Finance Assistant

United Nations Development Programme, Apia, Samoa

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th January, 2020

Job Description


UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

The UNDP Multi-Country Office (MCO) based in Samoa, which covers Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, implements the UNDP Subregional Programme Document for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (2018-22), which is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and country priorities as reflected in national development plans. In close partnership with the four Governments, UNDP works in collaboration with donors, the private sector, civil society organizations and local communities, academia, media and regional organizations to provide global knowledge and integrated development solutions to development challenges. UNDP promotes a whole-of-society approach to deliver on the ambition of the 2030 Agenda, with greater involvement of civil society actors, emphasis on empowering women, youth and vulnerable groups, and centred on the principle of leaving no one behind.

Under the overall guidance of the Assistant Resident Representative (Operations) and direct supervision of the Finance Analyst, the Finance Assistant provides financial services ensuring high quality, accuracy and consistency of work. The Finance Assistant promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations.

The Finance Assistant works in close collaboration with the operations, programme and project staff in the UNDP Samoa Multi-Country Office (MCO), as well as with the UNDP Global Shared Services Center (GSSC), UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) and UNDP HQ staff, to resolve finance-related issues, exchange information and ensure consistent service delivery.

Duties and Responsibilities

Ensures implementation of operational and financial management strategies focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Full compliance of financial processes, financial records and reports with UN/UNDP rules, regulations, policies and strategies. Effective implementation of the internal control framework and follow-up on audit recommendations;
  • Input to MCO business processes mapping and elaboration of the content of internal Standard Operating Procedures in Finance in consultation with the direct supervisor and office management;
  • Provision of inputs to further strengthen MCO cash management.

Ensures administration of budgets and functioning of the optimal cost-recovery system focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Support in preparation and modifications of budgets for UNDP projects, follow up with HQ on authorized spending limits (ASL) for management projects;
  • Provision of inputs for timely preparation of cost-recovery bills in Atlas for the services provided by UNDP, implementation of a billing and income tracking system, and follow up on cost recovery;
  • Liaise with other Operations Units to compile billing for services, and process bills in Atlas as and when required by the Finance Analyst.

Provides accounting and administrative support to the Finance Unit focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Proper control of the supporting documents for payments and financial reports for management and other projects as required; preparation of requests for payments for UNDP and non-Atlas agencies with accurate supporting documents and submission for processing to GSSC; payment execution when required;
  • Timely response to HQ/GSSC requests to resolve financial data issues. Follow-up with project staff when needed;
  • Proper receipting of goods and services and establishment of accruals;
  • Support in coordination and review of accounts closure;
  • Ensure travel claims and other entitlements are duly processed;
  • Management of cash receipts and petty cash;
  • Maintenance of a proper filing system for finance records and documents;
  • Provide back up support for processing requests for payments and budget management in the absence of the Finance Analyst;
  • Follow up payments by clients, including reimbursements as necessary from governments on tax exemption, and any others as agreed with governments.

Ensures proper MCO cash management system functioning focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Timely review of cash position for local accounts to ensure sufficient funds on hand for disbursements. Timely identification and recording of receipts for income application;
  • Daily review of zero-balance account bank statements in Atlas to monitor imprest level; identification and recording of contributions;
  • Preparation of monthly UN exchange rate report to Treasury;
  • Initiation of bank transfers and deals in Atlas;
  • Alternate as cashier for cash disbursements made on site.

Supports knowledge building and knowledge sharing in the MCO focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Participation in trainings for operations/project staff on Finance;
  • Contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  • Capturing and sharing of lessons learned and good practices in financial management.


  • Innovation-Analyzes complex technical materials (including data) and makes concise, relevant recommendations.
  • Leadership-Proactively identifies new opportunities and challenges.
  • People Management-Takes ownership of responsibilities.
  • Communication-Understands, explains and shares information on assigned tasks with accuracy and clarity.
  • Delivery-Meets goals and timelines for delivery of products or services.

Technical/ Functional:

  • Knowledge Management-Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.
  • Accounting (General)-Knowledge of accounting concepts, principles, regulations and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.
  • Audit-Ability to examine and verify accounts and reports.
  • Budget Management-Ability to support budgetary aspects of work planning process, drawing and management of team budgets.
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis-Ability to evaluate financial data, derive relevant findings and present them in a meaningful manner.
  • Quality Assurance-Ability to perform administrative and procedural activities to ensure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Secondary Education with specialized certification in Accounting and/or Finance;
  • University Degree in Finance or Accounting is desirable, but not a requirement;
  • Part-qualified accountants from an internationally recognized accountancy institution will have a distinct advantage.


  • Secondary education with 5 years of relevant finance experience at the national or international level is required; OR
  • Bachelor’s degree with 2 years relevant finance experience at the national or international level;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web based management systems;
  • Experience with ERP financials, preferably PeopleSoft, desirable;
  • Knowledge of IPSAS and/or IFRS desirable.
  • Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and Samoan both written and verbal.


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