Lead Policy Officer

World Bank, Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
16th December, 2019

Job Description

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 120 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. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org

World Bank Group Finance & Accounting (WFA) is led by the Vice President & Controller, who reports to the Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer. WFA is responsible for the financial reporting and internal control framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of these entities. WFA also houses the functions related to valuation, accounting for corporate expenses, structured finance, derivatives, and loans as well as ensuring fiduciary responsibility for all disbursements related to Bank operations.

This position is part of the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Department (WFACA) led by the Director & World Bank Group Chief Accountant who reports to the VP & Controller, and comprises four units: Corporate Reporting; Risk & Controls, Structured Finance, and Accounting Policy.

General Description

The Lead Policy Officer serves as the Head of Accounting Policy and Director’s Advisor, overseeing a small unit and reporting to the Director of WFACA . This position is responsible for establishing and coordinating the accounting policy agenda of the Bank and requires a high level of judgment, autonomy, and technical knowledge, along with the ability to deal appropriately with confidential and sensitive matters. In an advisory role, the Lead will regularly represent the Department with managers and staff throughout Finance, and other areas of the Bank (e.g. Legal; Budget, Planning & Strategy; General Services Department; Corporate Secretary; External Relations, Integrity, Audit Committee, Executive Directors, etc.). The Lead will regularly interact with senior level managers and their senior staff to accomplish the work program of the unit and Department and to represent the Director on relevant issues.

Duties and Accountabilities

Accounting Policy

  • Maintain an effective system of internal controls over the Accounting Policy function for IBRD and IDA that will be subject to annual internal and external audit under the ICFR attestation process. Ensure appropriate documentation is created and maintained; and that proper processes are followed.
  • Monitor external standard setting activities for both accounting and relevant auditing policy and practice, as well as relevant regulatory activity, for best practice. This work requires understanding IBRD & IDA, standard setting, and financial accounting so that issues of interest to IBRD & IDA can be identified and appropriately addressed.
  • Lead the team in evaluating the impact of new and proposed accounting and auditing standards, and pronouncements, on IBRD & IDA’s financial statements, financial operations and governance. Collaborate with the Financial Reporting Unit and other relevant units on the implementation of accounting standards. This position must exercise significant judgment to determine and prioritize those issues which have a bearing on IBRD or IDA. This work may include leading staff within, and outside of, Finance in the resolution of implementation, technical and operational issues. This responsibility requires being proactive in researching and advising on matters as they impact the IBRD & IDA financial reporting, and judgment for determining the appropriate timing and level of escalation to senior management.
  • Lead technical accounting research and formulation of accounting approaches in response to internal inquiries on applications of US GAAP to existing or prospective transactions.
  • Formulate IBRD/IDA accounting policies. This requires an ability to understand, interpret and apply complex technical accounting concepts and summarize them for internal audiences and external disclosure.
  • Demonstrate competence in US generally accepted accounting. Draft new or revised financial statement and MD&A disclosures that comply with accounting standards or market practice in collaboration with the Financial Reporting Unit.
  • Lead interactions on policy and reporting matters with units within the department and WFA.
  • Provide expert advice on accounting policy and financial reporting matters to Treasury (Pension Plans) and WFA Trust Funds & Loans as other preparers of GAAP-based financial statements.
  • Collaborate on accounting policy, financial policy, and reporting related matters with a wide variety of functional areas and levels of management. Typical contacts include managers and senior staff of the MDCFO, Chief Risk Officer, Development Finance, Treasury and Legal .
  • Collaborate with accounting policy leads at IFC and MIGA on the identification and resolutions of common matters that impact the World Bank Group.
  • Chair WFA’s New Products Group, providing leadership and coordination of WFA responses to new product proposals from across the Bank.
  • Lead interactions on policy and audit related matters with the Bank’s External Auditors. This work requires regular interaction with the auditor’s most senior representatives and national office technical representatives.
  • Lead as a technical resource for inquiries about WFA’s Recruitment Practice Advisory, External Auditor contracting prohibitions and related matters associated with the Bank’s relationship with the external auditors.
  • Provide learning opportunities for Bank staff on a variety of topics including standard setting, auditing and technical accounting issues.
  • Lead or participate in special projects, including corporate working groups and task forces.
  • Liaise with external parties on relevant matters of interest to the multilateral development banking and financial institutions community.

Other Responsibilities

  • Evaluate, counsel and coach unit staff performing accounting policy work, ensuring they have adequate development and continuing education to enable them to optimally perform their duties.
  • Develop and manage an annual work program that is appropriately prioritized; responsive to external requirements as well as internal institutional and departmental priorities; and based on a realistic assessment of resources and unit capabilities. Rebalance resources and priorities during unexpected work load peaks. Provide regular reports on work program progress to the Chief Accountant.
  • Prudently manage the budget of the unit to achieve the quality and timely delivery of a fluid work program.
  • Participate as a member of the departmental management team, communicating and modeling the vision and goals of the department and the Vice Presidency.

Front Office Advisory Support

  • Research and analyze various institutional topics; preparing analytical notes, briefing materials and summaries on behalf of the Director.
  • Lead special project initiatives sponsored by the front office.
  • Participate in corporate initiatives and mandates.
  • Monitor and advise on cross-cutting issues affecting the department.
  • Support the functioning of the front office, and coordination activities across the divisions.
  • Collaborate on relevant matters with a variety of functional areas and levels of management.

Selection Criteria

  • Requires The typical successful candidate will have at least 10-15 year’s relevant experience, including corporate financial reporting or related experience, preferably in a financial institution, and must include at least 4 years of public accounting (auditing) experience.
  • Requires Professional Accounting Certification (i.e. CPA/CA), or post-graduate education in accounting; undergraduate degree in accounting required (if no graduate degree in accounting).
  • n-depth knowledge of, and experience with, application U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Practical and recent experience in development and preparation of accounting policies.
  • Extensive experience evaluating and researching a broad range of accounting, auditing and financial reporting issues.
  • Practical background in evaluating and applying financial reporting practices and accounting principles theory to complex and novel arrangements.
  • Very strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to deliver training and presentations.
  • Demonstrated strong judgmental and analytical skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with stakeholders, clients and colleagues.
  • Ability to lead work teams, including inter-VPU teams, and to plan and manage multiple, concurrent projects and tasks to achieve timely, quality results.


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