Finance Specialist - Ein Issa, North East Syria
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been supporting the communities in Syria, focusing its interventions on Emergency, Wash and Livelihoods. With funding from DFID, French MoFA, ECHO, EC and OFDA, Mercy Corps has been able to work together with communities in Syria to respond to the priorities/ needs of people in conflict zone.
General Position Summary
The Finance Specialist is part of the Mercy Corps Finance Department, and as such is responsible for all aspects of financial management of the area programs and operations, working collaboratively to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps internal policies and procedures as well as donor regulations. They work under the supervision of the Finance Manager (North East Syria - NES) and is responsible for all financial functions in NES, including accounting, payments and banking, payroll, budgeting, financial reporting and grant financial management and compliance. The Finance specialist, in support of the Program Department, provides timely reports and assistance to the Area Director, Finance Manager and the Program team to ensure that financial resources are used efficiently and effectively.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Directly supervise NES finance and accounting staff based in field locations/Governorates.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
Operations - Financial
- Ensure effective, transparent use of financial resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
- Manage day-to-day financial operations of field offices in close coordination with Finance Manager
- Provide a financial review, as per authority, of expenditures, commitments and contracts to ensure appropriate coding and budgetary and policy compliance.
- Ensure timely follow-up and processing of the payment requests from program and operations to comply with matching principal and accurate representation of books
- Prepare and supervise any Financial Year end and grant end accruals as per the policy
- Follow up on 90 days grant close out meeting as per the Mercy Corps Policy
- Oversee IMTA (Internal Money Transfer Agent) relations and plan and monitor NES cash flow requirements to ensure the smooth implementation of Mercy Corps programs.
- Oversee the maintenance of Field Connect/Navigator accounting system and ensure accurate and timely data entry and accounting processing.
- Review General ledger transactions on bi-monthly basis to ensure correct account coding.
- Prepare/Run E-Vouchers financial reports on regular basis and monitor the balances of vendors and program participants
- Closely monitor implementation and compliance of financial aspects of all SoPs in NES
- Perform through review of participants/beneficiary list and ensure all procedures have been completed before processing the payments
- Prepare E-Vouchers, Cash distribution reconciliation and flag all the reconciliation items in timely manner
- Coordinate monthly standard accounting submission to Amman regional office, including general ledger files, accounts reconciliations and other financial information in a timely and accurate manner.
- Support month end and year end close out process including balance sheet and assets reconciliation and archiving of financial files.
- Analyze monthly spending and alert program and senior management in NES and Amman on any significant variances.
- Based on the BVAs generated by HQ, prepare and update quarterly projections, in close coordination with program team.
- Attend and assist in monthly BVA meetings to discuss spending patterns with program team and help prepare mitigation plans.
- Support Amman based Grants and compliance unit in developing master budget as well as developing and implementing grant budgeting and forecasting systems for NES.
- Assist Finance Manager and Amman based budget unit in developing/revising financial proposals; work closely with Program Managers for budgeting the program activities, staffing and any other operational cost.
- Assist Finance Manager (NES) to prepare/review the staff and operational cost coverage analysis on regular basis
- Support Sub-awards and compliance unit based in Beirut in the oversight and financial management of the NES partners and provide day-to-day supervision to the sub-awards and compliance officer.
- Ensure adequate segregation of duties and internal controls in all the NES locations.
- Assist internal and external auditing process as appropriate.
Influence & Representation
- Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies.
- Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Demonstrate an awareness of their own strengths and development
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations 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.
Finance team;** Senior Finance Officer (NES), Finance Officers (NES)
Reports Directly To: Finance Manager with dotted line to Area Director
Works Directly With: Program and Operations teams in NES , Finance and Operations team in Amman.
Knowledge and Experience
- A BA/S or equivalent in accounting or finance required; advanced degree preferred.
- At least 4-7 years of progressive financial management experience, including supervisory experience required.
- At least 4 years' experience in grants management as well as an understanding of FFP, DFID and OFDA regulations required.
- At least 2 years' international experience required; international NGO/PVO field office experience is preferred.
- Working experience of E-Vouchers and any other digital money transfer program will be preferred
- Demonstrated experience and skill with budget preparation and analysis, financial reporting preparation and presentation and the proven ability to translate technical financial data into informative reports.
- Strong accounting skills and experience, including management of the general ledger, journal entries, payroll, payables and balance sheet.
- Prior management experience and strong organizational skills.
- Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Previous experience in insecure environments.
The successful candidate will have an ability to interact effectively across international and national program and finance teams successfully, both in a managerial as well as training capacity. They will be able to support programmatic objectives with timely and meaningful financial information, have a demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. An impeccable professional standard of finance and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. The Finance Manager must be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Finance Specialist is based in Ein Issa (NES) and it requires up to 20% travel to other field locations. The location is unaccompanied. Housing is group accommodation with limited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are no International schools in NES. Staff have moderate degree of access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc. This position requires 20% of time of travel by road to field offices in moderate environments.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. 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 in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps' vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.