Accounting, Financial Management and Reporting Expert Volunteer
**This is being posted on behalf of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates**
Location of Assignment: Mbeya, Iringa, Morogoro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Proposed Level of Effort: 6 weeks
Anticipated Start Date: August 2017
Objectives of the Assignment
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) are recruiting a Finance and Accounting Expert Volunteer to train service providers on finance and accounting best-practices for the Tanzania Feed the Future Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) Program. The main objective of this assignment is to equip Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar with modern accounting and financial management skills and systems. This will improve BDSPs’ efficiency, reduce their costs and will allow them to support more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with affordable business development services (BDS).
ENGINE is a four-year, USAID-funded Feed the Future activity awarded through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) contractual mechanism, that aims to streamline and enhance many of the regulatory, informational and financial channels that encourage domestic and foreign investment in the southern mainland agricultural regions of Mbeya, Morogoro, and Iringa, and in Zanzibar.
The ENGINE Program works at the district level, using a broad-based approach to engage with district Local Government Authorities (LGAs), private sector associations, business development service providers, financial institutions and SMEs. The program’s activities are divided into three main components:
Implement policies for growth. Build the capacity of the private sector to effectively dialogue with the government to set the policy agenda and improve the capacity of the public sector to implement policies.
Equip businesses for growth. Strengthen SME capacity and foster the growth and capacity of a sustainable market for BDS in Tanzania.
Access to finance for growth. Broaden access to finance for SMEs, especially women and youth entrepreneurs and those working within agricultural value chains, to facilitate increased investment and growth.
Led by International Executive Service Corps (IESC), the ENGINE team includes partners MEDA, Diligent Consulting, and the International City Managers Association (ICMA). MEDA supports the development of the program’s BDS component and the crosscutting themes of Gender and Youth. Activities under this volunteer assignment will be coordinated through MEDA Home Office and the project Field Office.
The efficiency of BDSPs in the ENGINE targeted regions of Morogoro, Mbeya, Iringa and Zanzibar is hampered by lack of exposure to modern accounting, financial management and reporting skills and systems. Many BDSPs that ENGINE has assessed indicated that they have outdated accounting and financial management systems or do not have any systems at all. As a result, a significant amount of their time is wasted in compiling and tracking financial transactions, adding to their overhead. With improved accounting and financial management, and enhanced reporting skills and systems, BDSPs will reduce unnecessary overhead and will offer more affordable services to SMEs.
The Expert Volunteer will complete the following tasks:
Attend an orientation meeting with ENGINE Program staff in Dar es Salaam;
Accompanied by relevant ENGINE staff, provide group training to BDSPs in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar covering the following topics:
Establishment and review of internal Accounting and Financial Management policies and systems;
Establishment and review of financial records and reporting systems and procedures;
Modern software/packages/programs for accounting and financial management systems appropriate to BDSPs.
Assess accounting and financial management technical assistance needs for 10 BDS providers in each of the targeted region
Assisting the BDS Coordinator in each region, develop a follow-up plan for 10 BDS providers to receive further technical assistance, including coaching and mentoring in the above subjects.
Write a Final Report summarizing findings, conclusions and recommendations related to the assignment, as well as a discussion concerning assignment challenges and recommended solutions;
Provide exit debriefings with relevant program staff that include an overview of assignment challenges and proposed solutions.
The Expert Volunteer will submit the following deliverables:
Training materials (slides, handouts, tip sheets, etc.)
Minutes/notes of the meetings/assessments/training sessions described in Tasks B and C above, and other project meetings.
Assessment reports developed with regional BDS Coordinators (Task C above), as well as:
Follow up Technical Assistance Plans for selected BDSPs (up to 10 in each targeted region). This could include further training, coaching or mentorship in the subjects covered above.
The Expert Volunteer will submit a Final Trip Report to the ENGINE Program that includes the following sections:
C. Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations related to BDSP group training in the four regions;
Discussion of assignment objectives and how they were met or why they were not met.
Additionally, the Expert Volunteer will provide exit debriefings (Task F above).
Expert Volunteer Qualifications
The ideal Finance Expert Volunteer will have the following skills and qualifications:
5+ years of experience in supporting consulting or training organizations in accounting, financial management and reporting systems. Knowledge and experience in business financial and accounting packages appropriate for use in developing countries is strongly preferred.
A proven track record in training, coaching and mentoring consulting or training firms;
Experience in stakeholder engagement, consultation, and facilitation.
University degree in accounting, finance/financial management, business administration, or another relevant field.
Professional qualification in Accounting (ACCA, CPA, etc.) and membership in a professional Accounting Board.
5+ years working experience as an accountant or financial manager.
Training skills, including participatory training in group settings. Training and consultation experience utilizing a translator or interpreter is an added plus.
Self-motivated, proactive, detail-oriented, mature, professional team player, who is a strong people person and communicator, with good inter-personal skills.
Ability to address issues, challenges, questions, and concerns in a professional, respectful, logical, and timely manner.
Well-developed writing skills in English and the ability to express one’s self clearly and concisely.