Position Status Full-time, Permanent
Reporting to Senior International Finance Officer / Head of International Finance
Travel Occasional / Up to 20%
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In conflict, in disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) has grown rapidly in terms of volume of activity and complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London and Geneva, we now attract over £90m in income, and employ around 100 domestic and expatriate field team members. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment.
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.
The International Finance Officer (IFO) 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 IFO 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 IFO will also liaise on financial matters with external stakeholders including European donors and partners.
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 IFO 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 transitions 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 letter responses.
- 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 IF team, FMs and non-finance staff on relevant finance topics.
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 to new senior finance staff on MCE grant financial management and policies.
- As part of our commitment to organisational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organisations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary 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
- Experience of computerised accountancy packages
- Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) - with a high proficiency in Excel preferred
- Experience working in an office environment
- Business spoken and written English is required, with proficiency in a relevant second language considered an advantage
- Previous finance or grant management experience desirable
- Experience working in an International NGO desirable
- Excellent organisational and time management skills.
- Systematic, with a strong eye for detail.
- Can work quickly, accurately and to deadlines.
- Able to build and maintain effective internal and external relationships.
- Strong team worker and communicator.
- Able to cope with changing priorities, often at short notice, and work well under pressure.
- Proactive and solutions-based attitude.
- High levels of motivation, professionalism and resilience.
- An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, along with an empathy for MC's mission.
The position is based in Edinburgh and may involve occasional national and international travel, sometimes at short notice to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.
MCE team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a short term assignment or trip to country offices. 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 Mercy Corps locations.
Candidates must have the right to work in the UK at the time of appointment.
Applications should be submitted by CV and cover letter prior to the closing date of 16 January 2019. For more information and to apply, please see the role on our careers site