AAccountant (IPSAS Policy Specialist) - Talent Group

United States
Apply by 4 March 2011
Posted on 18 June 2015

Job Description

Accountant (IPSAS Policy Specialist) - Talent Group (P-4), DFAM

Purpose of the Position

The purpose of this announcement is to attract suitable candidates to be included in a Talent Group, at the P-4 level, for Accountant (IPSAS Policy Specialist) roles with UNICEF’s Division of Financial and Administrative Management (DFAM).

Talent Groups are rosters of internal and external candidates who undergo a competitive selection and assessment process that is reviewed by a competent Central Review Body (CRB). A candidate remains in a Talent Group until being appointed to a new position for a maximum of 2 years from being included into a Talent Group.

Therefore, this is not a regular vacancy announcement but rather an outreach campaign to attract external candidates interested in potential future assignments in the IPSAS Policy Specialist role with DFAM.

Candidates with suitable profiles will undergo a competitive selection process in order to be cleared by the Central Review Body and be placed in the respective Talent Pool. These talent groups are being created with a view to fill fixed-term and/or temporary positions, within the Division of Financial and Administrative Management, to support the implementation of IPSAS.

UNICEF is committed by 1 January 2012 to adopt International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and replace its existing ERP system by implementing a new SAP ERP system in all geographic locations to enable IPSAS compliant reporting.

The adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) is a major change initiative being undertaken throughout the UN system, which requires policy development, systems modification, data creation, improvement and uploading, change management, communication and training.

Key Expected Results

Under the direction of the Deputy Director Accounts Section, the incumbents of such positions will support the development of business policy and procedural guidance, interpret reporting requirements covered by IPSAS and applicable IFRS standards and apply them to UNICEF’s circumstances. Furthermore, the incumbent(s) will analyze, consult on, and develop policy positions, translate positions into approved policy documents, and enable policies to be implemented throughout the organization.

In brief, as an incumbent of the post, you would be responsible for the following:

1. You will interpret the reporting requirements required by IPSAS and applicable IFRS standards - specifically as these apply to UNICEF.

2. You will support the development of business policy and procedural guidance through policy planning, analysis, consultation and development of policy position papers to accomplish:
a. IPSAS compliant financial statements, and
b. IPSAS compliant UNICEF accounting policies.

3. You will support Business Process Owners to:
a. translate policy position papers into approved policy documents;
b. expedite the translation of policy positions and approved policy documents developing in-house expertise on IPSAS and related policy documents;
c. identify system and procedures implications, solutions and changes arising from or required by policy positions;
d. implement policy in pre-implementation and implementation stages of project activities;
e. review Information resulting from policy and procedure implementations for compliance

4. You will review SAP ERP documentation (such as business process and procedure documentation and test scripts) produced by the VISION ERP Project team and, in conjunction with Business Process Owners, provide recommendations on whether IPSAS requirements have been met.

5. Based on the overall data migration strategy, you will develop data collection tools and processes to support the data creation, cleansing and migration and to enable change in assigned topic areas. You will also review and comment on data collected and provide feedback on areas where data quality needs strengthening.

6. You will support Business Process Owners in the development of training materials through review of the contents for technical IPSAS accuracy for topics assigned and make recommendations on changes that need to be incorporated.

7. You will contribute to the contents of IPSAS communications.

8. You will represent UNICEF in UN system-wide working groups and discussions on IPSAS adoption.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate


Advanced University degree in accounting, finance, or business administration and/or professional accounting qualification (CPA or equivalent)

Work Experience:

Minimum of eight years of relevant professional work experience in accounting, budgeting and/or financial management in a large institution, at least half of which should be in a senior management position.

Practical experience in implementing a new accounting standard (National or International) including understanding of IPSAS, International Accounting Standards (IAS) and/or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Good working knowledge of financial management information systems, including general controls, development processes, application controls and interfaces in complex environments using SAP or similar ERP applications is highly desirable.

Current knowledge of development issues, strategies, as well as programming policies and procedures in international development cooperation, specifically UNICEF as well as an understanding of UNICEF’s Business model and financial procedures is considered an asset.

Fluency in English (written and oral) required and working knowledge of another UN language is considered an asset.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

Communication Skills: Capacity to communicate effectively through speech and written work to present issues and ideas in a manner that leads to their acceptance and adoption.

Interpersonal Skills: Capacity to contact and interact openly, honestly, and professionally with individuals and in teams from a wide range of cultures-in and out of the division.

Self-management Skills: Capacity to be fair and impartial in interactions, and to recognize and regulate personal performance against professional and organizational standards and social norms, whilst working well under pressure and managing conflicting priorities.

Analytical skills, modern procedures & systems mind-set combined with in-depth knowledge of financial procedures, regulations, rules and policies governing staff working in the United Nations Common System.

Team Leadership: Capacity to lead work groups in the planning and implementation of activities, and to provide technical assistance and coaching to team members

UNICEF’s Competency Profile for these posts:

Core Values (Required)
• Commitment
• Diversity and Inclusion
• Integrity

Core Competencies (Required)
• Communication (II)
• Working with People (II)
• Drive for Results (II)

Functional Competencies (Required)
• Analyzing (III)
• Deciding and Initiating Action (II)
• Applying Technical Expertise (III)
• Formulating Strategies and Concepts (II)
• Leading and Supervising (II)
• Planning and Organizing (II)

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

If you want a challenging career while improving the lives of children around the world UNICEF, the leading children’s rights organization, would like to hear from you.

Visit us at to register in our new e-Recruitment system and apply to this and other vacancies, quoting E-VN-2011-000192. Applications must be received by 04 March 2011.

Please note that only candidates who are under serious consideration will be contacted.

In the selection of its staff, UNICEF is committed to gender balance and diversity without distinction as to race, sex or religion, and without discrimination of persons with disabilities: well qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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