About the job

About AWF

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a leading international conservation organization focused exclusively on Africa. Since its founding in 1961, AWF has recognized that Africa’s wildlife resources and ecosystems are critical to the future prosperity of Africa and its people. Some key facts about AWF:

  • With a geographic focus on the continent of Africa, AWF works with Africans at the local, regional and national levels to conserve the continent’s tremendous natural resources.
  • They believe that development is good for Africa, as long as it is sustainable and balanced with biodiversity conservation.
  • They focus on key African species, including elephants, rhinos, lions and other large carnivores, mountain gorillas and Africa’s other great apes.
  • AWF is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with offices throughout Africa as well as Europe and North America.


About the Role

The Senior Finance Operations Manager is a key member of AWF’s Finance department. The role holder will not only lead all general accounting functions ensuring accurate, timely, and efficient month-end close of accounts but will also develop and implement initiatives geared towards improving the efficiency, compliance, and decentralization of AWF’s finance operations.

This position will also work closely with the Director of Finance in financial reporting and implementation of internal controls both at the Corporate and the Subsidiary level.

Occasional international and domestic travel is required.


Key Responsibilities

Leadership and People Management:

  • Lead the Finance team, composed of staff and consultants, in a manner that empowers them to add value to AWF and deliver high standards of performance.
  • Contribute to the design and updating of departmental staffing structure that achieves department’s goals and objectives.
  • Plan and organize the work of the finance function to accomplish strategic goals and targets in the most cost-effective and impactful manner possible as well as ensuring that each team member is provided with clarity concerning goals and expectations of their role in achieving results, standards and behavior and meeting deadlines.
  • Establish a high level of credibility and manage strong working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensure strong accountability and ownership within the team with a focus on a high level of service delivery.
  • Work with the HR team and supervisors to support and build the capacity of team members through coaching and training as well as provide periodic training to staff on internal control procedures and accounting tools.

General Ledger Accounting:

  • Create and maintain an organizational accounting calendar, scheduling the finance team’s monthly, quarterly and annual closing processes and ensuring the schedules are aligned with the Board, Audit and Finance committee meetings for timely reporting.
  • Ensure integrity and accuracy of financial data, timely identification, and corrections of errors of transactions posted in General Ledger.
  • Ensure all year-end allocations are completed in a timely manner.
  • Provide leadership in ensuring the accounting data is audit-ready at any given time as well as support annual organizational audits by allocating roles to the accounting team and field finance and administration officers.
  • Reconcile all balance sheet accounts on a monthly basis producing consistent and accurate supporting schedules and reconciliations and maintaining proof of review.
  • Ensure that bank reconciliations are performed timely and accurately by the appropriate accounting staff.
  • Oversee accounting and administration for corporate credit card programs.
  • Oversee payroll through timely processing and compliance with respective tax laws.
  • Work with Country Directors and Coordinators to provide functional supervision and guidance to field Finance and Administration Officers

Internal Controls Systems:

  • Ensure AWF Subsidiary ledgers and accounting and records are complete and sufficiently supported by relevant documentation and schedules.
  • Participate, as needed, in planning and problem-solving meetings.
  • Provide periodic training to staff on accounting tools and ensure the accounting team is able to use the accounting system effectively.
  • Keep abreast of changes in regulations that may affect the accounting functions of the organization.
  • Organize the accounting filing structure, paper and electronic and ensure the accounting team are well trained to be able to file documents for easy retrieval.
  • Work with the Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer to maintain and update the accounting systems.
  • Ensure internal controls around Accounts Payable, Payroll, Accounts receivables, Cash and Bank are adequate and well-functioning.
  • Lead the monthly General ledger review ensuring costs are posted to the correct G/L, to the correct period and that entries are well supported.
  • Manage and coordinate month-end close processes by ensuring all tasks are performed within the stipulated deadlines and documented on the established month-end checklist.

Financial Management and Reporting:

  • Ensure accounting and finance operations comply with AWF standards and donor obligations.
  • Provide and support and assist in establishing and monitoring the project budgets.
  • Ensure established AWF Field Office procedures and policies (FOM) are properly and systematically applied.
  • Prepare financial reports for programs and ensure they are timely, complete, correct and appropriate.
  • Manage and track budgets to ensure there is no overspend, low burn rate and verify budget availability for any commitment.
  • Review fund requests and program work advances to ensure they are within budget and are paid within stipulated timelines.
  • Work with the Finance Officer - Accounts Payable on an efficient cash management process.
  • Ensure that the revenues are properly recorded in a timely manner by the appropriate staff.
  • Work with the Accountant and Field Finance Officers to ensure proper recording of staff travel advances and clearance in a timely manner.
  • Perform any other relevant duties as assigned by the Director of Finance and the Chief Financial Officer.



Does this sound like you?

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting or related field. Master’s degree or professional certification (CPA or other accreditation highly preferred (CGMA, CMA, etc.)).
  • Minimum 10 years relevant working experience with at least 5 years in a management position with a blended mix of profit and nonprofit experience. Exposure and in-depth knowledge of grant management is a strong advantage.
  • Prior public accounting experience is highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated successful experience overseeing cash management, especially implementing systems for managing cash in remote field offices.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated record of establishing and maintaining collaborative and trusted relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Ability to successfully interact with colleagues at all levels
  • Solid knowledge of accounting standards governing not-for-profit accounting i.e. US GAAP or IFRS, financial reporting, procurement and audit.
  • Strong ability to organize and synthesize large amounts of data, and present issues in a clear, concise and logical manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate and lead high performing teams and manage internal and external stakeholders.
  • Manifest cross cultural sensitivity.
  • Highly organized with the ability to effectively assign and manage the work of others to meet tight deadlines.
  • Strong ability to communicate complex accounting information to non-accountants with excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Self-starter with strong decision-making skills with the ability to manage competing priorities, exercise good judgment, and quickly identify and resolve problems with minimum supervision.

Nice to have:


  • International experience with specific knowledge of US tax laws is a strong advantage
  • As this position is heavily anchored in AWF’s conservation programs, the successful candidate must have a strong interest in or understanding of conservation.

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