UN Women: Finance Specialist – VGSC EC Focal Point & Liaison Support
UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
The Finance Specialist position forms part of UN Women’s Virtual Global Service Centre (VGSC) and is locate in the Brussels Liaison office, Division of Strategic partnerships. This position will be under the daily supervision of the Deputy Director of the Brussels Liaison office and have a direct reporting line to the Head of the VGSC and the Deputy Director of Financial Management in New York.
The Finance Specialist is responsible for the oversight, support and timely and effective control of UN Women’s financial reporting obligations to the European Commission (EC) and Spotlight and is responsible for providing regular training and guidance in the areas of budgeting, financial management and reporting to field offices and HQ teams responsible for implementing EC funded programmes. In addition, the Finance Specialist will provide Liaison Office support for EU/UN relevant financial and legal services and inter-agency meetings.
The Finance Specialist will always promote a client-oriented approach and abide by UN Women’s financial regulations and rules, ensuring compliance with UN Women Internal Control Framework, financial rules, regulations, policies, procedures and IPSAS.
Duties and Responsibilities
Keep abreast of all EC/ UN related developments:
- Establish and maintain contacts with the relevant financial and legal services in the EC, keeping abreast of the latest applicable guidelines and ensuring timely release of funds for UN Women projects funded by the EC.
- Review of contracts and agreements under negotiation - ensuring that they are negotiated in accordance with the applicable Framework Agreements and UN Women Rules and Regulations.
- Represent UN Women at relevant meetings and sessions and exchange regularly with other UN entities’ finance officers in Brussels on Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA) related issues.
Training and capacity development to staff on EC budgeting, financial management and financial reporting:
- Provide regular training and support to UN Women Offices and HQ Divisions on the budgetary frameworks and financial aspects of EC project proposals, the preparation of financial reports and project budget management.
- Assist with building capacity and knowledge throughout UN Women offices and sections by developing tools and resources which demonstrate best practices for the financial management of EC programmes, accounting and record keeping practices needed to ensure that financial donor reports can be prepared on a timely basis.
- Ensure full compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and all UN Women Financial Regulations and Rules, Operations manuals, Internal Control policies and procedures related to finance, Standard Operating Procedures, Finance manual, and Delegations of Authority in the area of finance to ensure consistency across UN Women and harmonization with other UN Agencies.
- Collaborate with other stakeholders on budget formulation and set up and reporting and to ensure that best practices are being followed.
Oversight and review of EC budget negotiation and ERP (Enterprise resource planning) setup. Review and Quality Assurance on Financial Donor reporting:
- Provide advice to UN Women field offices and HQ teams on all areas of financial management during negotiation, implementation and reporting stage of EC-funded projects.
- Provide support and guidance to relevant field offices and HQ teams on the development of budget frameworks, ensuring budget frameworks adhere to UN Women’s result framework in conjunction with Budget Section.
- Monitor the budgetary inputs and ATLAS budget set-up of field offices and HQ teams, ensuring that the approved budgets are properly captured in UN Women’s ERP system (Atlas) and correctly mapped in UN Women’s Result Management System.
- Focal point for support to the relevant field offices and HQ teams in the preparation of EC Financial Donor reports, ensuring timely and accurate preparation of financial reports and adherence to EC specific financial reporting requirements and templates.
- Responsible for ensuring the timely submission of relevant Financial donor reports to the EC and for ensuring that all relevant reports are uploaded in UN Women’s Donor Agreement Management System (DAMS).
- Provide guidance to field offices and HQ teams on the financial accounting and recording of transactions –supporting offices to ensure that all transactions are recorded against the relevant activity and any financial adjustments are made in a timely manner.
Regular monitoring and reporting on EC programme implementation and delivery:
- Follow up with EC budget holders to ensure compliance with financial reporting commitments per agreement deadlines.
- Review and recommend requests for pre-financing and in-kind contributions on projects in accordance with UN Woman’s Standard Operating Procedures and approved risk management guidelines.
- Ensure that any request for refunds are reviewed, validated and processed on a timely basis and maintain proper supporting documents for refunds to donors and general ledger journals.
- Follow-up on collection of receivables from the EC, ensuring funds are received in a timely manner.
- Provide support to relevant offices to ensure that recording appropriate adjustments for errors identified during the donor reporting process are made.
- Contribute to preparing regular management reports and monitoring metrics on the status of pending financial donor reports to the relevant unit and senior management and ensure action is taken to submit reports in a timely manner, in coordination with Programme Management Support Unit (PMSU).
- Support field offices and HQ teams on EC Financial Project closure activities.
- Prepare other adhoc financial management reports, as requested and ensure knowledge management on EC programmes for financial management areas.
Provide relevant audit and EC verification mission support:
- Provide relevant support to field offices, and HQ sections before, during and after EC verification missions and audit, including the review, quality assurance and review of verification mission and audit responses on financial related issues for Deputy Director of Financial Management clearance.
- Follow up and/or take prompt action to respond to audit and other findings on EC financial management including recommending improvements in financial policies, procedures and practices.
- Maintain a repository of EC verification missions and relevant management response, including a summary of feedback and best practices and ensure knowledge management support.
Key Performance Indicators:
- Timely advice and training to field offices and HQ teams, improving capacity to prepare financial donor reports;
- Ensuring budgets are set up in line UN Women results framework and correctly reflected in UN Women’s ERP system;
- Timely submission and high quality of EC Financial donors reports to internal and external stakeholders;
- Timely closure of EC projects;
- Quality inputs to Finance rules, regulations, guidelines, manuals, and policies;
- Adherence to IPSAS and all UN Women financial rules, regulations, policies, and procedures;
- Timely submission of audit responses and EC verification missions;
- Performance of Financial Reporting and Project Closure team members.
- Respect for Diversity;
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
- Creative Problem Solving;
- Effective Communication;
- Inclusive Collaboration;
- Stakeholder Engagement;
- Leading by Example.
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Values and Competencies Framework: https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-values-and-competencies-framework-en.pdf?la=en&vs=637
- Very strong knowledge and expertise in accounting and financial management;
- Very strong knowledge of complex financial rules and regulations, preferably UN/UN Women Financial Rules and regulations;
- Demonstrated business acumen and judgment;
- Strong conceptual/strategic skills and success in implementing financial re-engineering, management systems development, policy design, innovation and knowledge product development;
- Very strong knowledge and experience in the application of complex financial systems and modules (such as Atlas);
- Advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages;
- Ability to provide advice and support;
- Strong communication skills and personable approach is required;
- Strong analytical skills.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced (Masters) University Degree in Finance/Accounting or Professionally qualified accountants from an internationally recognized institute of Accountancy is required.
- Minimum 5 years of extensive and progressively responsible experience in accounting, financial management and at least (2) years of which should be at the supervisory level, in a large international and/or corporate organization preferably in the UN system and its organizations;
- Experience of IPSAS or IFRS is required;
- Experience in the usage of office software packages (MS Word, Excel, Cloud, etc.);
- Experience in web-based management systems and ERP financial systems such as PeopleSoft (Atlas);
- Completion of UN Women Accounting Test required.
- Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
- Working knowledge of French strongly preferred;
- Knowledge of another UN official language an asset.
All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-p11-personal-history-form.doc?la=en&vs=558. Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.