Finance Associate

United Nations Development Programme

Panama City, Panama

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required: Accounts and Finance

UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

Under the overall guidance of the Deputy Director of Financial Management in Headquarters (HQ) and the daily supervision of the Regional Office Finance Specialist, the Finance Associate is responsible for the execution of a wide range of financial services and administrative processes in the Regional Office (RO), ensuring timeliness, efficiency and transparent use of financial resources and delivery of services in accordance with organizational financial rules, regulations, policies, procedures and approved allocations. The Finance Associate promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UN Women rules and regulations, standard practices and guidelines.

The Finance Associate works in close collaboration with the Operations Team in the Regional Office as well as with the Operations and Programme teams in UN Women HQ for solving complex finance-related issues and information delivery.

Duties and Responsibilities

Implement financial strategies, and adapt processes and procedures in full compliance of UN Women rules, regulations, policies, and recording and reporting systems

  • Perform duties in full compliance with UN Women financial regulations and rules, policies and standard operating procedures, including internal controls.
  • Keep abreast of and ensure full compliance with amendments to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
  • Review and verify financial transactions, activities, and documentation; taking corrective actions as needed and reporting any unusual activities.
  • Monitor financial exceptions reports for unusual activities or transaction, investigate anomalies and report to the supervisor conclusions and/or present recommendations for actions/decisions.
  • Collect, verify and present information and data for use in the planning of financial resources and the formulation of the Regional Office (RO) programme work plans, budgets, proposals on implementation arrangements and execution modalities.
  • Provide advice and recommend solutions to a wide range of financial issues.
  • Monitor the proper functioning of the financial resources management system for office and programmatic budgets and resources;
  • Implement and monitor cost saving and reduction strategies.
  • Review with Budget owners and Project Managers, in line with Month-end Closure Checklist, the Project Delivery Status Reports and investigate any overspend.
  • Respond to instructions from the Finance Specialist in relation to financial transactions.  Undertake timely corrective actions as requested to resolve financial data issues or provide information.
  • Participate as a member of the Regional office team in the internal and external audits of the Regional Office or Country Offices in the region.
  • Follow-up on audit recommendations to monitor implementation of corrective actions.
  • Actively promote a client-oriented finance service to Regional office and Country offices.

Prepare and administer the RO budgets in full compliance of UN Women rules, regulations, policies, and recording and reporting systems

  • Formulate the budget, control allotments, monitor expenditures, and prepare revisions according to the needs of the RO.
  • Track the appropriate and timely use of financial resources.
  • Prepare cost recovery documents or bills for the services provided by UN Women to other programmes or organizations.
  • Create projects in Atlas, prepare budget revisions, revise project awards and status; and determine unutilized funds.
  • Ensure the maintenance of the control mechanism for development projects through monitoring budgets preparation and modifications and budgetary status.
  • Maintain internal expenditure control system.
  • Undertake corrective actions on un-posted vouchers, including vouchers with budget check errors, match exceptions and unapproved vouchers. Frequently review and investigate payment vouchers which are in error; and respond to RO requests to resolve financial data issues.
  • Prepare VAT reimbursements with adequate documentation support, as necessary.
  • Input data in Atlas and monitor status. Keep stakeholders and clients informed for timely action and/or decisions.
  • Manage petty cash fund.
  • Assist Project Managers with budget re-phrasal as required.

Provide finance support to the Programme and Operations teams

  • Review accounts receivables for UN Women projects and follow-up with project managers and finance section at regional office and/or headquarters on contributions, deposits creation in Atlas and their application to AR pending items.
  • Prepare PO and non-PO vouchers for development projects.
  • Prepare General Ledger journal entries (GLJEs) from proper supporting documents authorized by the budget owners and project managers.
  • Review transactions in Atlas, ensure payroll, travel claims, MPOs, and other entitlements are processed.
  • Monitor the setup of budgets in ATLAS to ensure they are in accordance with budgets agreed with donors and are input into ATLAS at the detailed Activity ID level.
  • Monitor each month over-expenditure of budgets and follow up with Budget Owner.
  • Monitor regularly transactions posted to projects ensuring actual expenditure has been recorded against correct budget category and activity, take timely corrective actions as required.
  • Maintain proper follow up of advances to implementing partners, review their financial reports together with project managers.
  • Monitor the financial status and under the guidance of the RO Finance Specialist implement control mechanisms for management/development projects.
  • Monitor and proper follow up of all the financial items in Month-end and Year-end closure instructions status and under the guidance of the Operations Manager, take correction actions as required.
  • Keep stakeholders and clients informed for timely actions/decisions and review status reports for quality control.
  • Provide information inputs to financial reports for Regional Office, HQ Finance and stakeholders.
  • Finalize mandated financial reports to donors and other clients and stakeholders.
  • Associate revenue and expenditure in commitment control for non-core projects.
  • Provide inputs and take necessary actions to facilitate timely financial project closure.
  • Support financial donor reporting by providing timely information and taking necessary actions as required by UN Women Virtual Global Service Centre for financial donor reporting.
  • Assist with preparation for Audit of Projects and Partners by third party audit firm.  Follow-up and/or take action on audit recommendations to ensure implementation of corrective actions. Assist in reviewing the audit reports on NGO executed projects.

Facilitate knowledge building and knowledge sharing

  • Assist conducting training and/or helping organize training events and activities.
  • Collect and compile lessons learned and best practices in financial management and services. Disseminate to clients and stakeholders as appropriate to build capacity and knowledge.
  • Contribute to financial business operational practices and management innovations.
  • Supervise and guide staff and personnel under responsibility, as applicable, provide technical guidance and monitor performance to ensure delivery of results according to plans and standards of accountability and performance.
  • Undertake all trainings in relation to financial management provided, including webinars from headquarters. 

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:

  • Completion of secondary education is required.
  • Specialized national or international certification in accounting and finance is an asset
  • Bachelor's degree in Finance or Accounting is an asset
  • Successful completion of UN Women Accounting and Finance Test is required.

Experience:

  • At least 6 years of progressively responsible experience in finance.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web based management systems.
  • Knowledge of Power Bi or another data visualization tool is an asset.
  • Experience in the use of PeopleSoft ATLAS or Oracle is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required.
  • Knowledge of French is an asset. 

Source: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=109076