Finance Manage

United Nations Children's Fund

Kabul, Afghanistan

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required: Accounts and Finance

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

For every child, courage.

The Afghanistan Country Office (ACO) operates in a highly complex and dangerous context: the country is officially in a conflict situation, and has been for many years, and the government controls less than 50% of the country. The office is categorized as a category E hardship duty station. The office is a top ten office in terms of expenditure, with a staff level of over 380, and has 11 offices spread across the country, many hard to reach due to geography and/or security access. The Rest and Recuperation (R and R) schedule requires the Finance Manager to often act as OIC for the Deputy Representative – Operations within the office and representing the office externally. The ACO Operations budget for its 170+ Operations staff and its $30+ million Operations non-staff costs also needs close financial oversight from the Finance Manager. The complex nature of the programme also requires the Operations sections, especially the Finance team, to manage the national distribution of allowances and other payments to several thousands of extenders and teachers working in areas inaccessible to ACO staff through LTA contracted third parties. The office must also respond to annual portfolio review processes led by the Ministry of Finance at the request of the President which require considerable financial work from the Finance Manager.

How can you make a difference?

  •  The Finance Manager reports to the Deputy Representative - Operations for general direction and guidance. The manager is responsible for providing support to the senior management team of the country office as well as to programme section chiefs where required in managing, monitoring and overseeing the full range of financial services in support of programme and operational activities (i.e. financial planning, disbursements of funds and payments, treasury and accounting, financial analysis and reporting of resources), advising on and managing the financial issues associated with cash disbursement programmes, Operations budgetary management, ensuring the compliance of all financial operations with organizational plans, policies, procedures, guidelines, standards of performance, ethics, and integrity.
  • The Finance Specialist, 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 financial planning and management

  • Prepare/analyze financial data/estimates and documents, verifying relevancy, accuracy and completeness to facilitate financial planning for CPMP and regular management advice. Provide technical and operational support throughout the financial planning and implementation process.
  • Manage the financial review of partner submissions and proposals for the PRC and advise the Deputy Representative where required.
  • Provide financial technical assistance to the programme section chiefs on donor proposals and donor reporting.
  • Provide technical accounting advice and provide support to the Budget Unit where required and to provide assistance to the Planning, Monitoring and Resources section where warranted due t relevant Rand R schedule gaps.
  • Review budget implementation according to allotment, codes and certify compliance with guidelines and procedures. Keep stakeholders informed for timely action.
  • Provide technical and operational support on the application, interpretation and implementation of financial policies, procedures and guidelines to the Representative and CO colleagues and stakeholders. Resolve routine financial issues and/or recommend (and record) deviation from procedures and guidelines to meet objectives.
  • Evaluate financial and reputational risk in transactions carried out by the office and raise flags when actions are needed by management.
  • Prepare and/or monitor financial exception reports to assess unusual activities and transactions, investigate anomalies, and keep supervisor informed for timely action.
  • Provide technical support to the HACT and Quality Assurance Committee Including assisting in the monitoring of HACT compliance.
  • 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.
  • Provide technical advice during strategic planning exercises.
  • Represent the office at finance sub-committees of the OMT and deputise for the Deputy Representative – Operations at the OMT when required.
  • Act as Deputy Representative – Operations as required due to the R and R schedule and leave commitments.

Control of accounts

  • Process and/or review (as per delegated authority) the accurate and timely submission of payments (e.g. payroll, MIP, travel claims, pension fund, advances to governments etc.), journal entries and other financial transactions within scope to the Global Shared Services Center (GSSC), ensuring compliance with budgetary limits, IPSAS and organizational regulations, rules, policies, procedures, standards of accountability, and ethics. Take timely action on outstanding accounts to resolve pending issues. This includes dialogue and follow up with the GSSC to facilitate timely processing of financial transactions submitted to the center.
  • Process/supervise (as per delegated authority) the disbursement of payments when done locally via bank letters, checks, or petty cash.
  • Process/supervise cash receipts and reconcile income contributions to ensure their timely deposit and recording in UNICEF systems.
  • 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 and to follow to resolution of financial observations and recommendations.
  • Assure proper and timely completion of accounts closure activities (monthly, quarterly and yearly)
  • 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.
  • Treasury and cash management  
  • Manage bank, petty and cash on hand accounts transactions and operations in accordance with UNICEF/UN financial regulations and rules, policies, procedures and local banking practices. Keep abreast of procedures and regulations regarding maintenance of bank accounts and exchange and interest rates. Keep supervisor and relevant colleagues informed for timely action.
  • Primary contact with local bank management on routine operational matters including negotiation of exchange rate on replenishments.
  • Maintain a system to monitor and forecast periodic cash requirements.  Provide current information on cash position/forecast to management and make recommendation or take action to ensure sufficient availability of resources for programmes and operations activities.
  • Review monthly bank reconciliation and take appropriate corrective actions on findings identified by the GSSC.

Support to cash transfer management and external partner financial review processes

  • Support the country office in the preparation and quality assurance of financial data required to be annually submitted to the Government of Afghanistan in its portfolio review process.
  • Support the county office in the compilation and quality assurance of financial data required for submissions to the Resident Coordinator’s office for One UN plans and documents.
  • Support the Unicef led cluster coordinators where financial resource and expenditure data is required.
  • Internal control assurance
  • Promote a culture of the highest ethical standards and behavior in the management of UNICEF’s resources.
  • Support the Deputy Representative – Operations in ensuring complete and effective fraud management and control training to all staff as per DFAM policy.
  • Undertake internal preliminary enquiries into suspected financial irregularities as directed by the Deputy Representative – Operations and to assist the Deputy Representative - Operations with any further investigation instructions received from OIAI.
  • Undertake internal process and transaction control reviews and assessments as directed by the Deputy Representative – Operations.
  • Assist the Deputy Representative – Operations in the administration of external and internal audit administration.

Knowledge and capacity building

  • Contribute to initiatives for management improvement by capturing, institutionalizing and sharing best practices and lessons learned. Implement and/or recommend management improvements to enhance productivity and performance including implementation of cost saving strategies.
  • Participate and/or organize training and learning events to build capacity of staff and stakeholders/partners.
  • Support operations of the office as required.

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

  • A valid professional certification (CA; CPA; etc.) from an internationally recognized, accredited chartered accountancy institution is required, along with an advanced university degree (Master's) in financial management related fields such as Accountancy or Finance or their equivalent; or an advanced diploma qualification in CIPFA or its equivalent with other internationally recognized institutions.
  • A minimum of 8 years of professional experience in financial management or audits in an international organization and/or large corporation is required.
  • Experience in a UN system agency or organization some of which served in a developing country is considered as an asset.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Excel required.
  • Experience in database packages, web-based management systems and ERP systems (preferably SAP financial modules) is considered as an asset.
  • Experience with IPSAS and/or IFRS is considered as an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required.  Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.