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East Africa Regional Field Accountant - Short Term

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Due Date: April 3, 2024
East Africa Regional Field Accountant - Short Term

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Introduction

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an integrated set of activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is intended to provide timely, accurate, evidence-based, and transparent food security early warning information and analysis. Created in 1985 in response to famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides global coverage through a mix of presence and remote monitoring. FEWS NET’s work is implemented across several pillars by a team of partners that includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Geological Survey, the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Climate Hazards Center, American Institutes for Research, and Chemonics International (Chemonics). Chemonics houses FEWS NET’s Early Warning Team (EWT), a team charged with integrated emergency food insecurity analysis through a Washington-based technical office and more than 20 FEWS NET offices. 

Based on an in-depth understanding of local livelihoods, the EWT monitors information and data on factors that affect food security, such as weather conditions and climate, crops, pasture, markets and trade, and nutrition. The FEWS NET EWT produces regular reports, including Food Security Outlooks and Outlook Updates, emergency alerts, market and price updates, and global weather hazards analyses. FEWS NET makes reports available at www.fews.net and distributes them globally to governments, relief agencies, and other organizations engaged in humanitarian response and development programs. 

The seventh phase of FEWS NET began in 2019. The work of FEWS NET EWT relies on close collaboration with international, regional, and national partners on food security data and information gathering and analysis. Major activities include joint monitoring and assessments, data exchanges, collaborative analysis and reporting, and technical capacity strengthening. FEWS NET supports local and regional food security networks to contribute to achieving the global objective of food security for all. 

Position Description 

Under the direction of the home-office designated field accounting support team (FAST) manager, the regional field accountant (RFA) will establish and maintain uniformity and accuracy in field accounting procedures and ensure that all field accounting practices adhere to USAID and Chemonics International Inc. regulations and policies. The RFA will advise field offices on financial compliance matters, review and analyze local account submission, and helps projects devise approaches for asset and liability management. They will travel to field offices, install accounting software and tracking mechanisms and train appropriate field personnel in the use of these systems. The RFA will also perform other related duties as required to ensure the success of the department

Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the RFA include, but are not limited to:   

  • Providing support and training to local FEWS accountants/bookkeepers and office staff on USAID and Chemonics International policies and procedures.
  • Traveling to each regional FEWS NET offices annually, and/or as needed, to conduct field financial/operational reviews with focus on the following areas: 
    • Providing continual training on Chemonics accounting system- ABACUS.
    • Reviewing field accounts and provide training to ensure compliance with USAID/DCAA regulations and Chemonics’ policies, procedures. The field review involves a thorough revision of field office processes and procedures including a sampling of financial records for compliance with: 
      • Timesheet management and approvals;
      • Travel authorizations and travel advance requests;
      • Expense report processing and approvals;
      • Petty cash management;
      • Procurement policies and vehicle controls;
      • Annual leave and sick time tracking, and medical allowance and reimbursements.
  • Reviewing and reporting on a monthly basis to the HO-designated FAST Manager expenses and transactions incurred by the regional FEWS NET offices including:
    • Tracking outstanding staff receivables;
    • Tracking project withholdings and payables. 
  • Compiling and reviewing bank reconciliations from regional offices.
  • Tracking and reviewing, on a monthly basis, expenses incurred by regional FEWS offices.
  • Reviewing proper transaction codes.
  • Reviewing proper usage of project subaccount codes.
  • Reviewing field asset and liability account balances.
  • Producing, on a monthly basis, a financial report addressed to the HO-designated FAST Manager.  This report summarizes the region’s accounting activities and regional field visit findings. 
  • Working with regional FEWS NET offices in optimizing financial and cash flow management. 
  • Evaluating results of the annual Desk Audit and the Field Office Floor Check with the PMU to discuss areas of non-compliance or deficiencies, and work with the PMUs to bring project files into compliance. 
  • Assisting with field office closures during project close-out. The close-out review involves final reconciliation of home office and field office accounts, as well as the closure and reconciliation of petty cash and local bank accounts. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the PMU, HO-designated FAST Manager or Country Representative.

Qualifications 

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English [and secondary language] is required; other local language skills are highly desirable.
  • At least six years of relevant experience with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field is required; advanced university degree (Master’s degree or higher) is highly desirable.
  • Prior knowledge of accounting systems (ABACUS, QuickBooks) highly desirable 
  • Experience performing accounting audits or reviews
  • Knowledge of USAID and its operations preferred.

Location and Reporting

The RFA is a full-time position based in Nairobi, Kenya at the FEWS NET EWT regional office. The RFA will work under the technical direction and supervision of Regional Representative and Deputy Regional Representative. The RFA may/will be required to travel within the region, and other international travel may also be required, security and health conditions permitting.

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The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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