FINANCE ASSISTANT AT MERCY CORPS – NAIROBI

Finance and Accounting

Mercy Corps

JOB TITLE: FINANCE ASSISTANT – NAIROBI

Job Category: Finance & Compliance
Requisition Number: 3KAFJ004704
Location: Nairobi, KE-48 1186800100, KEN
Posted: February 23, 2024
Employment Type: Full-Time

Description

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a global organization dedicated to creating a better world. Operating in over 40 countries, we believe in implementing bold solutions to help communities overcome adversity and foster resilience. Join us in building a brighter future, today and tomorrow.

Program / Department Summary
The Finance Department at Mercy Corps Nairobi oversees all financial functions, including accounting, payments, budgeting, and compliance. We ensure adherence to donor regulations and internal policies while providing essential support to program operations.

General Position Summary
As a Finance Assistant under the guidance of the Finance Officer, you will play a crucial role in processing and recording payment transactions accurately and efficiently.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Financial Management

  • Maintain custody of office cash funds and execute daily payments for approved transactions.
  • Prepare cash payment vouchers with comprehensive documentation.
  • Conduct daily cash counts and ensure accurate record-keeping.
  • Assist in bank payment transactions and document them meticulously.
  • Verify and approve expense reports for payment.
  • Support with monthly/quarterly balance sheet reconciliations.

Filing & Archiving

  • Maintain organized filing systems for cash and bank vouchers.
  • Assist in managing sub-grant files.

Tax & Payroll

  • Aid in processing withholding VAT and taxes as per regulations.
  • Assist in VAT balance sheet reconciliations.
  • Support in preparing payroll accrual entries.

Security & Organizational Learning

  • Adhere to security procedures and policies.
  • Dedicate 5% of your time to learning activities benefiting Mercy Corps and personal development.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • Engage with beneficiary communities as equal partners in project design and evaluation.
  • Uphold professionalism and respect for local laws and customs.

Supervisory Responsibility
None.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Degree in accounting or related field.
  • Minimum CPA II or equivalent.
  • At least one year of experience in accounting or bookkeeping, preferably in an international NGO setting.
  • Familiarity with donor regulations and nonprofit accounting.
  • Proficiency in MS Office, especially Excel.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy in financial transactions.
  • Excellent written and verbal English communication skills.

Success Factors
A successful Finance Assistant will be a collaborative team player with strong communication skills. They will possess knowledge of financial management best practices and software, along with a proactive problem-solving approach and ability to meet deadlines independently.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This role is based in Wajir (1) and Garissa (1) with up to 30% travel to field locations. Travel may include insecure areas with limited amenities.

Ongoing Learning
Dedicate 5% of your time to personal and professional growth through learning activities.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce where all contributions are valued. Join us in leveraging our collective strengths to address global challenges.

Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that fosters diversity and inclusivity. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and actively seek diverse perspectives to drive global impact.

Safeguarding & Ethics
We uphold the highest ethical standards and are committed to preventing abuse and harassment in all forms. All team members are expected to adhere to our Code of Conduct and safeguarding policies.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Mercy Corps does NOT charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.

HOW TO APPLY:

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Expert Tips To Be A Successful Applicant for Finance Assistant Position

  1. Tailor Your Resume: Highlight relevant accounting and financial experience that aligns with the job description.
  2. Research Mercy Corps: Understand our mission and values to demonstrate alignment in your application.
  3. Showcase Your Skills: Emphasize attention to detail, proficiency in financial software, and ability to work in diverse teams.
  4. Quantify Achievements: Provide specific examples of your contributions in previous roles, such as improving financial processes or meeting tight deadlines.
  5. Demonstrate Adaptability: Discuss experiences working in challenging environments or with diverse teams to showcase flexibility and resilience.
  6. Prepare for Behavioral Interviews: Practice articulating your experiences using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method for effective storytelling.
  7. Ask Informed Questions: Show your interest and understanding of the role and organization by asking thoughtful questions during interviews.
  8. Follow Up Professionally: Send a thank-you email after interviews to express gratitude and reiterate your interest in the position.
  9. Seek Feedback: Be open to constructive feedback and use it to improve your skills and application approach.
  10. Stay Positive: Job hunting can be challenging, but maintain a positive attitude and perseverance throughout the process.

SAMPLE COVER LETTER FOR A FINANCE ASSISTANT POSITION

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[Your Email Address]
[Your Phone Number]
[Date]

[Hiring Manager’s Name]
Mercy Corps
[Nairobi Address]
Nairobi, KE-48 1186800100, KEN

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the Finance Assistant position at Mercy Corps, as advertised. With a degree in accounting and [X years] of experience in financial management, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your mission of creating positive change in communities around the world.

During my tenure at [Previous Company], I honed my skills in cash management, financial reporting, and compliance, all of which are directly applicable to the responsibilities outlined in the job description. I am particularly drawn to Mercy Corps’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I am eager to bring my diverse background and perspectives to your team.

I am impressed by Mercy Corps’ dedication to empowering individuals and communities, and I am excited about the possibility of contributing to such impactful work. I am confident that my skills and experiences make me a strong candidate for this role, and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your team further.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to further discuss my qualifications and how I can contribute to the success of Mercy Corps. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience and can be reached at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address].

Sincerely,

[Your Name]


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What qualifications are required for the Finance Assistant position?
    • A degree in accounting or a relevant business field, minimum CPA II or equivalent, and at least one year of experience in accounting or bookkeeping.
  2. Is travel required for this position?
    • Yes, up to 30% travel to field locations may be required to support program implementation.
  3. How should I apply for the position?
    • Please submit your application through our online portal. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  4. Does Mercy Corps charge any fees for the recruitment process?
    • No, Mercy Corps does NOT charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.
  5. What is the work environment like for this position?
    • This role may involve working in insecure areas with limited amenities. Adherence to security procedures is essential.
  6. Are there opportunities for professional development at Mercy Corps?
    • Yes, Mercy Corps encourages ongoing learning and provides opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  7. How does Mercy Corps promote diversity and inclusion?
    • Mercy Corps is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. We actively seek out diverse perspectives to drive global impact.
  8. What is the application review process?
    • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further assessment.
  9. What should I expect in the interview process?
    • The interview process may include behavioral interviews, technical assessments, and discussions about your fit with Mercy Corps’ mission and values.
  10. How can I follow up on my application status?
    • You can follow up on your application status by contacting our HR department or checking your application status online.

Possible Finance Assistant Interview Questions With Answers

  1. Can you describe your experience with financial management software?
    • Answer: In my previous role at [Previous Company], I utilized [Software Name] extensively to manage financial transactions, generate reports, and reconcile accounts.
  2. How do you ensure accuracy in financial transactions?
    • Answer: I pay close attention to detail and follow established procedures rigorously. Additionally, I conduct regular audits to identify and rectify any discrepancies.
  3. How do you handle tight deadlines in financial reporting?
    • Answer: I prioritize tasks based on urgency and allocate sufficient time for each task. I also maintain open communication with stakeholders to manage expectations effectively.
  4. Can you provide an example of a challenging financial problem you encountered and how you resolved it?
    • Answer: In my previous role, we faced a significant discrepancy in our financial records. I conducted a thorough investigation, identified the root cause, and implemented corrective measures to prevent recurrence.
  5. How do you stay updated on changes in financial regulations and best practices?
    • Answer: I regularly attend workshops, webinars, and training sessions to stay abreast of industry developments. I also subscribe to relevant publications and participate in online forums.
  6. How do you handle conflicts or disagreements with colleagues regarding financial matters?
    • Answer: I approach conflicts with an open mind and seek to understand the perspectives of all parties involved. I then work collaboratively to find mutually acceptable solutions.
  7. Can you discuss a time when you had to adapt to a new financial system or process?
    • Answer: When my previous organization transitioned to a new financial software, I took the initiative to familiarize myself with the system through self-study and hands-on practice.
  8. How do you prioritize competing financial priorities in a fast-paced environment?
    • Answer: I assess the urgency and impact of each task and prioritize them accordingly. I also communicate with stakeholders to ensure alignment and manage expectations.
  9. Can you describe your experience working in multicultural teams?
    • Answer: In my previous roles, I had the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds. I value different perspectives and strive to foster an inclusive work environment.
  10. Why do you want to work for Mercy Corps?
    • Answer: I am passionate about Mercy Corps’ mission of creating positive change in communities worldwide. I am impressed by the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I am eager to contribute my skills and experiences to such impactful work.

FINANCE ASSISTANT


We wish you the best in your application process. Mercy Corps is committed to attracting and retaining the best talent from diverse backgrounds as we continue our mission of being a global development partner. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not charge any application/recruitment fees, whether refundable or not.

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