Financial Controller

Location: Geneva

Contract: Permanent position - 100%

Starting date: 1 December 2015 

Application deadline: 18 October 2015



Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF movement, and implements international projects and initiatives as requested. MSF International also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign.


The Financial Controller is part of the Resources team which comprises a Head of Resources (HoR), the Financial Controller (FC), a Human Resources Manager, a Human Resources Senior Officer (HRO) and an Accountant, all based in Geneva.

The Financial Controller reports to the Head of Resources of MSF International and the Access Campaign. The Financial Controller supervises the work of the Accountant and liaises with other MSF offices on finance and administration relating to MSF International staff and infrastructure costs and projects that may be housed and administratively supported by other offices.


The overall purpose of the position is to be responsible for:

  • ensuring accurate, complete, and timely accounting and financial reporting
  • supporting the Budget Holders in planning, forecasting and cost tracking, and the Head of Resources, and Management Teams in making resource allocation decisions.

The Financial Controller will:

  • ensure the full cycle of accounting for MSF International and the Access Campaign, as well as managing the accounts receivables, intersectional accounts payables and re-billing; 
  • develop and improve accounting and reporting tools, procedures, and internal controls;
  • design and set up of tools and processes to prepare and complete the International Office and Access Campaign Budgets and Forecasts;
  • establish regular financial reporting including variance analysis to Budget, forecast and prior periods;
  • adapt and maintain the accounting software to ensure optimal effectiveness to meet the IO accounting, budgeting, forecasting and reporting needs; and
  • collaborate with the International Coordination Finance team for the combined accounting of MSF International/Access Campaign


The Financial Controller has responsibility to:

Accounting and Controlling

  • Track, validate, obtain approval and record invoices and expenses from other MSF offices
  • Track and allocate costs relating to employees of the International Office and Access Campaign working outside Switzerland
  • Complete quarterly inter-company accounts reconciliation to be validated by the Head of Resources  
  • Reconcile and analyse balance sheet accounts including the bank and cash accounts
  • Reconcile and analyse suppliers and client accounts
  • Re-invoice shared costs to the other MSF offices
  • Ensure the recording in the accounting software (Axapta) all bank transactions from bank statements
  • Perform the annual closure of the accounts and preparation of the Statutory Accounts
  • Prepare the accounting files and audit schedules to be given to the auditors (statutory audit and any donor audits)
  • Provide the necessary accounting information for the International Combination, enter the details into the combination software program and liaise with the International Finance Coordination team for any related questions or analysis;
  • Support the Accounts Payable Accountant to collect and check supplier invoices and travel expenses to ensure that invoices are validated following a formalized validation process, recorded appropriately in the accounting records and paid on a timely basis.
  • Manage the collection of necessary information relating to accrued and prepaid expenditure and the valuation of these amounts
  • Assist the Head of Resources in developing and implementing accounting policies and internal controls


  • Prepare, analyse and distribute monthly reporting by cost centre showing actual costs compared to Budget costs and highlighting variances
  • Design and implement changes in Axapta to enable efficient financial reporting including comparison to Budget, forecasts and prior periods
  • Produce a quarterly detailed balance sheet analysis with supporting reconciliations for review and sign off by the Head of Resources
  • Prepare year end analysis and reporting on actual results compared to Budget and prior year at MSF International level, IO and AC level, and at cost centre level.
  • Working with the HR Officer, prepare HC, FTE and consultant TE monthly reporting

Planning & Analysis

  • Work together with the HoR and each Budget Holder to build the budget and forecasts for MSF International and the Access Campaign.  This will include the design and set up of tools to complete the Budget and Forecasts in a timely efficient manner adapting Axapata, and using the excel extraction tool to link the ERP recorded data to a budget and forecasting tool.
  • Provide assistance / direction to line managers with regards to the preparation of their budgets
  • Conduct regular (at least bi annual) meetings with all Budget Holders to ensure that they are tracking costs and understand any issues

Resource allocation

  • Identify and evaluate areas for improvement with particular regard to cost control and cost reduction.


The Financial Controller will be the back-up for the Head of Resources on all finance matters during his/her absence.



  • Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles and challenges of MSF
  • Formal qualification in Finance
  • At least five years’ experience in a similar position
  • Proficiency in financial accounting and reporting, including external statutory reporting and audit
  • Outstanding organisational skills with the ability to meet deadlines
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Strong computer literacy, including an excellent knowledge of Excel, and accounting software (experience with AXAPTA would be an asset)
  • Skills in forecasting, budgeting and analysis of variances
  • Ability to work with senior managers, reporting and coaching/advising on financial matters
  • Self-driven, positive, flexible and resilient with a hands-on approach
  • Problem-solving, team member prepared to assist when necessary in all tasks required of the small finance and administration team
  • Ability to deal with confidential information
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills in both English and French


Deadline for applications: 18 October 2015

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “Financial Controller” in the title.

Please submit only ONE FILE containing your CV and cover letter and name the file with your last name only.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.