Wakefield, West Yorkshire
£25,000 - £28,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Vacancy:  Senior Programme Finance Officer    

  • Deadline: we reserve right to close recruitment asap  
  • £25 – 28,000
  • Full time 
  • Permanent 
  • Wakefield, West Yorkshire, with flexible working policy in place  

About us  

Penny Appeal was set up in 2009 to provide poverty relief across Asia, the Middle East and Africa by offering water solutions, organising mass feedings, supporting orphan care, and providing emergency aid. We’ve come a long way since then and have grown tremendously in the past 11 years!  

We’ve transformed lives and empowered communities, helping to break the poverty cycle and build brighter futures. Over the past few years, our work has expanded and our teams have grown considerably, allowing us to launch new campaigns and work in even more crisis-hit countries. As well as strengthening communities in over 30 countries around the world, we also make it a point to support vulnerable people here in the UK, too.  

Each of our projects are carefully designed to be accessible and effective. They are a wonderful blend of emergency support, short-term relief, and longer-term sustainable solutions. Our way of approaching relief means that we can save lives immediately, improve situations in the coming days and transform communities for years to come.  

At Penny Appeal, people are at the heart of everything we do. Every one of our projects are tailor-made to meet the needs of those we support and benefit as many people in need as possible, in ways that cost our generous donors just a little bit of loose change each day.  


Transform small change into a big difference for those who need us most 


Inspired by the universal values of the Islamic faith, Penny Appeal’s mission is to serve all those in need at home and abroad 

Strategic aims: 

Within 5 years - 

  1. Best in class Muslim Charity 
  1. Sunday Times top 100 businesses to work for 
  1. Most recognizable Muslim charity in the world 
  1. Raise over £100 million per annum for good 

Key facts:  

  • We are a British Muslim led charity 
  • Our HQ is in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.  We have approximately 160 staff based in the UK, with many more across the world  
  • UK staff have been working from home for the last 18 months, but we are instigating a move back a brand new office in early 2022, coupled with a new flexible working policy   
  • Please read our latest Annual Report here

About the role 

This key role will support the Programmes team with the delivery of financial compliance controls and oversight and financial quality assurance related activities, with a specific focus on clear budget / spend justification, budget and spend tracking and partner compliance with internal financial processes, guidelines, and mechanisms.

The successful candidate will provide guidance in budget control and use this expertise with a specific focus on departmental budget control and partner project budget evaluation and control and financial reporting. Reporting to the Audit and Compliance Manager, the Senior Finance Audit Officer (PFO) will also provide critical support in the monitoring of, and compliance with donor and internal PA rules and regulations related to financial controls and other key functions as required.

Additionally, we expect this role to be able to provide advice, reflection and assessment to managers across the department and ensuring compliance to our own processes and procedures and that any budgetary risks are highlighted, prioritised and appropriately mitigated. Alongside the risk element, the finance audit officer will also look to support the development of financial controls systems which will allow the Department to better manage thematic budgets, commitments and liabilities and fund availability per thematic area or partner and country.

You will collaborate with other teams within the department and wider organisation to create a culture of compliance and good financial management, which will require high levels of diplomacy and tact, with the ability to stand by your decisions.

Key areas:

Grant Management and Budget Control

  1. Review critically project budgets, costings and justifications investigating where necessary, cross check with narrative deliverables and give feedback to Regional Managers and others where relevant highlighting issues and areas of improvement.
  2. Reviewing expenditure reports, investigating variances, GISS, supporting financial documentation, evidence of spend and justification commenting on irregularities and sharing with desks for follow up.
  3. Support Desks in engaging partners and advising on practical solutions and advisories to improve the quality of budgeting, reporting and value for money.
  4. Support with project submission forms and with commentary on variances and project risk
  5. Supporting Project Managers with specific queries regarding the financial aspects of the project
  6. Keep updated records of all grant commitments and track and log all payment schedules, installments paid and any deviance in the grant, budgets or spend plans during the lifecycle of any specific project.
  7. Ensure the regular and timely update of departmental payment register.
  8. Review outstanding project payments and flag where payment schedules are falling behind so relevant remedial actions can be taken by Programme Officers and relevant desks.

Departmental Budget Development and Control

  1. Support with annual departmental budgets, forecasting expenditure developing the annual budget with different departments and affiliates.
  2. Ensure monthly programmes commitments and liabilities are logged appropriately and shared with finance.
  3. Update thematic budget availability versus planned commitments allowing for real time clarity on fund availability monthly/quarterly basis.

Compliance and Audit

  1. Conduct routine compliance reviews of partner grant budgets, expenditure, justifications, evidence and that all relevant and required documentation is received before approval for follow on grant payments or approvals.
  2. Support with project internal financial audits both internally and externally and ensure timely response to audit requests and queries from programme desks.
  3. Raise financial compliance issues proactively with Senior Management.


  1. Ensure all project related documentations are appropriately stored and easily accessible to auditors
  2. Support the monitoring of procurement plans, dossiers etc with view to ensure open process and VFM
  3. Any other duties as may be reasonably requested by the Head of Programmes and Senior Management.

The job description is not intended to be exhaustive, and it is likely that duties may be altered from time to time. You may, from time to time, be required to work evenings, Saturdays or on a Sunday.

About you 

For us, it’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it.  Our values are important to us and we’re looking for people who will live and breathe them.                                                                            


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and qualified in a recognized accounting or finance qualification. Relevant solid work experience to compensate for the lack of qualifications can also compensate for lack of qualification. Candidates who are in the final stages of studying towards a major accounting qualification such as ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA, ACA or recently qualified are also welcome to apply.
  • Minimum 2 - 3 years’ experience in an accounting/finance role with applicable experience in grant management/financial control/internal audit.      
  • Ability to deal with highly sensitive and confidential information        
  • The ability to work with minimum direction, and to respond swiftly to requests                  E
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills        
  • Able to manage and prioritise multiple tasks        
  • Able to work well under pressure           
  • Attention to detail 
  • Strong organisational and time management skills                
  • Flexible and enthusiastic approach with an ability to use initiative and be proactive                 
  • Ability to work as part of a team and individually 
  • Willing to work outside of normal working hours from time to time   
  • Provides solutions to individual and organisational problems.              
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and respond to a rapidly changing external environment.           
  • Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel & Outlook         
  • Excellent communication skills with a high level of written and spoken English.
  • Ability to travel and spend time in field locations.
  • The Right to Work in the UK  
  • To uphold and behave in accordance with the organisation’s core values           
  • A professional and flexible approach to work       
  • Commitment to promoting equality and diversity in what we do        
  • A positive attitude with a strong desire to see the organisation succeed             


  • Grant accounting experience and/or working with Institutional funders (EU, FCDO, USAID) and with international partner organisations.           
  • Familiarity with non-profit and for-profit sectors and working internationally    
  • Experience of developing tools, policies and guidance, and establishing new ways of working                
  • Workable knowledge of a second language          

Additional information  

Safeguarding: We are an organisation that takes safeguarding very seriously.  All staff will be expected to adhere to our policies, processes, and approach.    

Applying: Please send a statement (of no more than 2 sides of A4, font size 11) clearly outlining how you match our requirements, as well as a two-page CV outlining your professional, volunteering experience, education/qualifications and any other relevant information.  Please state the job title in the email title.  

Deadline: We are running a rolling a recruitment, so reserve the right to close the post at any point.  Please don’t delay in getting your application in to us!   


Posted on: 01 December 2021
Closed date: 31 December 2021
Job ref: Job Reference 13
Tags: Finance

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