Consultant - Financial Systems, Mercy Corps Ventures - Remote Globally
Background: Mercy Corps Ventures
Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to increase the resilience of underserved individuals and communities. Founded in 2015 as the impact investing arm of global development agency, Mercy Corps, we’ve supported 38+ early-stage ventures to scale, reach 10.7 million users with impactful products and services, and raise over $333 million in follow-on capital. Our portfolio centers around solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, frontier fintech, and climate smart systems, so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future. Through capital and support, piloting new approaches, action-oriented insights, and rigorously managing impact, we catalyze the ecosystem towards smarter, more impactful investments.
For more information, please refer to our 2021 Annual Impact Report, Medium Blog, and About page.
Background: Venture Platform
MCV’s Venture Platform aims to provide high-quality post-investment support to our portfolio companies, helping them grow and scale via a suite of services beyond capital (including engagements focused on finance systems, market analysis, customer insights, IMM, and fundraising). Our Venture Platform consolidates years of experience in emerging markets to ensure a tailored approach for founders of early-stage, high-impact enterprises, as they establish strong company fundamentals. Read more in our Venture Platform Series.
MCV is seeking a part-time consultant to provide financial systems advisory to support our Venture Platform work with portfolio companies. This work will comprise tailored engagements with portfolio companies, focusing on two key areas of support: 1) supporting the design and set-up of accounting and finance systems, and 2) undertaking out key aspects of financial analysis, including model-building, to support both short- and long-term business growth planning.
Please note this is a remote position, and candidates can be based anywhere in the world. However, we do have a preference for candidates based in LATAM and Africa given the location of portfolio companies.
The consultant will carry out the following tasks:
- Conduct post-investment financial systems engagements with MCV portfolio companies:
- within the area of reporting and accounting systems. Activities may include:
- Performing a diagnostic of current situation and identifying areas of improvement
- Reviewing existing systems, including within accounting software (varies depending on company)
- Suggesting/implementing best-practice reporting mechanisms and frameworks
- Coaching accounting/finance team to implement best-in-class accounting systems
- Developing tools and processes for high quality reports and KPIs
- within the area of financial analysis and growth planning. Activities may include:
- Supporting founder and finance teams within portfolio companies to identify their financial modeling needs (e.g. short-term cash management vs longer-term scenario analysis)
- Reviewing existing data and work with teams to ensure any further required data is supplied
- Developing financial models that are robust and usable by founder teams. These financial models must include clear assumptions, multi currencies, growth assumptions, revenue projections, cost assumptions, capital needs, financial statements (P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow) and a summary with KPIs.
- within the area of reporting and accounting systems. Activities may include:
- Engage in regular review sessions of the financial systems offering with the MCV team, providing insight on key trends and learnings identified across the portfolio that could inform either our investment strategy or our design of Venture Platform offerings.
The consultant will deliver the following:
- Lead and design, in collaboration with the MCV team, financial systems engagements for MCV portfolio companies, including developing briefing documents and engagement outputs and managing direct partner communications with the portfolio company for the duration of the engagements.
- Assess, design and implement accounting and reporting systems based on best practices. This might include:
- Recommendations on accounting systems and processes
- Suggestions on software and system usage for reporting
- Identification of key KPIs and creation of investor dashboards for live reporting
- Input on staff hiring needs and management where relevant
- Development of tools and processes to build the financial statements and present monthly KPIs
- Produce financial models for different portfolio companies, ensuring to:
- Take into account the specific business model, accounting needs, cash workflow, and key financial planning scenarios for each company
- Incorporate the above into robust business models that investors and management can utilize for growth planning.
- Minimum of 5 years relevant professional experience in private equity, venture capital, impact investing, financial systems + planning, accounting + reporting, growth + strategy planning and/or related fields, with at least 2 years’ experience working with startups and/or impact investors
- Strong understanding of and work experience in financial modeling and accounting for small companies (including short-term budgets/cash flow management as well as scenario analysis)
- Strong project management experience and ability to remotely manage and coordinate with multiple stakeholders
- Professional experience in emerging markets
- Adaptability and flexibility to work with fast-growing and often-changing business and teams
- Collaborative and low ego team player
- Strong communication skills; written and oral fluency in English required
The consultancy will begin in February 2023 and will have a 12-month duration, with possibility of extension. The consultant is expected to work an average of 1-2 days per week for a maximum of 104 days; workload may vary week to week depending on the engagement schedule. Typically, finance engagements last between 2-8 working days depending on venture needs. MCV will work with the consultant to determine availability, work schedule, and ways of working. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with preference to applications received before January 15, 2023.
The consultant will report to:
Head of Platform, Mercy Corps Ventures
The consultant will closely coordinate with:
Mercy Corps Ventures
The selection process will include:
- Application submission: Candidates complete application via Mercy Corps’ Jobvite.
- Screening questions via Google Form (link to be shared after step 1): submit a CV, your day rate (in USD), and available start date as well as responses to the below questions (max 1500 characters each):
- Why are you interested in this opportunity?
- Describe your experience with financial systems in startups.
- Please list what you see as the three top challenges facing startups in emerging markets when it comes to financial systems, and explain your reasoning.
- Initial interview: MCV team will meet (via video interview between 8am-6pm ET) with the shortlisted candidates to discuss fit and experience, as well as to give candidates an opportunity to ask questions about the role.
- Case study assessment: MCV team will share a case study for final candidates to read and prepare a response (offline).
- Final interview: MCV team will meet (via video interview between 8am-6pm ET) with the final candidates to discuss and analyze the case study response and inform the final hiring decision.
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
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 team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. 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.