Finance Manager, CAR

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 27 July 2018

Job Description

Job Summary:

The Finance Manager is responsible for the overall leadership of the CP’s Finance Department. As a member of the country program’s leadership team, s/he is responsible for ensuring the robustness of the CP’s financial and grants management systems and processes. S/he is in charge of financial reporting, financial grant management and compliance, communication, capacity building of finance, compliance and program staff as well as capacity strengthening of sub-recipients in the area of financial management. The Manager designs, improves and maintains effective financial systems and processes. In line with CRS’ strategic priority to reinforce an organizational culture of high performance and accountability, s/he works with CP management to ensure that the country program maintains a high level of resource stewardship and strict financial accountability.


The Finance Manager serves as the principal advisor to the CP leadership on all matters relating to financial management. S/he plays a leadership role in shaping the country program’s processes and practices in the area of financial and grants management. The FM prepares financial information and interprets results to promote stewardship and manage risks. S/he stays abreast of changes in the financial operating environment and promotes policies and processes to ensure the country program adapts to these changes. S/he strives to enhance collaboration between Finance, Programming, and other departments. S/he ensures the Finance team consistently delivers a high standard of customer service. As a change agent, s/he champions, supports and oversees the implementation of new financial strategy, processes, tools, policies and procedures.

Specific Responsibilities:

Financial Management and Analysis

  • Ensure that the country program’s financial accounting environment is in compliance with CRS’ policies and procedures, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), donors’ rules and regulations and legal requirements.
  • Ensure the overall accuracy of financial information recorded in the Country Program’s general ledger and reflected on the country program’s trial balance and other financial reports submitted to HQ, donors and other stakeholders.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of robust local financial systems and processes (e.g cash management, cash for work payment methods, electronic payments) as appropriate.
  • Ensure that all assets including cash, investments, inventories, accounts receivable and fixed assets are accurately reflected on the trial balance.
  • Oversee the execution and timely posting of all financial transactions, including intra-agency and suspense transactions.
  • Proactively develop financial forecast analysis to assist in areas such as management of currency risk and cost allocation rates.
  • Oversee monthly analysis of the country program’s trial balance and other financial reports. Such reports include but are not limited to budget comparison reports, aging reports, grant liability reports, efficiency reports and currency exposure reports.
  • Lead the process of analysis and interpretation of financial reports to ensure that accurate financial data is provided to budget managers to inform decision making.
  • Oversee the reconciliation of fixed assets’ physical counts with SunSystems records.
  • Ensure financial records and transactions, including those for charges received via the Intra-Agency process, are adequately supported as per CRS’ Documentation Policy and Document Retention Policy with due consideration of local laws and donors’ documentation requirements.

Planning & Budget Administration

  • In close collaboration with the Head of Programming, Country Manager and other senior managers, leads the preparation and submission of the Annual Program Plan (APP) and the Quarterly Forecast updates. As such, the Finance Manager is the focal point for eBudget maintenance and management at the CP level.
  • Ensure that the country program’s board approved budgets and subsequent amendments are correctly recorded into SunSystems. Ensure budget amendment processes are in accordance with CRS’ policies and procedures.
  • Support Program Managers in developing budgets for new programs/projects and revisions of existing projects. Ensure that reasonable estimates of direct cost and shared direct cost are used in budgets, based on historical data and current market conditions. In addition, s/he ensures that accurate indirect cost and support services rates are used in accordance with policies and guidelines.
  • Provide the Senior Management Team and Program Managers with regular and timely budget comparison reports. Work closely with the CM, Head of Programming, and budget managers to provide analyses and action plans that address significant variances between approved budgets and actual expenses.


  • Analyze and review quarterly cash forecasts submitted to HQ, to ensure efficient management of cash flows. In addition, ensure that cash forecasts submitted to donors are accurate and based on proper cash flow planning.
  • Ensure availability of sufficient, but not excessive, cash in the CP’s operating account, by establishing cash balance monitoring systems to trigger timely accounts’ replenishments.
  • Ensure bank accounts are managed in accordance with finance and treasury policies. Coordinate the opening and closure of bank accounts and maintain an accurate list of bank signatories. In addition, keep HQ/Treasury informed of changes in bank signatories.
  • Ensure that monthly bank reconciliations are performed in accordance with the Bank Reconciliation Procedure for all bank accounts and approved bank reconciliation forms are submitted to HQ/Finance on timely basis.
  • Monitor currency exchange rates and alert management when/if unusual or unexpected changes occur. Institute measures to mitigate unfavorable foreign currency exchange exposure.
  • Promote efficient and innovative solutions to cash management based on current trends. Such solutions might include electronic banking and mobile banking, when feasible and appropriate. S/he designs and implements internal controls adapted to such innovative solutions.

Subrecipients’ financial management and Capacity Building

  • Build and strengthen the capacity of subrecipients in the area of financial management. Plan and organize regular trainings and other capacity building initiatives such as exchange visits to ensure that subrecipients acquire and maintain the skills required to manage financial resources provided by CRS and other donors.
  • Assess and regularly monitor subrecipients’ ability to safeguard financial resources entrusted to them. In addition, assess and monitor their ability to accurately record and post all financial transactions. Work closely with subrecipients to ensure that they design and implement effective internal control improvement plans.
  • Ensure donors’ requirements are included in subrecipients’ agreements, and systems are in place to promote compliance.
  • Maintain good working relationships with subrecipients based on mutual respect and effective communication and work closely with CM, Head of Programming, and Program Managers to ensure coordinated and consistent partners strengthening efforts.
  • Ensure subrecipient advances and liquidations are managed in accordance with the Subrecipient Financial Management Policy and the terms of the related subrecipient agreements.


  • Oversee the month-end financial closure process and coordinate the timely submission of monthly financial reports to CRS/HQ and to the region.
  • Ensure timely dissemination of monthly financial management reports based on the country program’s protocols. Such reports include but are not limited to budget comparison reports, aging reports, grant liability reports, efficiency reports and currency exposure reports.
  • Supervise the preparation and submission of financial reports to HQ, donors and local government entities based on CRS’ policies, local laws and donors’ requirements. When required, provide background information on the nature of costs to donors and other stakeholders.
  • Oversee timely and accurate financial year-end closure and submission of year-end reports.

Grant and Contract Management

  • Monitor grant agreements and contracts to ensure spending is within obligated budgets and the approved project periods; communicate with HQ/ Finance when new agreements are signed or existing agreements are modified.
  • Review and understand the financial sections of all agreements with donors to ensure financial terms are reasonable, practical, do not contradict CRS’ policies and procedures and are in CRS’ favor when possible. Proactively set up systems that enable CRS to respect the agreements’ financial terms and requirements, such as special reports, supporting documents and justification of cost.
  • Coordinate the submission of monthly, quarterly and final financial reports to donors in accordance with donors’ regulations or as stated in agreements and CRS’ Grant Reporting Policy. In addition, when required, ensure supporting documents are accurate, financial reports tie to the general ledger and the cost can logically and accurately be explained to donors.
  • Ensure grants are set up correctly and timely in CRS’ financial systems. Analyze revenue recognition transactions to ensure the correct currency codes, indirect cost recovery rates, and grant liability accounts are used. Proactively resolve any irregularities.
  • Ensure grant liability balances are analyzed and reconciled on a regular basis. Liaise with Program Managers and/or Chiefs of Party and ensure that cash due from donors is collected in accordance with CRS policies and donors’ terms and conditions.
  • Lead the ongoing financial management of grants and related cost-shares through timely communication with program managers, to ensure budgets are not overspent or significantly under-spent.
  • Lead the timely and complete closure of all expired grants and cost shares in conjunction with HQ/Finance.
  • Ensure that all budget management tools (SunSystems “C” ledger, commitment ledger, etc.) are used effectively to enhance grants’ management.

Risk Management and Compliance

  • Ensure adherence to the Agency’s financial policies and procedures and compliance with all donors’ financial requirements.
  • Ensure internal control systems are in place and followed by all Finance Department staff and all other applicable CRS employees. Make certain that tools such as review checklists and process flow charts are made available to and consistently used by all appropriate staff.
  • In close collaboration with the Internal Auditor, the CM and other managers, conduct and document internal control assessments annually and develop action plans to address weaknesses within a reasonable time, using the Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ).
  • Liaise with the CM and ensure that authorization charts for commitments and payments are up to date and are consistently used as reference to verify the proper approval of transaction documents.
  • Ensure that there is an adequate segregation of duties among cash receipt, cash disbursement, bank reconciliation and SunSystems maintenance functions.
  • Actively engage with internal and external audit teams and ensure findings related to financial management are closed within the prescribed deadlines.
  • Understand and keep abreast of changes in the local legal environment and ensure that CRS adheres to local laws that pertain to taxation and other areas of financial management.
  • Ensure the accuracy and timeliness of recording of risk accruals and reserves.
  • Promptly apprise the Senior Management Team of any known or suspected instances of fraud or of ethical violations.

Finance Personnel Management and Overall Capacity Strengthening

  • Oversee the recruitment, training and development of a competent pool of finance staff that can effectively discharge the mandate of finance function.
  • Supervise, mentor, coach finance staff. In addition, design and implement succession plans for finance staff.
  • Oversee the orientation of accounting staff and project managers in relevant financial management practices, CRS policies and procedures and donors’ financial requirements.
  • Encourage teamwork and facilitate job enrichment to involve team members in activities beyond their defined job descriptions. Ensure effective delegation of authority and staff capacity building within the Finance Department.
  • Ensure that job descriptions for Finance employees are up to date. In addition, ensure that performance and development plans are prepared each year. Complete annual performance appraisals for supervised staff. Make these documents a useful tool for employees to maintain and improve their performance.

Representation and Confidentiality

  • Attend and actively participate during management meetings.
  • Act as primary liaison with all financial institutions. Where possible, and in close collaboration with the CM, negotiate premium customer services for CRS. Using CRS’ annual bank relationship scorecard, ensure that banks provide financial services that meet or exceed the industry standards.
  • Keep all documents and information related to CRS’ program activities, personnel and development plans confidential.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS staff):

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Internal Key Working Relationships:

Country Manager, Head of Programming, Operations team and Program Managers, HQ Finance, DRD for Management Quality, RTA RCM, RFO, Internal Auditors.

External Key Working Relationships:

Banking Institutions, Government Entities, Donors, Subrecipients, Suppliers and External Auditors

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Strong leadership, management, and analytical skills.
  • Strong customer service orientation and effective communication skills (good listener, positive, supportive, clear, constructive, and accessible) both written and verbal.
  • Knowledge of English is required.
  • Excellent skills in Excel required. Knowledge of other application software, such as Word, Visio and PowerPoint highly desired.
  • Strong planning and organizational skills.
  • Ability to prepare training materials and to present training materials.
  • Ability to learn fast and adapt quickly to change.
  • Willingness to work the hours needed to meet deadlines, and work well under pressure.
  • Desire to work in a collaborative and proactive team environment, but able to work independently.


  • B.A. degree in Accounting, Finance, Economics, Business Administration with courses in accounting, or a qualification in accounting (CPA/ACCA or equivalent). MBA or Master’s degree in related field with a focus on Accounting preferred. A professional certification in Accounting or a related field highly preferred.
  • Minimum of five years experience in a similar position, preferably with an International NGO.
  • Additional education may substitute for some experience.
  • Budgeting and budget management experience required.
  • Knowledge of SunSystems financial accounting package or similar financial reporting software highly desired.
  • Proven ability to analyze reports or issues and to provide appropriate recommendations required.
  • Availability to perform work assignments out of the country required.
  • Sound knowledge of local law in the areas of taxation and local regulatory reporting obligations is required
  • Strong knowledge of effective management practices desired
  • Knowledge of the relevant public donors’ regulations will be highly desired.


This JD is not an exhaustive list of the responsibilities of the position, and should the program transition into emergency response mode this position will include additional responsibilities as appropriate

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

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