Senior Policy Advisor- Finance
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
ReasonRegular > Regular Assignment
Remote work accepted
Target Start Date
Job Posting End Date
Standard Job Description
Senior Policy Advisor - Finance
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
Under the overall supervision of the Controller and Director Division of Financial and Administrative Management (DFAM), the Senior Policy Advisor - Finance reports directly to the Deputy Controller and Chief of Global Finance Service (GFS). The incumbent will:
- Contribute to the development of corporate level policies and strategies concerning financial, accounting, and administrative management that meet organisational strategic objectives and operational needs, taking into account recommendations issued by audit bodies and legislative bodies of the General Assembly.
- Support, coordinate, consolidate, and advise on the implementation of financial and accounting management policy initiatives and objectives which impact on the overall operations of UNHCR.
- Respond to multiple requests addressed to the Controller requiring policy interpretation as well as development of processes and procedures to address day to day issues at the field level.
Within the existing supervisory management responsibility of the position, the incumbent will directly supervise the staff of the Policy and Audit Coordination Section (PACS).
The assigned responsibilities of this position include regular liaison with Senior Management of UNHCR such as Directors and Representatives and a variety of staff at Headquarters and in the field, as well as within the UN system and the internal and external auditors.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
- Advise and assist the Controller and the Deputy Controller in the formulation of new or updated financial, accounting, and administrative management policies, procedures, processes and systems at the corporate level, to ensure these are addressing the operational and legislative needs, including fraud prevention elements, while reflecting the realities within the Organization and the environment in which it operates.
- Advise and assist in providing functional guidance to Directors, Representatives, and other managers at Headquarters and in the field on aspects of financial control and management, taking into account control systems under the decentralised resource management framework.
- Prepare presentations and clarifications on finance, internal control system and oversight matters at various governance meetings (including informal consultations, Standing Committee, Executive Committee, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and 5th Committee of the General Assembly).
- Coordinate on behalf of UNHCR, through the Policy and Audit Coordination Section, responses to the external audit reports and follow-up on recommendations issued by the United Nations Board of Auditors.
- Carry out analysis on the root causes of various oversight recommendations and propose cost effective solutions to address systemic or recurring issues that could impact financial performance, including changes to policies, procedures, processes and systems.
- Carry out research on best practices being developed within the United Nations system as well as in the private sector in respect of methodologies for accounting, financial reporting and enhancement of the internal control environment.
- Coordinate the actions to be taken for implementation of recommendations issued by various oversight bodies (including the Board of Auditors, OIOS, JIU and IAOC) addressed to or related to DFAM.
- Review and provide advice in relation to financial aspects included in various funding or other administrative agreements that UNHCR intends to conclude.
- Contribute to formulating responses to surveys and questions raised in the context of various reviews and due diligence exercises conducted by donors.
- Provide advice on the presentation of UNHCR’s Financial Statements, with particular attention to compliance with applicable financial and accounting regulations and rules, and audit recommendations.
- Represent the Organisation in inter-agency and other external fora relating to financial and accounting matters, including the Finance and Budget Network (FBN) of the High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM) as required.
- Carry out any other related tasks assigned by the Controller.
- Propose new or updated policies and procedures at a corporate level related to financial management, accounting and control environment, including fraud awareness and prevention.
- Issue on behalf, and after clearance, of the controller concepts, interpretations and recommendations on aspects of policy, financial and accounting control and management, as well as internal controls.
- Recommend corrective actions and consequences related to non-compliance with financial, administrative and material resources, management policies, rules and regulations.
- Review and clear contractual clauses with financial management implications that are included in various funding and administrative agreements.
- Coordinate and review responses from the field, Bureaux and Divisions to various external audit reports.
- Propose amendments to UNHCR’s Financial Rules, when appropriate.
- Attend meetings of inter-agency bodies and other UN fora related to financial, accounting, and administrative matters, as required.
- Act as an alternate chair to the Controller for the Headquarters Committee on Contract, as appointed
- Perform other related duties as required.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P5 - 12 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 11 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 10 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Accounting Business Administration Finance Economics or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) or equivalent
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Minimum 12 years of previous work experience relevant to the function, of which 7 should be in an international capacity. Professional qualification in accounting (CPA, CA or equivalent). Detailed knowledge and exposure to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules. Extensive working experience in formulation of financial and accounting policies and procedures at a corporate level. Experience in preparing presentations and reports to UN/UNHCR’s governance bodies such as UNHCR’s Standing Committee and Executive Committee, as well as ACABQ and the 5th Committee of the General Assembly. Good knowledge of the UN systems, together with solid experience in accounting and financial management. Good understanding of auditing practices. Must have a superior knowledge of UN Financial Regulations and Rules and IPSAS, as well as relevant experience and accounting qualifications and superior drafting skills.
Excellent conceptual, analytical and drafting skills. Communication and negotiation skills, ability to express complex concepts. Knowledge of Enterprise Resource planning (ERP) systems. Previous experience as an auditor and/or fraud examiner certificates.
*FI-General Financial Management
*MG-Policy Development, Evaluation, Research, Publication
IT-ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Functional Knowledge
CO-Drafting and Documentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All jobs at UNHCR require six core competencies and may also require managerial competencies and/or cross-functional competencies. The six core competencies are listed below.
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to Continuous Learning
Client & Result Orientation
Empowering and Building Trust
Judgement and Decision Making
Strategic Planning and Vision
Planning and Organizing
Policy Development and Research
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination, and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
Desired Candidate Profile
• An internationally recognised professional accounting designation;
• Extensive experience in the preparation and/or audit of financial statements of international entities under IFRS, IPSAS or similar accounting frameworks;
• Demonstrated ability to absorb, interpret and formulate new accounting and financial management related standards and requirements;
• Demonstrated excellent policy writing skills in English language
• Experience in managing extensive cross organisational coordination and communication in a highly decentralized organisation;
• Experience in managing both internal and external audit liaison;
• Excellent managerial skills, ability to provide guidance and resolve complex cases
• Experience of working within the United Nations common system or another international organization.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
Nature of Position:
The incumbent should have the below required qualifications and experience:
- Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Economics or other related field, preferably with subject matter courses in Accounting plus minimum 11 years of previous work experience relevant to the function, of which 7 should be in an international capacity. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) plus 12 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 10 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Professional qualification in accounting (CPA, CA or equivalent).
- Exposure to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and detailed knowledge of United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules.
- Extensive working experience in formulation of financial and administrative policies and procedures at a corporate level, experience in highly decentralized organizations is an advantage.
- Experience in preparing presentations and reports to UN/UNHCR’s governing bodies, as well as ACABQ and the 5th Committee of the General Assembly.
- Good knowledge of financial administration and management within the UN system, together with solid experience in accounting and financial management.
- Extensive experience in audit liaison, including internal and external audits, good understanding of auditing practices and the UN oversight mechanisms.
- Experience with financial advisory and support services to field-based operations.
- Fluency in English with working knowledge of another relevant UN language(s).
Additional factors to highlight:
.- Excellent conceptual, analytical and drafting skills.
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills, ability to express complex concepts orally and in writing.
- Knowledge of Enterprise Resource planning (ERP) systems.
- Previous experience as an auditor and/or fraud examiner certificates.
Living and Working Conditions:
CertificationsCertified Public Accountant - Other, Chartered Accountant (CA) - Other
CompetenciesAccountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Policy research & development, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
UNHCR Salary Calculator
CompendiumBi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022