Consultancy – Reserve Accounting and Interest Allocation, BMS/OFM - Tenders Global

Consultancy – Reserve Accounting and Interest Allocation, BMS/OFM

  • Contract
  • Anywhere
  • Posted 2 months ago

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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Background

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the global development network of the United Nations system that is on the ground in over 140 countries, with its Headquarters in New York, USA.  The Bureau for Management Services (BMS) is a central Bureau tasked with the development of corporate strategies, policies, tools, and systems in key cross-cutting management areas. Drawing on sound analytics and a risk-management approach, BMS supports the achievement of development results through management advice, innovative business solutions, and other corporate services in line with international best practices and evolving needs and expectations of development partners.  BMS also ensures policy adherence in operations management within UN Rules & Regulations, safeguarding UNDP’s accountability vis-à-vis Member States and other stakeholders.

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) performs a pivotal role within BMS and within UNDP’s global finance function, partnering with Bureaux and Country Offices. The primary role of BMS/OFM is to maintain the financial integrity of UNDP through providing financial leadership, supporting the efficient and effective management of its financial resources, promoting financial sustainability and responsible resource allocation in the context of a fluctuating funding environment. This is accomplished by the development and implementation of sound financial policies and practices, oversight of corporate financial management performance, and flexible scalable support to resource allocation. BMS/OFM is a key source of information for the Executive Board (EB), General Assembly, to Partners and wider civil society. It supports transparency through the provision of on time and quality statutory and other financial reports that comply with international standards and regulatory guidelines.

BMS/OFM ensures effective and efficient integrated resources management through a continuous and robust process comprising:

  • Formulation and implementation of corporate financial and administrative strategies, policies and procedures;
  • Formulation, alignment, documentation and implementation of UNDP’s funding frameworks, assuring their integrity, viability and alignment with the Strategic Plan;
  • Provision of policy guidance, advisory services and operational support to strengthen client capacities and help them achieve results, seeking to build consensus within UNDP and with key stakeholders on critical budgetary related matters requiring Executive Board legislation;
  • Administration of the organization’s internal control framework, overseeing and monitoring financial management of all global UNDP offices, including through formulation/implementation of resource planning, management and oversight tools and reports; and,
  • Promoting clear accountability for financial transactions and producing financial statements, including financial reporting to donors and the UNDP Executive Board.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for the implementation of financial policies and processes.  BMS/OFM is seeking services of a Consultant to undertake specific functional work to lead the work described below in section 2 related to the accounting for reserves in UNDP’s financial statements and the annual interest allocation process.

Context

Reserves:

UNDP’s reserves are governed by the UNDP Financial Rules and Regulations (FRRs) approved by the EB. Regulation 25 of these FRRs concerned with ‘Cash Management establishes specific reserves and Regulation 10.03 states that ‘subject only to the maintenance on a continuous basis of the reserves set forth under article 25 and for working capital, and after provision has been made for the institutional budget; all resources of UNDP shall be available to the maximum extent possible for programme activities.’ With respect to the basis of accounting, UNDP’s financial statements are prepared in accordance with IPSAS. Whilst ISPAS does not define reserves (although the framework offers specific examples e.g., of discrete reserves such as the revaluation reserve within net assets), Regulation 26.03 of the UNDP FRRs requires that ‘separate accounting records shall be maintained for all reserves within the UNDP Accounts’ premised the general approach that amounts recognized as reserves comprise resource balances that remain after all the activities of an entity are brought to closure and all the liabilities are settled.

Following the Executive Group’s approval for the establishment of different risk and investment reserves in 2017, which was done in furtherance of the improved planning and budgeting approach developed in 2016, UNDP is reviewing its policy on reserves. In addition to addressing the request of UNDP’s Audit and Evaluation Advisory Committee to revise the disclosure of the Accumulated Surplus/Reserves in the annual financial statements of UNDP, this consultancy will complement the work on updating the Reserves Policy through formulating the related accounting framework, principles, parameters, treatment and disclosure notes to optimally reflect those Accumulated Surpluses and Reserves in UNDP’s annual financial statements that are prepared in accordance with IPSAS.

Interest allocation process:

UNDP’s unprogrammed funds are co-mingled and invested by the Treasury Investment Unit. The portfolio is managed to provide working capital for project implementation as and when funds are required. Annually, an allocation of the investment income earned in the commingled portfolio is performed to apportion the income from core funds to projects (e.g. Cost Sharing, Trust Funds) or set aside for reprogramming as per the donor instructions. A small portion of interest, mainly from legacy contribution agreements, is set aside for refunds to donors as per the requirements of legacy agreements.

Duties and Responsibilities

Objective

The main objective of the consultancy is to assess the adequacy of the current accounting treatment and set-up of UNDP’s mandated and internal reserves and to propose an optimal solution for the accounting and disclosure of such reserves in UNDP’s financial statements and for the purposes of updating UNDP’s reserves policy.

Additionally, a comprehensive review is required on the existing interest allocation standard operating procedure (SOP) and an policy statement on interest allocation is required.

Scope

Specifically, with reference to the current accounting treatment, recommendations for an optimal accounting treatment of reserves and interest income allocation and updating the related SOP and policies, the review shall cover the following:

  1. A review of UNDP’s policies, procedures, financial statements, dashboard pertaining to Reserves and interest allocation with a documented overview of the requirements and issues observed.
  2. Review UNDP’s internally managed reserves set-up in the UNDP dashboard “At a Glance” and provide a document with a breakdown on how these are set-up, including any technical specifications.
  3. Analyse and compare the Reserves in the UNDP dashboard “At a Glance” to the UNDP corporate financial statements and provide a summary document on the findings.
  4. Verify UNDP reserves against underlying assets and provide documented findings.
  5. A document on the set-up and configuration of reserves and disclosure in UNDP’s dashboard “At a Glance”.
  6. A document on alternative accounting methods and useful disclosures for Reserves in UNDP’s reserves policy/procedure and corporate financial statements.
  7. A review of the current interest allocation methodology and provide a recommended policy on interest allocation supplemented by an updated SOP on the interest allocation process that includes a basis for performing the allocation on a quarterly basis from quarter 2 of 2023.
  8. Propose a simplified interest allocation process for the new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.  
  9. Perform all necessary coordination, review, analysis, etc. to ensure value added improvement to UNDP’s reserve accounting and reporting and the interest allocation process.
  10. Prepare findings and recommendations included in a comprehensive Final Report and presentation.
  11. Presentation to UNDP Senior Management on the findings and recommendations.
  12. Proposedraft note disclosure regarding Accumulated Surpluses and Reserves for the 2022 UNDP financial statements .
  13. Prepare Q&As regarding the revised Reserves notes disclosure and interest allocation process.

Whereas initially based on available existing documentation and access to different platforms, the review will also make extensive use of interviews with relevant key personnel in BMS (GSSC, BPC, OFM, OHR and the Directorate) and other Bureaus and Offices, as well as internal and external auditors, as appropriate.

Reporting

The consultant will be engaged by and report to the Chief of Accounts on the reserve accounting and to the Deputy CFO on the interest allocation and will work closely with BMS/OFM to obtain the necessary information to undertake the tasks as set-out above.

Report and communication

A draft report containing an analysis followed by recommendations should be submitted to the CFO by 31 March2023 with a final report and short presentation to be completed in time for the results to be discussed with the Director of the Bureau of Management Services and other Senior Managers by 11 May 2023.

The Reports (Draft & Final) and Presentation are to be submitted in English as are all deliverables.

The Report and Presentation will be for limited distribution to UNDP senior management for internal purposes.

Expected outputs and deliverables:

The specific responsibility areas for the Consultant and the associated deliverables will include:

Output description

Projected completion date

Projected working days

Review and approval

% of payment

Milestone 1 (Review):

The review of:

 

Milestone 1.1

UNDP’s policies, procedures, financial statements, dashboard pertaining to Reserves.

 

Output 1.1

Documented overview of the requirements and issues observed (including working papers, as applicable)

 

Milestone 1.2

UNDP’s internally managed reserves set-up in the UNDP dashboard “At a Glance”

 

Output 1.2

Documented breakdown on how the reserves are set-up with a view on consistency, including any technical specifications.

 

Dependencies:

Access to relevant materials, platforms, and relevant personnel, including from BMS/BPC, BMS/ITM and BMS/OFM/FMPR

30 November 2022

30 days

 

Chief of Accounts

15%

Milestone 2 (Review):

The review of:

 

Milestone 2.1

Current policy and SOP of the interest allocation process.

 

Output 2.1

Documented overview of the requirements and issues observed.

 

Milestone 2.2

Review project agreements to identify if interest needs to be refunded or can be used for reprogramming or is unearmarked.

 

Output 2.2

Summary documented on the findings

 

Milestone 2 to be performed concurrently with milestone 1

30 days

Deputy CFO

Milestone 3 (Analyse & Verify)

 

Milestone 3.1

Analyse and compare the Reserves in the UNDP dashboard “At a Glance” to the UNDP corporate financial statements.

Additionally, verify UNDP reserves against the  underlying assets available for all reserves.

 

Output 3.1

Summary document on the findings

Milestone 3.2

Analyse the interest allocation process in the Atlas system.

Output 3.2

Summary document on the findings with a Draft Policy document on the interest allocation process.

Dependencies:  Inputs from BMS/OFM/FPMR, BMS/OFM/Innovations & Solutions/Analytics & BMS/BPC

30 December 2022

30 days

 

Chief of Accounts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy CFO

15%

Milestone 4 (Improvement documentation):

Perform all necessary coordination, review, analysis, etc. to ensure value added improvement to UNDP’s reserve accounting and reporting and interest allocation process.

 

Output 4.1

A document on the set-up and configuration of reserves and disclosure in UNDP’s dashboard “At a Glance”.

Output 4.2

A document on existing accounting methods and alternative accounting methods available and set-up of reserves and useful disclosures for reserves regarding UNDP’s reserves policy and corporate financial statements.

 

Output 4.3

An updated SOP on the interest allocation process, incorporating proposed changes to the process taking  into account the new ERP.

 

Dependencies:  Input from BMS/OFM

15 March 2023

65 days

Chief of Accounts

20%

Milestone 5 (Draft Reporting):

Findings and recommendations included in a comprehensive Draft Report.

 

Output 5.1

Draft Report incorporating all outputs as well as the overall findings and recommendations of the consultancy

31 March 2023

15 days

Deputy CFO

AND

Chief of Accounts

15%

Milestone 6 (Note disclosures in financial statements and Q&As):

Propose draft note disclosure regarding Reserves for the 2022 UNDP financial statements. 

Output 6.1

Proposed mock-up disclosure notes on Accumulated Surpluses and Reserves in the UNDP financial statements.

Output 6.2

Prepare Q&As regarding the revised Reserves notes disclosure and interest allocation process.

28 April 2023

20 days

Chief of Accounts

15%

Milestone 7 (Final Reporting and Presentation):

Findings and recommendations included in comprehensive Final Report and present findings to senior management

 

Output 7.1

Final Report incorporating all outputs as well as the overall findings and recommendations of the consultancy.

 

Output 7.1

Presentation deck based on the Final Report.

31 May 2023

20 days

Deputy CFO

And

Chief of Accounts

20%

While this is a home-based milestone delivery assignment, the consultant will be responsible for taking part in various meetings. The consultant will be expected to organize and attend various meetings and incorporate ongoing feedback for the assignment outputs and updates to the CFO,  the Deputy CFO and Chief of Accounts.

Competencies

  • Sensitivity to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age differences.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide guidance and oversight in accounting, budgeting, and financial management areas, including about the formulation and implementation of policies on reserves and allocation of resources.
  • Proven skills and ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, draw conclusions, and recommend solutions.
  • Ability to assess funding adequacy of accounting treatment based on relevant accounting standards, principles, operating/business models, UNDP’s FRRs, UNDP’s POPP and risks and correctly prioritize any necessary action with the largest business and improvement impact.
  • Strong accounting and financial management skills.
  • Knowledge of the financial management frameworks, programme policies & procedures of UNDP and/or similar International Organizations.
  • Thorough & proven understanding of accounting standards, principles and treatments, including on reserve accounting, as well as common business and project management practices.
  • Strong communication skills including the ability to listen actively and respond effectively
  • Strong report writing skills and ability to produce quality and timely outputs.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • Professional accounting qualification from an internationally recognized institute of accountancy. Required
  • Advanced (Masters) University Degree in Business Administration, Finance/Accounting, or a relevant discipline, would be an added advantage.

Experience:

  • At least 5 years’ experience in senior financial management position(s) for large international organizations, required.
  • Audit experience in a large public auditing firm will be an added advantage.
  • Experience in fund management is required.
  • Experience in accounting for reserves and reserves planning including allocation of resources is required.
  • Experience and understanding of IPSAS or IFRS utilized by international organizations is required
  • Experience with UN organizations or comparable international INGOs will be an added advantage
  • Analytical capabilities combined with strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.

Language:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language particularly Spanish and French would be an asset

Application Procedure

The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references;  

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.

Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by the technical manager. 
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation process

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical evaluation  – Total 70% (70 points):

Desk review

  • Criteria 1. Relevance of the experience in advising senior management of large international organizations; Maximum Points: 20.
  • Criteria 2. Experience with (restricted) funds financial management, resource allocation, accounting and disclosure; Maximum Points: 10.
  • Criteria 3. Experience with accounting and reserve management; Maximum Points: 10.
  • Criteria 4: Experience with developing organization policies as well as  accounting policies and procedures for international organizations; Maximum Points: 20.
  • Criteria 5: Experience and understanding of IPSAS or IFRS utilized by international organizations;  Maximum Points: 10.

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation – Total 30% (30 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

  • p = y (µ/z), where
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Institutional arrangement

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of Chief Finance Officer and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.

Payment modality

  • Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon milestone delivery of the services specified above and deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager. 
  • The work week will be based on 35 hours, i.e. on a 7 hour working day, with core hours being between 9h00 and 18h00 daily.

Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Any request for clarification must be sent by email to [email protected] 

The UNDP Central Procurement Unit will respond by email and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all applicants.

 

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