Grants Accountant at The African Academy Of Sciences (AAS)

The AAS is a pan African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science technology and innovation. it has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognising scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key science, technology and innovation programmes. The AAS utilises its membership pool which consists of a community of scientists to engage with governments and policy makers on the continent. The membership comprises individuals who have reached the highest level of excellence in their field of expertise and have made contributions to the advancement of the field on the continent. To date AAS has recognised 330 AAS Fellows and Associate and Honorary Fellows who are proven science, technology and innovation leaders, policy advisors and thinkers most of whom live and work throughout the continent.

Organisation Overview

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit Pan-African organization headquartered in Nairobi, with a hosting agreement with the government of Kenya. The AAS’s vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science. It is the only continental Academy in Africa enjoying the support and recognition of the African Union, and with joint programmes with NEPAD Agency, now the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), as well as several governments and major international partners. It has a tripartite mandate: to recognize excellence through its highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes; to provide advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies; and to implement key STI programmes aimed at addressing Africa’s developmental challenges

Position Overview

The Grants Accountant is responsible for preparing programmes financial statements, maintaining cash controls, providing financial reporting and analysis to ASS. The incumbent performs post-award grant administration and related accounting duties working closely with the Academy finance team in carrying out financial management, budgeting, compliance of grantees, reporting to funders and conducting variance analysis.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities;

  1. Financial Planning, Budgeting and Grant Analysis
  • Initiate the process of planning and developing budgets for new grant proposals and ensuring grantees’ budgets are aligned with to AAS policies as well as donor requirements.
  • Work with the Program Managers and the Head of Finance in reviewing and approving budgets submitted by grantees and ensure financial analysis and forecasting is done to aid in decision making;
  • Offer the technical backstop to grantees and ensure they are equipped on how to develop budgets and budget narratives for grant application;
  1. Grantee Assessment and Capacity Building
  • Assess the financial capacity of new grantees in-order to mitigate against financial risks and losses to the Academy by reviewing their internal controls, identifying areas of weakness and advising accordingly during site visits.
  • Support Program Managers in the granting making process, ensuring grant agreements are well executed.
  1. Grant Monitoring and Financial Reporting
  • Promote accountability of grants processes, funds, compliance to funders requirements. Ensure they adhere to reporting timelines by developing and maintaining a grant tracking database to monitor the flow of grants from the time full grant documentation is received  to the time the first payment is made;
  • Verify reported expenses to ensure they are allowable, allocable, and reasonable by maintaining a comprehensive timetable for grant financial reporting from Grantees to the Donors and follow-up to ensure adherence of reporting timelines;
  • Provide financial backstopping to grantees when implementing grants to achieve set objectives. Review of grantees reported expenses through cross examination of expenses and providing feedbacks;
  • Analyse financial transactions to ensure that they are correctly charged, and financial positions provided to funders are a true & fair representation of financial position. Support the Head of Finance in reviewing and consolidating grantees financial reports for grants within specified donor formats, ensuring accuracy and compliance with Donors Requirements;
  • Continuous financial risk monitoring of grantees and management of identified risks in consideration of programme goals;
  • Advise the Programme Managers and the Management on current financial status by ensuring accuracy and correct coding of financial transactions and reconciliations of grants financial reports in the financial system;
  • Facilitate smooth, prompt (timely), and quality implementation of grants by preparing adhoc operating reports, analysis and financial statements from general and subsidiary ledgers for Management consumption.
  1. Facilitation of Grant Audits
  • Mitigate financial risks by ensuring internal controls are put in place by providing support to the development and implementation systems and streamlining processes within the Finance function;
  • Support the audit process by addressing issues raised in audit exercises and following up on audit recommendations to ensure they are implemented;
  • Implement best practices on grant closure procedures and monitor how effectively high-risk grants and contracts follow comprehensive grant closure steps to ensure proper standards are upheld in management of grants.
  1. Fund Disbursement and Financial Accounting
  • Process and disburse funds to grantees by ensuring funds are available in order to facilitate smooth implementation of projects. Monitor bank balances to ensure timely inter-bank transfers and healthy cashflows are maintained;
  • Prepare monthly bank reconciliations and maintain accurate and updated records of bank correspondences, bank Instructions and confirmations.
  • Promote accountability through accurate posting of financial data and correctly coding of expenses in the financial system. Ensure financial processes are adhered to for true and fair reporting; including examination of physical documents, conducting accuracy tests
  • Monitor and initiate the negotiating with banks for fixed deposits placements, and other Investments and monitoring on expiring FDRs
  • Participate in committees as assigned in the execution of its duties and mandates and advise the procurement committee on financial matters

Person Specifications

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance/Accounting or related field

Professional Qualifications

  • Complete professional qualification in CPA-K/ACCA;
  • Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya.

Knowledge and Experience

  • At least 5 years’ relevant experience in finance management with at least 2 years in grants accounting working with donors
  • Working knowledge of grants accounting and financial management systems.
  • Advanced excel and analytical skills (Dashboard reporting, Power BI)
  • Experience in sub-grantee management and capacity building

Skills and Attributes

  • Ability to outline and communicate effective objectives and action plans
  • Good analytical ability and numerical skills
  • Demonstrate a high degree of sensitivity, confidentiality when dealing with internal and external customers;
  • A go-getter and results oriented with good communication skills
  • Have a high sense of accuracy and attention for detail
  • Have good problem analysis and reporting skills; and
  • High moral standing with impeccable integrity.

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