Project Accountant & Project Funding Accountant (two positions)

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN18-29
Grade: A2 (both posts)
Job Ref. No.: STF-PL & STF-C/18-29
Department: Administration
Section: Finance
Reports to: Management Accountant (STF-PL post)
Revenue & Project Accountant (STF-C post)
Closing Date: 17 September 2018

2. About ECMWF

ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface.

For details, see www.ecmwf.int/.

ECMWF has been entrusted to operate the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on behalf of the European Commission until the end of 2020. Copernicus is the European Union (EU) flagship Earth-observation programme. The programme ensures operational monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated information services for a range of environmental and security applications.

3. Summary of the role

The Finance team is continuously evolving to reflect the changing needs of ECMWF. The recent addition of a number of high value internal and external projects requires a more flexible team environment with a view to improving client service whilst maintaining the highest levels of control and effectiveness. As part of these changes, a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is being implemented which will improve accounting and HR processes facilitating the provision of more timely and better quality financial information.

To meet these changing needs, we are looking to recruit a Project Funding Accountant and a Project Accountant.

Both positions sit within the Finance Section of the Administration Department and will play a key part in the financial processes of ECMWF and will involve building excellent relationships with colleagues from across the organisation, including a number of external organisations. Therefore, s/he will be expected to interact and articulate with confidence their knowledge in their area of responsibility in relation to all project and external funding. As the Finance Team is in a period of change, there will be a need to embrace any changes and continuously look to improve the financial controls and processes currently in place.

For the Project Funding Accountant - STF-C
S/he will be responsible for the finances and reporting of the externally funded projects and a number of high profile third party activities that ECMWF currently participates in.

For the Project Accountant - STF-PL
S/he will be responsible for managing the finances and reporting of externally funded projects which ECMWF participates with, with an emphasis and responsibility for the Copernicus Project funded by the European Commission (EC).

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Liaising and developing effective working relationships with scientists, project managers and other areas of the business and maintaining open lines of communication and information relating to the specific financial area of responsibility
  • Assisting in the forecasting and budgeting process in the specific financial area of responsibility to provide variance analyses which can be shared across the organisation as well as liaising with budget holders
  • Ensuring compliancy with external and internal rules and regulations, with a willingness to explain and educate others as required
  • Liaising with internal and external auditors and other external bodies in relation to the specific financial area of responsibility
  • Providing general support to the Finance Section

Additional duties for the Project Accountant

  • Developing and producing all reports required under the Copernicus Services Delegation Agreement
  • Ensuring expert knowledge and compliancy of the rules and regulations of the Delegation Agreement with the European Commission relating to the use of funding
  • Reviewing all Copernicus accounting entries, to ensure control and compliancy against the rules and regulations
  • Providing regular cash flow projections for projects for cash-flow management, including the development of a more robust working model

Additional duties for the Project Funding Accountant

  • Administering projects from inception to completion, together with all the associated tasks relating to this the project, maintaining records of project funding, costs, commitments, contract milestones and invoicing, ensuring reconciliation to the General Ledger and supporting contracts
  • Providing support for proposals and business cases for new funding from the European Commission and other funding bodies within required timeframes, ensuring compliancy with internal procedures and appropriate authorisation
  • Providing up-to-date knowledge of the rules and regulations relating to the use of funding, including, the Delegation Agreement, EC Model Grant Agreements, and Framework contracts.
  • Overseeing the time recording requirements of projects (i.e. timesheets, declarations) to ensure consistency with regulations, timely and accurate submission, and preparation of associated accounting adjustments
  • Ensuring all financial and administrative reporting is produced and submitted within the project deadlines, inputting as appropriate on various portals of funding organisations
  • Overseeing the financial reporting for those EC projects where we are the consortium coordinator, being one of the primary points of contact for financial /administrative matters, responding to queries from partners, reviewing and scrutinising submissions, and liaising with the EC's Financial Officer as required

5. Personal attributes

  • Solution-oriented with a strong understanding of how to evaluate the financial, commercial, and strategic implications of ECMWF’s activities
  • Ability to communicate complex financial concepts with scientific and technical staff that do not have a financial background and to develop a common understanding of the issues and potential resolutions
  • Excellent written and presentation skills with an ability to explain financial issues in terms that are understandable to all
  • Capacity to manage a range of conflicting, and urgent issues to tight deadlines
  • Good relationship management skills, including the ability to gain credibility with key stakeholders across the organisation and the user community
  • Excellent communication skills, together with demonstrated experience of team working within projects
  • Strong analytical and excellent organisational skills are essential
  • Embrace change and continuously look to improve financial controls and processes

6. Qualifications and experience required

Education

  • Candidates should have either a finance-oriented degree (EQF level 7) or a professional accountancy qualification.

Experience

  • Good demonstrated recent experience in a similar finance-related role, preferably in an international organisation.
  • Experience of using Business World (previously known as Agresso) would be desirable.
  • Experience of providing analysis and reports for decision-making, including the use of core accounting systems combined with report writing tools
  • Experience working in an international, multi-lingual environment.

For Project Accountant

  • Strong experience in tracking consumption of commitments and payment credits using an ERP system.
  • Experience working with the European Commission and its Agencies and intergovernmental organisations would be a strong advantage.
  • Strong experience in financial aspects of call for tenders management and in the financial evaluation of projects and programmes.

For Project Funding Accountant

  • Extensive experience and knowledge of EU funding mechanisms and delegation agreements, including the preparation of FP7, Horizon2020, ERC &
  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie bid responses, and ongoing project auditing and governance.
  • Experience and understanding of how to manage complex projects.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Excellent working knowledge at advanced level of MS-Office (Word and Excel).
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.
  • A good knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.
  • Knowledge and experience of accounting using the IPSAS framework would be an advantage.

7. Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidates will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Coordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £58,238.40 net of tax. The Project Funding Accountant position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the Staff Regulations and the Project Accountant position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL, as defined the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible (both positions)

Length of contract for the Project Accountant: To 31 December 2021, with the possibility of further extension subject to further funding.

Length of contract for the Project Funding Accountant: Four years with the possibility of a further contract.

Location: Both positions will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs/.

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensure a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases

published: 30 August 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.