Senior Finance Associate

UN Children's Fund, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th January, 2018

Job Description

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated.

There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

For every child, a geographically mobile & diverse workforce

The Senior Finance Associate reports to the Geneva Common Services Accounting & Finance Manager. The Geneva Common Services (COS) Finance team serves the following Geneva based entities: Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division (PFP), Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO), EMOPS, Geneva Liaison Office and the Geneva Common Services. The incumbent also works closely with many UNICEF country offices that receive funds from PFP and ECARO.

The Senior Finance Associate is responsible for a variety of specialized tasks in the areas of finance and accounting, budget administration, payroll and entitlements. The role requires the incumbent to have a strong understanding of both programmatic and funding components of UNICEF’s work.

How can you make a difference?

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Support Financial Planning and Management

  • Within delegated authority, assist the supervisor in managing Common Services finance operation, encompassing a wide variety of funding sources, a large volume of transactions, a large number of stakeholders and extensive dispersed activities.
  • Provide input to financial reports, contributing to the preparation of various written outputs such as drafting background papers and analytical reports.
  • Analyze budget expenditures according to allotment and budget codes, verify compliance with guidelines and procedures and keep stakeholders informed to ensure timely remedial action, when necessary.
  • Monitor open commitments and pre-commitments, reconcile Personal Advances & Recoveries (PAR) accounts for staff as well as the General Ledger accounts.
  • Provide guidance and training on the application, interpretation and implementation of UNICEF Financial policies, procedures and guidelines to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Prepare and/or monitor financial exception reports to assess unusual activities and transactions, investigate anomalies. Review transactions carried out by Geneva based entities.
  • Assist in ensuring that internal controls are adequately applied in the office. Ensure timely update of the Table of Authority and maintain Delegation of Authority memos.

Monitor Accounts

  • Perform oversight function and coordinate monthly and year-end closure activities with other team members. Coordinate monthly and year-end closure processes and reporting.
  • Coordinate and complete monthly and year-end closure activities/reports.
  • Ensure that all disbursement transactions are correctly recorded by reviewing accounting entries and performing periodic and year-end reconciliation.
  • Review and reconcile inter-office and inter-agency transactions during the year and adjust entries as required before year-end closure.
  • Examine direct cash transfer (DCT) transactions and supporting documents to ensure Funding Authorization and Certificate of Expenditure (FACE) form has been properly entered into the system and the expenditure is broadly reasonable and in accordance with policy.

Payroll management

  • Coordinate with UNICEF’S Global Shared Service Centre (GSSC) and analyze monthly funding analysis report.
  • Prepare and reconcile deductions for all Geneva staff and monitor recovery of these deductions as well as follow up on any related issues;
  • Act as a focal point for global management of staff accounts with the La Mutuelle fund and the United Nations Staff Mutual Insurance Society (UNSMIS) account.
  • Respond to staff on payroll-related queries.
  • Ensure up-to-date information on cash position is available and timely replenishments for the Geneva payroll account. Coordinate the process with GSSC and DFAM Treasury.

Relationship management: GSSC and banks

  • Maintain relationship with GSSC to ensure effective cooperation by having regular conference calls to address bottlenecks in the processes, identify improvements opportunities, etc.
  • Maintain relationship with representatives of local banks to obtain information on changes in procedures, regulations and matters pertaining to the maintenance of bank accounts and follow-up on queries/issues.
  • Act as a focal point for timely updating of the Geneva signatory panel and coordinate the process with DFAM Treasury and bank counterparts.

Knowledge and capacity building

  • Interact with Geneva-based stakeholders and Country Office (CO) staff on a regular basis to share information and provide technical assistance related to budget, finance and accounts issues and transactions, including capacity building activities;
  • 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 strategies.
  • Participate and/or organize training events to build capacity of staff and stakeholders.
  • Act as Officer- In- Charge in the absence of Accounting and Finance Manager.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

Education: Completion of secondary education required. A university degree in Accounting, Finance or Business administration or professional qualification (i.e. CPA, ACA, ACCA, CIMA etc.) from professional accounting body would be highly desirable.

Experience: Seven years of general accounting experience or finance is required.

Language Requirements: Fluency of English is required. Working knowledge of French would be an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Drive for Results (Level II)
  • Communication (Level II)
  • Working with People (Level II)

Functional Competencies

  • Analyzing (Level II)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (Level II)
  • Planning and Organizing (Level II)
  • Following Instructions and Procedures (Level II)


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