Standard Job Description
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.
– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– 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.
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
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.
Good knowledge of UNHCR systems (such as Focus and MSRP). Excellent knowledge of United Nations financial rules and procedures.
FI-General Financial Management
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)
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
The candidate must have excellent knowledge of ERP cloud and Compass in order to be able to coach and train national colleagues, including vast experience in dealing with VAT exemption/recovery issues.
Strong managerial skills are highly desirable and very good interpersonal skills, including experience in participating in the OMT WG on Finance.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Under the supervision of the Assistant Representative – Administration, the Finance Officer is responsible for leading the Finance Unit based in Kyiv and coordinating, guiding, monitoring, advising on, and supporting the financial and budgetary activities and management in Ukraine operation.
Provide guidance, training and coaching for all Finance and Admin colleagues dealing with financial accounts in the operation, by organizing relevant learning events, presentations and other learning activities.
In close coordination with Snr. Admin Officer and Admin Officer, the incumbent ensures timely and accurately preparation of annual procurement plan for all administrative expenditures across country.
During his/her tenure the incumbent is responsible in overseeing everyday financial activities, transactions, banking, budgetary control, liaising with internal and external counterparts (DFAM, AP Hub, Treasury, and other interlocutors) aimed at ensuring the oversight mechanisms are put in place in accordance with UNHCR financial rules and regulations.
Specific attention needs to be given to VAT management in line with relevant AI, and in accordance with local tax authorities’ guidelines to ensure adequate provisions are put in place for VAT recovery/exemption, attend proactively the OMT Finance Working Group (FWG), by providing relevant input in accordance with UNHCR interests and priorities.
Together with Programme, Project Control, and Supply counterparts ensures appropriate measures are put in place to respond to any audit recommendations as well as act as the main focal point for OIOS or BOA audits planned for Ukraine operation.
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 may support the supervisor with the identification and management of risks under their responsibility in close coordination with the Risk Management and Compliance Advisor.
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. Among others, he/she will:
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.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been present in Ukraine since 1994 and substantially increased its presence and response after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The geographical presence within Ukraine has significatively expanded to deliver the emergency response. The country office is located in the capital, Kyiv, and sub- and field offices, as well as field units, are located in Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Kyiv, L’viv, Odesa, Poltava, Uzhhorod and Vinnytsia. The current set-up is the foundation for the 2024 structure, which, however, may need to be continuously reviewed and adjusted in response to the evolving operational environment.
The war in Ukraine has caused death and suffering on a dramatic scale and left at least 17.6 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. At the end of September 2023, some 5 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, while around 6 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe, most of them women and children. Ukraine also hosts a few thousand asylum-seekers and refugees, and is home to more than 35,000 people who are stateless or at risk of statelessness.
The massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, with the energy sector being particularly targeted has made life unbearable for millions of people who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and has severely disrupted access to electricity, water, heating as well as critical services, including healthcare, education and social protection services. Humanitarian access continues to be hampered, particularly in areas in the East under the temporary military control of the Russian Federation.
Civilians remain exposed to serious risks to their physical security and integrity, particularly in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. The risk of GBV, including sexual violence, is high particularly in areas of active hostilities. The separation of families is one of the problems most reported by protection actors, particularly following displacement. Populations displaced or affected by the war live in situations of deprivation, following the loss or damage of their housing, loss of incomes, and the lack of access to essential services, such as health care or education.
The Government of Ukraine maintains a strong lead role in responding to the needs of its population and UNHCR supports the Government and its central and local institutions to provide protection, shelter/housing, cash and in-kind assistance to people impacted by the war. Currently, UNHCR has MOUs with three line ministries, 17 regional state administrations and agreements with 29 partners, mainly local NGOs. Under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, UNHCR operates as part of the inter-agency humanitarian response, working in close coordination with local authorities and humanitarian partners. UNHCR is leading three clusters – Protection, Shelter and NFIs, and CCCM and is part of the Durable Solutions Steering Committee
The strategic orientation of UNHCR’s response is to reach people with specific vulnerabilities who remain in frontline and heavily-affected areas with immediate relief while supporting displaced people and those who have remained in their homes, or returned, with protection advice, housing support and cash assistance to enable their recovery and attainment of durable solutions.
Protection is truly at the centre of this response, as the highest critical needs of the population caused by the international armed conflict are in the area of protection, and UNHCR leads this sector through the Protection Cluster. The Assistant Representative (protection) is therefore not only a key member of the senior management team in the Operation, s/he also regularly represents UNHCR in meetings/conferences, before donors and on the Humanitarian Country Team and in other fora where protection strategies and programmatic responses are developed. Since Ukraine is a highly sophisticated country with a strong government leadership and well-established administrative, social protection and digital systems, it is essential to design and deliver UNHCR’s protection programs in a way which simultaneously addresses immediate needs and supports the further development of sustainable and inclusive national protection systems. As an EU candidate country, Ukraine will also embark on substantial reforms in numerous sectors, including justice and home affairs, which presents an opportunity to contribute to strengthened and more inclusive protection, asylum and statelessness reduction systems. Working closely with government authorities, local community representatives and partners from the embassies, UN, civil society and international financial institutions, amongst others, is thus key to ensuring that UNHCR’s response is closely aligned with and complementary of national and local strategies and recovery plans.
As the war continues, new urgent humanitarian needs are created every day, alongside protracted ones and peoples’ and communities’ efforts to recover and rebuild their lives in war-torn communities. Among the some 5 million IDPs and 6 million refugees from Ukraine, the majority express a hope and desire to return to their homes as soon as the security situation allows. The protection needs of the population thus need to be analysed and addressed both from a humanitarian as well as from an early recovery and durable solutions perspective, with UNHCR playing a leading role in this work.
Working and Living conditions:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been present in Ukraine since 1994 but has increased its presence by a substantially larger scale up in the operation’s structure, staffing and response after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The geographical presence within Ukraine has significatively expanded to deliver the emergency response. The Country Office is based in Kyiv and new operational offices have been established in the central and western regions. UNHCR now has direct operational presence in Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Kyiv, L’viv, Odesa, Poltava, Uzhhorod and Vinnytsia. The current structure will be continuously reviewed and adjusted in response to the evolving operational environment.
International and national staff live in private apartments in the cities of their duty stations. The quality of life is high, as Ukraine is a developed country with functioning infrastructure. However, the volatile security situation, which includes frequent missile and drone attacks that trigger air raid alarms, affects the living and working environment on a more or less daily basis, including during the winter when energy infrastructure has been attacked.
There is an ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine and parts of some oblasts, including Donetska, Luhanska, Khersonska, and Zaporizka oblasts, are temporarily controlled by the Russian Federation Armed Forces. The Line of Contact (LoC) is the primary area of kinetic military operations, particularly in the east (Donbas) and southeast regions. Cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, aero-ballistic missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been targeting vital civilian and military sites, including airports, since the start of the invasion. As a result, commercial air travel is suspended, and vehicles and trains are the only modes of transportation. Critical energy and transportation infrastructure have also been targeted in large-scale aerial attacks since October 2022, resulting in frequent power outages and connectivity issues. These conditions may lead to additional challenges during the upcoming winter season, affecting staff safety and well-being. The UN has not been targeted and retains its impartiality and neutrality when delivering its mandate. However, the danger cannot be fully ruled out, and risks to personnel and dependents, assets, and programmatic activities remain extant.
UN Security Management System (UNSMS) is using comprehensive Security Risk Management (SRM) processes to identify and evaluate security threats and risk levels, which are regularly reviewed. Currently, the most significant threats and hazards are associated with armed conflict, with current risk levels ranging from “high” to “very high” or “unacceptable” in areas with ongoing hostilities. This has resulted in a reduction of humanitarian space, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to access beneficiaries in contested areas. When assessing risk levels, the security personnel and the UNHCR Representative, as part of the country’s Security Management Team, adhere to the SRM process as defined by the UNSMS. However, it’s important to note that, in general, the projected risk levels in all three SRM areas where the UN/HCR operates are “high”. Therefore, those applying for positions in Ukraine should be prepared to work in a highly dynamic security environment where unexpected events occur frequently. Air raids are common, and staff may be required to work from bunkers or underground carparks, metro stations, and other locations for extended periods. Power and water outages could be expected during the winter months and disruptions to public services such as shops and restaurants may occur. Curfews are in place throughout the country, and mission travel must be authorized by the Representative or designated managers, subject to the completion of mandatory BSAFE, SSAFE, and IFAK training and security clearance procedures. The security unit works closely with UNDSS to ensure that program activities can be implemented within the acceptable level of risk by following the required measures and procedures set up and approved by the Designated Official. Due to the evolving operational and security environment in the country, UNHCR is flexible and may relocate its offices to better serve its mandate of providing protection and assistance to those in need.
CL-Multi-stakeholder Communications with Partners, Government & Community, CO-Drafting and Documentation, CO-Reporting skills, PR-Accountability to Affected People – Principles and Framework, PR-Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Operations
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Accounting, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Economics, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Finance, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Public Administration
Accounting – Other, Auditing – Other, Financial Management – Other
Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless
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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Bi-annual Compendium 2023 Part B – October 2023
This position requires Functional Clearance