British Council Vacancy for Regional Financial Controller – Sub Saharan Africa (Flexible Location)

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.   We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

Regional operating context – Sub Saharan Africa (SSA): 

By 2050 the population of Sub Saharan Africa will be 2 billion people, with the majority living in an urban environment. The region is predicted to have a middle class the size of Europe. 70% of the population is under the age of 25, and this demographic will grow at 15% year on year for the next 10 years. Generally the region is becoming more politically stable. There are on average 50 elections each year, many of which are more open and transparent than before. The majority of countries in SSA are developing economies. Gender inequality remains and life for women and girls on the continent remains challenging.

Highlights of the Position:

The Regional Financial Controller role manages the end to end accounting process across the operation on behalf of the Regional Finance Director, including month and year end close, and ensures consistent, accurate and robust financial accounting processes in line with accounting practices and corporate policies. The post holder will be responsible for the controllership of income in excess of £80 million and have had success in managing a similar sized portfolio. The role will manage a team (size will vary by region) of accountants which may be based in multiple locations.


Regional Financial Controller will manage the financial month end process, being accountable to the Regional Financial Director for the pre-closing and month end closing steps, including maintenance of accounting records. As part of this the role will also be responsible for review and monitoring all accounting transactions and adjustments (accruals, deferrals and provisions), including Inter-company accounting, ensuring appropriate use of these in line with accounting rules.

S/he will review and post all manual journals and off-system payments, perform reconciliation of all relevant accounts and ensure that this is completed to corporate standards while ensuring that local external accounting requirements are adhered to. This may include managing local providers such as tax accountants or auditors.

The post holder will review and approve local Tax and other statutory returns, provide an advisory function to operations on technical accounting issues, and liaise with other specialist finance functions such as Tax and Treasury as needed as well as identify issues and resolution in relation to financial accounting matters.

The successful candidate will oversee requests for new Master Data items (Profit Centre, Cost Centre, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), etc.) and continual monitoring thereafter to ensure that the integrity of finances is maintained, produce periodic reports relating to financial accounting and monitor the cost allocation ratios for the region to ensure that they are based in accurate accounting rationale.

Team Leadership and Management: 

The Regional Financial Controller will demonstrate effective leadership of the regional Financial Controlling and Accounting team and ensure that line management of staff is to British Council standards and cover for the Regional Director

S/he is expected to understand the wider context of finance and act up as the Regional Director of Finance when necessary, coach and support individuals and teams, ensure that capability and capacity in the Financial Controlling and Accounting team is fit-for-purpose and able to respond flexibly to changes in the portfolio and operating context.

The post holder will ensure financial training for members of the team, ensure Performance Management process in undertaken to meet corporate requirements and actively support equality and diversity and work to the British Council’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy at all times.

If you would like to see full details and understand more about this post then please see the documents below:

Regional Financial Controller – Sub Saharan Africa.pdf
BC Behaviour.pdf
BC Core Skills.pdf

Further details: 

If you are interested in the post and feel that you are suitable for the role, then we would really like to hear from you. Please apply by 23rd April 2018 (23:59 UK Time)

Our Equality Commitment:
Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies, and finance as a function is absolutely committed to this.

The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council’s Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.  

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