3.3 Job descriptions

The following are the recommended job descriptions that relate to daily financial and accounting tasks:

Finance Officer:

  • Receive payment requests and advance payments/settlements. Review and verify supporting documentation (for completeness and applicability), and ensure that account codes are consistent with the donor coding instructions.
  • Process cash float requests and replenishment, and monitor settlement as per cash management and disbursement procedures.
  • Keep a ledger of cash floats, and regularly report status to the Senior Finance Officer and Country Director/Team Leader.

Senior Finance Officer:

  • Ensure collection/settlement of cash advances by executing the appropriate collection or settlement mechanism (payroll deduction, sending reminders, etc.), and report deviations to the Country Director/Team Leader and CO Controller, if applicable.
  • Ensure there is sufficient cash flow to meet current and immediate future obligations according to cash management guidelines, and minimise excess cash on hand and on local accounts.
  • Verify payment requests and cash float settlements for further processing. Ensure that supporting documentation is complete and sufficient to justify the purpose of the expenditures.
  • Ensure daily recording of invoices, cash receipts, payments and cash float settlements, and ensure that the running balances for cash, unpaid liabilities and cash floats are correct.
  • Review payments and cash float settlements, and ascertain that account codes reflect the donor line items coding restrictions to keep the number of subsequent adjusting journal entries to a minimum.
  • Review all commodity accounting entries and reports such as commodity status reports (CSR) and commodity loss reports, and request approval from the Country Director/Team Leader before submission.
  • Supervise the monthly and weekly close process, and ensure timely, complete and accurate submission to the consolidating office.
  • Perform weekly surprise cash counts on all cash on hand, including cash floats held at the office and in the safe. These cash counts must be countersigned by the Country Director/Team Leader.


  • Ensure the safekeeping of the cash and cash equivalents.
  • Keep a ledger of all cash and cash equivalents on hand.
  • Disburse cash based on approved payment requests.
  • Receive cash and issue the corresponding official receipt.
  • Report in a timely manner overages and shortages to the Senior Finance Officer and Team Leader.

Commodity accountant (food and non-food):

  • Compile, organise and ensure safekeeping of all commodity-related documentation for all of CARE’s food and other non-food CIK programmes.
  • Prepare commodity analyses and accounting entries relating to all food activities such as commodity receipts, end-use centres distribution and transfers between warehouses, warehouse stock balances, and in-country losses. Make the required entries into the corresponding ledgers.
  • Review vendor account statements, invoices and payments related to transport contracts and distribution, and ensure that these balances, invoices and settlements agree with the signed contracts. Prepare the payment request-including all appropriate supporting documentation and accounting information-and submit for payment.
  • In consultation with programme staff, facilitate/prepare commodity loss reports and indicate subsequent actions on the losses reported. If the losses are to be claimed from third parties, ensure that the appropriate collection method is undertaken, follow up on the collection efforts and inform the Senior Finance Officer, Country Director/Team Leader and programme staff on the progress made and the outcome of the collection efforts.

Country Director/Team Leader (finance-related tasks):

  • Authorise purchase requisitions, purchase order, journal vouchers, local payroll and payroll adjustments before these are processed. Pay special attention to ensure that the correct accounting information (including references to donor budget line item number) and documentation is being provided. Consult with programme/finance staff as needed.
  • Review/authorise CSRs for food and non-food commodities, and provide justifications and narratives supporting losses, distributions and stock balances.
  • Authorise cash requests and ensure that these include donor contract line item information, if applicable and consistent to cash budgets. Ensure that cash flow meets current and immediate future obligations according to cash management guidelines, and strive to minimise excess cash on hand and on local accounts.
  • Frequently review the composition and operation of the financial structure, and ensure that it is responsive to programme needs, and that those basic guidelines on separation of duties (section 3.2.1) and internal controls are observed.
  • In instances where basic internal controls are not possible, seek assistance from the Country Office/Head Office to implement the required compensatory controls.
  • Supervise and countersign weekly surprise cash counts.