Finance Associate – Team Lead (G6)
United Nations University (UNU)
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About United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)
UNU-WIDER is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system.
UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today, it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as freely available original research. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work programme are available at www.wider.unu.edu.
Under the guidance and supervision of the Chief Operations Officer (COO), the Finance Associate - Team Lead provides leadership in the execution of financial services at UNU-WIDER, ensuring effective and transparent utilization of financial resources, integrity of financial services. The Finance Team Lead promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UN and UNU regulations and rules, and UN Values and Behaviour Framework.
The Finance Associate - Team Lead supervises and leads the support staff of the Finance team. The Finance Associate - Team Lead works in close collaboration with the operations, programme and projects’ staff at UNU-WIDER and UNU-Centre to resolve complex financial management and ensure consistent service delivery and information exchange.
1. Ensures administration and implementation of UNU-WIDER financial management strategies, and adapts processes and procedures, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Ensures compliance with UN/UNU regulations and rules, and policies of financial activities, financial recording/reporting system and follow-up on audit recommendations; implementation of effective internal controls, proper functioning of a client-oriented financial resources management system;
- Coordinates Finance business processes mapping and elaboration of the content of internal Standard Operating Procedures in Finance in consultation with the COO;
- Elaborates proposals and implements cost saving and reduction strategies in consultation with COO and UNU-WIDER senior management; and
- Prepares results-oriented workplans for the Finance team.
2. Ensures administration of operational budgets and functioning of optimal cost-recovery systems, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Prepares and modifies operational budgets and follows up with COO on authorized spending limits for management projects;
- Implements control mechanisms for Core Non-Programme projects through robust monitoring of budget preparation, execution and modifications
- Presenting thoroughly researched information for planning of financial resources at UNU-WIDER, with reports containing analysis of the financial situation; and
- Timely preparation of cost-recovery bills for the services provided by UNU-WIDER, elaboration and implementation of the income tracking system and follow up on cost recovery.
3. Provides accounting leadership to the Finance Unit, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- As Team Lead for Finance Unit acts as line manager and supervisor. Responsible for team performance management functions;
- Acts as an Approving Officer (AO) in accordance with established regulations and rules;
- Ensures proper control of the supporting documents for payments and financial reports;
- Ensures proper control of accruals;
- Develops and maintains internal expenditures control system which ensures that vouchers processed are matched and completed, transactions are correctly recorded and posted in the ERP system; travel claims, and other entitlements are duly processed;
- Ensures timely closure and review of accounts, including requisitions, purchase orders and contracts, at month-end and year-end;
- Ensures timely corrective actions on unposted vouchers, including the vouchers with budget check errors, match exceptions, and unapproved vouchers;
- Ensures timely response to UNU HQ requests to resolve financial data issues, including follow-up of vouchers with errors;
- Ensures proper receipting of goods and services and establishment of accruals;
- Ensures the maintenance of Accounts Receivables and follow up with Partnerships and Programme Support Unit (PPSU) on contributions;
- Ensures timely VAT reporting for the Finnish authorities; and
- Prepares financial reports for Programme and Project Support Unit (PPSU) and UNU-WIDER senior management, as required.
4. Ensures proper cash management functioning, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Ensures timely review of cash position for local accounts to ensure sufficient funds on hand for disbursements;
- Ensures timely identification and recording of receipts for income application;
- Reviews account bank statements to monitor imprest level, identifies and records contributions;
- Acts as the primary contact with local bank management on routine operational matters;
- Ensures timely and accurate preparation of bank reconciliations;
- Prepares bank transfers for approval and settlements;
- Prepares timely preparation of monthly cashflow forecasts;
- Acts as cashier for cash disbursements made on site; and
- Coordinates information on administrative services provided for cost-recovery bills.
5. Ensures effective financial control in UNU-WIDER offices, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Supports the creation of vendor set-up information in ERP system;
- Coordinates the preparation of budget, audit, and other reports; and
- Ensures provision of relevant and researched information and reports for audit exercises.
6. Ensures the facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing at UNU-WIDER, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Organizes briefing to incoming personnel on issues relating to area of work;
- Organizes training to UNU-WIDER on financial procedures; and
- Provides sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
7. Performs other tasks as requested by the Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Key Performance Indicators
- Timely and accurate support to budget formulation and audits
- Timely, complete and accurate financial transactions/activities/documentation
- Timely and accurate advice on UN financial rules and regulations
- Timely and regular monitoring of financial resources management system and timely expenditure of financial resources
- Inclusion - Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
- Integrity - Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
- Humility - Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
- Humanity - Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.
- Connect and Collaborate - Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
- Analyse and Plan - Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
- Deliver Results with Positive Impact - Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
- Learn and Develop - Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
- Adapt and Innovate - Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways
Required Qualifications and Experience
- A bachelor’s degree in in Finance, Business or Public Administration or secondary education with a specialized certification in Accounting and Finance, with two years of additional experience in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.
- Part-qualified accountants from an internationally recognized institute of accountancy will have a distinct advantage.
- At least 4 years of progressively responsible finance, accounting, and administrative or programme support experience,
- Advanced knowledge and experience in the use of MS Office such as Excel and Word.
- Strong ability to support the planning, monitoring, and implementation of travel, administrative and event logistic arrangements.
- Strong ability to work under minimal supervision and with a high level of resilience.
- Strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines.
- Experience in the handling of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems or other web-based management systems.
- Knowledge of UN systems is an advantage.
- Knowledge of IPSAS and/or IFRS is desirable.
- Other Desirable Skills: Initiative, strong conceptual abilities, sound judgment, resilience, and an interest in development work.
- Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
- Fluency in English is required.
- Knowledge of the national Language of the duty station is desirable.
- Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.
UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. For more information please see: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=SAL
Duration of contract
This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.
For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.
As soon as possible.
How to Apply:
To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:
- Apply via the apply link;
- fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
- provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
- answer a few questions that are tailored to the position. You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.
You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.
Application Deadline: 11 October 2022.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.
This is a locally recruited position and no relocation expenses or allowance apply. The position is limited to persons who have (1) Finnish nationality or the necessary residence/work permits for Finland, OR (2) have right of residence in Finland as an EU/EFTA citizen.
Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.
UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.
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