Alfanar – Head of Finance



Launched in 2004, Alfanar is the Arab region’s oldest venture philanthropy organisation. We are a UK-based charity with operations in Cairo, Beirut and Amman and affiliates in the US and the Netherlands. We aim to transform lives in disadvantaged communities across the Arab world by strengthening ambitious social enterprises responding to pressing needs, especially around children’s education, youth employment and women’s economic empowerment. Alfanar provides grants, repayable grants and impact investment (through a soon to be launched sister impact fund) and technical assistance to social enterprises, enabling them to scale their impact in disadvantaged communities, while increasing the sales of goods and services to achieve greater financial sustainability. Alfanar’s highly engaged venture philanthropy approach applies the principles of private sector investment to charitable giving, delivering social returns that are sustainable, scalable, and game changing. For more information about Alfanar’s venture philanthropy work, see our 2021 Annual Report and our website at:

Scope of the Job

To deliver an effective and efficient finance function that serves Alfanar’s organisational and management needs across the group structure, including budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, cash and reserves management, accounting processes and financial risk mitigation, in line with 2023-2026 growth targets.

  • Build up the Finance function to deliver exceptional finance services to Alfanar’s teams with a clear focus on continuous improvement, problem solving and development, ensuring a high level of performance with a customer focus.
  • Act as a strategic financial adviser to the Leadership and Senior Management Team, providing sound advice, guidance and information on organisational performance, risks and opportunities.
  • Take overall responsibility for preparation of management reporting, annual accounts and audit matters to ensure compliance with statutory requirements, donor reporting and governance structures.
  • Work closely with and direct financial operations, including via outsourced third-party suppliers, across the Alfanar Group.

**Reports to:**Operations Director

Main Responsibilities

Financial accounting

  • Review, manage and streamline the accounting systems and processes, including chart of accounts and analysis codes across Alfanar’s group structure and ensure accurate and complete accounting records are maintained on a timely basis and in each location
  • Ensure that there is an effective and efficient financial control environment across Alfanar’s group structure
  • Operate key financial controls including balance sheet, intercompany and income reconciliations
  • Develop effective financial management procedures, increasing automation and efficiency
  • Ensure accurate and complete records for restricted funds
  • Liaise with payroll provider to ensure an accurate and up to date payroll
  • Manage the payments process and review and set up payments at the bank
  • Review Alfanar’s finance systems and processes across the group structure, and determine how best to meet future needs together with the operations director
  • Review, manage and improve finance and accounting policies across the Alfanar group, and ensure that all staff members receive adequate guidance and training on how to apply those policies
  • Develop, document and implement clear processes and timetable for financial accounting and financial management reporting


  • Prepare annual accounts in line with financial reporting standards, including consolidation of future group entities
  • Lead on the organisation’s external independent financial examination
  • Liaise with external accountants, including on all filing requirements
  • Prepare financial information for the annual report and liaise with the communications function on presentation

Financial management reporting and finance business partnering

  • Prepare budgets, forecasts and financial model and scenarios
  • Develop the budgeting and reforecasting process, and support budget holders to develop their financial plans. Ensure relevant team members receive guidance notes and documentation in relation to the budget and forecast processes and templates
  • Manage the month end close procedure, including preparing the required accruals and fund transfers
  • Prepare, review and analyse management accounts, seek variance explanations, prepare commentary and summaries, and ensure management agree any required actions
  • Develop and report on key financial measures
  • Develop monthly management reports for budget holders.
  • Work with the fundraising team to ensure that income data flows are documented, and finance and fundraising metrics are clearly defined and accurately calculated and reported
  • Interpret the organisation’s financial results and highlight key issues and risks on a timely basis
  • Prepare financial reports for grants and other restricted funds, for both internal use and reporting to donors
  • Prepare other financial management reports as necessary or as requested
  • Provide advice and guidance from time to time to strategic partners, as required
  • Clarify Alfanar’s policy and approach to cost recovery and the funding of core costs.

Tax, cash, risk and reserves management and group operations

  • Working with the operations director, manage, review and improve Alfanar’s (online) banking arrangements and relationships, across the group structure
  • Develop and document a simple foreign exchange policy
  • Prepare monthly cash flow forecasts and requirements and ensure appropriate cash management and transfers across the group structure. Ensure relevant team members receive appropriate guidance and training on how to manage cash flow forecast.
  • Should it be required, register Alfanar for VAT, set up and operate the required changes to the accounting systems, and prepare and file VAT returns, including other entities within the VAT group
  • Working with the operations director, support the set-up of appropriate accounting and financial management systems for new entities within the Alfanar group
  • Support the operations director to assess the financial risks facing the organisation, including updating the organisation’s working capital and other reserves requirements as it grows, and managing its insurances

Qualifications & Experience


  • Experience of managing and developing the finance function in a fast-growing, ideally international and multi-currency environment
  • Experience of managing accounting, payments, transaction processing, financial reporting, tax, and cash management in a growing group, ideally with international operations
  • Experience of automating financial processes and developing functionality and reporting from accounting systems
  • Experience of providing financial management support/business partnering to managers/budget holders
  • Qualified accountant (UK ACA, CIMA, ACCA or equivalent) (part qualified with significant experience may be considered for an exceptional candidate)
  • Knowledge of data protection and confidentiality


  • Experience of financial management in a not-for-profit setting, whether gained in a paid or voluntary capacity
  • Experience of working with high volume payment processing supplier systems and integrating the associated data flows into internal databases
  • Knowledge of UK requirements for accounting for restricted funds
  • Interest in social enterprise development and impact investment
  • Willingness to travel to the MENA region, if needed

Skills & Abilities

  • Excellent policy and process development skills
  • Clear thinking and excellent logic skills, able to unpick and simplify complexity
  • Self-motivated and self-organised, with good problem-solving skills
  • Able to work flexibly as part of a team
  • Able to work and produce deliverables in a timely manner, and to manage priorities, communicating timeline changes clearly to line manager and team
  • Excellent service ethos with a strong focus on providing financial management support and solutions
  • Commitment to a high standard of professional behaviours, including collaboration, honesty and integrity
  • Flexibility and adaptability in your attitude and approach to work, with a willingness to ‘get involved’ and support the team with whatever might arise, working towards a common objective
  • Excellent and clear communicator in English, face to face, in writing and over the telephone/ Zoom
  • Self-confident and able to take initiative but also to work effectively within a formal governance structure
  • Ability to manage multiple demands while consistently meeting deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal skills, e.g. approachable and able to demonstrate empathy whilst being clear about boundaries and organisational requirements

Personal qualities

  • Honesty, reliability, attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Exemplary organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to present information concisely and effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to work on your own initiative and in shifting environments
  • Passionate about organisational mission and values


The successful candidate will be capable of multitasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence. S/he will be committed to empowering and strengthening high impact, sustainable social enterprises in the Arab world. An ability to work independently and prioritise different deliverables with strict deadlines is going to be paramount in making a success of this opportunity. Working with a diverse team across different locations will mean an ability to work effectively online with people in multiple time zones is a must. This is an exciting opportunity to join a committed and growing team at a pivotal point in our growth.

How to apply


To apply, please submit your CV along with a cover letter that explains why you are interested in and suitable for the position to [email protected] with ‘Alfanar Head of Finance’ in email subject line by 12 June 2023. Note: We will not review applications without cover letter.

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