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Policy Officer

Company The World Bank Group
Location Washington, DC
Update 9 Day ago
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of multilateral funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses its financial resources and extensive experience to help client countries reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. It is owned by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with over 16,000 staff globally.

World Bank Group Finance and Accounting (WFA), one of the vice presidencies in the Bank Group led by the World Bank Group Controller under the Managing Director and CFO, is responsible for all aspects of the financial reporting and internal control framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of those entities.

WFA comprises the following functions: Financial Instruments Accounting and Valuation; Loan and Trust Fund Operations and Accounting; Financial Analysis and Reporting; Accounting Policy; and Risk and Control. The WFA team includes approximately 500 staff, of which 170 are located in Washington, D.C. with the remainder in regional offices, including the largest in Chennai, India.

Hiring Unit Overview

The Accounting Policy unit for IBRD and IDA (WFAPO) report to the Director and World Bank Group (WBG) Chief Accountant. This department includes the financial reporting, internal control and policy functions of IBRD, IDA and IFC. As the central unit for accounting policy development and advice for IBRD and IDA (the Bank), WFAPO:

  • Monitors and evaluates external standard-setting activities for both accounting and auditing policy and practice, as well as regulatory activity, Establishes the Bank’s position in response to proposed accounting and auditing standards, and formally conveys the Bank’s views to external standard setting entities in the form of comment letters
  • Assesses the impact of new and proposed accounting and auditing pronouncements on IBRD’s and IDA’s financial statements, financial operations and governance
  • Provides support for financial statement preparation by the Bank’s Corporate Reporting and Analysis (WFACR) unit
  • Provides accounting policy advice on the accounting and financial reporting implications of existing and potential transactions of the Bank
  • Supports the Director and WBG Chief Accountant’s representational role on the standard setting bodies and oversight groups (e.g., IFRS Advisory Council)
  • Serves as an external audit liaison on policy issues, including serving as an institutional focal point for the external audit policies established by the Board
  • Supports the functioning of the Front Office of the Director and WBG Chief Accountant, and assists with coordination activities across the Department and within WFA, as necessary.
The Policy Officer, Accounting Policy, will be based in Washington, DC. S/he will report to the Head of Accounting Policy for IBRD and IDA.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 4 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:
  • Monitoring External Activities: Regularly monitor new pronouncements and projects of the accounting and auditing standard-setters and regulators, including the FASB, IASB, PCAOB, AICPA, IAASB, and SEC. In response to proposed accounting standards, participates in formulating the Bank’s position on proposals and may draft public comment letters to external standard setting entities reflecting the Bank’s position. Maintain the database of applicable pronouncements and projects, generate regular reports.
  • Assessing Standards: Assess the impact of and prepare policy deliverables for new pronouncements, exposure drafts, and other due process documents. Participate in implementation of applicable final accounting standards.
  • Financial Statement Review: Review and prepare comments on the IBRD and IDA quarterly and annual financial statement and Management Discussion and Analysis. Advise on policy-related reporting issues for trust funds, and review trust fund financial statements, as necessary.
  • Accounting Policy Advisory: Provide advice and expertise to the units in WFA and to other parts of the Bank on the accounting and financial reporting implications of existing and potential transactions. Participate in the new products assessments. Support the Director and WBG Chief Accountant’s representational role on the external standard setting bodies and oversight groups (e.g., IFRS Advisory Council). This includes review of relevant documents, drafting of correspondence/comments, and coordination.
  • Internal Controls: Participate in maintaining an effective system of internal control over the Accounting Policy function through following protocols for documentation and communication. Participate in the annual assessment of the function under the Internal Control over Financial reporting (ICFR) attestation process, including preparing walkthrough materials and providing supporting documentation.
  • External Audit Relationships: Interact with external auditors on accounting policies and financial statement disclosure matters.
  • Front Office Support: Assist the Lead Policy Officer in supporting the Front Office of the Director and WBG Chief Accountant, as necessary. Research and analyze various institutional topics; prepare note and briefs; participate in departmental initiative and mandates.
  • Other ad-hoc assignments as requested by the Head of Accounting Policy and/or the Director and WBG Chief Accountant.
Selection Criteria:
Successful candidate should have (i) demonstrated strong technical accounting skills, (ii) excellent written and oral communication skills, (iii) proven ability to handle a variety of tasks while delivering on time, (iv) proven ability to work in a team environment, and (v) good judgement and discretion.

  • Qualified candidates should at a minimum hold a CPA, CA or equivalent certification and have a minimum of 5 years related experience.
  • Previous audit experience in a Big 4 public accounting firms is highly desirable.
  • Background in financial reporting and analysis and strong knowledge of U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  • Proven ability to conduct research of accounting and financial reporting issues. Experience with using accounting research tools is a plus.
  • Proven ability to develop creative solutions for day-to-day accounting, reporting and analysis issues.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Ability to articulate complex technical ideas clearly to all levels of management and staff. Good presentation skills are desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage effectively tasks of various sizes, from small to complex, and simultaneous competing demands, and to deliver on time.
  • Proactive, innovative, with an open and collegial work style with ability to listen and integrate ideas from diverse views, create partnerships, and collaborate with others while maintaining individual responsibility.
  • Proven ability to work and deliver in a small team environment, providing support to others on the team, as necessary.
  • Demonstrated ability to deal appropriately with confidential and sensitive matters. High degree of discretion and judgement is required.
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 solutions for internal and/or external clients. 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 takes action beyond normal expectations to ensure client satisfaction. Analyzes situations and determines alternative or creative scenarios and approaches to add value to the business in new and different ways. Works within the team and with other specialty areas to define client needs and develop the best approach to meet client needs. Sees how ideas and best practices from other specialties can be adapted or applied to address client issues.
  • 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.
  • Advises the client and helps them think proactively about how to best meet their current and future needs. Builds an independent opinion of clients’ needs and opportunities that may challenge traditional approaches within WBG.
  • 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 stand-alone 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.
WFAPO is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.