Head of Finance

Head of Finance

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Lutheran World Federation


The LWF is a communion of 148 member churches in 7 regions, living and working together for a just, peaceful and reconciled world with a Communion Office based in Geneva and field programs around the world. 


The Department for Planning and Coordination (DPC) is responsible for the overall coordination of the planning, monitoring and reporting of the LWF Communion Office of the Lutheran World Federation – a Communion of Churches (LWF) and for the assurance of their quality and accountability.

DPC oversees and supports the work of the Communion Office in the area of Finance, among others. It facilitates and develops overall program planning and coordination, develops and maintains systems and processes to ensure across the organization high quality implementation and full compliance of LWF's work.

The Office of Finance (OF) establishes budgets at a global level, ensures monitoring and reporting of financial and audit statements and oversees income development. It administers the assets of the LWF.

The purpose of the position is to assume, under delegated responsibility, specific financial, treasury and asset management, and audit & control functions in order to maintain sound financial planning, accounting, budgeting and reporting systems in line with the Terms of Reference for the unit, the LWF statutory requirements, and in compliance with funding partners and Swiss authorities’ requirements.

The purpose of the position is also to assist the Director for Planning and Coordination in financial and administrative matters.

Required Qualifications

  • Professional training in accountancy with recognized diploma (Chartered Accountant, Certified Public Accountant or equivalent).
  • Good working knowledge in electronic data processing, especially in computerized accounting systems (such as SAGE) and spreadsheets.
  • Good working knowledge of developing and controlling budgets in non-profit environment.
  • Proficiency in English, other LWF languages an asset.

Additional Study and Experience

  • At least 3 years of working experience in an LWF member church, in ecumenical bodies or agencies
  • Additional experience in an audit firm or commercial enterprise in a supervisory capacity, preferably in an international environment, would be an asset
  • Proven risk management capabilities
  • Proven people management skills
  • A church endorsement would be an asset

LWF Core Skills

Analytical thinking: level resource

Initiative: level resource

Achieving results: level resource

Accountability: level resource

Working effectively with others: level resource

Leadership: level advanced 

Required Skills

Financial management: level resource

Financial auditing: level resource

People management: level resource

Resources management: level advanced

Project management: level advanced

Position Environment and Dimensions

The position ensures throughout the organization the availability and application of sound accounting, budgeting and reporting systems, resulting in smooth financial transactions.

Financial remit:

  • Income from member churches, related agencies and other sources approximately EUR 165 million.
  • Treasury and Investment of funds: approximately EUR 20 million.

Internally, as the Head of Office of Finance, reports to the Director for DPC, supervises a team of 3 staff members, interacts with the Communion Office Leadership Team (COLT), links with the finance staff of the different LWF departments, and with communication, human resources and resources mobilisation staff.

Supervises: Office of Finance staff (3 persons)

Externally, interacts with member churches, donors and related agencies, ecumenical organizations, the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, the WCC, as well as with all banks, auditors including Pension Fund actuary experts.

Main duties

Financial Management

  1. Drives and coordinates the budgeting process of the LWF budget
  2. Produces periodical and specific financial statements and reports for the LWF budget, programs and any necessary financial report based on contractual agreements.
  3. Ensures that financial accounts and records comply with decisions, LWF financial policies, procedures and regulations.
  4. Manages the cash-flow, ensures an optimal amount of liquidity in different currencies and efficiently reduce the exchange rate losses.
  5. Prepares financial analysis and forecasts including cash-flow forecasts; establishes the LWF internal exchange rates.
  6. Liaises with member churches and related organizations together with the Resource Mobilization staff in order to ensure adequate unrestricted funding for the LWF budget.
  7. Ensures that the Membership Fee income is managed efficiently.

Systems Maintenance & Development

  1. Supervises the operation and maintenance of the accounting software, ensures it is functional and up-to-date.
  2. Ensures the compliance of LWF internal control systems (ICS).
  3. Review periodically all financial policies, procedures as well as guidelines and recommends improvements.

Quality, Capacity Building & Continuous Improvement

  1. Assists LWF departments/units in interpreting results of financial accounts and records and in analysing actual, budget and variance comparison of expenses.
  2. Provides financial systems service to departments/units to improve financial controls.

Assets Management

  1. Administers the treasury assets of the LWF (including LWF Pension Plan and LWF Endowment Fund) and invests, in accordance with the policy, high professional and ethical standards and the practices of Christian stewardship.

Controlling and Auditing

  1. Conducts internal audits of departments where appropriate.
  2. Undertakes yearly assessment of risk cycles prior to reviews carried out by external auditors.
  3. Manages external auditors. Facilitates their work, particularly during annual external audits and responsible to ensure audits are completed in a timely manner.

People Management

  1. Creates a conducive environment and manages efficiently the team with proven people management best practices.


  1. Supports the operation of the Finance Committee meetings.
  2. Supports the operation of the LWB Stiftung (LWF Endowment Fund) and its meetings.

Special duties

As may be assigned by the supervisor.

Major Challenges

To have an overall picture and control of the LWF finances, to achieve and maintain accuracy in all financial functions and to make timely, accurate reports to management and governance.  This position is in charge of asset management and balances the financial risk for a healthy LWF financial position.