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Vacancy

Grant Accountant

Deadline: Friday, October 7, 2022

Organisation Background

The Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) is a non-profit, public charity organisation that supports strengthens and promotes science innovation in Africa. The goal of the SFA Foundation is to address the continent’s most pressing developmental needs by generating scientific knowledge that solves problems and informs decision-making.

We serve the African research ecosystem by funding excellent research and innovation ideas; enabling interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, building and reinforcing environments that are conducive for scientists to thrive and produce quality research that generates new, locally relevant knowledge.

The SFA Foundation takes a holistic approach to the development of science. Our programmatic initiatives are crafted to cater to the entire science ecosystem and span across the value chain from early discovery sciences to translation sciences and target cross-cutting gaps.

Our commitment to strengthening the entire research ecosystem is reflected in the creation of major science and innovation programmes implemented through a well-established grant-making scheme, advocacy and promotion of scientific excellence, emphasis on intra-Africa collaboration and evidence-based policy-making mechanisms.

Position Overview

Position Title

Grants Accountant

Department

Finance

Reporting To

Head of Finance and Grants Management

Position Location

Nairobi, Kenya

The Grants Accountant is responsible for preparing program financial statements, maintaining cash controls, and providing financial reporting and analysis to SFA Foundation. The incumbent performs post-award grant administration and related accounting duties working closely with the Foundation finance team in carrying out financial management, budgeting, compliance of grantees, reporting to funders and conducting variance analysis.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities

Financial Planning, Budgeting and Grant Analysis

  • Initiate the process of planning and developing budgets for new grant proposals and ensuring grantees’ budgets are aligned with SFA Foundation policies as well as donor requirements
  • Work with the Program Managers and the Head of Finance in reviewing and approving budgets submitted by grantees and ensure financial analysis and forecasting are done to aid in decision making
  • Offer the technical backstop to grantees and ensure they are equipped on how to develop budgets and budget narratives for grant applications.

Grantee Assessment and Capacity Building

  • Assess the financial capacity of new grantees in order to mitigate against financial risks and losses to the SFA Foundation by reviewing their internal controls, identifying areas of weakness, and advising accordingly during site visits
  • Support Program Managers in the granting-making process, ensuring grant agreements are well executed.

Grant Monitoring and Financial Reporting

  • Promote accountability of grants processes, funds, and compliance to funders requirements. Ensure they adhere to reporting timelines by developing and maintaining a grant tracking database to monitor the flow of grants from the time full grant documentation is received to the time the first payment is made
  • Verify reported expenses to ensure they are allowable, allocable, and reasonable by maintaining a comprehensive timetable for grant financial reporting from Grantees to the Donors and follow-up to ensure adherence to reporting timelines
  • Provide financial backstopping to grantees when implementing grants to achieve set objectives. Review of grantees' reported expenses through cross-examination of expenses and providing feedback
  • Analyse financial transactions to ensure that they are correctly charged, and financial positions provided to funders are a true & fair representation of financial position. Support the Head of Finance in reviewing and consolidating grantees financial reports for grants within specified donor formats, ensuring accuracy and compliance with Donors' Requirements
  • Advise the Programme Managers and the Management on the current financial status by ensuring accuracy and correct coding of financial transactions and reconciliations of grants financial reports in the financial system
  • Facilitate smooth, prompt (timely), and quality implementation of grants by preparing ad hoc operating reports, analysis, and financial statements from general and subsidiary ledgers for Management consumption.

Facilitation of Grant Audits

  • Mitigate financial risks by ensuring internal controls are put in place by providing support to the development and implementation systems and streamlining processes within the Finance function
  • Support the audit process by addressing issues raised in audit exercises and following up on audit recommendations to ensure they are implemented
  • Implement best practices on grant closure procedures and monitor how effectively high-risk grants and contracts follow comprehensive grant closure steps to ensure proper standards are upheld in the management of grants.

Fund Disbursement and Financial Accounting

  • Process and disburse funds to grantees by ensuring funds are available to facilitate smooth implementation of projects. Monitor bank balances to ensure timely inter-bank transfers and healthy cashflows are maintained
  • Prepare monthly bank reconciliations and maintain accurate and updated records of bank correspondences, bank Instructions and confirmations
  • Promote accountability through accurate posting of financial data and correctly coding of expenses in the financial system. Ensure financial processes are adhered to for true and fair reporting, including examination of physical documents, conducting accuracy tests
  • Participate in committees as assigned in the execution of its duties and mandates and advise the procurement committee on financial matters.

Person Specifications

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance/Accounting or related field

Professional Qualifications

  • Complete professional qualification in CPA-K/ACCA;

Experience and Knowledge

  • At least 5 years’ relevant experience in finance management with at least 2 years in grants accounting working with donors
  • Working knowledge of grants accounting and financial management systems.
  • Working excel and analytical skills
  • Experience in sub-grantee management and capacity building

Key Competencies

  • Communication: Actively shares information and ideas and uses tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information or resolving delicate issues
  • Teamwork: Works as a supportive team member, recognizes opportunities to grow the team and proactively builds and manages relationships
  • Planning and Organizing: Proactively plans, organizes workload across team, sets up review mechanisms and monitors progress to ensure that the plan delivers on agreed guidelines
  • Achieving results: Proactively identifies and exploits opportunities to exceed goals, drives excellence within the team by closely monitoring execution against plans and standards to meet key stakeholder requirements
  • Leading and Supervising: Invests time and effort in managing staff members under his/her supervision
  • Analytical Thinking: Identifies patterns, similarities, differences in data/information and evaluates the implication
  • Judgement/Decision making: Uses experience and data available to assess situations and takes decisions (without missing deadlines or causing delays) with given information, keeping in mind risks and their impact
  • Commitment to continuous improvement: Identifies bottlenecks, anticipates trends and evolving needs and develops solutions/ suggestions and applies improvements
  • Resilience: Remains composed and focused during crisis/challenging period, recovers rapidly from setbacks, and supports team to cope with pressure and change
  • Persuasion and Influence: Participates in negotiations with stakeholders, demonstrates knowledge of work area and appreciation of others’ concerns to build own credibility and influence others.

HOW TO APPLY

Should you meet the above requirements, please submit a cover letter and a current Curriculum Vitae not exceeding 5 pages including three professional referees to [email protected] with the name of the vacancy as the e-mail subject.

The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit. The documents should be saved in MS Word or PDF in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Deus-Wan-CV-092022-SFA Foundation or Deus-Wan-CoverLetter-092022 -SFA Foundation.

All applications should be submitted by Friday, 7th October 2022.