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Finance Controller At The International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Date Posted: 09/Jan/2014
Deadline: 07/Mar/2014

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

Nigeria is confronted with many challenges that affect its human security and development including: political corruption, conflict, climate change, poverty and weak governance.  With a population of over 160 million, Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population.  Despite its middle income status, Nigeria possesses a stark dichotomy of wealth and poverty.  Although the country is rich in natural resources - the 6th largest producer of oil in OPEC, its economy cannot meet the basic needs of the people.  Nigeria is a rich country with grinding poverty and deprivation – 64% of the population lives on less than $1 a day.  Such disparity between the growth of the GDP and the increasing poverty is indicative of a skewed distribution of Nigeria’s wealth.

The country faces considerable security threats with implications to national and regional stability—an Islamist insurgency in the northeast and renewed instability in the Niger Delta.  The Boko Haram, which translated from Hausa means “Western education is forbidden”, is a militant Islamist political movement located in northeast Nigeria that is not afraid to use violence to achieve its aims.  The movement is fighting for a fundamentalist revival, forbids interaction with the Western World and seeks to establish Sharia law throughout the country.  The group is known for attacking Christians, bombing churches and attacking schools.  Due to the conflict, in mid May 2013 President Goodluck declared a state of emergency in 3 of the northeast states—Borno, Yobe and Adamawa—deploying Nigerian Armed Forces to the area.

In addition to conflict in the northeast, instability in the Delta and inter-communal violence though out the country, the elections scheduled for 2015 are a threat to the security environment. Analysts are speculating that emerging signs are pointed toward election-day violence and post-election violence.  President Goodluck has recently attributed violence in the Rivers State to the Presidential elections.  Inter-communal violence is problematic throughout the country but particularly impacts the Middle Belt.  The conflict over land, power and resources is between indigene groups and settler groups. Religion is a pertinent albeit secondary factor, which reinforces underlying tension.

The IRC is now in the process of establishing long term presence in Nigeria.  The EPRU/ERT led an emergency response through integrated livelihoods and WASH intervention in the Ibaji LGA, Kogi State between February to May 2013.  In partnership with the Civil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE), 54 communities benefited from distribution of seeds and seedlings, new farming techniques trainings, NFIs, WASH and hygiene promotion activities.   This was followed up by a 3 month nutrition and food security program in the same location.  IRC is anticipating opening an office in Yola, Adamawa State in North East Nigeria to address the issue of child malnutrition amongst other humanitarian concerns.

Scope of Work:
The Financial Controller has overall policy and management responsibility for the finance and accounting functions for the country program. The Finance Controller’s responsibilities include general controllership, staff training, management, treasury and budget functions.

The position will report directly to the Country Director.
Specific Responsibilities:
• Controllership
o Ensures that all policies and procedures are in compliance with IRC and funding source policies, procedures, and requirements.
o As required establishes finance and supporting function policies, systems and procedures, and directs or performs their development, documentation, and implementation.
o Manages the finance department activities and schedules to meet the financial reporting requirements and deadlines specified by New York and donors.
o Identify requirements for and develop reporting formats to aid in the management of country operations and grant expenditures.
o Provides country management and program staff with monthly actual-to-budget expenditure reports and analysis for all grants and unrestricted funds.
o Ensure that on a monthly basis balance sheet reconciliations are completed on a timely basis and those final reconciliations and trial balances are reviewed with the Country Director.
o Closely monitors all financial activities, and keeps the Country Director advised of all situations which have the potential for a negative impact on internal controls or financial performance.
o Directs the preparation of, and approves all donor financial reports in respect to accounting, legal and contractual requirements and ensures the review of such reports by the Country Director and Regional Controller prior to submission.
o Develops, schedules and performs or supervises the completion of country internal control audits, and initiates actions necessary to correct internal control weaknesses.
o Facilitates and co-ordinates external, internal, donor or government audits.
o Oversees the protection of the country’s assets (cash, inventory, NEP) through the enforcement of internal control policies and procedures.
o Maintains current knowledge of local government requirements related to financial matters and ensures compliance with tax regulations and other legal requirements.
o Is the principal liaison with IRC NY on all finance, accounting, grant budget management, and cash management matters
• Training & Staff Management
o Develops and implements a training program for the country’s international and national finance staff to ensure staff development and minimize IRC’s exposure when staff are absent or depart.
o Maintains current job descriptions for all positions within the finance group.
o Ensures comprehensive and constructive performance reviews are completed on a timely basis and facilitates discussion of performance and career options with all country finance staff.
o Oversees training and technical support to country program, logistics and administrative staff for skills improvement in the areas of accounting, reporting and internal control.
• Sub-grantees/Partners
o Work with operation, grant and program on sub grantee/partner pre award assessment.
o Develop training plan for sub grantees/partner on grant financial management and donor specific  requirements;     
o Review sub grantees/partners book of accounts and financial documents as per the grant agreement. And ensure transfer of fund, reporting requirement, and liquidations are as per sub grant agreement.
• Treasury
o Supervises all country office bank relations and bank account activities including negotiation of fees, interest and currency exchange rates.
o In compliance with IRC policy establishes country policies regarding cash holding limits, cash movements and foreign currency holdings.
o Oversees the timely preparation, review and approval of all monthly bank account and cash reconciliation’s.
o Establishes country policies on advance payments, credit terms, and use of bank payment instruments.
o 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.
o Supervises the preparation of Cash Transfer Requests to New York and ensures that appropriate balances are maintained to facilitate grant implementation.
o Ensures the development and implementation of a plan to minimize the country’s foreign exchange exposure to currency gains and losses.
o Supervises the collection of contractual and other receivables.
• Budget
o Assists with the preparation and revision of program and grant proposals and budgets.
o Assists in the preparation and maintenance of the country’s Operating Budget; including preparation of budget guidelines to assist program managers in formulating budgets.
o In compliance with donor requirements and IRC policy develops the “Field Operations/Overhead” budget and recommends a methodology for allocation of overhead to grant budgets.
o Prepares the annual and monthly cash budgets based on approved funding.
o Presents and facilitates the review of actual to budget expenditures with the Country Director and program managers.

Key Working Relationships:
o Country Director and other senior country office staff
o External to the Country Office: Regional Controller, Regional Director, Internal Audit; IRC’s Program Directors and other key Program Staff.
o External to IRC: Banking Managers, Donors and local government staff (taxation and regulation related), External Auditors.

• Education:
o A Bachelors degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Commerce or Finance with a recognized professional certificate in accounting such as CPA, or a Masters degree in Accounting.
• Experience:
o Minimum three years experience of managerial experience in the financial area of a non-profit organization.
o Requires extensive experience in working with computerized accounting systems – preferably in SUN, standard spreadsheet and database programs.
• Skills and Abilities:
o Good written and verbal skills in the English language.
o Must be comfortable in being a proactive member of the top-management team.  Must seek to identify and communicate potential problems and propose solutions to the level of management appropriate to effect solutions.
o Must be able to function effectively in a loosely structured, but complex work environment and to set appropriate priorities and deal effectively with numerous simultaneous requirements
o Ability to carry out responsibilities independently with minimal technical support from within the program organization.
o Must be a patient and good communicator who can function in an organizational environment involving a diversity of cultures, languages, and personal interests and agendas.
o Good at role of facilitator and team player in solving problems.
o Committed to staff training and development.
Other details:
• The position will be based in Abuja. This is an unaccompanied post.


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