Job Description

The Finance Officer is responsible for providing support to the supervisors and colleagues in the office by administering and executing a variety of professional and technical financial transactions and processes, applying theoretical skills and thorough knowledge of organizational goals, objectives, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures to complete the tasks. 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. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up. For every child, Equality 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. Job organizational context: The Finance Officer is responsible for providing support to the supervisors and colleagues in the office by administering and executing a variety of professional and technical financial transactions and processes, applying theoretical skills and thorough knowledge of organizational goals, objectives, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures to complete the tasks. The Finance 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 Regulations and Rules, policies, procedures, guidelines, standards of accountability, and ethics Key functions/accountabilities: How can you make a difference? 
  1. Effective capacity building of staff
  • Support the capacity building and development of Botswana, Namibia, Namibia and Eswatini (BNLE) Country Offices finance and admin processes to ensure compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), UNICEF Financial Regulations and Rules, policies, procedures, guidelines and standards of accountability and ethics.
  1. Support to financial planning and management 
  • Provide support to the financial planning process for the Johannesburg sub-regional office by preparing/analyzing financial data/estimates and documentation verifying the relevance, accuracy and completeness to support budget planning. Provide financial operations support throughout the financial planning and implementation process.
  • Review and revise SOPs / Work processes to ensure finance processes are in line with latest policies, rules, regulations and best practices.
  • Review and monitor budget expenditures according to allotment and codes and verify compliance with guidelines and procedures. Keep stakeholders informed for timely action as necessary.
  • Provide technical and operational support on the application, interpretation and implementation of operational policies, procedures and guidelines to BNLE CO stakeholders. Resolve routine financial operational issues and/or recommend (and record) appropriate policies and guidelines to meet objectives.
  • Provide technical support to the programme counterparts; monitor compliance with HACT framework, including support to assessments, assurance and capacity development of CO counterparts and/or implementing partners.
  • Verify the validity and accuracy of DCT, invoicing, general accounting and Master Data Management (MDM) transactions in Service Gateway in line with Global Shared Services Center (GSSC) guidelines.
  • Prepare and/or monitor financial exception reports to assess unusual activities and transactions, investigate anomalies, 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.
  • Review GSSC performance data, analyze and report on transactional performance indicators against GSSC standards.
  • Support the Deputy Representative, Operations and BNLE COs with budget preparation activities, strategic income projection/reporting, setting and monitoring performance indicators, revenue and expense reporting, and provide technical advice during strategic planning exercises.
  1. Control of accounts
  • Review (as per delegated authority) the accurate and timely processing and submission of payments (e.g. operations related accounts, travel claims, journal entries and other financial transactions within scope to GSSC, ensuring compliance with budgetary limits, IPSAS and organizational regulations, rules, policies, procedures, standards of accountability, and ethics. Ensure timely action for the settlement of 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.
  • Monitor and analyze financial transactions, accounting reports and reconciliation of accounts to ensure accurate and current financial information for applicable compliance (e.g. IPSAS, internal policies) and management oversight, planning and/or action.
  • Prepare or contribute to mandated management/statutory office management reports to RO, verifying the reliability of data and compliance with organizational guidelines.
  • Collaborate with oversight bodies (e.g. UNBOA, OIAI, JIU 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.
  • Provide guidance and/or 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. 
  1. Treasury and cash management
  • Provide guidance on the management of bank and petty cash 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 stakeholders informed of applicable cash management policy changes.
  • Maintain a system to monitor and forecast periodic cash requirements.  Provide current information on cash position/forecast to COs and make recommendations or take action to ensure adequate availability of resources for programmes and operations activities.
  • Ensure monthly bank statements are submitted to GSSC for reconciliation and follow up with relevant stakeholders to take appropriate corrective actions on findings identified by the GSSC.
  1. Knowledge and capacity building 
  • Promote a culture of highest ethical standards and behavior in 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 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: Education: A first level university degree in accounting, financial management or another related financial field is required. Supplemental formal financial / accounting training may be accepted if university degree is not in a related financial field. Diploma qualification in CIPFA is acceptable in lieu of relevant university degree, or its equivalent. Experience: A minimum of 2 years of professional experience in financial management or audit is required. Experience in an international organization and/or large corporation is preferred. 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. Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required.  Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset. For every Child, you demonstrate... UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. The functional competencies required for this post are... Analyzing (I) Applying technical expertise (II) Planning and organizing (II) Following instructions and procedures (II)   UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
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