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Job Description


United Purpose (UP) Malawi is an international non-governmental organisation working to create opportunities for lasting improvement in peoples’ lives. We work in partnership with others to support a range of livelihoods and food security, WASH and health, sustainable energy and gender equality programmes reaching over 1,000,000 people a year across Malawi. Globally, we work in nine countries across Africa, Asia and South America, however our Malawi programme is the largest country programme. UP currently operates in 17 districts in Malawi, supporting over 30 on-going projects, with a total staff of over 180. 

UP invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced persons to fill the following local vacancy: 

Position: HEAD OFFICE ACCOUNTANT based in Lilongwe 

The Head Office Accountant is responsible for the maintenance of timely, accurate, up to date and easily accessible financial information and the provision of training and mentoring to project staff (non-finance staff) on finance and related matters. 

Key responsibilities and duties 

Payroll management

  • Serving as primary liaison with Administration and the field offices on payroll related accounting issues 
  • Liaison with MRA, HRA unit to ensure compliance with national tax and labor regulations. 
  • Ensure timely and accurate processing of all payroll transactions and compliance with established country payroll laws, employment agreements and payroll practices. 
  • Ensure payroll changes are supported by approved instructions submitted by HR 
  • Timely ensure payslips are distributed to all staff. 
  • Responsible for following up of all payroll related queries and where applicable ensure recoverability from staff. 
  • Monthly conduct reconciliations of all payroll related control accounts ie Salary Control, Pension Control, MASM Control, and any other; to ensure the necessary journals and supporting documents are filed and control accounts reflect a true picture. 
  • Keep abreast of developments in the country which may affect Payroll administration. 
  • Build and maintain an updated payroll file with all the necessary key documents and correspondences on payroll issues; 
  • Take initiative to maintain a monthly log of activities which need follow up and action at Payroll processing time e.g. ensuring staff recovery is effected as per email communications. 
  • Take initiative to engage other stakeholders in order to find ways and means of improving payroll processes. 


Financial data management and reporting. 

  • Review financial data for accuracy, completeness and integrity to ensure its in line with UP and donor policies and procedures. 
  • Assist in the uploading and posting of transactions in the Accounting System. 
  • Ensure well labelled files are maintained for project payment vouchers, liquidations, journals, invoices, receipts. 
  • In conjunction with project managers update the Finance Manager and HRA Manager with any information regarding staff grade, funding percentages and salary changes. 
  • Prepare monthly management accounts for project managers and SMT’s review; Take initiative to investigate all project variances on budget variance reports (for assigned projects) and liaise with project managers on timely remedial action to ensure acceptable maximum budget utilization. 
  • Support project managers with project narratives in relation to expenditure, financial risks and overall project’s risk management. 
  • Implementation and provide oversight of all system, policies and procedures to ensure efficient project implementation, compliance to UP and donor policies and procedures; reporting to management on any findings and areas of improvement. 


Month end procedures. 

  • Monthly prepare timely and accurate bank reconciliations of the assigned bank accounts, monthly Project Financial Monitoring Reports; posting accounting transactions; preparing source documents and ensuring that all invoices are accurate and relevant documents for audit are in place; checking and following up liquidations. 
  • Monthly review and reconciles all assigned balance sheet accounts and their items, investigate to clear all long outstanding items, raise the necessary journals and ensure amounts in balance sheet accounts are correct and well supported. 
  • Assist the Finance Manager with all other month end procedures. 


Cash flow management. 

  • Monitor the cash and bank balances of the Lilongwe main accounts and FCDA accounts to avoid overdrafts but also ensuring they are within the acceptable levels. 
  • Facilitate replenishments of bank accounts (sale of forex) as well transfers to field offices. 
  • Facilitate sale of forex to replenish operating accounts; ensuring the sale is at a competitive rate. 
  • In accordance with UP’s Finance Policy, calculate monthly conversion rate of all foreign currency transactions to facilitate smooth reconciliations. 
  • Prepare and consolidate where necessary the cash forecasts for Lilongwe Office accounts. 


Staff capacity building. 

  • Provide finance induction to staff in all aspects related to UP’s accounting policies and procedures as well as donors’ requirements. 
  • Supervise the activities of the Lilongwe Assistant Accountant. 



  • Support SMT in developing and consolidating donor and UP annual budgets. 
  • Ensure all tax returns have been processed on time; tax accounts reconciled such that only current tax owing is in the account. 
  • Facilitate internal and external audit processes in relation to the main office and ensure audit requirements are monitored throughout and applicable audit recommendations are implemented. 
  • Ensure timely submission of tax returns to MRA 
  • Ensure timely payment of all taxes to MRA 
  • Ensure timely payment of airtime for staff, MASM, Pension, Insurances, TEVETA 


Essential skills and experience 

  • Minimum of Degree in the field of Accounting 
  • 3 years’ experience working with a development or humanitarian organisation. 
  • High levels of integrity, honesty, but also a quick learner 
  • Good computer skills with ability to work with spreadsheets, accounting software packages 
  • Attention to detail and problem- solving skills 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Demonstrated capacity and willingness to learn - open to learning new ways of doing things 
  • Professional attitude towards work 
  • Friendly, customer service orientation 
  • Pro-active self-starter with ability to lead across teams. 


Terms and conditions 

The position will attract a generous benefits package including a competitive salary, housing allowance, medical aid, insurance, leave grant, etc 

How to apply 

Qualified and interested candidates who meets the stated requirements must submit a completed Application Form. Please note that CVs and cover letters will not be accepted. Please visit http://united-purpose.org/s/Job-Application-Form.doc  to download the Application Form, and then submit the completed form via email only to:

Email: applicationsmw@united-purpose.org

If you have difficulty accessing the form, then contact us at:

Email: applicationsmw@united-purpose.org

When submitting, please cite the position you are applying for in the subject title and save the application form in your name. Any applications that do not include the position in the title will not be considered. Closing date for the receipt of completed application forms is midnight of Sunday, 20th September, 2020. Only short listed candidates will be contacted. 

United Purpose takes the safety and well-being of all those we work with, and our staff, very seriously. We have a zero-tolerance policy on abuse. Our recruitment is safe, meaning that we recruit staff with the highest values and standards of ethical behaviour. United Purpose has a Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy, which reflects our commitment to protecting the people with whom we work. All candidates will be expected to comply with this policy and its procedures. 

For more information about UP, please visit our website at www.united-purpose.org/malawi/ 

UP is an equal opportunity employer, and women are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Skills Required

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