Helen Keller International
Helen Keller Intl
Finance Director, Sierra Leone
(Freetown, Sierra Leone)
Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty. By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives. Working in more than 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we are ensuring every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.
We are currently seeking a Finance Director in Sierra Leone to lead all aspects of the finance function and to facilitate the integration between accounting, finance and program staff towards the common goal of ensuring that project objectives are met. The Director will serve as a thought partner to the Country Director to analyze and maintain the financial health of the program portfolio.
Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.
The Finance Director reports directly to the Country Director (CD) and is a key member of the Country Management Team (CMT). To ensure congruity and consistency of global financial policies and procedures, the Director will also be a member of the global Finance department with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Controller.
The position directly supervises a team of staff at different professional skill levels, works closely with colleagues at all levels of Helen Keller’s global management structure, especially subject matter experts in accounting, budget and finance, business development, finance systems and grants compliance. S/he may be called upon to participate in global working groups or steering committees and/or to provide support to colleagues in other country offices.
This position liaises with donors and/or subrecipients for the country’s portfolio, representing Helen Keller at donor and project partner meetings.
Scope of the Position
The Finance Director is responsible for the overall financial management of the country office portfolio which may be composed of projects funded by foreign & local governments (USAID, Irish Aid, etc.) and/or other multi-lateral or privately funded initiatives. S/he will manage a collaborative effort with country office and global management colleagues to ensure adherence to Helen Keller policies and procedures, maintain strong internal controls; supervise the management and maintenance of the general ledger and all other accounting functions and oversee and participate in the administration and management of awards in the country office portfolio; and the implementation of financial oversight mechanisms to ensure financial integrity and compliance with donor and Helen Keller policies as well as local laws across programs.
Overall Management and Leadership
- As a member of the CMT, participate in planning and direction setting for the country office and its programs, lending your unique perspective and expertise to the process.
- Partner closely with the CD to monitor burn rates, pipelines and other aspects of country office financial health. Flag unusual budget variances or problems and recommend corrective action. Identify operational challenges that affect the integrity of resource management.
- Lead finance department in a collaborative effort with program managers to ensure high-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all programs, including thorough budget preparation and oversight.
- Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your office and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.
- Become familiar with finance and other systems in the organization and optimize utilization to achieve efficiencies.
- Review and assess status of the country office policies, procedures and workflows, identify gaps or outdated policies and prioritize improvements.
- Keep abreast of changes in laws and regulations of local authorities (e.g., consortium of non-governmental organizations, Tax Department) and constituents that impact Helen Keller’s operations.
- Build a highly effective Finance team, recruiting, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating staff, and engaging in frequent performance conversations with team members.
- Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
- Ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
- Make proposals for best practices in financial operations. Participate in international work groups assigned to develop global policies and/or optimize systems and procedures.
Budget and Grants Management
- Maintain a complete financial knowledge of the portfolio of awards in the country office.
- Lead the preparation and analysis of the annual and mid-term budget of the country office., as well as re-forecasts, as needed.
- Collaborate with Business Development unit to prepare proposal budgets, budget narratives and budget amendments. Review budgets to ensure conformity with the work plan.
- Review and analyze impact of cost extensions, no-cost extensions, and other budget realignments.
- Conduct monthly monitoring of project implementation rates and share variance analysis reports with the CD, CMT and budget owners.
- Ensure invoices, financial reports, analysis of accruals, forecasts and other financial deliverables for awards are completed accurately and on a timely basis.
- Reconcile donor reports to the general ledger (cash and expenses).
- Track and report monthly project expenditures, fund execution rates, and donor funds received, and provide appropriate information to the CD and program managers on a monthly basis.
- Ensure that budgets and other financial information are properly represented in financial and project management systems. Manage hard copy and electronic records for each project.
- Conduct field visits to sub-recipients, as required, to assist in the assessment of sub-recipients’ financial management.
- Manage the project start-up and/or closing processes, as needed.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of donor procedures and USAID rules and regulations and ensure compliance.
Accounting and General Ledger Management
- Direct, and engage hands-on as needed, with accounting and finance staff to ensure timely and accurate general ledger maintenance, banking and cash management, accounts payable, and payroll and procurement processes, for the primary office and any sub-offices.
- Maintain a clear segregation of duties within the finance and accounting team and ensure strong internal controls are in place and that staff are cross-trained so that replacements are always available, to the extent possible based on the size of the office.
- Ensure that:
- financial data is accurate and up to date for a timely monthly closing process;
- general ledger balances are analyzed;
- quality financial reports are produced according to donor and Helen Keller timetables;
- payroll is analyzed for accuracy and consistency before final approval by the CD;
- benefit and tax payments (social security contributions, taxes, etc.) are made on time with solid documentation of all payments and calculations to conform with local law and Helen Keller Human Resources policies;
- filing systems and archiving of financial records are maintained;
- any contingent liabilities are tracked and reported to CD and Controller;
- country and project audits are scheduled on a timely basis and that any corrective action plans are fully implemented; manage and engage in process as needed.
- Maintain cash flow to ensure that liquidity is maintained; monitor currency fluctuations; establish sound electronic banking procedures and ensure that bank reconciliations are accurate.
- Serve as a link with the bank on the electronic payment system; manage access controls.
- Track donor agreements and sub-grants to partners and ensure that all advances to partners are justified and deliverables are received.
- Master’s degree in Finance Management, accounting or an equivalent university degree; plus
- Professional experience of at least ten years with at least five years in a similar position, preferably in an international NGO, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Demonstrated experience with financial reporting, financial and general ledger management, financial controls, and project management including demonstrated ability to develop and monitor budgets, and collaboratively manage operational activities.
- Interest in international development and public health programs as well as an understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational, and financial components in project design and implementation.
- Analytical and conceptual skills, as well as the curiosity and learning agility necessary to be successful in a growing organization with evolving financial and operating systems.
- Knowledge of donor regulations including USAID and/or other foreign government development agencies, and other multilateral development agencies.
- Ability to negotiate/support negotiations effectively with donors, troubleshoot issues, and take proactive approaches to improving financial and budget management processes.
- Excellent capacity building, team building/management, and coordination skills. An ability to ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor junior staff.
- Well established and practiced organizational and planning skills.
- Good oral and written English language skills, including the ability to clearly communicate complex financial, compliance and operational issues into layperson language.
- Demonstrated high-level proficiency in the use of various financial related software (spreadsheets, accounting packages).
- Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. Ability to work under pressure, maintain balance when under stress and meet strict internal and donor deadlines.
- Ability and willingness to flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones, as needed.
- Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
- Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by Helen Keller Intl’s co-founder, Helen Keller: compassion, grit, rigor, and optimism.
How to apply
Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] noting the job title in the subject line.
This is an international hire recruitment. Applications will be reviewed as received.
In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to
building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.