and tax filings across all taxes.
  • Reconcile all local bank accounts and constantly review banking arrangements to ensure timely transfer of funds and minimize exchange loses and bank charges
  • Reconcile all Balance Sheet accounts and follow up to clear non-current items
  • Prepare Draft Financial Statements for and supporting schedules as requested by the auditors and act as the focal point for the auditors during Statutory and Donor/Programme audits.
  • Monitor the implementation and clearance of internal and external audit issues and recommendations
  • Conducting Petty Cash Spot checks on a regular basis
  • Maintain local fixed asset register
  • Upload QuickBooks back-ups and Financial reports on SharePoint monthly

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)
  • Have demonstrated high understanding of finance and accounting matters preferably within the not-for-profit sector

Experience

  • Minimum of two years of relevant and progressively responsible experience in the professional field of finance and accounting in not-for-profit setting.
  • Experience of computerized accounting software, preferably QuickBooks and ERPs, preferably SunSystems. High level of IT proficiency in use of all MS Office applications.
  • Ability to work successfully as part of a diverse and multicultural team
  • Experience of conducting capacity-building for partners and staff on financial systems and good financial practices. Experience working in field locations.

Competencies

  • Strong accounting knowledge and operating capacity. Experience in financial bookkeeping within the local context
  • Strong understanding of budget management; financial internal controls; source documentation verification; preparation of payment vouchers; and procurement processes
  • Ability to perform detailed work, frequently of a confidential nature and/or to handle a large volume of work systematically, effectively 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 take ownership of all responsibilities and honor commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment successfully and to demonstrate gender-responsive and non-discriminatory behavior and attitudes.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English. Working knowledge of French and Spanish is desirable.
  • Ability to travel within and outside the country on short notice. Experience with non-profit or international organizations.
  • Strong commitment to supporting local peace building initiatives and to the values and working principles of Interpeace.

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

 

How to Apply

Qualified candidates are invited to submit a complete curriculum vitae and a letter of interest to recruitment@interpeace.org no later than 10 July 2019. “Finance Support Officer” MUST BE included in the subject line of the application email to be considered.

Please note that due to high volume of applications, ONLY short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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.