Finance & Budget Officer

United Nations Children's Fund

Athens, Greece

Under the general guidance of the Operations Manager, the Finance & Budget Officer analyses programme and budget proposals for completeness, correctness and conformity with the programme and budget guidelines; advises programme managers and partners on the processes, from planning to implementation and reporting, and provides guidance for effective and efficient management of financial resources during the implementation of the budget, control of accounts and treasury/cash.

The Finance & Budget Officer, when supervising support staff, will be responsible for planning and guiding work in progress and for reviewing work completed by subordinate staff to verify accuracy and compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), UNICEF Financial Regulation and Rules, policies, procedures, guidelines, standards of accountability, and ethics.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Support to management on financial planning

  • Provide support to the financial planning process by preparing/analyzing financial data/estimates and documentation verifying relevancy, accuracy and completeness to support results-based budget planning across the office. Provide technical and operational support throughout the financial planning and implementation process.
  • Provide technical support to the programme counterparts/committees, e.g. review budgets and financial plans of implementing partners;
  • Ensure timely allocation of new grants to respective programmes in line with approved budget breakdown and donor conditions.
  • Review budget expenditures and financial reports according to agreed budgets, and in coordination and collaboration with Programmes verify compliance with guidelines, grants eligibility and procedures. Keep stakeholders informed for timely action.
  • Monitor grants expiry dates with the objective of timely informing budget owners that all funds are fully utilized prior to grant expiry dates.
  • Monitor the utilization of resources (OR/RR/IB) and produces regular updates for the Country Office Management.
  • Support the capacity development of programme staff to improve the description of expenditures that appear in financial reports.
  • Enable an institutional memory within the office through the development and maintenance of record keeping of OR allocations forms and emails related to RR allocation; ensure the filing of and access to all the financial and budget-related files on proposals, donor reports and all other financial documents.
  • Provide technical and operational support on the application, interpretation and implementation of financial policies, procedures and guidelines to staff and stakeholders. Resolve routine financial operational issues.
  • Prepare and/or monitor financial analysis/exception reports to assess unusual activities and transactions, investigate anomalies and performance trends, and keep supervisor informed for timely action.
  • Review financial and reputational risks in the transactions carried out by the office and raise flags when action is needed by management.
  • Formulate pragmatic recommendations and secures the agreement of management to mitigate the identified risks. Monitors and assess adequacy of actions taken to ensure the risks are managed.
  • Prepare work plans for supervisee/s, provide timely technical guidance, monitor work in progress and review work completed to approve transactions and/or certify/verify accuracy of work and compliance with IPSAS and UNICEF Regulations and Rules, policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Control of accounts and treasury/cash management

  • Review the accurate and timely processing submission of financial transactions ensuring compliance with budgetary limits, IPSAS and organizational regulations, rules, policies. Take timely action on outstanding accounts to resolve pending issues.
  • Oversee bank, petty and cash on hand accounts transactions in compliance with UNICEF/UN financial regulations, policies, procedures and local banking practices. Keep abreast of procedures and regulations regarding maintenance of bank accounts and exchange and interests rates.
  • Monitor and forecast periodic cash requirements. Provide current information on cash position/forecast to management and make recommendations or take action to ensure sufficient availability of resources for programmes and operations activities.
  • Monitor and analyze financial transactions, accounting reports and reconciliation of accounts to ensure accurate and current financial information for applicable compliance (e.g. IPSAS, donor reporting, internal policies) and management oversight, planning and/or action.
  • Prepare or contribute to mandated management/statutory office financial and accounting reports to UNICEF Board/Bodies/Donors, verifying the reliability of data and compliance with organizational guidelines.
  • Collaborate with oversight bodies (e.g. UNBOA, OIAI, Evaluation Office, JIU, donors, etc.) to provide answers to requests; and engage with the appropriate colleagues to resolve financial observations and recommendations raised in a sustainable and efficient manner.
  • Oversee and complete applicable accounts closure activities (monthly, quarterly and yearly) on a timely basis and per closure instructions.
  • Examine DCT transactions (transfer, adjustments, reprogramming and liquidation) supporting documents to ensure FACE form has been properly entered into the system and the expenditure is broadly reasonable and in accordance with policy.

HACT Financial Assurance activities

  • Facilitate the execution of HACT financial assurance activities (Micro assessments, Spot Checks, Audits) undertaken by external service providers or internal staff through scheduling, arranging briefings and related administrative needs to ensure appropriate and comprehensive information for effective and efficient completion of assignments.
  • Oversee and update risk ratings of implementing partners to align with the relevant assessment.
  • Review assessments assurance reports to identify areas of weaknesses related to the implementation of HACT and keep supervisor/partners informed of findings for timely action and/or intervention and escalation of issues when required.
  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with government counterparts and national stakeholders through engaging in capacity building around HACT financial management and sharing related information and knowledge
  • Participate in appropriate inter-agency meetings/events to facilitate and promote sharing of information, knowledge, experiences and best practice and enhance coordination of activities in line with the ONE UN best practices.
  • Interact regularly with other country offices and the Regional Office on HACT financial assurance related activities.

Knowledge and capacity building

  • Promote a culture of the highest ethical standards and behavior in the management of UNICEF’s resources.
  • Support initiatives for management improvement by capturing, institutionalizing and sharing best practices and lessons learned.  Recommend improvements in processes and procedures to enhance productivity and performance including implementation of cost-saving and VfM strategies.
  • Contribute to the design and implementation of capacity development strategy/initiatives for CO staff in the area of financial management/budget management.
  • Contribute to design and implementation of capacity development strategy/initiatives for implementing partners Identify, synthesize and share lessons learned from HACT and its implementation for integration into broader knowledge development planning and management efforts

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Minimum requirements:

  • Education: A University Degree in accounting, financial management, auditing or another related financial field is required.
  • Work Experience: At least 2 years of relevant work experience in financial & budget management is required. 

Skills :

  • Professional managerial experience.
  • Experience with IPSAS and/or IFRS.
  • Excellent understanding of business analysis, budget, financial management, and managerial accounting.
  • Experience in consolidation and analysis of data and creation of Dashboards.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially MS Excel is required. Knowledge of Power BI, DAX or other BI tools and ETLs will be an asset.
  • Language Requirements: Fluency in English & Greek is required