Wildlife Conservation Society Job Vacancy: Senior Finance Manager - Goroka, Papua New Guinea

WCS is now seeking a dynamic individual with significant experience with the financial management of government and agency grants and contracts to oversee financial management of WCS program program in Papua New Guinea and train local finance staff. The position is based in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.

Position: Senior Finance Manager, Papua New Guinea
Reports to: WCS Papua New Guinea Country Program Director
Location: Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
Start date: December, 2017
Contract: Full-time position
Application deadline: September 22, 2017


Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. WCS is the longest established international non-government conservation organisation within Papua New Guinea (PNG). WCS has had a full time presence in PNG since the late 1980s with early research programs initially focusing on birds. Since then the program has grown, establishing one of the first and largest protected area and building capacities of the next generation of national conservationists. At key and representative landscapes and seascapes, from the country’s coral islands to its forested highlands. WCS works with local communities and provincial, national and international partners, to sustainably manage and conserve the biodiversity and cultural values of Papua New Guinea’s wildlife and wild places. WCS PNG vision is “Gutpela sindaun, gutpela bus, gutpela solwara” (“Empowered people with healthy forests and seas”).

The Senior Finance Manager (SFM) will work with the local financial and administrative staff to oversee financial management of WCS’s PNG program. The primary objective is to maintain accurate, efficient and transparent financial management systems within the WCS PNG program. The SFM will report directly to the PNG Country Program Director, with a strong dotted-line to the Melanesia Regional Budget Manager. S/he will directly supervise and train finance staff in the WCS PNG head office in Goroka and satellite offices in Manus and Kavieng. S/he will maintain appropriate communications with WCS PNG Team and Project leaders. S/he will coordinate regularly with the Melanesia Regional Budget Manager and WCS New York staff to support and manage timely and accurate submission of reports. The Senior Finance Manager position will be based in Goroka, PNG.

Monitoring and managing expenditures
  • Ensure complete accounting records are maintained including vouchers, authorizations, and reconciliations, including both paper and electronic records.
  • Ensure that all expenditures are made in accordance with established procedures, including verification of supporting documents and budget availability.
  • Support and build accounting capacity of finance staff to maintain accurate and reconciled accounts.
  • Review and approve all entries made to the general ledger accounts in SAP.
  • Enter transactions in SAP in the absence of finance staff.
  • Implement procedures for proper tracking of project advances to staff, ensuring that advances are accounted for in a timely manner according to WCS policies and procedures, and that an accurate balance sheet is kept of each staff member’s outstanding advances.
  • Work with Country Director to prepare annual programmatic budgets, ensuring coverage of core operational costs.
  • Ensure PNG budget template is updated on a regular basis.
  • Monitor and review expenditure against budgets on a monthly basis.
  • Monitor all bank transactions and check and approve monthly bank reconciliations by the 10th day of the following month.
  • Monitor balance sheet accounts and control the effect of currency fluxuation on the balances.
  • Ensure adequate cash flow management for WCS PNG, including coordinating the monthly cash forecast from three offices.
  • Review and approve the wire requests from field office.
  • When local revenue is received in-country, ensure that funds are correctly reported to WCS New York and posted to the appropriate project, grant/fund and account code in SAP.
  • Oversee cross-charging to other country programs as per established procedures.
  • Assist in preparation of internal and/or external audits, prepare audit responses and ensure implementation of accepted recommendations
  • Communicate regularly with Regional Budget Manager to ensure all issues addressed in a timely way.
  • Work with Regional Controller assigned to Melanesia Region to ensure statutory compliance WCS PNG.
  • Evaluate cost effectiveness of existing WCS PNG operations and maintenance of assets.
  • Manage and maintain strong relationships with banks, auditors and lawyers.
  • Build capacities of the local finance staff in monitoring and managing expenditures.
Grants budget development and management
  • Provide advice on core operations and fixed costs during budget development.
  • Work with Country Director, project leaders and field finance staff to develop budgets and format according to donor requirements.
  • Maintain budget templates from various donors.
  • Send requests for new fund/grant codes to New York.
  • Using SAP prepare the monthly reports of expenditure against budgets for internal use, including monitoring of expenditure against project activity budgets as well as WCS project, grant/fund and account code, by the 10thday of the following month. Where expenditures on projects is not in line with budgets, bring this to the attention of the project director and/or country director and make recommendations to adjust spending accordingly.
  • Submit grant financial reports for review to Regional Budget Manager and WCS New York staff well in advance of deadlines for timely review.
  • Prepare budget adjustment requests and monitor the effect of changing currency values on the budget
  • Ensure that contractees and sub-awardees meet financial reporting requirements.
  • Work with the NY office to ensure the SAP grant tracking database and central files are up to date with the following information, (i) original technical and financial proposal; (ii) signed grant agreement with approved budget; (iii) timeframe and periodicity of reporting; (iv) financial and technical reports; and (v) deliverables and indicators.
  • Build capacities of the local finance staff in grant budget development and management.
Qualifications and requirements
  • Bachelor degree in Accounting required, MBA, CPA certificate or equivalent preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability in the development and implementation of financial policies and procedures.
  • Significant experience with the financial management of government and agency grants and contracts. Experience managing finances from the European Union preferred.
  • At least five years of experience managing a financial area for a corporation or not profit organization. With experience working in a multi-currency environment preferred.
  • Willingness to travel to field sites.
  • Experience working in a developing country setting and experience in Papua New Guinea preferred.
  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as strong analytical skills. English required.
  • Effective “roll up the sleeves” work ethic, with attention to detail.
  • Proven managerial skill and ability to work in a team setting within an organization.
  • Commitment to WCS’s values of respect, accountability and transparency, innovation, diversity and inclusion, collaboration, and integrity.

Application process
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, should apply by emailing an application letter and CV together with salary requirements and the names and contact information of three references to: asiaprogram@wcs.org by September 22, 2017 deadline.

Please include “PNG SFM” in the subject line of your email.