Head of Finance at icipe — African Insect Science for Food and Health

On Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Ref. No. IRS/128/072015)

icipe — African Insect Science for Food and Health is a world-class research centre with a mission to alleviate poverty by ensuring food security, improving health, protecting the environment and building the capacity of researchers and communities across the developing world through the application of insect sciences. 

Employing more than 500 national and international staff, icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with outposts in Ethiopia and on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. 
icipe has a proud reputation and history of delivering world-quality science that has made crucial contributions to African food and health policy, delivered development outcomes to rural communities and has been at the forefront of building Africa’s biological research capacity. 
The Centre’s research activities span the African continent with partnerships linking research organisations, not only across Africa, but also the globe. In addition, more than 100 graduate students and a number of postdoctoral fellows contribute to icipe’s research portfolio annually.

icipe is seeking to appoint an outstanding, dynamic and self-motivated individual of impeccable integrity to lead the Finance Unit. The selected candidate will be based at icipe’s Nairobi campus. 

Job Description: The Head of Finance (HoF) will have primary day-to-day responsibility at the Centre to ensure the existence and adherence to fundamental principles of financial management—financial accountability, internal controls, recordkeeping, compliances, financial integrity, planning, budgeting, cash-flow management and financial reporting. 

The HoF will support planning, monitoring and decision making processes to achieve best value in utilising resources, and providing quality information, financial analysis, training and professional advice.

Primary Responsibilities
  • First, provide overall supervision of the processes of recording, classifying and summarising financial transactions and interpreting the results, ensuring that all transactions of the Centre are recorded, and that there is easily accessible supporting original documentation for all the transactions. Second, provide necessary approvals for transactions and processes within set policies. Third, provide custodianship to all financial policies and procedures.
  • Review and provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial trends and forecasts, including identifying fixed costs, cost centres and return on investment.
  • Continuous development and improvement of all supporting financial and management information systems for the Centre, ERP systems, project costing, and mapping of accounts codes and analysis codes.
  • Ensure that effective internal controls are in place to safeguard financial assets of the Centre, and ensure records systems are maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards.
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable financial regulatory laws and rules for financial reporting in all jurisdictions where the Centre operates.
  • Oversee the coordination and activities of independent external auditors for the Centre and project audits, ensuring that all compliance issues are met and that the preparation of annual financial statements is in accordance with the Centre’s standards and international standards.
  • Oversee the preparation of periodic financial statements, financial management reports, cash flows, special analyses, and information reports for use by the Centre’s Senior Management Committee (SMC) and Governing Council Members. Equally important, ensure that the finance unit is capable of meeting all financial reporting requirements—statutory, management and contractual—on a timely basis.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with programme/project managers, identify their needs, and deliver enhanced business solutions. In the same way, provide support to other business support units in financial related matters. Additionally, provide recommendations to strategically enhance financial performance and business opportunities. Finally, analyse costs and expenses and guide programme/project managers, as well as analyse financial statements to pinpoint trends and potential problem areas.
  • Analyse cash flow, monitor banking activities, manage the investment of cash deposits in line with set policy, as well as other short and long-term investments to ensure adequate cash flow to meet the Centre’s needs.
  • Establish and implement short and long-range goals, objectives, policies, and operating procedures for the Finance Unit.
  • Oversee financial management of all stations, including the development of appropriate financial and budget  policies and procedures that incorporate all regulatory requirements.
  • Evaluate and advise the SMC on the impact of new programme/strategies and regulatory changes.
Additional Responsibilities
  • Represent the Centre externally to government and funding agencies.
  • Serve on tender, planning and policy-making committees.
  • Recruit, train, supervise, and evaluate Finance Unit staff.
  • Lead in the implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) process.
Requirements / Qualifications
  • A master’s degree in finance or accounting.
  • Ten (10) years of experience in a senior-level finance and accounting position.
  • Professional accounting qualification – CPA, ACCA, CA, or similar accreditation.
Core Competencies
  • Knowledge of contracting, negotiating, and change management.
  • Knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting, and cost control principles, including international standards.
  • Solid project cost accounting and project management skills.
  • Ability to analyse financial data and prepare financial reports, statements, and projections.
  • Ability to participate in, and facilitate, group meetings.
Other desirable attributes
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to communicate and manage at all levels of the Centre, particularly with staff at all locations.
  • Strong problem solving skills, and the ability to provide sound advice based on accurate and timely analyses.
  • High level of integrity and dependability, with a strong sense of timeliness and results orientation.
  • A high level of professional written and verbal communication.
  • Ability to motivate teams to produce quality materials within tight timeframes, and simultaneously manage several projects/tasks.
Reporting: This position reports to the Director of Finance & Administration (DFA).
The selected candidate should be available to start as soon as possible.

How to Apply
Applications will be accepted up to 21st August 2015, or until the position is filled, whichever is earlier.
Interested applicants should submit: 
(a) a confidential cover letter, 
(b) detailed CV with names and addresses of 3 referees (including e-mail addresses, fax numbers), and 
(c) a statement of suitability.

Candidates are required to apply online through: http://recruit.icipe.org
This is a two-year contract, renewable after successfully completing a six-month probation period of the first contract. 
A competitive and generous compensation package, including children education allowance up to university first degree, health and life insurance, generous pension, housing and transport allowances, duty free privileges, home leave and relocation allowances, and much more, will be offered to the right candidate. 
Only shortlisted candidates will be acknowledged.
icipe is an Equal Opportunity Employer
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