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General Accountant

Employer
Better Cotton Initiative
Location
UK
Salary
Competitive
Closing date
24 Sep 2021

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Sector
Accountancy
Contract Type
Permanent
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Description

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) - the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world - aims to reach 5 million farmers worldwide with more sustainable agricultural practices. In less than 12 years, the Better Cotton Initiative and its Partners have supported over 2.3 million farmers in 23 countries in adopting more sustainable agricultural practices. Thanks to these efforts, Better Cotton accounts for around 22% of global cotton production. We are truly a joint effort, encompassing stakeholders from farms to fashion brands and civil society organisations, driving the cotton sector toward sustainability. BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

About the Role

BCI is looking for an experienced accounting professional, a rigorous and process-focused individual with comprehensive knowledge of working in internationally, to support BCI´s general accounting activities. This role will report to the General Accounting Manager (GAM).

The position supervises two direct reports and will be responsible for managing the Senior Finance Officer and the Bank Processing Officer to ensure work is completed timely and accurately. In addition, the role needs to ensure all general accounting records are reviewed and controlled comprehensively.

The role will support the delivery of all general accounting routines and requires that deadlines be adhered to. This position will support many accounting activities, including general ledger preparation, weekly and monthly routines, quarterly close, year-end audit preparation and consolidation of overseas legal entities. The General Accounting Senior Coordinator will need to work with staff across the organisation and should be able to support with strong interpersonal communication skills, both written and verbal.

The role will also support the organisation´s move towards international accounting standards.

The ideal candidate is a self-starter, enjoys collaborating with people across the organisation, and embraces a dynamic environment. Experienced in supervising and mentoring others, the preferred candidate will thrive on increasing their own accounting knowledge and proactive in suggesting improvements.

Responsibilities

General Accounting and Reporting

Responsible for accounting operations (accounts payable/receivable, cash and bank accounts, general journal, and payroll processes), maintain compliance with accounting processes and international accounting standards.
Ensure that the accounting system is maintained up to-to date, maintain the accuracy of financial information to enable accurate and timely internal reporting.
Work with GAM to continue maintaining and developing organisation accounting systems and processes to ensure they remain appropriate as BCI evolves. Ensure that these are clearly documented.
Support with cash management monitoring; be responsible for external invoices processing and payment runs, considering multiple currencies, including the relationship with BCI banks.
Ensure appropriate costs allocation to projects, including donor-funded projects. Liaise with Senior Grants Accounting Coordinator as and when required to ensure these allocations align to different donor rules.
Develop and maintain accounting principles, practices and procedures. Continually reviews work practices and policies for better operational efficiency. Work with GAM to improve systems and procedures to automate manual processes to drive efficiency gains and ensure appropriate financial controls.
Guide country teams to ensure accurate financial reporting for appropriate accounting and that controls are in place in regional offices.
Support country teams to deliver reporting to align to International Accounting Standards.
Provide financial advice on the Finance processes to the broader BCI team. Support with the training of staff and communicate clearly when these are changed.
Produce financial reports. Using these reports, proactively review them to gain insights into areas for concern, developing trends, then raise these to the GAM's attention. Together with the GAM, propose solutions to mitigate organisational risk and develop implementation strategies.
Responsible for maintenance of financial documentation, archiving and filing management for Swiss legal entities.

Statutory compliance

Maintain compliance with legal requirements and Swiss tax legislation and with BCI tax process, directly manage corporate tax and VAT obligations in Switzerland.
Support countries Finance teams to ensure adherence to local statutory and taxation requirements.
Ensure the preparation of the annual statutory audit. Support country and function leads to coordinate audit fieldwork.
Prepare BCI financial statements, including broader work for the consolidation with BCI related parties.
Undertake all other duties that the line manager may determine, which is compatible with the job description.

Skills and Knowledge

Essential

Recognised Diploma in Accounting, Finance, or Business Administration.

Extensive relevant experience in accounting within an international organisation, ideally in a not for profit setting

Experience working with sophisticated ERP systems or other integrated accounting packages.

Comfortable dealing with numbers and tables

Self-starter with strong attention to detail, strong analytical and organisational skills.

Experience working with global teams

Excellent time management and ability to meet deadlines.

Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively within a collaborative team.

Good communication skills in English: orally and written.

Desirable

Familiarity with Swiss GAAP would be a bonus

Good knowledge of sales tax system (input/output)

Ability to work with diverse groups of people in a multicultural and team-oriented environment.

Excellent levels of IT literacy, including MS Word; MS PowerPoint; MS Excel; MS Outlook, SharePoint and experience working with CRM systems.

Enjoys learning, innovating and taking on a challenge.

Demonstrated interest in sustainability and working in a not-for-profit environment.

Working Arrangements

The position is 100% (40 hours per week). BCI offers flexible working hours, with core hours being 10 am - 4 pm and the option to work from home one day per week.

Candidates may be home-based in UK, or based at the London or Geneva office. Hybrid working arrangements apply.
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