Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)

Regional Field Accountant (RFA) 
Scope of Work

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET III) is the world’s premier provider of high quality food security analysis and early warning. 
Created in response to the 1984 famines in East and West Africa, this $200 million, five-year activity (2012-2016) aims to collaborate with international, regional, and national partners to provide timely and rigorous early warning and analysis of potential, emerging, and/or evolving food security issues in order to inform appropriate humanitarian response. The project currently covers 36 countries in five regions.

Within the context of local livelihoods, FEWS NET professionals in Africa, Central America, Haiti, Central Asia, and the United States monitor a range of relevant data sources (e.g., remote sensing imagery, price and trade data, nutrition information). 

This information informs a scenario-building process, which is used to project future food security outcomes. FEWS NET then uses a suite of decision support products to communicate this analysis to U.S. government, U.N., national government, and NGO decision makers. 
These products include regular briefings to senior USAID staff, quarterly Food Security Outlooks, and Food Security Alerts. FEWS NET staff also provides advisory support to regional and country-specific contingency and response planning efforts as well as in-depth studies related to livelihoods, markets and trade, and nutrition.

FEWS NET also aims to strengthen regional and national capabilities in food security monitoring and analysis. This is done through pro-active, hands-on collaboration with partners and counterparts in the various stages of monitoring, assessment, analysis, and information dissemination. 
The goal is to share FEWS NET knowledge and methods with partners in local, regional, and global food security networks so together, network partners can achieve the global objective of assuring food security for all. FEWS NET maintains offices in a number of countries in Africa, Central America, Central Asia, and Haiti.

Position Description: Under the direction of the home-office designated 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. S/He 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 performs other related duties as required to ensure the
success of the department.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities
Regional Accounting
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:
  1. Providing continual training on Chemonics accounting system- ABACUS.
  2. 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:
  1. Timesheet management and approvals
  2. Travel authorizations and travel advance requests
  3. Expense report processing and approvals
  4. Petty cash management
  5. Procurement policies and vehicle controls
  6. 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 andtransactions 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 FACT 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 HO HO-designated FACT Manager or Country Representative. 
Accounting (Regional Office, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Yemen)
Supervise and manage all financial and accounting operations including but not limited to, maintaining or verifying petty cash transactions, reconciling petty cash balances at least once a week, maintaining bank balances up-to-date and reconciling accounts on a monthly basis, and requesting funds, as necessary, through wire transfer from home office.
Record-Keeping: Enter accounting transactions into Abacus Software on a daily basis, assist home office field accounting and project management staff in reconciling intercompany accounts, respond without delays to home office accounting questions or concerns. Prepare backup documentation for each transaction before submitting to regional food security specialist for approval and issuing payment.
Manage all vendor accounts: Review all vendor invoices for accuracy, monitor vendor balances, issue and send checks signed by the regional food security specialist to appropriate beneficiaries.
Payroll, travel expenses and expense reports: Conduct payroll and make disbursements. Process travel advances to local staff and follow-up on outstanding balances. Verify and process expense reports generated by the staff.
Financial Monitoring: Work with the regional food security specialist and home office team to develop a management system for monitoring the budget for project activities, level of effort. Assist the technical departments with the financial monitoring of activities in the field according to established procedures and calendars, as needed. 
Contribute to the preparation of contractually required financial reports, as well as any other financial reports required by Chemonics International.

Upon financial audit, provide the support necessary to the auditors conducting the audit and assure the implementation of any audit-based recommendations.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and responsibility satisfactorily. 
The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required.
  • Minimum 5 years experience with auditing and USAID/government regulations.
  • Prior knowledge of accounting systems; ABACUS or QuickBooks a plus.
  • Experience performing accounting audits or reviews.
  • Knowledge of USAID and its operations preferred.
  • Ability to solve technical, managerial or operational problems and evaluate options based on relevant information, resources, well-rounded experience, and knowledge.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, and lead presentations, training courses, and effective meetings.
  • Strong knowledge of MS Office applications
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong organizational and work prioritization skills and attention to detail.
  • Supervisory experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership, integrity, and versatility.
Education Requirements
  • Bachelors degree required in Accounting, Business Administration or related field
Language Skills
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills in English required; fluency in French preferred.
The regional field accountant will work under the supervision of the Regional Food Security Specialist (RFSS), Nancy Mutunga. 
S/He will collaborate with the home office-designated FAST manager, the project management unit, the regional operations manager, and the administrative team in the FEWS NET regional office. 
The RFA will be required to travel extensively within his/her region of posting and may require some international travel in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and the United States.

Interested candidates should send their CV and cover letter to: FEWSNETKenyaRFA@gmail.com by January 19, 2015. 
This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is open to all qualified Kenyan national citizen. 
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


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