Finance Specialist

18 April 2018

Regional Operations Service Centre, South Africa

Post Number: 15442


1. Organizational Location

Within the context of declining financial resources, increasingly complex political, economic and humanitarian challenges, and the need to deliver high quality rights-based results within the Agenda 2030 environment, the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office has developed a framework for strengthening UNFPA’s efficiency, effectiveness and presence in the region. The framework sets out a new structure to ensure more effective support to field offices (FOs) in the region, increased operational efficiency throughout the region, strengthened coordination and support for preparedness and resilience-building in humanitarian contexts, and enhanced resource mobilization capacities. The structure will be operationalized through the Regional Operations Shared Service Center (ROSSC) which will consolidate core operational functions in procurement, finance, ICT and administration including human resources. It is intended that FOs will obtain operations service support from the ROSSC.  The Service Center will have the capacity to provide services across all four functions to FOs in the region in varying degrees based on the operational capacities that exist in each office.

The ROSSC will be responsible for financial management services including procure-to-pay services, vendor management, assigned balance sheet account reconciliations, cash transfer transactions (cash advances, expense reports and direct payments) to IPs as per Funding Authorization and Certificate of Expenditure (FACE), value added tax (VAT) management, accounts receivable application, Atlas data quality maintenance and year-end closure activities.    

The ROSSC will be responsible for procurement management services including solicitation, contract award and management. It will provide support to FOs on Contract Review committee (CRC) submissions and provide oversight on local procurement activities. 

The ROSSC will also provide oversight and support to Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) quality control on assurance activities and IP capacity building and support audit preparations. The ROSSC will also provide software and corporate systems management support as well as asset, inventory, human resources and travel management services.

Given the exceptional complexity, breadth, reach and volume of the ROSSC portfolio in the area of finance and the challenges inherent in operational support both for middle income countries and the Eastern and South Africa Region as a whole, UNFPA has established the position of Finance Specialist at NOC level to reinforce the leadership and direction of the ROSSC's Finance Team with a focus on FOs with limited staff capacities.

2. Job Purpose

Under the overall guidance of the International Operations Manager, the Finance Specialist is responsible for ensuring the highest efficiency in financial management services and the provision of accurate, thoroughly researched and documented financial information, effective delivery of financial management services, and transparent utilization and management of financial resources of the ROSSC and FOs. He/she analyzes and interprets the financial rules and regulations and provides solutions to a wide spectrum of complex financial issues. The Finance Specialist promotes a collaborative, client-oriented service approach consistent with UNFPA rules and regulations.

3. Major Activities/Expected Results

  1. Ensure implementation of ROSSC operational strategies and procedures by timely and efficient provision of financial management services to FOs including the following:
  • Provide regular services and support to FOs on financial management, policy and procedures, facilitating adherence to UNFPA Financial Regulations and Rules and effective programme implementation;
  • Oversee and ensure effective workflow of communication and documentation between ROSSC and respective FOs;
  • Manage procure-to-pay services to FOs including supervision of staff entering Accounts Payable (AP) vouchers, confirmation the correct transaction coding, approval of transactions in UNFPA ERP system and resolution of matching, budget checking and other voucher-related issues;
  • Manage timely and accurate processing of cash transfer transactions (cash advances, expense reports and direct payments) to IPs as per Funding Authorization and Certificate of Expenditure (FACE) and ensure the correct use and recording of FACE form by monitoring, supporting and providing guidance to FOs; provide support on HACT assurance activities;
  • Review and reconcile the assigned balance sheet accounts on a periodic basis and resolve identified issues;  
  • Act as approver for vendor creation and modification requests and perform regular reviews and analysis of vendor database in Atlas for respective FOs ensuring that duplicate or redundant vendors are promptly inactivated in Atlas;
  • Manage the preparation and value added tax claim submissions to local tax authorities as well as close follow-up;
  • Monitor Atlas data quality maintenance and provide guidance, support and instructions to FOs;
  • Actively participate in the year-end closure process by ensuring all finance-related activities are accurately and timely completed in accordance with the Accounts Closure Instructions;
  • Prepare for audit visits, coordinate and respond to audit enquiries and support the implementation of audit recommendations.

B. Play an active role in the ROSCC governance framework, including the following:

  • Develop and continuously refine mapping of finance-related processes, standard operating procedures and document management system;
  • Prepare periodic progress reports of ROSSC activities, perform continuous analysis and draw lessons learnt. Collect information on CO clients’ satisfaction for continuous service improvement;
  • Elaborate and implement cost saving and reduction strategies;
  • Supervise team modeling a professionally rigorous environment while supporting financial skills acquisition and promoting continuous learning. Organize, prepare materials and facilitate training and knowledge sharing sessions for operations and programme staff.

C.  Facilitate effective programme budgeting of core and non-core resources, continuous monitoring and accurate financial reporting to donors including the following:

  • Participate and contribute to the workplan process including proper costing (the accuracy of the detailed budgeting template), validation of allocations to ensure that the aggregate of workplans are within authorized spending limits;
  • Continuously analyze and monitor the financial situation and implementation, and advise on the required workplan and budget revisions;
  • Monitor non-core fund contribution receivables as scheduled in the co-financing agreements and alert respective programme staff if any delays; request distributions of spending limits for regional co-financing programmes;
  • Review of interim financial reports before their submission to donors.

4. Work Relations

The Finance Specialist supervises and leads professional and support staff of the ROSSC Finance Unit. The Finance Specialist works in close collaboration with the Management Support, Programme, Operations, and project teams in the respective COs, UNFPA HQ staff, Implementing Partners (IPs) and Government officials ensuring effective and efficient financial management and performance.

External partners include other UN agencies, the UN Country Team, vendors, and other non-UN partners that are essential to the work of the Operations Office.

5. Job Requirements


  • Advanced university degree in Accounting, Financial Management or related discipline. A relevant first level university degree combined with a recognized accounting designation (CA, CPA, ACCA) may be acceptable in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • Professional certification from an international accounting body such as ACCA, ICMA ACA, and CPA is desirable.


  • At least 5 years of experience at the national or international level in financial management, accounting and/or related area with minimum 3 years of supervisory experience;
  • Excellent Excel skills; experience with ERP (PeopleSoft) and database systems is desirable. 


  • Fluency in English. Working knowledge of French or Portuguese is an advantage.

Required Competencies:


  • Exemplifying integrity;
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system;
  • Embracing cultural diversity;
  • Embracing change.

Core Competencies:

  • Achieving results;
  • Being accountable;
  • Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen;
  • Thinking analytically and strategically;
  • Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships;
  • Communicating for impact.

Managerial Competencies:

  • Providing strategic focus;
  • Engaging in internal/external partners and stakeholders;
  • Leading, developing and empowering people, creating a culture of performance;
  • Making decisions and exercising judgment.

Functional Competencies:

  • Providing financial support
  • Business acumen
  • Innovation and marketing of new approaches
  • Client orientation
  • Organizational awareness
  • Job knowledge/technical expertise

Required Skillset:

  • Facilitating quality programmatic results;
  • Managing the organization’s financial resources;
  • Ensuring compliance with Organization’s Policies and procedures;

Attract and develop the regional/country workforce.

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