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Program Area Accountant at Plan International

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

Plan International

The Organisation

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.  Plan has gained vast experience since 1937 when it was established, and it works in more than 75 countries across the world.  We strive for a just world, working together with children, young people, our supporters, partners and host governments. Our work supports marginalised children and youth, especially adolescent girls, to grow up physically and mentally healthy and ready to shape their future.  We create an enabling environment and empower girls to be active drivers of change in realising their rights.  Plan International has been working in Malawi since 1994 in 14 districts, and its current strategy aims to reach 3.5 million adolescent girls and young women between 2022-2027 through different interventions.


Role Purpose

The purpose of the job is to provide timely and reliable financial information and analysis that leads to effective decision making to facilitate timely delivery of the PU operational plan.

This position has the following roles:

  • Preparing accounting and other required reports based on the analysis performed
  • Responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Program Area finance department and the implementation and maintenance of the financial procedures necessary for effective accountability and adequate internal controls. (segregation of duties)
  • Provide sufficient monitoring of financial activities throughout the fiscal year through the timely and effective control and implementation of the Program Area expenditures in accordance with prepared and approved budget guidelines
  • Engage in ongoing cost reduction analyses in all areas of the organization including cost recovery on grants and advising on same to programme.

Dimensions of the Role

The Program Area Accountant is responsible for grant financial support function in the areas of business planning, accounting and treasury, financial reporting and analysis and grants information systems. S/he ensures conformity with project reporting requirements and the stringent compliance to standards established by donors/national offices for the implementation of funded projects.



Financial Management:

  • Participate in PAs management meeting and provide financial advice and guidance.
  • Support the PAs Management team to ensure that financial resources are optimally used for the benefit of Plan families and their communities.
  • Responsible for the PA finance work.
  • Provision of finance trainings/advice to non-finance staff at PA to enhance good financial management and accounting practices.
  • Improving financial status by analyzing results; monitoring variances; identifying trends; recommending actions to management.

Budget Management and Monitoring

  • Review POs during PO development ensuring that correct/relevant account lines have been used
  • Reviewing of PO/Sponsored program mapping sheet.
  • Take a lead role during budget development for the PA and ensure that budgets are fully costed
  • Identifying financial status by comparing and analysing actual results with plans and forecasts.
  • Budget preparation, tracking and analysis

Partnership Management

  • Building capacity of both partners and communities in financial management as well as ensuring adherence to partnership agreement conditions through financial trainings and monitoring/support visits.
  • Regular review of partner internal controls system and alerting Head of finance and risk/Program area manager on serious gaps.
  • Timely liquidation of partner advances and submission of liquidation report to Head of finance and risk and management of the same in SAP.
  • Conduct due diligence exercise for potential partners


  • Prepare PA bank reconciliations twice a month; ensuring minimal reconciling items.
  • Prepare monthly cash flow forecast for the PA and submit to Lead Accountant- Control and Accounting for review and consolidation.
  • Ensure the PA does not have high balances at the bank, and for any significant idle funds are reported to Lead Accountant- Controls and Accounting and HOFG

Payment and Financial System

  • Preparation of payments based on complete and accurately coded payment packages.
  • Review of payments requisitions, vouchers and liquidation reports and ensure completeness and policy adherence.
  • Prepare and post journal entries to record/correct financial records and receipts to appropriate account lines.
  • Timely posting of liquidation of staff travel, purchase advances and fuel advances and regular monitoring of staff advances.
  • Monthly reconciliation of balance sheet accounts (prepayments, accruals, taxes..etc.)
  • Monthly remittance of withholding tax and reporting to CO for payment.
  • Timely completion of monthly period end processes for the PA ensuring that all mismatches have been cleared and all adjustments have been posted in GL.
  • Prepare intercompany charges and reporting to CO.
  • Monthly review of data integrity in SAP and checking of mis postings /grants.

Financial Reports

  • Preparation and submission of monthly Financial and Management reports to Lead Accountant- Budget and Reporting, project managers, senior grants accountants and Program area managers.
  • Timely preparation of project reports for submission to donors when they are due
  • Grants management coordination and reporting at PA level liaising with Senior Grants Accountants at CO and advising the PA Management where grant spending is below target or overspent.
  • Preparation of the monthly sponsorship reports with clearly explained variances
  • Advise the PA on the best use of sponsorship funds.

Monitoring and controls

  • Conduct surprise petty cash counts at least once a quarter.
  • Safe custody of security items.


  • File all payment vouchers, journal and receipts sequentially.

Cost recovery

  • Lead cost recovery at PA level ensuring that the shared cost centre for the Program Area is zero at the end of the month.
  • Prepare a track for LOE for staff and update Accountant-Reconciliation and Cost recovery
  • Coordinate with staff to ensure time sheets are completed timely and sent to Accountant-Reconciliation and Cost recovery

Project Closure

  • Proactively support the Senior Grants Accountant with grant closure processes ensuring that all reconciliations are done and the grant is ready for closure in SAP.
  • Ensure that all reconciliations are done at Partners level and any outstanding issues are communicated to the Senior Grants Accountant


  • Provide leadership to the finance team at Program Area that empowers them to deliver high quality work and collaboration.


Safeguarding and Child Protection

  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Key relationships


  • Country Director
  • Head of Finance.
  • Director of Programs
  • Programme Technical Leads & Specialists.
  • Programme Area Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Business Development Unit
  • Finance Teams
  • Supply Chain and Administration unit
  • Other staff, including members of the Country Leadership Team.



  • Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, National and Local authorities, community leaders, sponsored families, sponsored children, community volunteers, community members etc.
  • Partners organisations and other INGO
  • Civil society organizations
  • Sponsorship departments
  • Donors, Sponsors, sponsored children/families, NOs, GH, RH

Technical Expertise, Knowledge and Skills

  • Bachelor degree in business, accounting, finance, economics or related field.
  • 5 years of relevant experience in a busy office environment
  • Strong qualitative and analytical competency.
  • Experience in iNGO financial management
  • Experience is a quantitatively heavy role
  • Proficiency with spreadsheets, databases and financial software applications.
  • Outstanding presentation, reporting and communication skills.
  • Proven knowledge of financial forecasting and diagnosis, corporate finance and information analysis.
  • Proficient in Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, coupled with relevant accounting softwares.
  • Proven leadership abilities.
  • Deep understanding of the financial systems of iNGOs.


Plan International’s Values in Practice

We are open and accountable

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.
  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity.
  • Consistent and fair in the treatment of people.
  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.
  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people


We strive for lasting impact

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.
  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.
  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.


We work well together

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.


We are inclusive and empowering

  • We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential
  • We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge equality in our programs and our workplace
  • We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives.

Physical Environment

Typical office environment with occasional engagements with partners and donors.

Level of contact with children

very low.


Location: Mulanje

Type of Role: Fixed Term 

Reports to: Programme Area Manager

Grade: Level 14

Closing Date: 7 June 2024


Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.

Qualified females are encouraged to apply!!


We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.


We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.


Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.


A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

Please note that Plan International will never send unsolicited emails requesting payment from candidates. 

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