The Senior Officer is responsible for providing primarily financial support services to Advice for Small Business (ASB) in London in relation to donor-funded programmes, as well as changes to financial policy and practice across multiple countries. The Senior Officer role exists where the structure and size of ASB operations in a region is sufficiently large that more intense financial support to the HQ-based financial management function is appropriate to ensure effective operational delivery, especially in terms of monitoring, reporting, contracts and payments. The Senior Officer will interact extensively with other regional ASB offices on financial matters, especially Finance Officers engaged under each country programme for the respective region within the Senior Officers remit.
ASB helps small and medium-sized businesses to grow and become genuine catalysts for their local economies by providing access to local and international experts. Some clients will benefit from investment, but ASB also strives to create healthier, more innovative and successful businesses. Through its work to improve the quality and availability of local consultancy services, ASB aims to leave behind a network of trained, experienced local consultants, and a thriving community of small and medium-sized businesses willing to pay for advice.
Activities are delivered through two complementary products: Local Consultancy, focused on narrowly-defined projects such as strategy and quality management, carried out by local consultants, and the International Advisory, which draws on the industry expertise of international advisers over a longer period to strengthen the overall management and operations of client businesses.
Each ASB project is funded by donors, including around 20 countries, the European Union and the EBRD itself. ASB clients also make a contribution to the cost, ensuring their full commitment. ASB rigorously monitors and evaluates the impact of its work. Active projects with clients are monitored at regular intervals, and one year after every project, ASB returns to the client to measure impact.
The primary objective of the Senior Finance Officer is to support the HQ-based Finance and Administration team of ASB in relation to the field-based financial, contractual and general administrative aspects of all donor-funded activities undertaken by ASB within the respective region. The Senior Officer will also provide inputs to changes to financial policy and practice in ASB. In addition to the creation of financial allocations and projects in core EBRD systems, as well as arranging contracts, the role will have responsibility for monitoring disbursements, contributing to financial reports and arranging inputs for contract requests. The Senior Officer will interact extensively with colleagues in London and in 26 overseas offices in ASB, as well as colleagues in support departments dealing with financial reporting, contracts and payments.
Accountabilities & Responsibilities
- Monitor use of local ASB bank accounts to ensure that finances are used in accordance with relevant agreements, rules and procedures
- Prepare supporting documentation and standard funding requests in line with individual donor agreements, in order to support the delivery of projects by SBS operational teams.
- Subject to approval of terms of reference and budget, perform administrative tasks required to request new consultancy contracts and amendments to existing contracts, in order that consultants are mobilised to support SBS activities
- Coordinate the orderly closure of financial allocations and contracts when a donor-funded programme comes to an end, so that funds are either disbursed or returned in line with the donor agreement.
- Subject to necessary approvals, review and release payments for processing, including liaison with colleagues, consultants and other stakeholders, so that service providers are paid on time and on completion of agreed deliverables.
- Ensure that offices located in satellite locations have sufficient (not excessive) financial resources for operating expenditures.
- Request replenishments of local bank accounts from ASB London so that sufficient (not excessive) financial resources are available to meet project-related payment needs.
- Help to ensure ASB in London receives accurate and timely Monthly Financial Reports (MFRs), as part of the process by which spending by local ASB offices is reflected in core EBRD systems.
- Keep adequate and well-organised documentation in support of all local payments, in line with EBRD’s duties for prudent management of donor funds.
- Take an active role in supporting the London-based team in relation changes to ASB financial policy and practice in the respective region to ensure that ASB continues to adhere to Value-For-Money principles
- Conduct other ad hoc financial and administrative tasks as defined by management to ensure team’s objectives are met.
Knowledge, Skills, Experience & Qualifications
Knowledge and Experience
- Relevant degree or higher diploma
- Relevant experience in an administrative capacity, preferably gained from a large commercial organisation, financial institution or donor organisation.
- Relevant experience in terms of basic finance or accounting.
- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the EBRD mandate.
- Demonstrable skills related to quantitative and numerical record-keeping and basic analysis.
- Experience with the SAP accounting system preferable, as well as the ability to learn new systems quickly.
- Ability to operate sensitively in a multicultural environment and build effective working relations with internal and external stakeholders clients and colleagues, especially ASB colleagues in 26 countries and other EBRD departments.
- Ability to work well within a team.
- Ability to work to and meet tight deadlines.
- Business / financial analytical skills, with the ability to interpret accounts, understanding of local accounting principles and practice of company financial analysis.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Russian.
- Maintaining excellent relationships across a diverse range of internal (across 26 countries) and external interactions (numerous donor organisations and consultants).
Diversity is one of the Banks core values which are at the heart of everything it does. A diverse workforce with the right knowledge and skills enables connection with our clients, brings pioneering ideas, energy and innovation. The EBRD staff is characterised by its rich diversity of nationalities, cultures and opinions and we aim to sustain and build on this strength. As such, the EBRD seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities and works in an inclusive environment. The EBRD encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of the EBRD member countries to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities.