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Head of Finance, Geneva



Geneva, Switzerland 

Job Category:

Accountancy, Finance, Government/Non-Profit

Job Views:




Expiry Date:


Job Description:

Head of Finance
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is a non-governmental organisation established in 1915, working worldwide for peace and security (www.wilpf.org for more information). WILPF International Secretariat has international offices in Geneva, New York City and London with an annual budget of approximatively CHF 7 million.
Job Purpose
The Finance Manager (FM)’s primary responsibility as the Head of Finance is to maintain the financial management of the organisation. The FM maintains the organisation budget, manages accounting and audits, oversees grants management and reporting, and supervises the finance team of 4 members. The FM has responsibility for financial strategy and management. The FM is the highest compliance authority of the International Secretariat for the Geneva office, in terms of financial regulations, and is part of senior management. As a priority project in 2021, the FM will have responsibility to procure and implement a new cloud-based Accounting System. 
Change Management 
  1. Procure and implement a new cloud-based Accounting System, including overall management of the process and delegating tasks including assessment of needs, design of transfer process, organise adaptation framework, design and implement training for staff, and conduct regular reviews.  (This is a 2021 priority project, temporary in nature);
  2. Revise, develop and implement Financial Manual, Policies and Systems.
Financial strategy and management
  1. Develop and analyse information to assess the current and future financial status of the organisation;
  2. Develop financial management mechanisms that minimize financial risk;
  3. Develop and implement improvements to the reporting system, accounting practices and internal processes and to maintain the financial health of the organisation and ensure compliance;
  4. Manage organisational cash flow and forecasting;
  5. Administer the payment process and authorise expenses to provide reasonable control.
  1. Develop the annual organisational budget in consultation with the programme directors and WILPF NY office;
  2. Administer and review all financial plans and budgets, monitor progress and changes, and produce short-term projections;
  3. Produce accurate and timely financial reports, collate financial reporting materials for the various bodies of the organisation and several donors.
Grants Financial Management
  1. Supervise financial management of grants;
  2. Administer monitoring and reporting to donors;
  3. Provide financial planning & forecasting, fundraising support;
  4. Oversee capacity support to staff and sub-grantees.
Internal Control/Auditing
  1. Maintain an effective internal control environment. Improve the overall financial policy, procedure manual, for adequate financial controls to mitigate the risks;
  2. Implement the internal controls. Ensure that applicable laws, regulations and donor requirements or restrictions are complied with; manage and guide employees to ensure appropriate financial processes are being used; 
  3. Oversee financial review and assessment regarding funds forwarded to partners;
  4. Review outgoing partner and section contracts (sub-grants);
  5. Coordinate and lead the annual audit process liaising with the auditor, programmes and donors;
  6. Lead project and grant audits liaising with the auditor, programmes and donors.
  1. Maintain records of all financial transactions;
  2. Oversee bookkeeping for the Geneva office transactions;
  3. Oversee project/programme and grants accounting;
  4. Oversee monthly reconciliations and accounts reconciliations;
  5. Manage fixed assets for the purposes of financial accounting and safeguard through the maintenance of the Assets Register;
  6. Lead the preparation of yearly financial statements, work in close collaboration with CPA firm;
  7. Fulfils relevant taxation obligations of the organisation.
  1. Work with the Standing Finance Committee (member of the SFC);
  2. Work with the Standing Committee of Risk Management (member of the SCRM);
  3. Work with the investment committee (member).
Interdependences and Reporting
  • FM reports to the Secretary General;
  • FM supervises the Grant and Finance Coordinators,  Finance Associates, part time book-keepers and other Financial consultants;
  • FM works closely with the International Treasurer, the International Office Manager,  Director of Global Programmes and programmes staff and the UNO Office Manager. 

Job Requirements:

 Knowledge, Skills and Competencies
  • Financial and staff management and planning skills;
  • Knowledge of budgeting and forecasting;
  • Knowledge of Swiss GAAP accounting principles and international accounting standards;
  • Working knowledge of Swiss legislation and regulations, and knowledge of US financial legislation and regulations is a plus;
  • Ability to interpret financial information to programmatic colleagues;
  • Proven financial report drafting ability;
  • Strong analytical skills, with the ability to communicate arguments clearly, logically and effectively;
  • Ability to set priorities, to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, working knowledge of French desirable;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to form and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Keen interest in WILPF‘s work;
  • Professionalism, commitment, and integrity. 
Education and Experience
  • University degree in finance/accounting, business administration, public administration or equivalent;
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in a similar position;
  • Previous relevant experience in NGOs or international organisations;
  • Experience in grant and team management;
  • Experience in applying and improving internal controls and processes;
  • Experience in committee work (preferably as a member of an oversight committee) is a plus. 
Terms: Preferably full time position, part time negotiable.
Based in: For the first year the position shall be based in Geneva, Switzerland. After the cloud-based systems are implemented and if requested by the employee, there is the possibility to relocate the position, with travel to Geneva as required. This will then be done in agreement between WILPF and the employee.
Gross annual salary: range of 90’000 CHF (see note below)
Note: WILPF is currently conducting an Human Resources assessment expected to be completed mid-2021, aiming to review the current design and structure of WILPF Secretariat’s positions, aligning it with a revision of the remuneration and compensation package. The outcomes of this assessment could therefore impact the specificities of this position. 
Start date: March 2021 ideally.
Other: Candidates interested in job sharing are also encouraged to apply as we envisage that this position could be split between the Financial Accounting and the Grants Management components.
Applications process:
Please submit your CV and cover letter to jobs@wilpf.org with “Application for Head of Finance position” in the subject for consideration.
Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

Employment Type:

Full time, Part time
Company Info
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Genève, Switzerland
Web Site: wilpf.org
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