Senior Accountant || British Council

British Council

DUE : 29 JAN 2023

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other’s strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.
Senior Accountant – Zimbabwe & Zambia

Role Purpose
The role is accountable for the operational and strategic leadership of the British Council’s (Zimbabwe & Zambia) Financial Control activities and country team. Focusing on timely, accurate, complete financial accounting and reporting in line with internal organizational requirements and external regulatory standards, while acting as a trusted partner to the business delivery and operational support teams.
This role supports the Financial Controller – Southern Africa with the end-to-end accounting process across the operation; including month and year-end close and ensures consistent, accurate, and robust financial accounting processes in line with accounting practices and corporate policies.

Main opportunities and challenges for this role
The role presents a great opportunity for us in building strong, efficient, effective, innovative, and value-driven financial control services for the British Council.

The role holder will:
Oversee and manage the end-to-end financial accounting for the Zimbabwe & Zambia Directorates and Sub-Saharan Africa Regional office (based in Zimbabwe / Zambia ) while ensuring accuracy, completeness and timeliness of accounting transactions and reporting
Act as one of the key finance business partners to senior managers and country directors, across operations in Zimbabwe & Zambia
Ensure compliance with financial reporting standards (FRS102 – The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland), and all relevant local statutory regulations, including tax-related legislations, foreign exchange policies, etc.
The finance function has gone through several change programmes, and the post holder will play a key role in sustainability and achieving desired results of the changes and improvement projects.

Main accountabilities but not limited to the following:
The post-holder will (across operations in Zimbabwe & Zambia):
Manage the financial month-end process, being accountable to the Financial Controller – Southern Africa for the pre-closing and month-end closing steps, including maintenance of accounting records. As part of this, the role will also be responsible for reviewing and monitoring all accounting transactions and adjustments (accruals, deferrals, and provisions), including Intercompany accounting, ensuring appropriate use of these in line with accounting rules.
Review all manual journals and off-system payments to ensure accuracy and compliance with relevant policies.

Perform reconciliation of all relevant accounts and ensure that this is completed to corporate standards.
Ensure that local external accounting requirements are adhered to. This may include managing local providers such as tax accountants or auditors.
Submission of local Tax and other statutory returns to Financial Controller – Southern Africa for approval.
Provide an advisory function to country operations on technical accounting issues and liaise with other specialist finance functions such as Tax and Treasury as needed.
Ensure that requests for new Master Data items (Profit Centre, Cost Centre, WBS, etc.) are compliant and that the integrity of finances is maintained.
Produce periodic reports relating to financial accounting for Zimbabwe & Zambia as requested by Financial Controller – Southern Africa.
Monitor the cost allocation ratios for the country operations to ensure that they are based on accurate accounting rationale
Ensure that the country operation fully complies with Travel & Expenses policy, complete Travel & Expenses audit and ensure that claims are submitted promptly and accurately with relevant documentation.

Manage the creation of billing documents once the process has been initiated by the country operation and monitors debt levels.
Manage with Financial Controller – Southern Africa the service level agreement(s) with SSC.
Coordinate at the country-level provision of information to internal/external auditors.

Responsible for country management of:
Banking relationship
Capital assets additions, disposals and depreciation, and fixed assets register reconciliation
Compliance with treasury policy
Capital markets and funding
Financial risk management / FX management

Team Leadership and Management:
Demonstrate effective leadership of the country’s Financial Controlling and Accounting team and ensure that line management of staff is to British Council standards.
Coach and support individuals and teams.
Ensure that capability and capacity in the Financial Controlling and Accounting team is fit-for-purpose and able to respond flexibly to changes in the portfolio and operating context.
Ensure financial training for members of the team.
Ensure the Performance Management process is undertaken to meet corporate requirements.
Always support equality and diversity and work for the British Council’s EDI policy.
Contribute to ensuring the policies, procedures, and systems are delivered with integrity.
Work closely and effectively as part of the regional and global finance teams.

Role-specific knowledge and experience:
Essential requirements:
Qualified accountant – ACCA, Country Accounting Qualification – with at least 3 years of post-qualification experience
Bachelor’s Degree
Minimum of 3 years post-qualification experience
Minimum of 4 years in a similar finance role
Good understanding of financial control processes applicable to Commercial and/or Charitable organizations.
Track record of managing key finance functions in international/multinational organizations in a similar context; and leading an efficient, innovative, and result-oriented team.
Able to relay complex financial information in an easy-to-understand way to support non-financial managers to deliver against financial performance indicators
Experience in managing a diverse team or group of stakeholders in multiple locations.
Proficiency in Microsoft Excel
Experience with an ERP system (SAP preferably)

Experience working with international/multinational organizations
Deliver and support the implementation of stringent financial requirements to multi-disciplinary internal staff and external partners.
Direct experience in applying financial controls and procedures within complex operating environments to meet challenging contractual standards.
Experience in overseeing, supporting, and significantly improving financial management capability and performance of individuals and teams outside of formal/direct line management control

Further Information
Pay Band – 7
Contract Type – Two (2) Years Fixed Term Contract
Location – Harare Zimbabwe/ Lusaka Zambia
Additional information: Some travel may be required but is not expected to be significant.
Language requirements: Strong written and oral English communication skills.
The role holder must have existing rights to live and work in either Zambia or Zimbabwe.
Closing Date – 29 January 2023. Applications will close at 23:59 East Africa Time

A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.
Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement
The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment. We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability. All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.
We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.

Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.

If you have any problems with your application please email
Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.

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