Switzerland: Financial Controller

Organization: The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 30 Nov 2016


Financial Controller

(Ref: 2016-14)

Organisational Context

The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) is a Swiss Foundation that supports local, community-level initiatives that address the local drivers of violent extremism and strengthen resilience against violent extremist agendas. It was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 2014 as a public-private partnership governed by a multi-stakeholder Board. GCERF is currently working in Bangladesh, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali and Nigeria.


GCERF is a two year old fund with a substantial level of complexity in its financial management for an organization of its size ($20m expense budget in 2016). It receives both unrestricted and restricted funding from thirteen international donors. It funds country portfolios of programmes implemented by single grantee organizations or by consortia of local non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations in five countries. Its Secretariat is currently fully based in Geneva. Its approach to financial management is guided by imperatives of accountability and value for money.

The Finance function has two distinct roles:

  • General finance function, and
  • Grant finance function which aims to support Grant Officers in managing fiduciary and financial matters relative to the grants they are responsible for.

The level of activity and complexity of financial operations and the need to continue developing the finance function for a growing organization that operates in a complex environment necessitate the creation of the position of Financial Controller within the Finance Unit.

The person recruited for this position is expected to grow the function within the organization as the organization further develops and will be expected to lead and manage a team in the future.

Purpose of Position

Under the direct supervision of the CFO, the Financial Controller is directly responsible for all aspects of general financial management. The Controller also works closely with the CFO on other matters primarily in connection with the internal control framework.

General financial management at GCERF includes:

  • Financial planning, including forecasting and budget development and management,

  • Daily financial operations and accounting,

  • Financial reporting including donor reporting,

  • Treasury management including foreign exchange management,

  • Coordination of annual and donor audits,

  • Coordination of insurance arrangements,

  • Financial analysis,

  • Measurement of financial management performance,

  • Continuous analysis of financial risk, and

  • Ensuring compliance with and continuously improving financial policies and procedures.

The Controller will also work closely with the CFO in the following areas:

  • Support to the Resource Mobilization function,

  • Ensuring a strong value for money approach in financial management,

  • Ensuring that the highest standards for prevention of fraud and misuse and other elements of compliance with internal policy and donor regulations are in place throughout GCERF’s operations and its grant portfolio,

  • Supporting the continuous development and compliance of a strong internal control framework,

  • Support the development and implementation of IT solutions to facilitate financial and administrative management, and

  • Assisting the Board in discharging its responsibilities in the area of financial management oversight and responsibilities linked to risk management and internal control.

Organisational Setting and Reporting Relationships

The Financial Controller will work closely with the Grant Finance Officers, the Human Resource/Administration Officer and Budget Holders in particular within GCERF. S/he will sensitize and explain financial matters to all GCERF staff. S/he will also oversee the work of the accounting firm (accounting is currently outsourced), liaise with the financial institutions GCERF uses and coordinate with the insurance broker and insurance companies. S/he will co-supervise an Administrative Assistant and an intern.

Accountabilities & Responsibilities

General Finance

  1. Ensure the quality, efficiency and timeliness of daily financial operations and accounting. Oversee accounts payable and payroll in particular. Supervise the monthly and annual close. Closely monitor receivables.
  2. Ensure the timely preparation of statutory and other financial reports for management, donors and other stakeholders.
  3. Continuously maintain financial scenarios, forecasts and projections.
  4. Coordinate budgeting planning processes and budget monitoring.
  5. Coordinate cash flow planning, manage relationships with financial institutions, coordinate protection of GCERF’s assets against foreign exchange variations.
  6. Coordinate the annual audit of financial statements and of any other donor-mandated audit or evaluation.
  7. Ensure that the insurance coverage is appropriate in view of the evolving risks the organization faces, renew coverage and broker arrangements as needed.
  8. Carry out financial analysis to support decision-making, provide advice or measure financial performance.
  9. Provide data to measure financial management effectiveness and make recommendations accordingly.
  10. Coordinate the regular maintenance of the financial risk register.
  11. Ensure compliance with accounting policies and procedures and continuously improve the policy framework, researching topics of relevance as needed, and
  12. Coordinate safekeeping and proper archiving of financial records and data.


  1. Provide support to Resource Mobilization including budget submission to donors, financial reporting and general fund-raising planning and strategy.
  2. Ensure that actions are continuously taken by the finance unit and others to ensure that management and operational practices embody a strong value for money approach.
  3. Proactively participate in the development and implementation of an appropriate IT infrastructure.
  4. Help identify areas of vulnerability in the area of compliance and internal control more generally and help develop and implement corrective actions.
  5. Help ensure that all staff understand and know to apply the GCERF financial and administrative policies and procedures.
  6. Help provide appropriate support to the CFO to ensure sound governance of financial matters by the Board.
  7. Other tasks as required and possible in agreement with the CFO.

Travel required: Minimal



At least seven years of progressive experience in financial management, including external audit.

Understanding of and experience with non-profit accounting, preferably in donor-funded organizations implementing or funding programmes implemented internationally. External or internal audit experience a plus.

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate:

  • Good understanding of the application of technology to improve financial management
  • Experience with the design and implementation of new processes within an organization.


Master’s degree in accounting or business administration.

Accounting certification/designation strongly preferred.


Fluency in English is required. Ability to communicate in French in a professional context an asset. Working knowledge of other relevant languages will be an advantage.


  • Personal qualities of integrity and credibility.
  • Proactive and hands-on approach combined with the ability to think more strategically.
  • Keen analytical skills.
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, especially in providing financial information to non-finance colleagues and in explaining new approaches and procedures.
  • Capacity to plan and organise one’s work effectively and collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Focus and commitment to achieving quality results.
  • Sensitivity in framing and presenting potential opportunities and challenges, and good judgement in reporting ideas and issues judiciously.


Contract Type: Open-ended.

GCERF is committed to diversity within its workforce and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

The position is based in Geneva. GCERF offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

How to Apply: Please visit the GCERF website at http://www.gcerf.org/about-us/career-opportunities/.

Application Deadline: 30 November 2016

How to apply:

Please visit the GCERF website at http://www.gcerf.org/about-us/career-opportunities/.

Read more here:: ReliefWeb