Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller

Copenhagen, Denmark
Apply by 28 May 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 1 May 2018

Job Description

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organisations.

The Finance Group (FG) is a critical and strategic business function in UNOPS and serves as an authoritative and integrated partner in the organisation on strategic financial planning and budgeting, business strategy and practices, financial analysis and risk assessment, financial management services and long term organisational treasury and investments.

As the steward of resources of a self-financing UN entity, the FG is accountable for timely cost recovery and reporting to partners, maintaining the integrity and transparency of financial management of resources in accordance with the highest standards of ethics and organisational/international accountability framework and the accurate and transparent financial reporting to governing bodies, clients, partners and stakeholders.

Information and Communication Technology function (ICT) is under the responsibility of the CFO. ICT is responsible for the overall design, implementation and maintenance of the ICT infrastructure and business process tools of the organisation.

The Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller (CFO) is one of the most senior leaders within UNOPS, provides strategic and operational guidance to the Executive Office and all business units in UNOPS on financial and risk management. In addition to this, the CFO at UNOPS also holds the overall responsibility for providing strategic leadership and oversight for the UNOPS ICT function. That function is led by the Chief Information Officer, reporting to the CFO. The CFO, as the leader of the Finance Group, plays the central role in the development of cohesive management infrastructure, policies and services, to support the varied business lines pursued by UNOPS.

The CFO acts as a trusted advisor to senior management and the Executive Board, providing guidance and advice. This includes ensuring that emerging challenges and trends are fully integrated into specific targeted intelligence, helping the organisation to effectively sustain high quality and efficient delivery of services.

The CFO directly impacts the effective management and financial integrity of UNOPS through the effective stewarding of organisational resources, maintaining appropriate controls and integrity of financial management in accordance with relevant international standards, enabling prudent management and growth of financial assets and building an informed and shared management engagement on financial issues in support of the UNOPS overall strategy. The CFO has also an impact on the UNOPS’ ability to ensure suitable ICT infrastructure and business process tools for the organisation.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of functions:
1. Strategic advisory services
2. Business leadership
3. Financial management and control
4. Financial information and reporting
5. Knowledge management and innovation

Strategic advisory services

  • Contribute to the formulation of UNOPS overall strategies and policies through advisory services to the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director and participation in the senior management group on current and future business operations as well as strategy development and planning.
  • As a member of the senior management team, ensure the strategic alignment of financial and IT management policies and services with the business goals of UNOPS, sustaining the organisation’s ability to adapt and respond to the external environment.
  • Provide the senior management team with timely and accurate management reports, strategic advice and proposals to ensure the immediate and longer term implications, opportunities and risks of business decisions are fully considered, and aligned with the organisation’s relevant strategies.
  • Ensure the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director are kept informed of issues, trends, and changes which are relevant to the operation of an efficient FG and ICT function.
  • Act as an integral member of the UNOPS senior management team, providing financial and nonfinancial information, as well as representing Finance and ICT perspectives, to support the board’s decision making
  • Business leadership
  • Serve as the lead internal advocate for prudent management and growth of financial assets and build an informed and shared management engagement on financial issues, by advocating the value of linking financial and operational information for decision-making purposes.
  • Lead and empower the Finance Group to serve as a strategic partner and fiduciary advisor to UNOPS’ stakeholders, through accountable and transparent custodianship of resources
  • Provide strategic leadership and guidance to the Deputy CFO and the CIO, in the delivery of their respective objectives.
  • Lead and empower the Finance Group and the ICT function, in the design and delivery of an integrated platform of services, which ensures highly responsive service to clients, management and project staff while safeguarding the integrity of financial systems and resource liquidity in accordance with UNOPS policies.
  • Assess the performance and efficacy of financial services and take decisions and/or recommend to the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director major changes and/or alignment in operations to enhance and/or maintain efficacy.
  • Promote teamwork and collaboration by providing the team with clear direction, objectives and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.
  • Plan, recruit and develop a flexible workforce with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance, and ensure gender and geographical diversity.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
  • Financial management and control
  • Lead the implementation of financial policies that capture developments in financial management, promoting the comparative advantage of UNOPS and demonstrating effective stewardship of resources to clients and donors.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the UNOPS strategic budget process, providing guidance, support, analysis and input to stakeholders throughout, articulating important financial issues and proposing appropriate solutions.
  • Ensure that systems and processes for financial administration, financial control and protection of the organisation’s resources and assets are in place and designed in conformity with appropriate ethical standards and monitor their continuing effectiveness in practice.
  • Review and maintain a well-organised, competent global organisational structure of the Finance Practice as well as highly efficient internal financial processes at all times.
  • Ensure the maintenance of an effective financial management infrastructure that extends to all Regions and is responsive and adaptable to the varied business initiatives pursued by UNOPS.
  • Champion financial risk management by promoting innovation in financial controls, policies and risk mitigation mechanisms.
  • Provide recommendations based on analysis of various audit and other information to enhance financial policies and to implement necessary changes that will strengthen the financial capacity and controls throughout the organisation.
  • Lead FG to become an enabler for the rest of the organisational entities in achieving their goals and organisational alignment, by providing financial guidance, tools and solutions.
  • Improve ability to better anticipate the organisation’s needs, process improvement, efficiency and Knowledge management
  • Ensure effective collaboration with the Shared Service Centre Director, to implement appropriate improvements in the UNOPS Finance policies and processes, based on the current needs of the organisation and in anticipation of the future ones.
  • Financial information and reporting
  • Lead the development and implementation of the UNOPS strategic budget process, providing guidance, support, analysis and input to stakeholders throughout, articulating important financial issues and proposing appropriate solutions.
  • Consolidate the overall budget for UNOPS, guiding and influencing organizational decision making to focus available resources on the most critical strategic priorities.
  • Monitor, evaluate and communicate budgetary performance through quarterly reporting to the Executive Office, and through the interim or mid-year review process.
  • Provide oversight of UNOPS financial accounting and reporting activities, including annual budget development and implementation.
  • Ensure statutory financial statements are accurate and prepared in compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
  • Endorse all financial reports submitted to senior management, including reports submitted to legislative bodies and for certification by the United Nations Board of Auditors, in compliance with all applicable financial regulations, rules, procedures and accounting standards.
  • Drive improvements to the organisation’s overall financial system and to ensure that the maximum benefit of management information is obtained.
  • Knowledge management and innovation
  • Lead the development and introduction of innovation to ensure UNOPS is continually incorporating best practices approaches in the delivery of project services.
  • Ensure the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.
  • Establish priorities, in consultation with the Executive Director, for targeted investments in growth and innovation and as a member of the UNOPS global management team, contribute to identification and implementation of innovation and continuous improvement in support of organisational excellence and world-class performance.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • A Master’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration, or other related financial field is required.
  • A professional qualification such as CA or CPA is an asset.


  • A minimum of 10 years of experience with an exceptional track record of progressively responsible leadership experience in financial management and accounting.
  • Experience in partnering with an executive team, C-level, is required
  • Previous experience as a CFO of a large organisation, leading strategic risk management and investment strategies is highly desirable.
  • Strong commercial acumen derived through private sector experience would also be an advantage.
  • Experience in ICT strategy management would also be an advantage.
  • Knowledge of IPSAS, IFRS or GAAP would be an asset.

Language requirements

  • Full working knowledge of English.
  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.

About the Organization

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

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