Financial Officer

World Bank Group

Chennai, India

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Accounts and Finance

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 130 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. 

The World Bank Group Finance and Accounting (WFA) Vice Presidency Unit is responsible for all aspects of financial reporting and the internal control framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of those entities. WFA also leads the client shared service function for the WBG corporate expenses and WBG trust funds, ensures fiduciary responsibility for all disbursements related to Bank operations.

WFA comprises the following functions: Financial Instruments Accounting and Valuation; Loan Operations; Accounting Business Services; Financial Analysis and Reporting; Accounting Policy; Documentation and Communication; Advisory Services; and Operational Risks and Controls. These units collectively include approximately 500 staff, of which approximately 170 are in Washington, D.C., with the remainder in regional offices including the largest in Chennai, India.

Unit Overview:

The WBG Trust Fund and Loan Operations Department (WFATL) in WFA provides a number of financial operation activities, notably financial services, compliance, disbursements, accounting, reporting, and analytics for IBRD/IDA loans and Trust Funds. 

WFAAS, a division within WFATL is focused on supporting both the WBG’s Trust Funds and Loans portfolios, for example, providing advice on the design and implementation of new trust funds or loans, policies, or processes, as well as many activities associated with the implementation and closure of loans or trust funds, including account creation and maintenance, disbursement transactions, trust funds and loans accounting and reporting and helpdesk functions.  

WFAAS division operates out of three locations – DC, Chennai and Manila.  The team in Chennai and Manila (WFALF and WFALM), comprise three sub-teams viz., (i)Trust funds accounting clearance and Fiduciary & Controls team (ii) Trust Funds accounting and reporting, and (iii) Loan accounting and reporting.  Together, the Division provides end-to-end support for IBRD/IDA Loans and WBG Trust Funds, in terms of, 

  • Providing upstream advice to Bank teams and influence the design of new Trust funds and loan agreements to ensure compliance with fiduciary, reporting, internal control requirements and best practices.
  • Support, help design, and ultimately implement and account for new and emerging trust funds and loan products, in addition to the existing trust fund and loans portfolio.
  • Ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Trust Fund and Loan modules, financial ledgers and related interfaces, which capture all TF and Loan activities.
  • Report on Trust Fund and Loan accounts at the individual account and portfolio level through, audited/un-audited financial statements, management reports, analyses and trends for corporate reporting, donor specific reports, etc.
  • Maintain/enhance/develop underlying systems, tools and applications to cater to the changing business needs.

This is an advertisement for a Financial Officer, in the Loans accounting and reporting team in Chennai (WFALF).  This position reports to the Senior Team Lead in Chennai. The Financial Officer administers accounting and financial reporting operations and takes the lead in representing the Division on all loans accounting and control related aspects, including review and oversight of accounting processes, accounting and loan policies and arrangements within their assigned area. The Financial officer is responsible for leading a team of approx. 6 staff currently, with an appropriate mix of accounting analysts (GE grade) and accounting assistants (GD grade).

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Financial Officer’s primary responsibilities will include, but not limited to, a combination of the following activities:

  • Perform supervisory review of the team member’s work, for example, approving posting of documents, reviewing and approving loan reports, review analysis performed for IBRD/IDA financial statements and MD&A.  Monitoring progress of projects /tasks assigned to team members
  • Understand the implication of new lending structures on the financial and reporting systems, evaluate the back-end system / process support required to implement the structures, and work effectively in conceiving, designing and implementing such structures/products in consultation with the different stakeholders. 
  • Independently function as the main point of contact for internal and external clients. Provide support, as necessary, to clients, country and regional operations teams to ensure the smooth operation of the country loan portfolios. 
  • As part of the management team of the division, participate on discussions related to accounting/operational policies, provide comments and lead discussions on technical papers presented to the Board.
  • Perform periodic review of the financial results of the loan portfolio to identify trends and significant changes to assess the reasonableness of account balances leading to a sign off on the data/information
  • Ensure critical month-end closing activities such as validation of key activities of the month, review of key accounts, business table reconciliations are carried out effectively; ensure month-end and year end close per production schedule
  • Collaborate with the cross functional teams and clients and provide solutions for systems related issues in the existing / new initiatives.  Guide the teams on technical queries related to all SAP applications.
  • Provide inputs for developing and delivering learning programs for Bank staff and clients on the Bank’s loan products and policies.
  • Lead/Participate in institutional projects and coordinate with technical teams on system changes.  Contribute to the continuous improvements and process enhancement initiatives surrounding loan processes aimed at simplification and/or enhancements to process quality and controls.
  • Lead and supervise team members, including performance management; provide timely feedback, coaching, and mentoring support to the team to achieve desired outcomes and build a strong team; provide career development guidance.

Selection Criteria

  • Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant, with minimum 7 years post qualification experience. 
  • Good understanding of U.S. and International Financial Reporting Accounting and Auditing standards including knowledge on loss provisioning and valuation of loans.
  • Proven working experience on accounting and reporting processes using automated accounting systems preferably SAP.
  • Demonstrated good judgmental and analytical skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office tools.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills (both written and oral).
  • Strong client-focus and excellent team player.
  • Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues.
  • Ability to function effectively in multi-disciplinary teams within a matrix environment.