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  • Job Vacancy at The British Council

  • Posted on: 4 July, 2016 Deadline: 13 July, 2016
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  • The British Council is the world's leading cultural relations organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world.

    Finance Officer


    Purpose of job

    • To support the delivery of the financial and business processes and systems in line with corporate standards
    • The post holder will undertake specific work within Finance to contribute to the development of British Council Nigeria as an innovative and high performing country operation, modelling the values and principles of a collaborative, integrated and mutually supportive team

    Context and Environment

    • The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international non-profit organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. For over 75 years, we have created international opportunities and trust between people of the UK and other countries worldwide through our work in the Arts, English, Education and Society. We call this Cultural Relations. We have offices in over 100 countries, and 250 cities. In Nigeria, we have 4 offices in 4 locations with over 150 members of staff. Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 170 million citizens
    • The UK is its largest trading partner Nigeria holds significant political power in the region and internationally and its society retains a positive attitude to the UK. There are therefore major opportunities for the UK and BC to increase influence, income and, through this, our impact by building on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance
    • Nigeria is the British Council’s largest operation in sub-Saharan Africa with office in 4 cities - Port Harcourt in the south, Kano in the north, Abuja the Federal capital and Lagos the commercial centre. Our 150 staff works across a range of states delivering large scale contracts, partnership programmes examinations, projects as well as services in Arts, Education & Society and English & Exams
    • We are already achieving substantial impact and income (current turnover is £19.8 million) and have plans to grow and develop our impact further. Partners and clients include government, public and private institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil society. We work closely with the wider UK team including DFID and UKTI.
    • The Finance function is an integral part of Business Support Services team.
    • The Finance Officer will make contributions to the successful management of Finance by carrying out specific day to day Finance duties as well as providing vital support to other team members.
    • This post is instrumental in ensuring that Finance procedures and policies are adhered to and that operational teams are supported to embed these within their business as usual processes.
    • The British Council’s values are integrity, professionalism, creativity, valuing people and mutuality; and these are embedded in all our work.

    Accountabilities, responsibilities and main duties
    Income Recognition/Banking & Treasury:

    • To ensure all over the counter income is banked in line with relevant policy and parked and posted on SAP Cash Journals immediately after being banked.
    • To ensure appropriate procedures are adhered to when income is received and to bank all income within ‎2 ‎days of receipt or immediately threshold of ‎cash holding‎ is attained.
    • Ensure all relevant Cash Journals are balanced within 48 hours of banking being completed.
    • Ensure all delegated banking activities are diligently carried out.

    Procurement & Payables:

    • To carry due diligence on all vendor invoices prior to scanning to Global Service Desk (GSD)
    • Ensure all invoices are checked within 24 hours of receipt and scanned within 48 hours; thus contributing to significant reduction of Open Purchase Orders and late payment to vendors.
    • To escalate promptly any issues around invoice processing to relevant teams and follow up with GSD as appropriate for delayed payments.
    • Ensure that scanned invoices are backed up on the Finance shared drive.
    • Assist in processing off-system (non-P2P) payments after being authorised by Country Director or someone with delegated authority and ensure all off-system payments are recorded on SAP in the month of payment.

    Vendor & Customer Creation:

    • Support the Assistant Finance Manager to ensure that all potential vendors are first registered on Approved Supplier List (ASL) before submitting request for registration on SAP.
    • Support the Assistant Finance Manager to carry out due diligence for each vendor or customer creation request in line with agreed procedure before being reflected on SAP.
    • Maintain a backup of all scanned supporting documentation of vendor and customer creation on Finance shared drive.
    • Update the Vendor and Customer Master Database with every new creation/amendment of vendor and customer respectively.
    • Ensure amendments of existing vendors and customers on SAP are done according to laid down procedures.

    Financial Management:

    • Participate in monthly review of Year to Date balances of Trial Balance and to ensure that Month on Month movements have been analysed and exceptional movements investigated and explained or escalated as appropriate.
    • Contribute to accurate financial information by ensuring that all journals including corrective/adjustment journals are parked and posted before month end.
    • Participate in the preparation for internal audit and tax audit exercises; ensuring that all relevant files and documents are in place for smooth running of these audits.
    • Support the Finance Manager and Assistant Finance Manager in the delivery financial objectives and the management of financial risks of British Council Nigeria.

    Payroll and Compliance with Tax Laws:

    • Support in the monthly preparation of payroll ensuring that staff salaries and employee related recovery and payments are completed and duly authorised according to agreed timeline.
    • Assist in ensuring that payroll deductions relating to PAYE‎, ‎Pension‎, ‎NASA‎, ‎Development Levy‎, ‎etc are duly remitted to appropriate accounts and authorities ‎within agreed timeline‎.
    • Ensure Withholding Tax deductions for BC office for each month is remitted before the end of the following month.

    Customer Service:

    • Timely provision of financial advice and support to other colleagues to enable them manage their delegated finances and comply with BC audit standards.
    • Facilitating Finance workshops for new and existing colleagues on the best practices on SAP and finance processes.

    Key relationships

    • Finance Manager and Assistant Finance Manager
    • All Finance/resources team members
    • All British Council Nigeria staff


    • British Council Vendors and Customers.


    • Connecting with others - More Demanding
    • Working together - More Demanding
    • Being Accountable - More Demanding
    • Making it happen - Essential

    Skills and Knowledge:

    • Financial Management and Analytical Skills (with high levels of personal effectiveness and the ability to focus on achieving deadlines).
    • Computer skills - A good knowledge of Microsoft Office suite, particularly advanced MS Excel knowledge.


    • A minimum of 2 years’ experience in an accounting environment with proven and demonstrable technical accounting skills, including understanding and interpretation of financial data.


    • Graduate in any numerate course of study.

    Other important features or requirements of the job:

    • Occasional travel and unsocial hours may be required.

    Method of Application

    To apply, visit British Council Career Page

    Click here to download job details (MS Word)

    Click here to download BC Core Skills (pdf)

    Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

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