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Finance Associate

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: LICA-6, Local Individual Contractors Agreement - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Administrative support
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-27

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Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world.  UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.  

UNOPS Geneva Office is part of the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR), and manages one of UNOPS largest portfolios. It provides quality services and integrated solutions to its partners in the areas of operational support (including HR, Procurement, Finance, Travel, Administration and ICT) as well as management of grants and trust funds. The Geneva Office also hosts global entities working in support of health, nutrition, humanitarian support, sustainable urban development and disaster displacement.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Finance Manager, the Finance Associate will provide financial and administrative support to the timely processing, recording, monitoring, and maintaining of financial transactions and accounts relating to payments and receipts in accordance with UNOPS’ financial rules, regulations, policies, and processes.

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Implementation of operational strategies
  • Budgetary and project costing support
  • Payments and treasury operations
  • Financial reporting, accounting and control
  • Knowledge building and knowledge sharing

Ensures implementation of operational strategies, adapts processes and procedures focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Full compliance with rules and regulations of financial processes, financial records and reports and audit follow up; implementation of the effective internal control framework.
  • Support to maintain financial oversight in compliance with policies, guidelines and internal control procedures for all financial and the related transactions.
  • Elaboration of the content of internal Standard Operating Procedures in Finance in consultation with the support services and projects teams.
  • Provision of inputs for implementation of cost-saving and reduction strategies in consultation with the finance, support services and project teams.
  • Assists in the planning and coordinating projects and office internal audit activities including implementation of recommendation and submission for closure.
  • Supports the monitoring and advice on projects financial status (including pending and approved budgets; contributions balances and contributions already expended).
  • Routine monitoring of financial exception reports for unusual activities, transactions, and investigation of anomalies or unusual transactions.

Ensures efficient budgetary and project costing support, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Information gathering for budget preparation and participates in the identification of project and administrative budgetary requirements.
  • Supports the preparation of budgets, regular analysis and reporting on budget and delivery; monitoring of expenditures against budget allotments and reporting on variances;
  • Assists the projects to ensure budgets are prepared in accordance with established procedures, ERP protocols and partner budgetary guidelines.
  • Coordinate with portfolio teams the preparation and consolidation of cash-flow forecast ensuring inputs are extracted from updated cash-flow plans and projects activity plans.
  • Maintenance of budget databases by verifying and entering approved budgets.
  • Assist on continuous monitoring of budgetary allocations and contact with projects and partners to strengthen budget management and take corrective actions when required.
  • Support the monitoring of financial targets for the projects and portfolios including monitoring of administrative budget as well as planning and adjustment of expenditures.
  • Support on project closure activities focusing on financial aspects including liaising with finance HQ to clear balance sheet accounts and issue final financial statements.
  • Track cost recovery of locally managed direct costs for personnel and non-personnel and where required to prepare journal entries on quarterly basis to book costs to projects.
  • Keeps contact with projects and finance HQ to verify, correct, add and improve quality of financial activities of a particular project or portfolio including financial reports and audits;
  • Reconciliation of expenditures and preparation of various financial and statistical reports;
  • Discussion of concerns with the projects teams  when required, so that timely corrective actions are taken on budget and financial reporting aspects;

Provides support in accounting, payments,  treasury operations and administrative support, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Review and confirm appropriateness of operational transactions processed through  interpretation and determination of applicable UNOPS policies and Financial rules and regulations.
  • Review of payment requests for completeness prior to processing, ensuring that documentation needed are complete and that all required procedures are fulfilled to enable the payment approval by relevant finance delegation of authority.
  • Ensures payment requests are properly obligated; control of supporting documentation; preparation of vouchers; pay cycle and entry of transactions and financial data in the ERP.
  • Support in banking activities in compliance with local financial and banking regulations. Frequent contact with the local bank to obtain day-to-day information;
  • Support in the monitoring of bank accounts and balances to ensure existence of sufficient funds and prepare requests for replenishment and recording receipt of funds in the ERP.
  • Assist in the preparation of bank reconciliation where requested by finance HQ.
  • Undertake corrective actions on unposted vouchers, including budget check errors, match exceptions, unapproved vouchers. Timely response to HQ to resolve financial data issues;
  • Support monitoring of Accounts Receivables and follow up with projects and partners.
  • Performs periodical petty cash counts. Reviews requests for petty cash establishment prior to submission for approval. Reviews requests and expenditure reports for replenishment;
  • Review requests for operational advances and pre-payments by ensuring complete documentations are included for approval. Reviews requests and expenditures reports for settlement / clearance or replenishment;
  • Ensures timely submission of compliance reports such as advances, petty cash to HQ
  • Ensure maintenance of file including electronic filing system for all financial records and documentation

Ensures effective financial reporting  and control, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Support to coordinate with project managers tracking the preparation and submission of financial reports and statements to partners inline with signed project agreements.
  • Reviewing financial statements and financial reports issued by HQ and respond to queries and observations from the project teams, funding source, clients and donors;
  • Reviewing financial management reports for submission to external project Audit and Finance Committees, Boards  and Partners for certification by the Finance Manager.
  • Assist to prepare interim financial statements and financial management reports for approval to partners in compliance with established reporting requirements.
  • Preparation of recurring, ad-hoc or special financial reports as required.  
  • Prepare analysis and reports, investigate and prepare adjustment as required.  
  • Assist to coordinate with finance, support services and project teams in the quarterly and end year books closure including submission of reports and documentations to finance HQ.
  • Communication with projects and partners on areas requiring verification, corrections, additional information, etc. to improve quality of financial activities and reports.

Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Support to organize, facilitate and/or deliver training and learning initiatives for personnel on finance-related topics such as setting projects, budget revisions, troubleshooting and financial processes on day to day financial transactions, reporting and other related tasks.
  • Provide sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Contribute feedback, ideas, and internal knowledge about processes and best practices and utilize productively. 
  • Synthesis of lessons learnt and best practices in financial management and oversight.


Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education
  • Completion of secondary school is required. 
  • First University Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance or equivalent disciplines is desirable but not required. 
  • Relevant certification in financial management or accounting such as CPA, CA etc a distinct advantage
Work Experience 
  • Minimum of 6 years of relevant working experience within the areas of finance, accounting, business administration or related field is required.
  • Knowledge of UN / UNOPS financial rules and regulations is an asset.
  • Proficiency in computers and office software packages and experience in handling web-based management systems is required.
  • Experience with Enterprise systems is desirable.
  • Experience in UN system or international  organizations is desirable.
Language Requirements
  • Fluency in English is essential.
  • Knowledge of French is an asset.

Competencies

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

This is a local position, it is therefore open to Nationals of Switzerland and to individuals who have a valid residence/work permit.

Contract type: Ongoing ICA
Contract level: Local ICA 6
Contract duration: Open-ended subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and/or to satisfactory performance

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.

Diversity

With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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