Project/Grant Accountant

Catholic Relief Services
Adamawa, Nigeria
Competitive Salary
Apr 27, 2021
May 12, 2021
Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Summary

The Grant Accountant, under the direct supervision of the STaR Program Manager II and working in close collaboration with the Award management Officer and Deputy Head of Finance and Grants Management, will coordinate and contribute to the implementation of the KfW-funded project's policies and procedures in compliance with CRS' established accounting standards, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), donors' rules and regulations, and legal requirements to support high-quality programs serving the poor and vulnerable. The Project Accountant will perform sub-awardee/partner risk assessment and capacity building visits and manage partner financial management related to the project(s). This position is overall in charge of financial management on the STaR project in Nigeria.

Note : Depending on the project/grant portfolio (scope and complexity), the Project/Grant Accountant can be assigned responsibility for delivery of accounting and financial reporting services for either payable or receivable transactions.

Roles and Key Responsibilities:

Grants management and compliance
  • Serve as the point of contact for project grant management and compliance issues with sub-grantees
  • Support timely agreement/contract development/review/approval, both at the level of CRS and partners, ensuring adherence to both internal CRS and donor requirements.
  • Set and monitor sound accounting and financial reporting procedures for project's subrecipients and partners following established standards. Ensure setup and maintenance of all data required for processing financial transactions for assigned project accounts in the CRS financial management system.
  • Review and validate supporting documentation before processing of financial transactions to ensure all required documents are accurate and complete and authorizations are in place.
  • Record financial transactions following appropriate authorizations. Review and analyze various accounts to detect irregularities. Advise on corrective actions and prepare correcting entries and adjustments, as necessary.
  • Assess, evaluate and monitor subrecipient financial management processes in accordance with policy and strengthen capacity of partner in financial accounting and transactions.
  • Monitor disbursement/receipt schedules, alert relevant project staff of due payments/liquidations, and maintain appropriate communication and follow-up to facilitate timeliness of financial resource management and compliance with set deadlines.
  • Prepare various periodic and ad hoc financial reports and perform variance analysis to assist project staff with decision-making. Assist with budget maintenance for proper management of financial resources.
  • Provide information to project staff, subrecipients, and partners on financial accounting policies and procedural compliance issues and deliver training and other capacity building activities.
  • Perform assigned treasury project (cash payment/receipt, cash forecast, etc.) duties, as long as segregation of duties is ensured.
  • Assist in the Preparation of Detailed Project Budget vs. Actual Comparison Report, including Sub-Recipients Expenditures for Program and Management Review on monthly basis.

  • Internal control assessment
    •Ensure adherence to record keeping as per donor and CRS Internal requirements. Monitor application and address gaps as needed.
    •Ensure timely closure of audit recommendations related to donor compliance; participate in preparation, implementation and monitoring of related action plans.
    •Lead site visits to partners to assess adequacy of internal controls, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and partner policies and procedures. Report findings to program management including proposed follow-up with sub-grantees based on issues surfaced.
    •Advise on GAAP and basic accounting records to be maintained by sub-grantees.
    •Perform ongoing monitoring and assessment of partner capacity to accurately record and post all transactions.
    •Ensure adequate response and monitoring to implement recommendations of all financial audits and partner capacity assessments
    •Lead and coordinate the implementation of the Sub-recipient Financial Management policy. Ensure all Partners are effectively assessed; categorized and all Internal Control Improvement Plans are fully implemented.
    •Lead and coordinate the update of award data in Gateway for the STaR project.
    •Organize external firm audits in accordance with grant requirements and in collaboration with the Program Manager, Award management officer and Procurement Officer
    •Provide guidance and support for the timely assessment of partner financial management capacity and ability to adhere to any specific donor requirements. Develop related action plan with program and finance staff to address any capacity/system gaps.
    •Ensure that partners have systems of effort reporting and bidding process for procurements in collaboration with the procurement officer.
    •Monitor implementation of action/corrective action plans relative to both internal and external audits in the grants management area

    Financial management and analysis :
    •Support STaR Program manager II and Awards Management Officer in the preparation of donor financial reports and invoices and facilitate Finance review prior to submission.
    •Review budget comparison reports to ensure adherence to restrictions on line item flexibility and stated restrictions on accepted costs. Support follow up actions to resolve any identified problems.
    •Review and assess Cost Allocation (CA) impact on budget on a regular basis, promptly flag any significant issue to the attention of the PM and Award Management Officer.
    •Design effective budget monitoring tools, generate and review monthly reporting and coordinate regular budget management meetings with the PM, Award management Officer and Deputy Head of Finance to review issues and trends identified.
    •Monitor the budgets and expenses at least on a monthly basis and ensure that the aggregate budget for CRS and local partners is maintained accurately at the donor approved levels throughout the year and commitments to local partners do not exceed the available budget.
    •Ensure timely receipt and review of monthly expenditure reports from partner organizations.
    •Approve local partner budget updates and liquidation reports for the CRS finance team to process.
    •Ensure documentation of partner liquidation reviews outlining justification of all rejected expenses and detailing improvements required.
    •Design and generate partner outstanding advance aging reporting and follow up with partners and project team to ensure timely liquidation.
    •Verify estimates of partner cash needs and in collaboration and coordination with Program/Project Managers, develop quarterly cash forecast to ensure sufficient cash flow and timely disbursement to support activity implementation. Ensure quarterly cash forecast is submitted to Finance no later than 10th each month
    •Ensure that partners keep supporting documents for all financial transactions and ledgers for Fixed Assets, Purchase Requisitions, Cash Receipts and Disbursement.
    •With the Deputy Head of Finance and Grants Management, support the development and review of budget for new proposals and ensure accuracy of direct and allocated direct charges along with the proposal.

    Capacity building:
    •Through formal training, on the job support and monitoring, build the capacity of CRS and partner staff in grants/contract compliance.
    •Prepare and implement training and technical assistance as needed to address capacity needs and reinforce grant management, e.g., financial management, budget analysis, policies and procedures, GAAP and basic accounting, etc. ...
    •Conduct staff orientation in donor and CRS financial management policies, procedures and standards in collaboration and coordination with the Deputy Head of Finance and Grants.
    •Lead training to Program/Project Manager and to Partners on budgeting and in coordination and collaboration with Program/Project Managers, provide technical support to finalize Partners' annual budgets.
    •Coordinate planning and implementation of institutional capacity assessment and periodic review of potential new partner organizations.
    •Conduct and coordinate with Program Manager, monitoring visits to partner organizations to assess adequacy of internal controls and to provide onsite mentoring and technical assistance. Detail site findings and ensure implementation of recommendations /corrective action plan and follow-up requirements.
    •Actively participate in program meetings as appropriate to effectively plan and collectively coordinate financial and programmatic activities in conjunction with partner capacity building initiatives.

    Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):
    These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

    Integrity Continuous Improvement & Innovation Builds Relationships Develops Talent Strategic Mindset Accountability & Stewardship.

    Required Languages - English

    Travel - The position is based in Yola requiring travel 25% of the time on average to field offices in Yobe and Borno State as well as to Abuja where the Country Office is located.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Excellent analytical skills with ability to detect and report inconsistencies
  • Conscientious, accurate and thorough with great attention to detail
  • Ethical conduct in accordance with recognized professional and organizational codes of ethics
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented
  • Ability to work collaboratively

  • Preferred Qualifications
  • Knowledge of the relevant public donor regulations preferred.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio), Web Conferencing Applications. Knowledge of SunSystems financial accounting package or similar financial reporting software preferred.

  • Supervisory Responsibilities: No direct supervisory responsibility

    Key Working Relationships:

    Internal: STaR Program Manager II, Component Leads, Award Management Officer, STaR Chief of Party, Deputy Head of Finance and Grants, Supply chain Manager, Administrative Officer, HR Officer, IT Officer, Internal Auditors.

    External: Subrecipients, Suppliers and External Auditors


    Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree in finance, business administration or accounting, required.
  • Professional qualification in accounting (ACCA, CPA, ACA or equivalent), preferred.
  • Minimum three-five years relevant work experience w/ NGO. Very strong finance background.
  • Experience managing USG and/or other donor grant awards. Familiarity with German Government (KFW, BMZ, GFFO) financial regulations, policies and practices is an added advantage.
  • Auditing experience, a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability in building capacity and providing training and technical assistance, and experience working with church partners.
  • Good command of spoken and written English.
  • Proficient in MS Office (Word, Excel and other appropriate software)
  • Self-guided, strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure.
  • Excellent communication, coaching and facilitation skills.

  • Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

    These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship