Location: Remote position requiring travel to OCCRP’s HQ in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Date of Issuance: 10 March 2020
Deadline: 13 March 2020
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is seeking an external consultant to help us improve our financial planning systems, processes, and practices. OCCRP has grown in size and stature since its birth over a decade ago, approximately 40-percent per year. (Our main sources of income are government and foundation-issued grants.) Building an efficient, scalable, and sustainable organization are key areas of focus for OCCRP’s leadership. As OCCRP moves to a new phase of its lifecycle, it requires a more structured and robust approach to proactive decision-making, development planning, and operational support in order to keep ‘on mission.’ To help fuel and fund this growth, we must create efficient financial management processes and infrastructure that are scalable and adaptable to OCCRP’s global operations and varied funding sources. In addition to providing staff with critical information and tools, this refined financial system will give donors confidence in the organization’s sustainability and independence that they need to continue to fund the mission.
The work to establish effective and efficient financial management must put OCCRP on track to meet the following goals as described in the organization’s strategic framework:
- Annual budget process based on department input, grant commitments, and strategic plan established by October 2020
- Department decision-making is based on revamped budget process including actual and accrued expenses by Jan 2021
- Fundraising strategy with time bound targets rooted in revamped annual budgeting by April 2021
Desired End State
The overall goal for this program of work is to in 2020 build an efficient, fit-for-purpose financial and planning infrastructure (processes, policies, financial/accounting skills, and systems) that will drive 2021 budget plans. Working practices should be embedded by October 2020 that can scale to meet OCCRP’s growth ambitions, including increasingly diversified revenue sources and geographical expansion.
The following key areas are in scope:
- Design user-friendly financial and accounting systems that streamline financial reporting, enable annual budgeting, allocate costs to grant funding, and provide actionable information to the OCCRP leadership team and inform annual planning––this includes data such as in-year and trending performance against plans and forecasting.
- Develop financial services team structure and identify personnel/skills gaps that must be filled in order to deliver the plan.
- Ensure budget holders and grant owners can directly access reliable, up-to-date information needed to manage their projects and deliver their plans within agreed budgets. Financial performance and forecasting information should be available by month, fiscal year, and grant life, allowing budget holders to see actual versus planned spend.
- Automate wherever possible to capture and report grant income and expenditure.
- Ensure the fundraising team has the budget and financial information needed to fundraise strategically for 2021 and beyond.
Planning Assumptions and Constraints
- We estimate that the consultant will spend four to five weeks––including time on-site in Sarajevo––assessing our current systems and working with our finance and administration team to adjust practices and relevant policies.
- We estimate this timeline will look roughly like the following (this will be finalized in discussion with the consultant):
- Face to face workshop-style meetings with relevant staff of up to 1.5 days to scope work, agree detailed project plan and messaging.
- Process mapping on-location in Sarajevo––one week for our current processes and one week for our desired processes.
- Estimate one week to write up policies and procedures (assuming drawn from their expertise).
- Assumed two weeks to look at processes, etc., for grant management––possible this could be folded into the mapping work on site.
- Assumed one week to map IT requirements and begin the sourcing for best fit.
- Communication planning and support materials––one day.
- Training package design support and launch training––four days.
- This project EXCLUDES IT work.
- The consultant will work primarily with OCCRP’s in-house leads on this project, the publisher and assistant publisher, and will have access to all relevant stakeholders.
- Ideally, the consultant will be familiar with accounting requirements for NGOs that receive U.S. government funding
- Ideally, the consultant will have experience with global NGOs that are funded via government and foundational grants with various reporting and audit requirements.
The consultant will be responsible for:
- Mapping current and future processes against relevant best practices––taking care to identify processes that minimize costs, time to completion, and reinventing the wheel. This will include:
- Comparing OCCRP’s current budgeting systems and recommending improvements based on industry standard best practices.
- Reviewing OCCRP’s overhead tracking system and recommending improvements based on industry standard best practices.
- Reviewing OCCRP’s grant management plan and performance tracking system and recommending specific improvements based on industry standard best practices.
- Working with OCCRP to develop a plan to implement systems that are best value and fit for the organization. Wherever practicable, these systems should integrate or connect with OCCRP’s other systems in order to improve cycle times and deliver reliable management information. E.g., grant program management systems must be compatible with the updated finance systems.
- Review current negotiated indirect cost agreement (NICRA) and cost allocation policies (CAPs) and applicability across range of grants. Recommend fit for purpose formula for future application.
- Reviewing OCCRP finance team structure against best practices. Recommending any changes for ideal staffing and skill levels in order to inform 2021 budget planning.
- Working with OCCRP’s internal project leads to solicit input and buy-in from relevant staff throughout this process.
- Developing a plan/workstream for staff engagement, education, and communications (time permitting).
- Assisting with the recruitment for the new role of Chief Financial Officer who will help ensure implementation of revamped systems and practices.
Interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org with an introductory email along with any relevant background materials, such as case studies, CVs, etc.