Regional Accounting Officer

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DAI works at the cutting edge of international development, combining technical excellence, professional project management, and exceptional customer service to solve our clients’ most complex problems. Since 1970, DAI has worked in 150 developing and transition countries, providing comprehensive development solutions in areas including crisis mitigation and stability operations, democratic governance and public sector management, agriculture and agribusiness, private sector development and financial services, economics and trade, HIV/AIDS, avian influenza control, water and natural resources management, and energy and climate change. Clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and host-country governments.

1. Project Background:

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Program is a cross-ministry and multi-donor program to reduce stunting in Zambia. The National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) implements SUN as part of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) 1,000 Most Critical Days Program.  SUN 2.0, the second phase of the program, has three major components: (1) Pooled Multi-Donor SUN Fund, (2) SUN Technical Assistance (SUN TA), and (3) SUN Learning and Evaluation. Working in parallel with the SUN Fund, the USAID/Zambia SUN TA program will provide support and direct technical assistance to sub-national government departments in target provinces and districts to plan, implement, coordinate, and monitor integrated nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific activities to reduce the rate of stunting among Zambian children under two.

USAID has identified two main objectives that address stunting, including (1) Adequate Quantity and Quality of Dietary Intake among Target Groups; and (2) Adequate Health Conditions for Biological Utilization of Nutrients. SUN TA interventions will increase access and availability of safe, diverse, nutritious food; adoption of better child feeding habits and household hygiene practices; and access to improved health, water and sanitation services. The project will prioritize sustainability by improving intra-household joint decision making and building capacity of local government and their stakeholders to ensure coordination, accountability, and learning, following the Scaling Up Nutrition model.

2. Location:

– ZONE 1: Kabwe, Central Province, Zambia

The Regional Accounting Officer will be based in Kabwe and will be covering the Central Province and the Copperbelt Province (Zone 1), with frequent (around 30% of time) travel throughout assigned districts: Kabwe, Mumbwa, Chibombo, Kapiri-Mposhi, Kitwe and Ndola.

– ZONE 2: Kasama, Northern Province, Zambia

The Regional Accounting Officer will be based in Kasama and will be covering the Northern Province and the Luapula Province (Zone 2), with frequent (around 30% of time) travel throughout assigned districts: Kasama, Kaputa, Mbala, Luwingu, Mansa, Samfya and Nchelenge.

2. Objective:

The Regional Accounting Officer is a key member of the regional team. S/he will play a pivotal role in assuring adherence to financial policies, project policies and procedures, regulations, controls, and reporting systems. The Regional Accounting Officer will provide Finance and Administrative Support to Regional Office and shall report to the Regional Manager.  S/he will provide guidance to the different project districts teams in their Region and ensure compliance of all relevant accounting and financial reporting functions and local statutory requirements. S/he is responsible for ensuring all backup documentation is audit ready as well as stand in for the District Administration and Finance Officers when they are not available.

The Regional Accounting Officer may perform any other related duties as assigned.

3. Tasks and Responsibilities:

Policies & Procedures

  • Ensures that accounting practices in each of the districts under his/her responsibility are carried out in accordance with GAAP standards;
  • Project internal controls are implemented in accordance with DAI policies, USAID rules/regulations and the terms of the contract between USAID and DAI.

Financial Reporting

  • Monitors and reports on partner/vendor payment schedules and obligations
  • Manages regional indebtedness by supporting DAFOs in the region ensure timely payments are made to Vendors GRZ partners and CBVs.
  • Manages information inputs for any financial reporting requirements, or internal reports as necessary
  • Support the budgeting process of the Regional Offices
  • Track burn rates and devise relevant strategies to remedy challenges on a quarterly basis
  • Generate the stores report for the Regional Offices

Financial Management

  • Review District Regional Office financial transactions
  • Facilitate and all financial transactions of the Regional Office from the districts to the Regional Office for Regional Manager approval
  • Review and sometimes prepare activity budgets taking place in the Region.
  • Provide seamless financial management with the districts and Lusaka
  • Conduct daily reviews of backup documentation using the finance checklists to ensure completeness, accuracy, and full compliance with DAI policies and procedures
  • Perform regular internal audits of project files in the districts
  • Stand in for the DAFO in case of emergency situations and provide adequate accounting support service to the District.

General Accounting

  • Oversee weekly cash-flow forecasts for approval
  • Ensure petty cash is maintained per maximum petty cash policy and that all petty cash procedures are followed within the districts under his/her responsibility
  • Audit travel requests and expense reports for accuracy and compliance and follow procedures to ensure accurate and timely payment and reconciliation of travel advances, reimbursements for staff and partner travel
  • Review Activity Request Forms and provide constructive feedback on activity costing, completeness of the request; accuracy and full compliance with the DAI Policies and Procedures

Other duties

  • Collaborate with the Lusaka-based Finance Manager on implementing and strengthening internal control systems and continuous process performance improvement
  • Escalate any delays or vendor/other issues to the Finance Manager immediately
  • Perform vendor verifications in the Region
  • Anticipate and identify risk issues and challenges in the field and the most appropriate solutions to address them
  • In collaboration with Lusaka-based Finance Manager and Compliance Department, plan and perform internal audits, control reviews and compliance assessments. Analyze results and provide recommendations to the district-based teams
  • In collaboration with the Lusaka-based finance team, and/or operation leads, design and facilitate relevant risk training sessions and contribute to relevant components of institutional capacity strengthening plans for the organization and partners
  • In collaboration with the Lusaka- based finance team conduct unannounced periodic reviews of all financial transactions and the supporting documents of the financial transaction processing functions, as well as reviews of all other support units at the supported districts
  • Serve as liaison and support external audits. Coordinate action plans to close out audit findings
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the Regional Manager

4. Reporting and Supervision:

The Regional Accounting Officer directly reports to the Regional Manager, Zone 1 or Zone 2.

5. Qualifications:

  • Certified Accountancy Qualification (completed) – ACCA, CIMA, ZCAS
  • Must have current Associate Membership of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA)
  • 4+ years of relevant experience in an accountancy position
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience supporting USAID-funded projects in an accountancy/finance role preferred
  • Demonstrated understanding of applicable finance-related USG contracting regulations
  • Knowledge of audit standards and compliance regulations
  • Accuracy in working with large amounts of data
  • Ability to respond effectively to time sensitive inquiries
  • Coaching and training abilities
  • Experience with enterprise accounting software, and Microsoft office suite
  • An energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and appropriate professional image
  • An extremely well organized and self-directed individual with sound technical skills, analytical ability, good judgment, and strong operational focus
  • Able to maintain good working relationships with team members while retaining high levels of confidentiality and discretion
  • Fluency in English is required

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