Saferworld is an independent non-profit organisation that works to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives. We work with communities, civil society, governments and international institutions to encourage and support effective policies and practices through advocacy, research and policy development, and through supporting the actions of others.
Saferworld is committed to providing a safe and trusted environment that safeguards our staff, partners and communities. Our organisational integrity is derived from the values and principles that underpin and guide our work.
Saferworld has grown in size in recent years with income ranging between £16-20 million funded by some 40 donor contracts from governments, the EC and other funding entities. We operate in an increasing complex environment with our head office in London, offices with country programmes in several African countries, Central Asia, Yemen and South Asia, and offices in Washington and Brussels and Beijing, which requires us to ensure our financial systems and processes are fit for purpose.
The finance team provides a crucial role to underpin the organisation by providing assurances on compliance and risk management, by partnering the operational parts of the business and by providing good stewardship of the organisation’s funds. The team will seek to optimise money to mission. This role provides an exciting opportunity to engage with Saferworld’s work funded through ‘commercial’ contracts, and to strengthen systems for their financial management and compliance.
To provide support to the Head of Finance in delivering critical finance business functions and services; ensure the maintenance of a sound financial processing system; serve as a collaborative business partner supporting programme managers and Country Offices Finance Managers in budgeting, transactions processing and reporting and build the capacity of the programme finance teams;
This role will also provide collaborative business support to the Head of Programme, the Heads of the Brussels, Washington and Beijing offices, and other leads, in developing the appropriate system for financial management of contracts/grants and in the financial management, compliance and reporting on multiple programmes.
The role supports the institutional revenue generation activities from inception. It must ensure full cost recovery on all grant applications, securing as many costs ‘above the line’ as possible. It will account for all restricted funds, ensuring full donor compliance and ensuring accurate revenue
Roles and Responsibilities:
Advisory and partnering support
- Support the development of effective finance processing systems (particularly in relation to the management of commercial contracts) and build the capacity of managers and Country Finance teams in implementing sound reporting systems. 50% of time would be spent working on this and supporting the Head of Finance and other teams on joint projects, and share learning and build their capacity on new systems and processes.
- Create solutions to address the financial needs created by commercial contracts, and creating/adapting tools and systems to address these needs, while feeding it to organisational level change.
- Oversee commercial contract reporting to assess quality and trends, and participating in business reviews with country teams of financial performance of these contracts.
- Develop systems that allow for the more effective and efficient acquisition and financial management of commercial contracts, and build the capacity of colleagues to maintain and benefit from these systems
- Support the annual financial planning and budgeting processes to produce robust plans for Saferworld.
- Strengthen the capacity of country finance teams and support in implementing a robust financial performance management process
- Maintain oversight of all regional offices use of SUN and financial transactions processing and in developing partner relationships
- Lead the development and maintenance of a strong control environment (bank reconciliations and other control accounts, performance management data)
- Assist the London and global finance teams to build their IT and reporting skills. Help to plan training and development for London and overseas teams
Organisational business partnering and team development
- Building knowledge of donor reporting with all colleagues to improve financial management
- Develop strong relationships with colleagues in Regional offices and London. Work with/mentor and support Finance teams in-country to provide proactive, demand-driven capacity strengthening support on finance for Saferworld’s partners
- Provide sound financial strategic advice and analysis to assist the Head of Finance, Business Performance Director, leadership and senior staff in decision making
- Contribute towards the leadership and strategic direction of Saferworld finance management team
- Provide finance support to organisation-wide initiatives and Finance projects (e.g., changes or improvements to financial processes and systems).
- Oversee the implementation of cost recovery policies and risk management procedures in country offices, and sign off budgets for country fundraising proposals
- Design and deliver financial training sessions for finance staff and budget-holders in- country, and wider country leadership as required
Key working relationships Internal relationships
- Head of Funding, Head of Programme Support & Fundraising roles: ensure provision of technical financial support to costing of major funding bids and budgets as required
- Country Representatives– working together on setting up support finance priorities; and working on reflection to feed into changes/improvements to financial systems and processes.
- Head of People and Culture and team: provide technical advice and support in relation to budgeting of compensation and benefits, and any costed reviews of the package
- Regional and Country Finance Managers – provision of technical leadership and oversight
- The role engages directly with donors, partners and suppliers/external consultants
Scope and accountability
Decision making and limits of authority
- Recommendations on finance/commercial systems development and improvements
- Development and implementation of financial controls and procedures
- Donor reporting and compliance issues
- This is primarily a finance partnering/advisory role where strategic decisions are taken by the finance team in country or are under the Country management responsibility.
- Contributes to budgetary and financial planning support across the organisation
- Preparing and monitoring the budget
- Development of financial systems used globally for tracking profit on commercial contracts
- Capacity strengthening of finance colleagues and partners (HO, global, Regional, and country office)
- Technical supervision and support to delegated Country- based Finance Managers who are dealing with commercial contracts
Legal, regulatory and compliance responsibility
- Ensure financial systems are aligned to and compliant with financial regulations and internal financial policies and procedures
- Ensure financial/commercial contracts systems and procedures are compliant with donor/contract requirements
- Ensure donor reporting and compliance obligations are met
Knowledge, qualifications and experience
- Experience working as a finance business partner/senior management position in the charity sector, ideally within a matrix organisation structure with an entrepreneurial mind- set
- Proven experience in budgeting and forecasting with a mix of restricted and unrestricted funds, including commercial contracts –including budget development, monitoring and accounting of profit
- Qualified accountant (CIMA, ACA, ACCA)
- Experience of project management across an organisation including an ability and willingness to undertake ‘hands-on’ tasks such as preparing budgets, cash flows and other financial planning, management and control processes
- Understanding of key operational and strategic considerations relating to institutional fundraising, grant making processes, donor reporting requirements, financial reporting with institutional donors
- Track record in anticipating change, understanding its impact on the organisation and supporting process to adapt to change
- Track record in working with people without line management responsibility, and influencing change
- Good knowledge of Sun system and Q&A and other reporting tools.
- Experience of working with a wide range of finance and non-finance colleagues, including overseas offices
Skills and abilities
- A positive business-needs centred approach and ability to work in a business partnering model with managers across the organisation
- Ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with a wide range of people, including across cultures and with those at a distance.
- Ability to lead and motivate others through a positive can-do attitude and inclusive team ethos, building strong relationships and partnerships across finance and other departments
- High levels of technical and systems skills and ability to balance a strategic approach with strong hands-on work ethic.
- A hands-on person manager, able to support colleagues and create a learning environment, within the bustle of the day-to-day accounting environment
- Sensitivity to context, geographical dynamics that drive conflict and division, and power imbalances
- Commitment to and compliance with Saferworld’s safeguarding principles
- Commitment to respect and value equality and diversity, and understanding of how this applies to own area of work
- Commitment to own continuing personal and professional development
- Commitment to the vision, mission and values of Saferworld
- A valid UK work permit
- Travel will be required for purposes of capacity building and provision of support to colleagues and partners in head office, regional and country offices
How to apply
To apply: Please share your CV and a supporting statement and email to firstname.lastname@example.org (using subject heading: Ref: FBP003).
Deadline: 8 February 2023