The IRC is seeking a Finance Director to drive the FCDO funded ‘GOAL’ in Pakistan. This is a 5-year, £130 million anticipated programme, with an expected release date by October 2022, and mobilization in the first quarter of 2023. GOAL focuses on two main priorities - access to and quality of learning for all children particularly girls - in the least developed districts of Punjab (South Punjab) and KP (the Newly Merged Districts).
Background and objectives of GOAL
The programme will cover 3 broad components: Technical Assistance, Service Delivery and Financial Aid. It aims to deliver the above-mentioned outcomes through five outputs:
1. Reduced barriers and schooling costs for girls and marginalized children,
2. Increased awareness and prioritization of education (learning)
3. Improved teacher knowledge, skills and classroom practice
4. Learning facilitated through quality (teaching learning) resources and guided by assessment
5. Improved planning and management at the school, district and provincial level.
Scope of work
The Finance Director will be responsible for overseeing financial management and financial operations for the anticipated FCDO project, GOAL. As a member of the Project’s Senior Management Team, the Finance Director provides the leadership and management necessary to ensure the project has the appropriate financial infrastructure and systems in place to support the smooth project implementation. S/he will contribute to the development of the Project’s strategic and operational plans and be accountable for ensuring and monitoring delivery against the financial plans through targeted and comprehensive financial analytical review.
As project Finance Director, s/he will have responsibility for all aspects of strategic and operational finance, acting as the principal finance business partner to the Project Director and other Senior Management team. This is a senior position which requires outstanding leadership, strategic thinking, and organisational, team-building and representational skills. The Finance Director role is envisaged to be full-time and will be based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Travel to the target provinces may be required subject to COVID-19 situation.
• Ensures that all policies and procedures are in compliance with IRC and FCDO policies, procedures, and requirements.
• Establishes project’s finance and supporting function policies, systems and procedures, and directs or performs their development, documentation, and implementation.
• Prepares and regularly reviews project financial management manual and ensures that all staff are compliant with the requirements (cascading down the overarching IRC/FCDO policies and requirements) arranging training as necessary during induction.
• Manages project finance activities and schedules to meet the financial reporting requirements and deadlines specified by HQ and FCDO. Prepares quarterly accrual reports, expenditure reporting, and quarterly expenditure projections – consolidated for all project offices in multiple cities (ensuring a variance of no more than 5% of actual from forecast).
• Provides project management and programme staff with monthly actual-to-budget expenditure reports and analysis for project funds and facilitate their review and discussion.
• Ensures balance sheet reconciliations are completed monthly and on a timely basis and review final reconciliations and trial balances with the Project Director.
• Ensures that finance team retain copies of accurate and adequate supporting receipts for all expenditure, as per FCDO requirements.
• Closely monitors all financial activities, and keeps the Project Director advised of all situations which have the potential for a negative impact on internal controls or financial performance.
• Directs the preparation of and approval of all FCDO financial reports in respect to accounting, legal and contractual requirements and ensures the review of such reports by the Project Director and HQ prior to submission.
• Enforces internal control policies and procedures.
• Maintains current knowledge of local government requirements related to financial matters and ensures compliance with tax regulations and other legal requirements. Supports the set-up of project-specific bank accounts in country to prevent co-mingling of funds and identifies necessary authorized signatories for each account to ensure a smooth banking process with adequate financial controls in place to prevent mismanagement of funds.
• Establishes project finance roles and responsibilities matrix; ensures job descriptions are current; recruits and maintains qualified staff to perform finance functions.
• Leads of interviewing and selection process for all new finance staff and implements a training programme for the project’s finance staff, including accurate expenditure tracking and quarterly forecasting of expenditure.
• Ensures that all finance staff are trained on and compliant with IRC/FCDO anti-fraud and corruption requirements and escalate any allegations of suspected mismanagement of funds.
• Supports and responds to any internal or external audit of project accounting by IRC or FCDO, providing required supporting documentation on request, in a timely fashion.
• Ensures constructive performance reviews are completed on a timely basis and facilitates discussion of performance, training requirements and career options with project finance staff.
• Supervises all project office bank relations and bank account activities including negotiation of fees, interest and currency exchange rates.
• In compliance with IRC policy, establishes policies regarding cash holding limits, cash movements and foreign currency holdings of the project.
• Oversees the timely preparation, review and approval of all monthly bank account and cash reconciliations.
• Designs, implements, and monitors systems, procedures and reporting necessary to maintain on current basis accurate forecasts of cash requirements for meeting future spending, including commitments entered into and which obligate IRC to future spending.
• Supervises the preparation of Cash Transfer Requests to HQ and ensures that appropriate cash balances are maintained to facilitate project implementation.
• Assists with the preparation and revision of project budgets.
• Prepares the annual and monthly cash budgets based on approved funding.
• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in Accounting, Business Administration, Commerce or Finance with a recognized professional certificate in accounting such as CPA, or a master’s degree in Accounting.
• Minimum of 10 years in similar financial, compliance, or operational role supporting FCDO commercial contracts and other international donor projects in similar contexts.
• Experience with budgeting and financial reporting requirements on multimillion pound, multi-year, FCDO commercial contracts.
• Experience with financial management and reporting on projects with substantial subawards.
• Strong knowledge of generally accepted accounting practices, financial reporting standards, financial management processes and procedures.
• Familiarity with FCDO rules and regulations, particularly related to management of project expenditure and forecasting requirements.
• Extensive experience in working with computerized accounting systems, standard spreadsheet and database programmes.
• Must have a proven track record of proactively identifying and communicating potential problems and proposing solutions.
• Excellent interpersonal communication skills and professional patience and be able to interact, partner and thrive in a diverse environment.
• Committed to staff training and development and effective at facilitation.
• Experience of management of staff performance gaps and provision of additional training or managing a performance improvement plan.
• Fluency in English required.
Please note that the JD is high level and indicative only at this stage and may be subject to change once the Terms of Reference for the programme is released and as the opportunity develops. This position will be contingent on the outcome of the bid.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.