Programme Finance Manager – based in Sierra Leone

  • Anywhere

Job Title: Programme Finance Manager – based in Sierra Leone
International applications: Strongly encouraged
Salary: £35,000 – £45,000
Reporting to: West Africa Regional Finance Manager (Street Child UK) / Street Child of Sierra Leone Country Director
Hours: 37.5 Hours per week
Principal Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone, with frequent travel to regional office / project sites
Time Frame: 18 month contract envisaged (possibility of extension based on performance and funding)


Street Child believes that every child deserves the chance to go to school and learn. Our projects focus on a combination of education, child protection and livelihood support to address the social, economic and structural issues that underpin today’s education crisis. We partner with local organisations and communities to deliver our locally rooted programmes, using evidence to drive learning and the refinement and scale up of programmes to create maximum impact for the most children at the lowest cost. We pride ourselves on being willing to go to the world’s toughest places where others won’t, including remote, hard-to-reach areas and fragile, disaster-affected states across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Since 2008 we have helped over 900,000 children to go to school and learn.


This unique and vital role has two key, linked, accountabilities.

Firstly, from a short-term and day-to-day perspective, this role will in effect be co-Financial Director of Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL). Working alongside SCoSL’s national FD, the holder of this role will be fully accountable to the Country Director of SCoSL, and relevant leaders within Street Child, for ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of all key functions of SCoSL’s finance department.

Secondly, from a long-term development perspective, this position will take a lead in optimising all aspects of SCoSL’s finance capability – with the goal of developing a robust ‘best in class’ department with optimal systems, processes and structures and personnel in place at all levels.

The absolute definition of success for this role-holder would be that whenever their time comes to move on, perhaps in 2025 or 2026, there is no need for this role to be replaced, with the SCoSL finance leadership and team well placed to effectively discharge all their key duties without the need for the type of assistance envisaged by this position.

The professional challenge inherent in this role, and the importance of its success is well appreciated by Street Child leadership and this role will be closely supported from multiple angles – in particular by Street Child’s Senior Finance Manager for West Africa, Africa Finance Director, Global Finance Director and HQ Finance team – as well as the Freetown-based Head of Sierra Leone / Liberia Programmes and Global Programmes Co-ordinator.

Part 1: Role Purpose:

The purpose of this role is to lead improvements in the financial management of Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL), a national education and child protection organisation with nationwide presence and annual budget of £1.5-2m. The role holder will also manage Street Child’s financial reporting and compliance requirements in delivering programmes in Sierra Leone.

The role will have dual reporting lines to Street Child’s West Africa Regional Finance Manager and Street Child of Sierra Leone’s Country Director, with oversight of Street Child of Sierra Leone’s finance team, and a close working relationship with SCoSL SMT and Street Child’s Head of Sierra Leone Programmes.

The role provides financial oversight of programmes in Sierra Leone, facilitating accurate and timely donor reporting, strong budget management and excellent record keeping. Key aspects of this role include: the development and implementation of robust financial management and reporting systems; strengthening the control environment and record keeping; empowering programmes and leadership teams to have strong financial management and grant management capabilities. The role also serves as a link between Street Child of Sierra Leone and Street Child UK, delivering monthly requisitions, annual budget information and other information as required.

Part 2: Key Responsibilities:

1) Development and implementation of robust financial management and reporting systems to facilitate accurate donor reporting, strong budget management and transparency for budgeting. (40%)

  • Ensure that all staff are using the QuickBooks finance system in place at Street Child of Sierra Leone to provide accurate and timely recording of transactions – providing training, review, support and direct input as needed.
  • Ensure that all month end processes are carried out in a timely manner including month end closure processes, bank reconciliations, balance sheet reconciliations, and generating reports.
  • Providing reliable donor reports, Budget vs Actual reports to the Director and Programmes staff to facilitate good planning and anticipation of any changes needed to programmes delivery.
  • Ensure that donor expenditure is recorded accurately and finance reports are of high quality with full supporting transaction listings reconciled to the finance system and delivered to deadlines in accordance donor requirements. Report on all costs incurred both at Street Child of Sierra Leone and Street Child HQ.
  • Preparation of all donor reports, working with Partner Finance teams and programmes staff as needed to ensure that they are delivered on time and with appropriate sign off.
  • Lead donor due diligence and donor audits by provision of information required.
  • Provide input as necessary for all donor budget proposals, ensuring that costs requested are complete and reasonable seek approval for all donor proposal budgets before they are submitted to donors.
  • Facilitate the year end audit, over-setting the end to end of the annual audit process.

2) Strengthening the control environment and record keeping. (30%)

  • Review and assess the effectiveness of internal controls and recommend changes and improvements as required , and review any improvements in internal controls recommended by auditors or donors.
  • Based on these reviews, devise a delivery plan to ensure that improvements are met, and support the delivery of that plan.
  • Strong financial procedures are in place to accompany all payments and improvements are made to the payments system including in particular justifying the use of cash and advances.
  • Ensure appropriate bank & cash management procedures are in place and operating effectively, including bank reconciliations for all accounts, cash counts and cash transfers to field sites.
  • Ensure robust procurement processes are in place and being followed, working with the procurement team to make any changes needed and ensure that all staff are clear on the required procurement process.
  • Developing Financial management tools, including policies and procedures as required.
  • Ensure that monthly requisitions (the process for requesting monthly transfers from HQ) are robust, evidence based and submitted on time each month upcoming up with an annual budget, approved in accordance with SC budget timetable, working with the Senior West Africa Finance Manager to develop consistent templates to use in each template.
  • Regularly advise and provide support on other issues as the need arises.

3) Participate in finance related meetings and initiatives for all SCoSL programmes, providing budget and financial guidance, including provision of training to colleagues. (10%)


  • To ensure the smooth-running of the programme with respect to its financial obligations.


  • Compliance with the organisational procedures; quality of budget monitoring; quality of the budgets drawn up; quality of financial reports for donors; anticipation of financial problems


  • Provide BVAs every month by the 10th of M+1 of all contracts.
  • Plan and lead the BVA analysis meetings every month before the 15th.
  • Ensure coherency between the programme budget and the donors’ budgets.
  • Conduct the monthly, bi-annual and annual accounts closing operations · Raise programme teams’ awareness of contractual budget and financial obligations.
  • Analyse donor guidelines and inform the teams about these procedures and their application.
  • Train programme teams in internal budget and financial management procedures so as to ensure a realistic budget, accurate expenditure codification and robust budgetary steering.
  • Draw up and monitor cost allocation tables for office and staff costs.
  • Check the budgetary monitoring of the funding schedule.
  • Substantiate the financial accounts with regard to local legislation · Monitor and organise internal and external audits, assume the role of the auditor’s primary contact in liaison with head office.

4) Managing the finance team. (10%)

  • Train the finance team
  • Manage and lead the finance team, fix objectives and review progress
  • Set up communication and coordination mechanisms for the team
  • Manage contractual monitoring (leave, end of trial periods, etc.) of finance team members; if necessary, co-validate disciplinary procedures with Operations Manager
  • Oversee finance team’s career development: define training needs and provide guidance on professional development

5) A liaison and link with Street Child UK Finance team to enable management of operations in Sierra Leone. (10%)

  • Develop the annual budget for Sierra Leone, which includes costs budget, programmes costs, cash flow forecasting.
  • Enter Street Child of Sierra Leone costs on the HQ finance system (Aqilla) and ensure that all monthly transfers to Street Child of Sierra Leone are fully accounted for and reconciled.

Part 3: Person Specification

Attributes Essential Desirable

Education / Qualifications:

  • Educated to degree level or higher
  • Recognised Accountancy Qualification
  • Degree in International Business Administration, finance or related field; or attendance at specific relevant training courses

Experience and Knowledge:

  • 5 years post qualification experience
  • Experience of implementing internal controls and finance procedures
  • Experience of managing multi donor grants and good knowledge of donor compliance rules and requirements – in particular working with DFID, UN, EU, USAID
  • Knowledge of development issues and concepts

Skills and Abilities

  • Extensive knowledge of finance & logistics policy within non-governmental organizations
  • Knowledge of computer applications and software finance packages –in particular Quickbooks and Aqilla or other “mid-tier” finance system
  • System design and implementation of finance software packages


  • Strong interpersonal, management and team work skills
  • Ability to influence change in teams not directly managed
  • A self-starter, capable of working independently and flexibly to a high level
  • Fluent English –written and spoken
  • Good communication and staff training / capacity building skills