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Finance Specialist At UN Women

Date Posted: 16/Jun/2014
Deadline: 30/Jun/2014


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 reports to the International Programme Manager and the Operations Manager for guidance and supervision and is responsible for providing assistance to offices in the Region as necessary to ensure capacity and support; assistance with development projects for the finance users of UN Women for better business practices and controls as well as automation; ensuring all finance users are compliant with and trained in the accounting standards, financial regulations and rules, policies and procedures; assisting Finance Section HQ in dedicated support, training, advice for Regional Offices, Multi-Country Offices and COs (ROs/MCOs/COs); and acts as the Audit focal point for the Region in co-ordination with Finance Section HQ, as well as finance users in ROs and MCOs/COs.

The Finance Specialist supervises and leads support staff of the Administration and Finance Sub-Unit of the project. The Finance Specialist works in close collaboration with Finance Section HQ, Programme and Operations colleagues, teams at the country level, UNDP staff and Government officials ensuring high performance and efficiency in Finance.

Duties and Responsibilities

Functions / Key Results

Summary of key functions:

    Rotational redundancy/training/communication;
    Financial planning, analysis, management and services;
    Financial tasks, approving and certifying function;
    Monitoring, oversight and control;
    Project budget management;
    Advisory support and technical guidance;
    Financial reporting;
    Knowledge management and capacity building;
    Supervisory and other responsibilities.

Rotational redundancy/training/communication

    Provide rotational redundancy for the programme during times of extended leave (as necessary) to ensure continuation of financial services;
    Perform Finance role in CO as necessary. Travel to states to perform Finance redundancy role or alternatively, perform this role from CO where it is not possible or costly to perform in situation;
    Assist with the implementation of the communication plan and monitor the effectiveness on a regular basis to ensure close relationship between Finance Section and Finance Users under the programme;
    Promote pro-actively and support Finance Users under the programme with cost effective tools such as Skype, webinars, SharePoint, and online forums. Support development projects for ensuring such effective tools are in place and regularly monitored for improvements with feedback from Finance Users at HQ, and RO;
    Lead the Implementation of the approved Training plans (specifically ATLAS and IPSAS) in conjunction with Finance Section HQ on a recurrent basis to ensure competency across all Finance Users under the programme. Implement the Induction Training plan in a methodology that new Finance Users can access on day one of taking up post and provide support to new Finance Users under the programme.;
    Provide dedicated remote focal point support for Finance Users under the programme on a timely basis. Perform the Finance Helpdesk function for the programme to ensure accurate and timely response to issues and advice requested in conjunction with Finance Section HQ.

Financial planning, analysis, management and services

    Recommend and/or implement cost saving and reduction strategies including cost recovery strategies and cost effective financial arrangements;
    Review, recommend and implement and/or verify financial transactions/activities, recording/reporting system and audit reports and ensure full compliance with and consistent approach to UN Women internal control framework, financial rules, regulations and financial policies and procedures. Co-ordinate with Finance Section HQ on suggestions for amendments;
    Review, recommend and oversee the financial business processes and use of Atlas system to ensure accurate and complete reporting of financial transactions by UN Women staff in accordance with the Internal Control Framework and Delegation of Authority and the timely flow of financial information in UN Women for management, monitoring and oversight purposes;
    Financial analysis and oversight for all resources allocated to the programme and provision of high-quality professional advice to the CO management;
    Proper planning, expenditure tracking and audit of financial resources, including extra-budgetary income in accordance with UN Women rules and regulations;
    Organization and oversight of cash management processes, including liquidity management, recommendation of imprest level, risk assessment, security for cash assets on site;
    Continuous analysis and monitoring of the financial situation, presentation of forecasts for development and management projects;
    Assistance with tracking and reporting of contributions within the resource mobilization efforts, including pipeline, contracted and overdue and future milestones. Review of aged contributions receivables and provision of information to Operations Manager for follow up.

Financial tasks, approving and certifying function

    Timely corrective actions on unposted vouchers, including the vouchers with budget check errors, matching exceptions, unapproved vouchers. Timely response to HQ requests to resolve financial data issues;
    Timely preparation of monthly cash flow forecast for proper financial planning for review by the Operations Manager and submission to UNDP;
    Perform delegated approval function in Atlas on a timely basis;
    Review and provide financial clearance of all donor agreements as delegated for compliance with standard agreements on a timely basis.

Monitoring, oversight and control

    Monitor financial systems and reports for unusual activities, transaction, investigate anomalies. Report jointly to the Operations Manager and Chief of Accounts findings and recommendations for actions/decisions;
    Supervise the timely completion of the Month-end Instructions Checklist and assist Operations Manager with activities as requested and follow up with responsible persons to ensure completion by relevant date. Upload certified Month-end Instructions checklist and other items required by the relevant date;
    Supervise and assist project team with timely completion of their Month-end Instructions Checklist. Report to Chief of Accounts any case of non-adherence for timely action;
    Supervise the timely completion of the Year-end Instructions Closure Checklist and assist Operations Manager with activities as requested and follow up with responsible persons to ensure completion by relevant date;
    Upload certified Year-end Instructions checklist and other items required by the relevant date. Report to Chief of Accounts any case of non-adherence for timely action;
    Assist and respond in a timely manner to questions and provide analysis as requested by Finance Section HQ;
    Prepare all financial reports in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and ensure continued compliance. Monitor Programme team’s compliance with IPSAS accounting standards by reviewing business processes and systems modules resulting in IPSAS compliant general ledger and financial statements. Report non-adherence to Chief of Accounts and propose action plan for corrective action and support the implementation of the approved action plan;
    Review Implementing Partner advance procedures and test against UN Women policies to ensure compliance. Investigate and follow up on any anomalies for timely action and resolution. Report to the Operations Manager and Chief of Accounts findings and recommendations for actions/decisions.

Project budget management

    Management of all financial resources through planning, guiding, monitoring and controlling of the resources in accordance with UN Women rules and regulations;
    Preparation and monitoring of projects’ budgets in Atlas. Providing necessary support to the programme team in planning and set-up of the budgets under UN Women Management/ Development Results Framework;
    Regular analysis and reporting on the budget approvals and the delivery situation of management projects;
    Elaboration of proper mechanisms to eliminate deficiencies in budget management;
    Collection of information on internal and external clients’ satisfaction and needs in order to develop improvements to services;
    Ensuring that advance payments and direct payments for programme implementation properly reviewed and made on a timely basis, as well as ensuring that payment information is properly recorded into the Atlas system on a timely basis;
    Submission of financial information for timely preparation of donor reports.

Advisory support and technical guidance

    Assist with financial risk assessment reviews for the programme, identifying areas of risk and providing recommendations and action plans for addressing issues raised;
    Provide recommendations to Operations Manager and Chief of Accounts for improvements to existing reports and development of new reports. Identify and assist to develop projects for the Finance Users for improvement in accounting systems, processes and procedures.

Financial reporting

    In accordance with the timelines required by Chief of Section provide assistance with;
    Prepare timely and accurate automated interim financial reports to the European Commission as required under the donor agreement;
    Prepare ad-hoc Donor and other reports, as requested;
    Follow up and/or take prompt action to respond to audit and other findings on financial management.

Knowledge management and capacity building

    Contribute to and actively promote the automation of UN Women reports, including priorities such as automating manual processes after consultation with the Finance Section HQ;
    Contribute to the development of accounting policies, procedures, internal control, business flows, reporting and systems;
    Identify, participate in the development and/or recommend enhancement/updates/improvement in Atlas financial modules for better business practices and controls a COs;
    Capture, synthesize and/or codify lessons learned and best practices in CO support and Financial management and services. Disseminate to Finance Section HQ to share knowledge and build capacity;
    Design and/or introduce, learning tools, best practices and innovations in financial business operational practices and management, promoting transparency, ease of communications, hosting of financial documents, and all policies and procedures between all UN Women users of RO data.


    Facilitate the Pre-audit preparations for financial management of the CO/Projects and assist in pre-audit preparations;
    Conduct training for programme team as part of the Training plan or requirement of pre-audit preparations or as otherwise determined by Operations Manager or Chief of Accounts;
    Prepare responses to internal and external audit inquiries and other findings related to financial management for review/approval by Operations Manager and Chief of Accounts;
    Follow up and/or take prompt action to respond to audit and other findings on financial management including incorporating recommendations in development in policies, procedures and practices.

Supervisory and other responsibilities

    Provide guidance, direction and technical supervision of Finance staff under the programme as needed;
    Establish RCA for each member of the Finance team based on the work plan and ensure preparation and review meets established timelines;
    Performs other responsibilities as requested by Operations Manager or Chief of Accounts. Impact of Results The key results have an impact on the effective and efficient management of the Regional area. Sound policies and advice within the specialist area, proper oversight, control and monitoring of program and project financial resources and timely and accurate financial reporting enhance the UN Women reputation with governments, donors as a trusted partner and reliable custodian of funds and foster a culture of accountability.

Impact of Results

The key results have an impact on the effective and efficient management of the Regional area. Sound policies and advice within the specialist area, proper oversight, control and monitoring of program and project financial resources and timely and accurate financial reporting enhance the UN Women reputation with governments, donors as a trusted partner and reliable custodian of funds and foster a culture of accountability.


Core Values / Guiding Principles


    Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


    Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity:

    Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies

Ethics and Values:

    Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity.

Organizational Awareness:

    Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.

Development and Innovation:

    Take charge of self-development and take initiative.

Work in teams:

    Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds

Communicating and Information Sharing:

    Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.

Self-management and Emotional Intelligence:

    Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others.

Conflict Management:

    Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.

Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

    Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge.

Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:

    Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making.

Functional Competencies

    Conceptual/strategic skills and success in implementing financial re-engineering, management systems development, policy design, innovation and knowledge product development;
    Demonstrated business acumen and judgment;
    Ability to travel for extended periods with planned work commitments is required;
    Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
    Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost-recovery;
    Ability to successfully lead the Finance Team;
    Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change;
    Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
    Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills.

Required Skills and Experience


    Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Finance/Accounting, Professionally qualified accountants from an internationally recognized institute of accountancy will have a distinct advantage.


    5 years of 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 highly desirable;
    Experience in the usage of office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spread-sheet and database packages. Experience in web based management systems and ERP financial systems such as People-Soft;
    Strong knowledge and expertise in financial planning and management, accounting, and in complex financial rules and a regulations, preferably UN/UNDP/UN Women Financial Rules and regulations.

Language Requirements:

    Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of another UN official language is an asset.

Application Information:

    All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from;
    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 may not be considered for further assessment.

Qualified women candidates are highly encouraged to apply.


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.

Method of Application

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