Finance Officer

Finance Officer

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

The Lutheran World Federation


The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a Communion of 150 Churches in 99 countries. The role of the Communion Office (CO) is to serve these churches in different ways. The CO has three departments, the Department for Planning and Coordination (DPC), the Department for Theology, Mission and Justice (DTMJ) and the Department for World Service as well the Office of the General Secretary

The Department for Planning and Coordination (DPC) is responsible for the overall coordination of the planning, monitoring and reporting of the LWF Head Office of the Lutheran World Federation.

In pursuance of its responsibility for coordination, DPC oversees and supports the work of the Communion Office in the area of Finance, among others. The Office for Finance (OF) establishes budgets, ensures budget monitoring, financial reporting, produces audit statements and administers treasury and investments.

Due to the forthcoming retirement of the incumbent, we are looking at hiring a Finance Officer able to organize the accounting activities of the OF and ensuring maintenance of the accounting ledger system, the Sage system, prepares the monthly reports, audit reports and provides training to staff on the effective use of financial systems and procedures. Based on seniority, the Finance Officer is the natural deputy to act for the Head of Finance during his/her absence.

Required Qualifications

  • Professional qualification such as ACCA, CMA, CPA or equivalent.
  • Degree in Accounting, Finance or Business Administration.
  • Practical experience on preparation of audit statements is a must
  • Working experience gained from an audit firm and knowledge of accounting systems in Switzerland is important.
  • Working knowledge of Sage accounting software or similar accounting software is desirable

Additional Study and Experience

  •  Minimum 5 years of experience as Finance Officer, Finance controller, Audit Senior or similar.
  • Proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of either Spanish or French is important.

LWF Core Skills

  •  Analytical thinking/ Level advanced
  • Achieving results/ Level advanced
  • Initiative/ Level advanced
  • Accountability/ Level advanced
  • Working effectively with others/ Level advanced

Required Skills

  • Financial management/audits/ level expert
  • Regulatory Compliance/ Level expert
  • Attention to detail/ Level expert
  • Capacity building/training/ Level advanced
  • Communication/ Level advanced
  • Data management/ Level advanced

Position Environment and Dimensions

  • Internally, as a member of the Finance Team, reporting to Head of Finance, mainly interacts with Finance team and staff in Geneva.
  • Externally, interacts and relates with LWF auditors in Geneva, Sage systems providers, donors, bankers, service providers, suppliers and other outside parties as needed.

Main duties 

  1. Financial control and analysis
  •  Financial analysis and control of income and expenditure items in line with the working budgets.
  • Technical input on the preparation of reports to donors and for internal reporting to management.
  • Provide input in the preparation of budgets and budget monitoring of projects, programs and cost centres.
  • Organize OF accounting activities through effective maintenance of the accounting ledger system, the Sage system, preparing the monthly and annual financial statements.
  • Carry out quality checks on financial statements in order to ensure compliance with the LWF finance manual and audit instructions.
  • Supports Head of Finance to collate and analyze cost center budgets, paying particular attention to the accuracy, completeness and funding gaps.
  • Follow-up and consolidate estimates from budget during times of budgeting leading to the production of the annual Planning and Budgets overview.
  • Regular monitoring of accounting standards that are relevant to LWF including assessment of potential impacts in the consolidated financial statements.
  • Responsible for discussion and implementation of technical changes in the accounting standards in order to comply with IFRS or any other financial reporting standards that are applicable to LWF.
  1. General ledger accounting
  • Maintains an overview of technical accounting tasks and oversees general accounting entries.
  • Verifies payment vouchers and their coding and ensures that all payments are supported by the right documentation.
  • Responsible for financial control and accountancy for the programs in the office of the General Secretary and for DPC.
  • Coordinates the income accounting with departments and follows up to ensure income is posted to the accounting system.
  • Prepares payroll journals and input the data into the accounting ledger.
  • Reconciles balance sheet items on a monthly basis with particular attention on the payables, membership fees, suspense accounts, staff accounts, bank reconciliations and other balances.
  • Ensures that monthly charges are posted to the GL, for instance, office rent, IT charges, Sage costs, payroll related accruals and central service allocations.
  • Prepares monthly posting vouchers for the investment portfolios.
  • Prepares monthly and quarterly financial reports from the accounting system and distributes to budget holders.
  • Undertakes internal review on all transactions booked, validates the GL reports from Sage and compares them with approved budgets.
  • Develops financial reports in Sage system as needed for departments, auditors or budget holders.
  • Supports TMJ department with preparation if financial statements for audits.
  1. Audits and year-end closing procedures
  • Responsible for year-end closing with particular reference coordinating closing calendar and reconciliation of project balances in line with LWF’s accounting principles.
  • Prepares audit statements for LWF Geneva departments, as well as audit notes. Prepares the consolidated LWF financial statements for audit purposes.
  • Works closely with auditors to finalize audit reports and to provide information and explanation required during audits. Works alongside the internal finance working group to ensure proper audit planning and year-end closing of accounts in line with audit deadlines.
  1. Oversight on Sage accounting software
  • Prepares the chart of accounts for programs, projects, as well as cost centers for the Geneva budgets. Controls and corrects data entries in Sage.
  • Ensures efficient functioning of the Sage based accounting ledger with the help from IT office and Sage systems vendor.
  • Prepares Sage financial reports, provides input on improvement of systems, tools, templates and procedures that are required for effective financial controls.
  • Grants security access to Sage according to responsibilities.
  • Takes an active role in processes related to accounting system upgrades, especially in view of the Geneva needs.
  1. Specific tasks for LWF Foundations (Strasbourg Institute and Endowment Fund)
  • Accounting and budgets monitoring for the foundations.
  • Validates payment vouchers in the absence of any other finance staff in Strasbourg.
  • Reviews financial reports and produces financial statement and audit statements for the Foundations (Strasbourg Foundation and Endowment Fund/LWB Stiftung).
  1. Induction/training
  • Assists in updating the Finance related guidelines, procedure manuals and forms.
  • Organizes staff induction sessions on finance guidelines and use of Sage.
  1. LWF Assembly (every six or seven years):
  • Prepares accounting codes, structure and budgets fort the Assembly.
  • Maintains the accounting ledger and reconciles all accounts, including the Assembly related fees.
  • Trains the local assembly finance offices, together with the host Church on basic bookkeeping required for purposes of the Assembly.
  • Prepares final Assembly financial statements and all related documents for a final audit.

Special duties

As may be assigned by the Head of Finance including providing back up during the absence of Head of Finance and other finance colleagues.

Major Challenges

The role has been enriched to fit the needs of Office for Finance. Capability to work in a small team and be able to provide timely and accurate reports required for management decisions. The role requires intentional efforts to collaborate closely with all relevant colleagues in order to achieve desired results with minimal staff capacity.