Project / Grant Accountant at Catholic Relief Services (CRS)


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work are accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Since April 2019, CRS’ Nigeria Country Program is implementing a 42-month Phase I of a Germany government project entitled, “Stabilization and Reconciliation in the Lake Chad Region (STaR)” in the North-East of Nigeria. Through programming in agriculture & livelihoods, social cohesion, community infrastructure and local governance, the project is intended to contribute to the stabilization and reconciliation in the most affected regions of the Lake Chad Basin namely Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in Nigeria, Diffa in Niger and the Lake Region in Chad. CRS Nigeria is also anticipating a 33-months STaR phase II starting in Nigeria in January 2022 to be implemented in Adamawa state only. The STaR Phase II project is implemented in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Project / Grant Accountant

Location: Yola, Adamawa
Employment Type: Full-time

Job Summary

  • The Grant Accountant, under the direct supervision of the STaR Program Manager II and working in close collaboration with the Award management Officer and Head of Finance and Grants Management, will coordinate and contribute to the implementation of the KfW-funded project’s policies and procedures in compliance with CRS’ established accounting standards, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), donors’ rules and regulations, and legal requirements to support high-quality programs serving the poor and vulnerable.
  • The Project Accountant will perform sub-awardee/partner risk assessment and capacity building visits and manage partner financial management related to the project(s).
  • This position is overall in charge of financial management on the STaR project in Nigeria.

Roles and Key Responsibilities
Grants management and compliance:

  • Serve as the point of contact for project grant management and compliance issues with sub-grantees
  • Support timely agreement/contract development/review/approval, both at the level of CRS and partners, ensuring adherence to both internal CRS and donor requirements.
  • Set and monitor sound accounting and financial reporting procedures for project’s subrecipients and partners following established standards.
  • Ensure setup and maintenance of all data required for processing financial transactions for assigned project accounts in the CRS financial management system.
  • Review and validate supporting documentation before processing of financial transactions to ensure all required documents are accurate and complete and authorizations are in place.
  • Record financial transactions following appropriate authorizations.
  • Review and analyze various accounts to detect irregularities.
  • Advise on corrective actions and prepare correcting entries and adjustments, as necessary.
  • Assess, evaluate and monitor subrecipient financial management processes in accordance with policy and strengthen capacity of partner in financial accounting and transactions.
  • Monitor disbursement/receipt schedules, alert relevant project staff of due payments/liquidations, and maintain appropriate communication and follow-up to facilitate timeliness of financial resource management and compliance with set deadlines.
  • Prepare various periodic and ad hoc financial reports and perform variance analysis to assist project staff with decision-making.
  • Assist with budget maintenance for proper management of financial resources.
  • Provide information to project staff, subrecipients, and partners on financial accounting policies and procedural compliance issues and deliver training and other capacity building activities.
  • Perform assigned treasury project (cash payment/receipt, cash forecast, etc.) duties, as long as segregation of duties is ensured.
  • Assist in the Preparation of Detailed Project Budget vs. Actual Comparison Report, including Sub-Recipients Expenditures for Program and Management Review on monthly basis.
  • Review of commitment balance on a monthly basis with appropriate follow-ups.
  • Periodic analysis of STaR Project Nigeria expenses with a view to ensuring that spendings are on track;
  • Monitoring STaR Nigeria budget by ensuring that expenses charged to the project are related to the project.
  • Managing STaR project bank accounts to ensure that all expenses except centrally funded costs are paid from the project’s segregated bank account.
  • Liaising with the Award Management Officer and Country Program Finance to ensure that all interfund balances are promptly settled.

Internal control assessment:

  • Ensure adherence to record keeping as per donor and CRS Internal requirements.
  • Monitor application and address gaps as needed.
  • Ensure timely closure of audit recommendations related to donor compliance; participate in preparation, implementation and monitoring of related action plans.
  • Lead site visits to partners to assess adequacy of internal controls, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and partner policies and procedures.
  • Report findings to program management including proposed follow-up with sub-grantees based on issues surfaced.
  • Advise on GAAP and basic accounting records to be maintained by sub-grantees.
  • Perform ongoing monitoring and assessment of partner capacity to accurately record and post all transactions.
  • Ensure adequate response and monitoring to implement recommendations of all financial audits and partner capacity assessments
  • Lead and coordinate the implementation of the Sub-recipient Financial Management policy. Ensure all Partners are effectively assessed; categorized and all Internal Control Improvement Plans are fully implemented.
  • Lead and coordinate the update of award data in Gateway for the STaR project.
  • Organize external firm audits in accordance with grant requirements and in collaboration with the Program Manager, Award management officer and Procurement Officer
  • Provide guidance and support for the timely assessment of partner financial management capacity and ability to adhere to any specific donor requirements.
  • Develop related action plan with program and finance staff to address any capacity/system gaps.
  • Ensure that partners have systems of effort reporting and bidding process for procurements in collaboration with the procurement officer.
  • Monitor implementation of action/corrective action plans relative to both internal and external audits in the grants management area.

Financial management and analysis:

  • Support STaR Program manager II and Awards Management Officer in the preparation of donor financial reports and invoices and facilitate Finance review prior to submission.
  • Review budget comparison reports to ensure adherence to restrictions on line item flexibility and stated restrictions on accepted costs.
  • Support follow up actions to resolve any identified problems.
  • Review and assess Cost Allocation (CA) impact on budget on a regular basis, promptly flag any significant issue to the attention of the PM and Award Management Officer.
  • Design effective budget monitoring tools, generate and review monthly reporting and coordinate regular budget management meetings with the PM, Award management Officer and Head of Finance to review issues and trends identified.
  • Monitor the budgets and expenses at least on a monthly basis and ensure that the aggregate budget for CRS and local partners is maintained accurately at the donor approved levels throughout the year and commitments to local partners do not exceed the available budget.
  • Ensure timely receipt and review of monthly expenditure reports from partner organizations.
  • Approve local partner budget updates and liquidation reports for the CRS finance team to process.
  • Ensure documentation of partner liquidation reviews outlining justification of all rejected expenses and detailing improvements required.
  • Design and generate partner outstanding advance aging reporting and follow up with partners and project team to ensure timely liquidation.
  • Verify estimates of partner cash needs and in collaboration and coordination with Program/Project Managers, develop quarterly cash forecast to ensure sufficient cash flow and timely disbursement to support activity implementation.
  • Ensure quarterly cash forecast is submitted to Finance no later than 10th each month
  • Support Budget Manager in monthly/quarterly Expenditure Forecast in ePBCS
  • Ensure that partners keep supporting documents for all financial transactions and ledgers for Fixed Assets, Purchase Requisitions, Cash Receipts and Disbursement.
  • With the Head of Finance and Grants Management, support the development and review of budget for new proposals and ensure accuracy of direct and allocated direct charges along with the proposal.

Capacity Building:

  • Through formal training, on the job support and monitoring, build the capacity of CRS and partner staff in grants/contract compliance.
  • Prepare and implement training and technical assistance as needed to address capacity needs and reinforce grant management, e.g., financial management, budget analysis, policies and procedures, GAAP and basic accounting, etc. …
  • Conduct staff orientation in donor and CRS financial management policies, procedures and standards in collaboration and coordination with the Head of Finance and Grants.
  • Lead training to Program/Project Manager and to Partners on budgeting and in coordination and collaboration with Program/Project Managers, provide technical support to finalize Partners’ annual budgets.
  • Coordinate planning and implementation of institutional capacity assessment and periodic review of potential new partner organizations.
  • Conduct and coordinate with Program Manager, monitoring visits to partner organizations to assess adequacy of internal controls and to provide onsite mentoring and technical assistance. Detail site findings and ensure implementation of recommendations /corrective action plan and follow-up requirements.
  • Actively participate in program meetings as appropriate to effectively plan and collectively coordinate financial and programmatic activities in conjunction with partner capacity building initiatives.

Qualifications
Basic Qualifications (BQs):

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Business Administration or Accounting, required.
  • Professional qualification in accounting (ACCA, CPA, ACA or equivalent), preferred.
  • Three-five years relevant work experience w/ NGO. Very strong finance background.
  • Experience managing USG and/or other donor grant awards. Familiarity with German Government (KFW, BMZ, GFFO) financial regulations, policies and practices is an added advantage.
  • Auditing experience, a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability in building capacity and providing training and technical assistance, and experience working with church partners.
  • Good command of spoken and written English.
  • Proficient in MS Office (Word, Excel and other appropriate software)
  • Self-guided, strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure.
  • Excellent communication, coaching and facilitation skills.
  • Required Languages: English
  • Travel: The position is based in Yola, Adamawa State, requiring travel 25% of the time on average to partner offices, field locations, and Abuja where the Country Office is located.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (SKAs):

  • Good time management skills with ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented
  • Excellent organization, planning and analytical skills; detail oriented
  • Excellent communication, writing and interpersonal skills, with demonstrated strength in relationship management
  • Experience in group development strengthening.
  • Ability and desire to work well with diverse employees and customers in a cooperative and friendly manner
  • Demonstrated progression in career with increasing responsibilities.

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.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship.

Application Closing Date
9th November, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Note

  • Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
  • Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
  • All positions requiring residence or frequent travel outside their home country must undergo and clear a pre-employment medical examination.
  • CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people – especially children and vulnerable adults – to live free from abuse and harm.
  • CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Female applicants are encouraged to apply.