Country Finance Manager at Self Help Africa (SHA)

Country Finance Manager
About Self Help Africa

Self Help Africa (SHA) is an international development organisation headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and dedicated to the vision of ‘Sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives for all in a changing climate’. We have almost 50 years of experience working in Africa, including over 20 years in Nigeria (as United Purpose and Concern Universal).
In 2021, Self Help Africa merged with United Purpose (UP), doubling our size. The organisation now works in 17 programme countries. 15 of these are in sub-Saharan Africa while subsidiary organisations, ‘Self Help Brazil’ and ‘Self Help Bangladesh’, have been created for our programmes in the two countries where we are working outside of Africa.
In early 2023, we launched a new five-year organisation strategy, which defines shared mission as the alleviation of hunger, poverty, social inequality and the impact of climate change through community-led, market-based and enterprise-focused approaches, so that people can have access to nutritious food, clean water, decent employment and incomes, while sustaining natural resources.
Our wider organisation also includes social enterprise subsidiaries: Partner Africa, which provides ethical auditing and consultancy services, TruTrade, an innovative trading platform in East Africa, and CUMO, Malawi’s largest micro-finance provider.
Our three core values are:

Impact: We are accountable, ambitious and committed to systemic change.
▪ Innovation: We are agile, creative and enterprising in an ever-changing world.
▪ Community: We are inclusive, honest and have integrity in our relationships.
To achieve our organisational mission, we work across numerous sectors, such as Agriculture, Climate & Environment, Enterprise, Energy, Nutrition, and WASH.


Job Purpose:    

The Country Finance Manager under the supervision of the Country Director and Global Programme Finance team, will provide oversight and leadership for the efficient and effective operations of the finance and compliance functions of the Nigeria Country Office programmes.  S/he will be responsible for all financial oversight in the country programmes, including accounting, payments and banking, budgeting, financial reporting, grant financial management and compliance, while ensuring the technical capacity building of the finance and programmes teams.

The role will be directly responsible for the implementation and overall management of financial systems and controls, accountable for assessing, monitoring and mitigating both internal and external risks across the Country Programme and providing effective guidance for the quality of management oversight on key functions within the Country Programme. These include day to day financial management (including monitoring and review of transaction recording/posting to accounting software and adhere to internal controls, financial reporting (internal/external), cash/bank management, budget administration, staff capacity building and any other related matters in country.
The post holder will also develop high quality approaches and systems, work closely with programme leads and other country management staff to ensure effective monitoring and response to external risks associated with compliance with policy and regulations and statutory requirements and collaborate with teams across the country programmes and at the Global level.

The Country Finance Manager is a key part of the country management team of the Country Programme and under the overall leadership of the Country Director plays a key role in the overall achievement of the country programme goals. At country level, the role will liaise with and provide direct support to Country Management Team (CMT), budget holders, procurement team, auditors, and partners.


Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership, Project Accounting and Cash flow Management:
▪ Develop the overall strategic plan and Standard of Operations for the country finance function, in collaboration with the Country Management and Global Finance teams.
▪Lead the implementation of SHA’s financial procedures in-country to ensure monthly standard accounting submissions from the respective field offices, including account reconciliations, financial analysis of month end transactions by award for accurate coding, as well as other financial analysis and information in a timely and accurate manner.
▪ Provide monthly management reports to the Country Director, Global Finance Office, Program Managers and the senior management teams including expenditures by fund/project, income and expenditure account, cost analysis reports, and other financial information, in a timely and accurate manner.
▪ Monitor and analyse grant budgets and spending, and in coordination with program/project managers, initiate and prepare required budget realignments.
▪ In conjunction with country office Programme Management, ensure effective management of Country office and project budgets – identify potential under or over-spends and liaise with country office Programme Management/Project Managers, Country Director, global office, and donors as appropriate.
▪ Preparation of the Country Programme annual budgets (in liaison with country office programme management and Country Director) for submission to global office/donors.
▪ Support in developing and appraising financial aspects of project proposals for submission to global office and donors.
▪ Oversee the preparation of and review accuracy and completeness of donor financial reports – monthly, quarterly, or annually, as required by the donor contracts and guidelines, which agree with the corresponding narrative reports. Submission to the global office for approval along with budget variance analysis and explanations.
▪ Preparation of the year-end audit file and financial statements, arranging and ensuring the timely completion of the year end audit (accounting year end -31 December). Submission to the global office for approval.
▪ Review and approve payment documentation, ensuring amounts are in line with agreed budgets, authority levels, internal control procedures and donor requirements are adhered to, and timely payments are made to suppliers, partners, and beneficiaries.

Compliance and Risk Assessment:
▪ In conjunction with the finance team and country office management, schedule regular monitoring visits to, and internal audit of, local partner organisations, ensuring their financial systems and controls are of an appropriate standard to ensure security and effective management of funds advanced.
▪ Review of monthly payroll to ensure that all relevant personnel information is up to date and local compliance with statutory and other legal requirements. Ensure local compliance with employee tax deductions and that all relevant statutory deductions are employee’s salaries and paid to appropriate authorities.
▪ Be responsible for assessing, monitoring and mitigating both internal and external risks across the Country Programme; and providing effective oversight to the quality of management on key functions within the Country Programme.
▪ Work closely with department leads and other management staff to ensure effective monitoring and response to external risks associated with compliance with policy and regulations, statutory requirements, in collaboration with teams across the country programme and global team.
▪ Ensure that high quality, effective systems are in place to monitor and respond to internal risks, associated with but not limited to: partnerships and local NGO relationships, relationship with public institutions, compliance with SHA policy and regulation, which includes safeguarding, fraud, corruption and conflict of interest.
▪ Provide guidance, training, and consultation on compliance with SHA financial policies and procedures as well as donor compliance requirements to the country team.
▪ Identify efficient and effective solutions to issues while ensuring compliance with SHA policies and donor regulations,
▪ Perform follow-up and resolutions for internal and external audit recommendations to improve or enhance the internal control environment.
▪ Prevent and mitigate potential financial risks of the project. Employ the highest standards of openness, transparency and accountability to ensure good financial management in line with SHA’s zero-tolerance approach to fraud, bribery and corruption.

Partnership Management, Team Management and Skill Sharing:
▪ Work with consortium partnerships and technical staff to organise capacity and risk assessments for partners.
▪ Work in collaboration with operations, finance and programme staff to manage consortium partners.
▪ Liaise with consortium partners for timely submission of accurate financial reports.
▪ Review financial reports submitted by partners and provide immediate feedback as necessary.
▪ Carry out follow up visits to relevant partners in order to develop a capacity building plan with specific action points.
▪ Conduct training for consortium partners finance staff.
▪ Ensure that all partners submit their financial reports in a timely fashion and funds are transferred to partners without delay.
▪ Coordinate financial monitoring and field visits to ensure that SHA requirements are being followed by partners.
▪ Ensure budgets and other operational policy and procedures are respected by partners.
▪ Lead the development and implementation of a training program for programme team to ensure staff development and minimise SHA’s exposure to risk.
▪ Support the development of a capacity building plan for programme finance staff to be capacitated to function effectively.
▪ Oversee training and technical support to the programme, operations and administrative staff for skills improvement in the areas of accounting, reporting and internal control.
▪ Manage programme finance staff activities and schedules to meet the financial reporting requirements and deadlines specified by the Global Head Office and the donor. Lead a diverse team of direct and indirect reports in the field offices and conduct timely performance planning; establish performance expectations with team members, provide regular constructive feedback on team members’ performance and conduct performance reviews in a collaborative manner.
▪ Create a sustainable work environment of mutual respect that attracts motivated, skilled and effective team members and enables them individually and collectively to strive to achieve excellence.
▪ Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.  

Financial Reporting, Internal Controls & Audit management:
▪ Ensure that all policies and procedures follow SHA and donor policies, procedures, and requirements.
▪ Closely monitor all financial activities and keep the management advised of all situations which have the potential for a negative impact on internal controls or financial performance.
▪ Support the annual audit process.
▪ Develop field visit schedules and perform country internal controls assessments, and initiate actions necessary to correct internal control weaknesses.
▪ Maintain current knowledge of national government requirements related to financial matters and ensure compliance with tax regulations and other legal requirements.

Team Management and Safeguarding
▪ Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
▪ Manage the performance of line managed staff through objective setting, regular performance review, managing feedbacks and regularly monitor performance development plans.
▪ Support the continual growth and professional development of all line-managed staff, ensuring that appropriate support and development mechanisms are in place.
▪ Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
▪ Manage any inter-personal conflicts that may arise between different team members.
▪ Demonstrate experience in and commitment to safeguarding, protection, gender mainstreaming and inclusion of vulnerable population including people with disabilities.


Key Relationships:

Internal: Country Director, Global Office Programme Finance Team, Programme, MEAL, Operations, Finance & Compliance and Security teams.External: Consortium partners finance teams, donor etc

Knowledge, Experience and Other Requirements


Education and other qualifications:

▪ A Master’s degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance or related field.
▪ A recognized professional certificate in accounting such as ICAN, ACA, CIMA, CPA, or ACCA.
▪ ICT operation, and proficiency in MS Office. Advanced computer skills, particularly Excel.


▪ At least 8 years operational finance experience, preferably in a mid to large international NGO with 3-4 years management experience including supervisory experience required.
▪ Extensive experience in working with computerized accounting systems and standard spreadsheet.
▪ Strong technical skills and up to date knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, including management of the general ledger, journal entries, payroll, payables and balance sheet.
▪ Experience in the preparation and review of management accounts and the ability to critically analyse a trial balance.
▪ Experience of managing donor funds and contracts, as well as an understanding of donor regulations.
▪ Demonstrated experience and skill with budget preparation and analysis, financial reporting preparation and presentation and the proven ability to translate technical financial data into informative reports.
▪ Experience in the preparation of year-end financial statements and managing annual external audits.
▪ Experience of managing, training and supporting staff.
▪ Experience working with partner organisations, undertaking risk assessments, internal audits and/or assessing internal controls.
▪ Willingness to travel nationally and internationally when required.
▪ Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
▪ Ability to carry out responsibilities independently with minimal support from within the program organisation.
▪ Experience coordinating and leading sub-grant partners and working with multiple partners.
▪ Experience in development of high standard financial reports.
▪ Experience working with culturally diverse teams.


▪ Financial Accounting
▪ Donor Reporting
▪ Expenditure Verification
▪ Project management
▪ Excellent leadership and coordination skills (and ability to coordinate several tasks at once and managing priorities)
▪ Effective communication, problem solving and decision-making skills and diplomacy in communication
▪ Respect for cultural diversity and gender sensitivity
▪ Team leadership and mentoring
▪ Flexible work attitude, proactive and demonstrated creativity
▪ Communication, networking, facilitation and team work.
▪ Organisational development
▪ Reporting and documentation

Language Requirements:
Excellent written and oral proficiency in English language is required and relevant local language competency is an added advantage.  


Application Procedure:  

Fill and send the attached Self Help Africa application form, and send your cover letter and CV in a single document (of not more than 6 pageshere.

Email title must be same as the position you are applying for and the location of the position.

In the cover letter, please ensure to explain the following:

  1. Why you are applying for the position.
  2. How do your skills and experiences meet the job’s specification.
  3. When will you be able to take up the position if successful.


The deadline for this application is 13th February, 2024. You are advised to apply early, as applications will be treated on rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

All candidates offered a job with Self Help Africa will be expected to sign our Safeguarding Policies and Code of Conduct as an appendix to their contract of employment and agree to conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions of these documents.  Specific roles may require Police/DBS/ [relevant police authority] vetting.




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