Finance Specialist

World Health Organization, Washington D.C., United States

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th March, 2021

Job Description


This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Department of Financial Resources Management (FRM) oversees the financial transactions of the Organization by establishing its financial regulations and rules, as well as the accounting policies and procedures; processes the disbursements of funds; prepares the financial statements of the Organization including the reporting of regular funds and extra-budgetary funds; monitors the inflow of funding and utilization of these resources; is responsible for investments and banking, financial analysis, the monitoring of the cost centers’ financial administration; payroll, pension and taxes; Staff Health Insurance, and the processes and systems involved with FRM’s area of responsibility.


Under the general supervision of the Advisor, Accounting Operations and Statutory Reporting (FRM/AR), and the direct supervision of the Finance Specialist (FRM/AR), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  • Prepare operational accounting transactions under relevant business processes; support the monthly and annual financial closure; support the preparation of the annual Financial Report of the Director; review and reconcile ledger accounts in accordance with compliance requirements; liaise with counterparts in cost centers to resolve outstanding issues; advise corrective actions to cost centers regarding issues arising from reviews to strengthen the controls and processes in PMIS;
  • Support and actively contribute to an environment which ensures the close monitoring and control of operations using the tools available in the systems. Ensure that FRM is using all the relevant resources and capabilities that the system provides. Participate in testing of new PASB Management Information System (PMIS) releases; review financial enhancement releases and identify impact on processes; promote automation of processes and reports; ensure policies and procedures are fully documented and kept up to date; lead testing of new releases of Workday and recommend functionality or configuration changes; actively participate in the analysis and testing of ERP fixes and enhancements associated with business processes;
  • Apply knowledge of technology, financial databases, and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to support the accurate translation of policies to financial IT systems;
  • Support the development of strategies and innovations in financial operations, accounting, and reporting and propose and test new internal controls over financial transactions;
  • Prepare monthly and ad hoc financial reports, including reports to Member States, donors and for Cost Centers; prepare input to official documents, speeches and PowerPoint presentations;
  • Prepare first draft of financial reports for the Financial Report of the Director for the assigned funds; periodically review the expenditure detail report. Review and approve monthly reconciliations of assigned funds;
  • Prepare contributions to briefing books for Executive Management, Governing Body documents (including WHO Executive Board, PBAC and WHA), as well as with regard to United Nations system initiatives (CEB, HLCM, FB Network);
  • Supervise staff of the Team; provide training, advice and guidance on issues arising from the day-to-day activities of the office. Monitor changes in workload in order to ensure equitable distribution of work to maintain optimal efficiency and output; redistribute work when necessary;
  • Provide recommendations to supervisor on changes to role assignments;
  • Maintain strong relationships with Cost Centers, internal and external auditors, Member States, Institutions, and International Organizations;
  • Participate in planning and implementation of month- and year-end financial closure;
  • Prepare and/or lead analyses and forecasts; design and review operational, accounting, and management reports; propose new approaches and analyses to meet evolving financial issues, including financial operations policy, financial transactions, performance ratios, audit, risk management, internal controls;
  • Promote knowledge transfer and document procedures, guidance, and policy related to accounting process and activities; prepare presentations, bulletins, Job Aids and Standard Operating Procedures reflecting the current requirements of PMIS in different languages; prepare written and oral training materials;
  • Provide cross-functional support in the Finance Department;
  • Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration or any other area related to the functions of the position, from a recognized university.

Desirable: A master's degree in accounting, finance or business administration or a professional certification such as Certified Public Accountant or Chartered Accountant or international equivalent would be an asset.

  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO, only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Essential: Five years of combined national and international experience in finance, audit and/or accounting in the private or public sector.

Desirable: Experience working with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and/or Workday Financial Modules.


Technical Expertise:

  • Expertise in financial accounting and reporting, including experience in analyzing, reconciling, reviewing and consolidating various financial reports into executive level reports, and preparing a comprehensive analysis of status, variances, and future scenarios.
  • Ability to apply accounting theory and principles to financial operations; establish and monitor internal controls to ensure the correct application of accounting theory; knowledge of current best practices in financial accounting and management, with specific emphasis on IPSAS, internal control environment, oversight practices, and the development of policies and procedures.
  • Analytical skills in the review and evaluation of projects, proposals and alternative scenarios.
  • Strong professional writing, presenting and editing skills in English or Spanish, including the development and maintenance of operations manuals, training materials, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.
  • Ability to establish and maintain collaborative relationships within and outside traditional financial functions and within a multi-cultural environment. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills combined with the ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and courteous manner.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work with limited guidance.


  • Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language.  Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.


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