Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
In the Regional Bureaux, the incumbent works under the direct supervision of the Regional Controller or Senior Finance Officer and in functional coordination with DFAM’s Accounts and Financial Service (AFS). In the Country or Multi-Country Offices, the incumbent may be supervised by a Senior Finance Officer, Assistant Representative (Admin), Head of Sub-Office, or other senior positions as delegated by the Representative. The incumbent is responsible for co-ordinating, guiding, monitoring, advising on, and supporting the financial operations in the area of responsibility (AoR). With the objective to safeguard and optimize the utilization of UNHCR’s monetary and physical resources, the incumbent contributes to the establishment of efficient and reliable mechanisms and processes to ensure compliance with UN financial regulations and UNHCR¿s rules, policies and procedures including, and not limited to, accounts payable and treasury processes, accounting, and implementation of internal control mechanisms, including support to oversight and audit functions. The incumbent also identifies and manages risks under their responsibility in close coordination with the Risk Management and Compliance Advisor. In the Regional Bureaux, the incumbent supports the work of the Regional Controller with authority to discuss problems and seek common ground on which to recommend solutions based on predetermined guidelines provided by higher authority. The incumbent may directly supervise professional and general service staff.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
– Oversee and guide integrated financial management and reporting for the area of responsibility (AoR).
– Assess, review, and ensure application of finance-related policies, instructions, procedures, etc.
– Provide advice to management regarding the application of financial policies and procedures and, when necessary, coordinate with the Regional Controller or Office of the Controller, as applicable, regarding the interpretation of such policies and procedures.
– Ensure accounting records are correct and reliable, including¿and not limited to¿timely bank reconciliations, maintenance of open items, timely processing of travel financial transactions, clearance of residual requisitions and purchase order balance.
– In close coordination with the AFS, support the preparation and review of donor financial reports, and endorse such reports before submission to donors.
– Ensure monthly and yearly closing as well as any other periodic accounting-related processes are executed in a timely and accurate manner.
– Ensure the maintenance and on-going validity of the Delegation of Authority Plan (DOAP).
– Ensure that payments made are timely and accurately, and all month-end and year-end cut-off processes are implemented in line with relevant guidance.
– Supervise the preparation of financial reports, monitoring and supervising expenditures with respect to approved budgets and work plans.
– Ensure that local bank account administration and associated cash management functions are performed in adherence to financial guidelines
– Perform financial management and control related to Cash-Based Interventions in adherence to financial guidelines.
– Review and certify vouchers, including ABOD and project disbursements;
– Perform project control functions for both directly and indirectly implemented activities, in the absence of a dedicated project control position
– Coordinate, review and endorse responses to audit queries from internal and external audits and ensure the implementation of accounting audit recommendations.
– Perform other relevant duties as required. Regional financial services applicable to positions in the Regional Bureau only
– In coordination with relevant services in HQ, and to improve cost-effectiveness and process efficiency for operations, implement and manage regional finance-related services such as: vendor and other related master data management and maintenance, invoice posting, travel claim processing, payments, bank reconciliations, accounting housekeeping and period cut-off activities, donor financial reporting, etc.
– Make proposals for the continuous improvement of financial monitoring and control mechanisms, including the streamlining of financial systems and procedures.
– In coordination with DFAM¿s Change Management and Field Support Section and the Global Learning and Development Centre, identify and provide training on accounting matters, and recommend or develop training modules as necessary, aiming at the development of financial management skills.
– In close liaison with DFAM¿s System Administration Section and other divisions as necessary, provide and plan activities for rollout of new processes or systems; assist the Regional Controller in monitoring the implementing internal control mechanisms and compliance with UNHCR’s financial policies and procedures in the region.
Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Accounting; Finance; Public or Business Administration; Economics; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Professional accounting, auditing or financial management designation (CPA/ACCA/CIA/CMA or equivalent) (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Essential Work experience in the field of accounting/finance, project management, business analysis, quality assurance and/or risk management. Excellent knowledge of, and experience in working with, international accounting and auditing standards, with a minimum of two years of practical experience in the audit process and/or in financial statements preparation. Working experience with accrual accounting (such as IPSAS or IFRS). Excellent understanding and/or experience of financial modules a major Enterprise Resource Planning system (such as PeopleSoft, SAP or Oracle). Good understanding of project and resource management. Excellent computer skills, in particular in MS Office applications, especially MS-excel. Excellent communication and negotiation skills. Experience of managing people in multinational/multicultural environments. Desirable Good knowledge of UNHCR systems (such as Focus and MSRP). Excellent knowledge of United Nations financial rules and procedures.
FI-General Financial Management FI-Financial auditing FI-International Auditing Standards FI-Financial Accrual Accounting under internationally accepted standards (IFRS,IPSAS,etc) FI-Financial Accounting – Modified cash-based accounting as per international standards (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
Previous working experience with UNHCR, sound knowledge of UNHCR transformation, the new system, processes, financial rules, and regulations; proven high level analytical, planning skills and change management-oriented attitude; proven coordination; ability to identify innovative and creative solutions to operational challenges; demonstrated training and capacity building skills; with excellent command of English, both written and oral, Spanish language is desirable for the position
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:
Nature of Position:
The Finance Officer position is part of the Regional Controller team. He/she will perform the following main tasks:
– Assist the Controller in monitoring the management of financial accounting of the Americas 13 field operations to ensure adequate application of policies, instructions and guidelines by conducting missions and analyzing Country Financial Reports and advising accordingly Finance Officers, in close coordination with AFS and PACS (DFAM).
– Provide technical support to field operations and provide answers and guidelines to financial matters, including more complex cases as required. Monitor miscellaneous receivables that exceeded their Standard Recovery Period in order to assess whether reasonable actions have been taken by the offices, including VAT, air ticket advance and all other misc. receivables, called Open Items.
– Train admin finance staff with financial responsibilities to ensure smooth office functioning in the region through missions and online and specially act as key trainer for Cloud ERP.
– Follow and share organizational communications to keep up with organizations updates, broadcasts, and administrative instructions.
– Support field operations on implementation and adoption of new initiatives.
Living and Working Conditions:
-Panama City is classified ‘A’ Duty Station (Family) and has good infrastructure (health, housing, banking, transportation, telecommunications and recreational facilities) and good supply of goods and services, with no particular health hazards.
-In terms of security Panama is relatively safe compared to other cities throughout Latin America and it is rated as security level ‘1 minimal’ whereas for Darién Province (border with Colombia) it is security level ‘2 low’. The city is a communication hub and it is possible to fly to all countries of the region with direct flights and it offers good options for travelling in general. -UNHCR offices are located in the Canal Zone, in a green area outside the city centre called ‘Ciudad del Saber’ where most of the other UN Agencies are also located, as well as International Schools, NGOs and research centres, etc. -The cost of living is relatively high for the region (reflected in the post adjustment), especially for housing and health, but it is easy to find accommodation on the private market, including in the area of the office in houses or in the city centre towers in modern apartments. Most of the food is imported except for sea products and some fruits and vegetables. There is a wide range of international schools, several of them offering IB curriculum including some in the office area. -In terms of recreational activities, Panama being a hub for the purchasing of goods for neighbouring countries, the city offers a lot of malls and doing shopping and going to malls is a common week end activity. Cultural offer is limited but there is a good offer of restaurants and a dynamic nightlife. Beaches on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts are reachable within one hour by car or by boat directly from the city and there are some Page 2 of 3 options for hiking too. There is also a relatively good range of sports activities. -For the everyday life it is recommended to have Spanish knowledge as English is not widely spoken in the shops and services.
-The government offers the possibility for UN spouses to get work permits and provides UN staff members with tax exemption cards for shops and restaurants.
-Just like other fast growing cities, the traffic is heavy at peak hours and considered an issue for people living in Panama City.
-The climate is hot and humid with a rainy season lasting 8 months a year.
BA: Accounting (Required), BA: Business Administration (Required), BA: Economics (Required), BA: Finance (Required), BA: Public Administration (Required)
Accounting – Other, Auditing – Other, Financial Management – Other
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration
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Add. 3 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B
This position requires Functional Clearance
How to apply
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The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Closing date of receipt of applications: 16 March 2023 (midnight Geneva time)