Accounting Officer
World Bank (World Bank)
Close on 18 Aug 2020
Location: United States
Grade: GF, Entry Professional
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Added 2 weeks ago
Job Description


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

The WBG Finance & Accounting (WFA) Vice Presidency is responsible for all aspects of the financial reporting and internal control framework for IBRD, IDA, and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of these entities. WFA also leads the client service function for the WBG’s administrative expenses and trust funds and ensures fiduciary responsibility for all disbursements related to Bank operations.

Organizationally, WFA comprises three functional departments: (1) WBG Corporate Accounting and Reporting (WFACA), (2) WFA Trust Funds and Loans (WFATL), and (3) WFA Financial Controls (WFAFC). These units, along with WFA Chennai report directly to the WBG Controller who heads the WFA Vice Presidency.

WFAFC is responsible for a broad range of activities and consists of three divisions: (1) WFA Accounts Receivable, Payroll and Tax (WFAPT) (2) Accounts Payable, Quality Assurance, and Travel Accounting division (WFATA), and (3) WFA Valuation and Analytics (WFAVA).

Divisional Overview

The WFAPT and WFATA Divisions are responsible for recording and reporting of the WBG’s administrative expenses and fixed assets, which have a combined financial statement value of approximately $5 billion. The two divisions also provide strategic leadership and guidance to business units across the WBG on developing and maintaining an effective system of internal controls over processing and reporting administrative expenses. The two divisions are also accountable for developing policy and monitoring compliance related to administrative expenses and fixed assets. Specifically, the two divisions are responsible for managing a wide range of administrative/corporate services, including:

• Accounts receivable
• Payroll and benefits processing
• Tax allowance processing
• Accounts payable
• Fixed assets and lease accounting
• Country Office accounting support
• Quality Assurance Program
• Travel accounting
• AskAccounting (Help Desk)
• SAP end-user security oversight

a) The Accounts Payable, Quality Assurance, and Travel Accounting division (WFATA) is responsible for accounts payable, fixed assets and lease accounting, country office accounting support, quality assurance program, and travel accounting. It also provides strategic leadership and guidance to business units across the WBG on developing and maintaining an effective system of internal controls over these functions.

b) The Accounts Receivable, Payroll, and Tax division (WFAPT) is responsible for ensuring that (i) accounts receivable are recorded, monitored and collected in a timely and efficient manner, (ii) salary and benefit payments to the WBG staff are processed in a timely and efficient manner, and (iii) tax allowances to the WBG staff and retirees are processed in a timely and efficient manner. It also provides strategic leadership and guidance to business units across the WBG on developing and maintaining an effective system of internal controls over accounts receivable, payroll and tax. This division has a team of about 39 staff – 15 staff in Washington D.C. and 24 staff in Chennai.

WFAPT is currently seeking an Accounting Officer to join its Tax function in Washington, DC. The Tax team in WFAPT administers tax allowances on WBG compensation and tax supplements on Net Staff Retirement Plan pension payments in accordance with tax laws and WBG policies. Among other responsibilities, the Tax team is responsible for:

• developing and modifying tax policy;
• executing all tax payments;
• monitoring corresponding financial data;
• actively participating in discussions and decisions on tax matters relating to WBG compensation and pensions;
• researching national tax laws and evaluating WBG agreements with member countries to determine the tax implications on WBG compensation and pensions; and
• ensuring that the tax allowance/supplement policies are applied to staff members on a consistent and equitable basis.

The successful candidate will serve as a tax specialist, primarily to handle and support the tax allowance and other tax activities within the team, and, in close coordination with the Tax team in Chennai, help ensure that the processes operate efficiently and effectively. The position interacts extensively with HR, Legal, WBG country offices, and the Information and Technology Solutions Group (ITS).

The functional processes are led by team leads in Washington D.C. and Chennai, who report to the division manager. The Accounting Officer position reports to the Senior Accounting Officer who serves as the Tax Team Lead.

Duties and Responsibilities

I. Technical leadership, client services and project management

• Research country tax laws and evaluate the applicable agreements between the member countries and WBG to determine tax implications on WBG compensation.
• Work with stakeholders, i.e., Legal, HR, and Country Offices, along with external counsel and international accounting firms to analyze complex tax issues and identify solutions. Identify possible tax implications arising from new WBG initiatives.
• Work with business partners to operationalize WBG policies that may have tax consequences.
• Lead tax allowance project teams in tasks, such as developing business requirements, and developing and executing detailed test plans for new system initiatives.
• Work with ITS to lead the design and development of system enhancements to deliver robust technology solutions; use data analytics to initiate and provide inputs for process improvement and efficiency.
• Mentor junior staff and provide input to the Team Lead to help optimize processing standards and enhance productivity and client service.
• Coordinate with the Tax team in Chennai in administering the US tax allowance program. This includes providing guidance to the team on complex US tax cases and resolving concerns; periodically executing the Business Continuity Plan procedures; running tax allowance processes end-to-end; and reviewing tax allowance calculations and control reports as necessary.

II. Business advisory, data analysis and reporting

• Analyze tax data, identify solutions and present findings, that balance client needs with division and institutional requirements for complex cases and issues.
• Analyze tax accounting data to ensure integrity of the WBG’s financial records; develop automated reports and analytical tools to enhance the tax expense monitoring and projection.
• Develop tax allowance procedures, and design and deliver training material for staff impacted by tax law changes or new software.
• Support the analysis of risk, efficiency, productivity and cost-effectiveness through the development of key performance indicators for the Tax team.
• Participate in internal and external audits; provide support for compliance attestations and other assessments.
• Prepare reports to management and provide decision support for the Tax team.
• Provide advice and support to business partners and staff members on the WBG tax allowance policies and its applications.
• Serve as functional expert with respect to complex tax issues.

Selection Criteria

The successful candidate should have (i) strong tax technical accounting skills, (ii) initiative as a self-starter to proactively identify and implement solutions, (iii) excellent written and oral communication skills, (iv) proficiency in handling a variety of tasks while completing them timely, (v) proven ability to work in a team environment, and (vi) mature and sound judgment and discretion.

Education & Experience

• Mandatory: Master’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or related field with at least 5 years relevant experience (or) Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience.
• Certified Public Accountant/Enrolled Agent, or equivalent qualification is required.
• Preferred relevant experience: preparation and review of individual tax returns and gross-up/tax equalization calculations for US/Non-US assignees of multinational corporations/organizations, preferably in a Big 4 accounting firm.
• Project management and systems implementation experience is desirable.

Core Technical Knowledge and Skills

• Tax Regulations: In depth knowledge of individual income taxation in US and non-US countries, with emphasis on global mobility; expertise in the research of country tax laws and tax treaties together with the analysis of tax implications on various items of employment income.
• Strong knowledge and proven experience in tax calculations and the impact of different calculation elements on final tax results; attention to detail, with the ability to identify how a change in one element of policy or a calculation can impact other elements.
• Demonstrated ability to learn and apply new technology quickly and effectively. Solid experience in system development projects is a plus.
• Aptitude for quick analysis of tax and accounting data structures, identifying data inter-relationships and recommending improvements to procedures, systems and controls
• Excellent judgment and strong communication skills in preparing, presenting, and discussing findings verbally and in writing
• Excellent interpersonal skills, with an emphasis on collaboration and tactful interaction with staff at all levels
• Proven organizational skills, including competence in multi-tasking and meeting tight deadlines
• Strong interpersonal skills, including capability for appropriate interactions in a multi-cultural environment and building effective working relations with stakeholders and colleagues
• Should be client focused, yet flexible to changing needs, and work effectively with other teams
• Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment, and escalate/consult when necessary
• Meet WFA Core Competencies at GF level (stated below)

WFA Core Competencies:

Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs. Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Demonstrates accountability for achieving results that have a development impact and financial, environmental and social sustainability. Identifies and proposes solutions to mitigate and manage risks.

Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives. Appropriately involves others in decision making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches. Integrates WBG perspective into work.

Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions. Contributes new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact of own behavior on others in context of WBG's values and mission. Identifies and pursues innovative approaches to resolve issues

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen WBG client solutions. Leverages department's expertise and body of knowledge across WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions. Seeks to learn from more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and helps others to learn. Builds personal and professional networks inside and outside the department unit.

Make Smart Decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward. Seeks diversity of information and inputs, researches possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders.

Client Understanding and Advising - Looks at issues from the client’s perspective and advocates for clients within own area as well as urges others to focus on meeting client needs. Works with others across the VPU to define client needs and develop the best approach to meet client needs (e.g., finds appropriate solutions and negotiates internally for needed resources and support).

Broad Business Thinking - Maintains an in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of decisions both for related areas within the VPU and the client’s business. Involves the key players in identifying operating needs, issues and immediate solutions. Ensures that decisions are supported by relevant stakeholders and creates the business case for investment in process and enhancements. Sets clear explanations for the integration and alignment of services/solutions with business functions, focusing on the strategic value provided for area of responsibility within the client’s business.

Project Management - Prepares and manages multi-resource plans which affect the direction of the work unit. Analyzes complex, evolving circumstances and takes corrective action to avoid resource constraints and meet deadlines. Prepares to implement plans by ensuring that mandate is clear and manageable with present resources. Foresees problems and opportunities not obvious to others and acts to address them in a timely fashion. Creates new solutions that address problems and anticipate obstacles – i.e. thinking ahead about next steps in detail.

Analytical Thinking - Determines criteria for assessing issues and opportunities. Establishes clear goals and priorities needed to assess performance. Identifies relationships and linkages between different information sources. Anticipates issues that are not readily apparent on the surface. Identifies root causes and effects. Establishes clear goals and priorities. Anticipates potential problems and develops solutions needed to resolve them. Systemically analyzes relationships between apparently independent problems and issues. Reviews and cross-reviews reports. Identifies trends as well as isolated events. Translates analytical reports into management presentations and provides guidance to resolve issues. Anticipates the possible outcome of potential solutions. Identifies areas of significant concern or opportunity. Probes and initiates research to identify critical problems.

Policies and procedures - Demonstrate thorough knowledge of policies and procedures in related fields. Provide training and guidance to junior staff in enhancing their understanding of relevant policies and procedures. Lead by example and serve as the best practice champion in applying pertinent policies and procedures.

Risk and Controls - Lead by example and serve as best practice champions in completing internal control procedures, including understanding impact beyond own immediate functional areas. Provide constructive inputs to the design, implementation and improvement of risk and internal control procedures for standalone end-to-end processes based on understanding of the business. Assess impact of potential control risks and propose mitigating control procedures as appropriate, with balanced efficiency and effectiveness results within any given processes.

Information Technology and Systems - Demonstrate understanding of the functions and operations of pertinent IT systems and applications. Provide training and guidance to junior staff regarding IT system structure and function related area as relevant to the functional area. May Identify and/or lead opportunities for IT improvements to meet changing business needs and coordinate with IT professionals to design and implement new systems/applications as appropriate based on understanding of the business.

Communication - Adapt the communication style appropriate for the intended audience. Adopt an inclusive approach to communication as is appropriate to the situation, so as to ensure adequate stakeholder participation. Present information effectively and encourage feedback.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

About World Bank

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

World Bank's mission is to end extreme poverty by reducing the share of the global population that lives in extreme poverty to 3 percent by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity by increasing the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of people in every country.