Senior International Finance Officer - Edinburgh, London, or The Hague
Location: Edinburgh, London, UK, or The Hague, NL
Position Status: Full-time, permanent
Reporting to: Finance Manager
Salary: Edinburgh: circa 33K; London: circa 38.5K; The Hague: circa 39K
Travel: up to 20% contingent on travel restrictions
Apply with CV and Cover Letter
Candidates must have the right to work in the UK or NL at the time of appointment.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact
The Program / Department / Team
Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) is has grown rapidly both in terms of the volume of activity and its complexity. The International Finance team plays a critical role in sustaining and enabling this growth through the support it provides to country programmes and HQ departments.
The International Finance (IF) Department plays a key role in supporting financial operations in MCE country programmes throughout the world by working collaboratively with country finance staff and providing guidance in grant management, budgeting, accounting and other financial functions in accordance with Mercy Corps’ internal policies and procedures as well as donor regulations. The IF Department ensures the timely, complete and accurate reporting of financial information from Mercy Corps’ country offices and is responsible for ensuring that all financial reporting requirements to donors are met in a timely and accurate way. The IF Department also works closely and collaboratively with the Headquarters (HQ) Programme Team members in support of country programme objectives as well as the HQ Corporate Finance department in support of agency financial functions.
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The Senior International Finance Officer (SIFO) is the HQ finance team member charged with supporting a regional portfolio of countries, and ensuring that the financial reporting and compliance standards for European donor-funded projects are met throughout the region. The SIFO is responsible for supporting the country operations in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations through technical financial support in areas such as financial reporting, recruiting and training, communications, compliance, and adherence to budget.
As well as working closely with HQ Finance and Programme team members, and with various other HQ departments including Compliance, the SIFO will also liaise on financial matters with external stakeholders including European donors and partners.
With several years’ experience in this sector and in similar roles, the SIFO will have developed in-depth knowledge of donor regulations and procedures and technical knowledge of financial reporting and compliance. As an SIFO they will support junior International Finance team colleagues through mentoring and technical advice. The SIFO will also have line-management responsibilities within the team.
As part of the International Finance department’s commitment to continuous improvement, SIFOs are encouraged to be proactive and lead on projects aimed at streamlining processes or increasing efficiency. The SIFO also identifies finance-specific knowledge essential for other colleagues/departments and develops and delivers training and reference materials.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Serves as HQ review point for field-led proposal budget development and revisions by providing financial data and correct donor templates as needed and making recommendations regarding budgeting to ensure that reasonable provision is included for appropriate costs which comply with donor guidelines.
- Review and when necessary create financial narrative justifications to accompany budgets and liaise with donors to ensure that any proposal budget queries are cleared promptly.
- Track and monitor submitted awards/proposals and assist with preparation of requested additional information, including financial aspects of due diligence process, as required.
- Review the financial clauses of contracts received and advise on financial matters as required.
Project Financial Management
- The SIFO is the HQ point of responsibility for overall financial monitoring on grants for both external donor requirements and internal Mercy Corps policies and requirements.
- On award of a grant, design and develop coded budgets to meet grant needs and using financial system reporting tools, design and construct Budget versus Actual reports suitable for all stakeholders.
- Provide ongoing monitoring of grants through monthly budget versus actual reports to strict deadlines ensuring that all issues are highlighted and promptly communicated to stakeholders. Coordinate with the implementation team to ensure issues are being addressed on a timely basis.
- Prepare required reports to donor agencies (EC, ECHO, DFID, etc) along with related supporting schedules and payment requests.
- Review budgets and advise the field on grant budget modifications required to reflect technical and implementation changes, ensuring any amendments are in accordance with donor requirements.
- Support country team’s adherence to Mercy Corps internal policies and standards as well as adherence to Mercy Corps’ Complex Programs management standards.
- In conjunction with the Compliance Team, maintain effective contact with Field Country Offices regarding financial reporting and grant regulations, advising and training.
- Serve on Complex Programme Boards within the portfolio, providing financial and compliance information to ensure issues are being managed or escalated as required.
- Monitor grant-level cash flow and submit funding requests to donor agencies on a timely basis as required by the grant agreement and MC internal procedures.
- Assist in preparation for the MCE annual statutory audit, including input on International Finance issues such as project closures and co-financing and liaising with field offices to ensure sampled transactions are timeously received and submitted documentation is compliant.
- Advise field on country-level or donor-specific audits, including providing requested information and responses to audit queries and management letters.
- Monitor and support implementation of country action plans in the clearance of external or internal audit findings relating to the implementation of European grants.
Strategy, Planning & Learning
- Coordinate with peers to share knowledge and develop best practices for IFOs and country Finance Managers.
- Identify finance-specific knowledge essential for other teams and develop guidance for IFO team, field FMs and non-finance staff on relevant finance topics.
- Proactively lead on ad-hoc HQ projects aimed at streamlining processes or increasing efficiency and work with the HQ Corporate Finance team to develop, streamline and document policies and procedures.
Field Support and Capacity Building
- Serve as member of the hiring team and provide technical vetting of senior field finance staff.
- Travel to the countries being supported and provide technical financial support, training and oversight. Review and provide feedback on the country finance operations and MC and donor compliance.
- In relation to MCE grants, monitor and report on field finance staff training needs and requirements ensuring areas identified are promptly addressed.
- Assist with the opening and closing of a country programme by providing financial guidance and assistance either from HQ or in the Field.
- Provide additional onboarding training to new senior finance staff on MCE grant financial management and policies.
- Manage, mentor and develop junior International Finance team members including International Finance Officers.
- Monitor individual performance, providing the tools and information needed to work efficiently and successfully, and solve problems.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
Reports Directly To: Head of International Finance
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects
Knowledge and Experience
- Degree in Accounting or Finance, part-qualified accountant or qualified by experience in a relevant field is required.
- At least 5 years of finance/management experience and 3 years’ experience in managing grants is required.
- Minimum 3 years’ experience working in an International NGO in a similar position is required.
- Demonstrated experience and skill with budget preparation and analysis, financial audits, financial reporting preparation and presentation and the proven ability to translate technical financial data into informative reports.
- Knowledge of rules and regulations governing the compliance/regulatory management of grants from donor agencies.
- Experience of computerised accountancy packages is required.
- Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) - with an advanced proficiency in Excel preferred.
- Business spoken and written English is required, with proficiency in a relevant second language considered an advantage.
- Experience managing or supervising team members is preferred.
- Experience of working in a field position is preferred.
- Highly analytical.
- Able to prioritise in a fast-changing environment and to work quickly and accurately under pressure.
- Able to build effective and lasting relationships with colleagues and external partners.
- Able to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing to staff in different functions across the agency.
- Able to motivate others and lead with energy.
- Willingness and ability to travel internationally as required.
- A clear empathy with the organisation’s aims and values.
- Proactively supports departmental colleagues.
- Excellent organisational and time management skills.
- A positive and can-do approach.
- A self-starter – able to work both independently and as part of a team.
The SIFO can expect to travel internationally up to 20% of the time – sometimes at short notice — to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.
Mercy Corps’ team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.