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Action Against Hunger UK

Director of Finance & Administration

About Action Against Hunger

ACF International is a humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger. Their teams work in over 40 countries worldwide to carry out innovative, lifesaving programmes in nutrition, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, with a mission to improve the lives of malnourished children and their families.

With over 30 years of expertise in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster and chronic food insecurity, ACF International has helped over 13.6 million people in 40 countries in just the last year.

Since its creation in 1995, Action against Hunger UK has supported ACF International’s programmes by raising funds, recruiting field experts, campaigning for change and raising awareness on child hunger. In addition, a number of expert teams are based in the UK and work to develop innovative solutions to child hunger, enhancing the quality and impact of ACF’s work globally. Action Against Hunger UK has a staff of 65 in London, aided by approximately 25 volunteers. In addition, 40 expatriate employees and approximately 25 consultants per year report to Action Against Hunger UK as part of ACF international’s operations. 

Action Against Hunger UK is growing rapidly, with increased budgets and capacity to serve the world’s most vulnerable populations.  They require a Director of Finance & Administration (FD), who will have overall control of and responsibility for all financial operations. As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the FD will provide financial analysis, advice and support, allowing Action Against Hunger UK’s leadership team to understand past financial performance, accurately predict future financial requirements and make sound financial decisions.

Overall Purpose

The FD will have overall control and responsibility for all financial aspects of Action Against Hunger UK’s strategic and tactical development as it relates to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of new funding. He or she will oversee financial operations, budgeting, reporting and cash/investment management and will bring insight and analysis to the SMT, enabling sound business decisions and ensuring high impact in ACF’s work around the world.

The FD will also manage the grant reporting team, ensuring that financial and impact reporting requirements are met. He or she will prepare statutory financial accounts for review by outside auditors and the Board of Trustees.  The FD will lead a team of 5 full-time staff, which is likely to increase further as the organisation grows, in addition to 1-2 volunteers.

Action Against Hunger UK’s annual turnover is £12.5M. Its finance and administration budget is approximately £150,000.

Main Objectives

1.  To set the financial strategy required to deliver Action Against Hunger UK’s objectives.  In coordination with the Executive Director, SMT and staff at Action Against Hunger UK, with finance directors in other ACF entities, and in accordance with the ACF mandate and Charter, the FD will define and revise the strategic orientations of Action Against Hunger UK’s finance and administration function, including 4 main areas:

  • Financial management
  • Administration
  • IT
  • Logistics

The FD will develop a 5-year financial strategy, due in 2016, and will present it to the Action Against Hunger UK SMT for Executive Director and Board approval.

In addition, he or she will develop Annual Action Plans to be agreed by the Executive Director and the Board. These will include measurable objectives:

  • Performance indicators
  • Activities description
  • Risk management
  • Detailed resource requirements
  • Schedule

The FD will supervise and be accountable for the implementation and the successful completion of both the 5-year Strategic Plan and the Annual Action Plans.

2.  In collaboration with the Executive Director, the FD will consolidate the financial annual plan and strategies from all departments into a global annual and multi-year budget according to the strategic objectives of Action Against Hunger UK. He or she will provide advice on Action Against Hunger UK’s business model, financial objectives and strategic direction.

3.  To actively contribute to the development of the organisation as part of the Action Against Hunger UK Leadership team.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and management:

  • Supervise and coordinate the work of 3 main sectors: Finance Management, Administration and IT/logistics.
  • Provide effective support to the departmental team.
  • Staff management and development: annual performance appraisals, training assessment and career development plans.
  • Provide regular financial analysis of the organisation’s accounts and additional advice, when relevant.

Creation of a coherent 5-year strategy and annual action plan:

  • Define annual plans, in collaboration with the finance and administration team and with each ACF Finance Department, with precise objectives and performance indicators for the Finance & Administration department.
  • Report on the progress of the implementation of annual plans.
  • Represent Action Against Hunger UK at national and international levels.

Cost effectiveness and efficiency:

  • Effectively manage costs associated with the department’s activities, e.g. meeting annual financial targets, keeping strict control on expenditure, developing creative ways to increase income, etc.
  • Review and advise the SMT on cost savings, cost efficiencies and cost coverage.
  • Review and advise on the Action Against Hunger UK business model.
  • Effectively manage currencies exchange.
  • Conduct reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction opportunities.

Relationship management:

  • Develop external relationships with appropriate contacts, e.g. auditors, solicitors, bankers and statutory organisations, such as HMRC.
  • Be the reference point for ACF International finance and administration counterparts, attending international finance meetings.
  • Maintain good communication with other ACF entities, ensuring consistency in finance and administration practice and procedure within the international network, ensuring that the UK department’s activities are fully understood, integrated, accepted and valued at international level.

Data protection:

Ensure that information provided and disseminated inside and outside of the organisation by the finance department complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and does not put the security or privacy of any individual or the organisation at risk.

Financial and accounts management:

  • Review and consolidate financial reports produced for overseas programmes and in the UK. Report on UK income and expenditure to the Executive Director and the SMT on a monthly basis. Produce a consolidated report based on full annual budget on a quarterly basis for the Executive Director and the Board and prepare an annual financial report for the annual audit.
  • Ensure the production of accurate and timely monthly management accounts and ensure a high level of bookkeeping.
  • Ensure that the financial software and systems used are up to date, relevant and appropriate to Action Against Hunger UK’s needs and financial volume.
  • Monitor departmental budgets.
  • Support and work collaboratively with other Directors on their financial leadership responsibilities (including grant and project management, income generation and financial management).
  • Devise analytical tools on cash flow, future trends, income and expenditure in order to produce regular, detailed analysis on Action Against Hunger UK’s financial situation.

Treasury management:

  • Ensure that the organisation’s funds are securely banked and the organisation maximises its treasury.
  • Prepare cash-flow forecasts in order to ensure the organisation has sufficient funds to maintain its activities and investments.
  • Ensure that any investment or use of the funds banked is done for the benefit of the organisation and in accordance with UK law.
  • Regularly review opportunities offered by financial products.

Annual budget procedures:

Manage the production of an annual organisational budget, project specific budgets, financial management of information and regular reports for budget variance analysis.


Arrange an Action Against Hunger UK annual statutory financial audit and liaise on all other financial audits.

Advise on legal, regulatory and tax matters:

  • Advise or obtain advice for UK departments on legal and tax issues.
  • Keep abreast of changes in financial regulations and legislation.
  • Ensure that the organisation complies with its statutory reporting requirements regarding tax, Charity Commission, Companies House, etc.
  • Supervise licensing of trademarks.

Financial controls and risk management:

  • Ensure that there are adequate financial controls in place in the UK office and develop financial management mechanisms that minimise financial risk.
  • Liaise with the finance departments in other ACF entities to ensure that policies are coherent and efficient. Some travel to Paris, Madrid, New York and Montreal may be expected each year.
  • Identify new risks and review on a rolling basis, working with relevant departments on mitigation strategies to reduce or remove risks.
  • Present the organisational risk register to the Board on an annual basis.
  • Crisis management: be part of the Action Against Hunger UK crisis cell.

Logistics and procurement:

Oversee logistics and procurement from the UK.

IT support and information management:

Oversee the definition and implementation of a sound IT and information management system strategy.

Premises management

  • Supervision of office management.
  • Overseeing all office and premises-related contracts, including the office lease.

Other reasonable duties as may be required within the overall scope and objectives of the position.

Principal Working Relationships


The FD will contribute to the reinforcement of ACF financial policies and practices through the development of various external relationships and contacts.


  • With members of the Action Against Hunger UK Senior Management Team. The FD will attend a monthly SMT meeting and will work closely and collaboratively with individual Directors, including the Directors of Fundraising, Operations, Advocacy and Human Resources.
  • With the Executive Director. The FD will report to the Executive Director and refer to him for support and decision-making. He or she will be required to provide a monthly organisation accounts’ report.
  • The Action Against Hunger UK Board of Trustees. The FD will attend board meetings to report to the trustees on the organisation’s financial situation.
  • Finance Directors from other ACF entities will be the FD’s main counterparts within the ACF International network. He or she will attend regular international meetings.

Authority and Decision Making

The FD will have the ability to make decisions without gaining approval from a higher level with respect to:

  • Budget changes within the limit of the department total annual budget allocation.
  • Activities readjustment.
  • Staff management with the exception of disciplinary procedures, benefits changes and any change that may affect a policy and/or create a precedent within the organisation.
  • Definition of priorities and timetables within the remit of agreed strategy and annual plans’ objectives.
  • Volunteers: profile, number, tasks.
  • National and international travel.
  • Any routine decisions related to the management and the workload of staff within the finance and administration department.
  • Any Finance decisions at ACF level or network working groups which are not in opposition with the agreed Action Against Hunger UK strategy.
  • Any issue with partner organisations, as long as it does not create a probable risk for Action Against Hunger UK or ACF International. If such a risk is identified, the FD must refer to the Executive Director before any commitment is made.
  • The FD will lead changes to the final decisions in finance and administration policies, guidelines/procedures to be applied by all Action Against Hunger UK departments. He or she will lead changes in office security and safety issues and ensure proper procedures are in place and applied by all Action Against Hunger UK staff.
  • He or she will have the final decision on procurement, negotiating terms with suppliers.

Key Requirements

  • Holds a recognised accountancy qualification – A.C.A., A.C.C.A, C.I.M.A. – or equivalent.
  • Shares ACF’s mission to end child hunger.
  • Experienced in overseeing finance in a donor-supported organization. Specific experience working with DFID, ECHO and the UN would be an important advantage.
  • Has worked at SMT level in an international organisation. Used to coordinating with subsidiaries and counterparts in other countries.
  • Substantial knowledge of and proven experience in finance team leadership and management (strategy definition, budget management, management of a team of similar size) and in finance activities (preparation of statutory accounts, staff development, contractual issues).
  • Able to articulate a vision for the organisation beyond the finance department and contribute to Action Against Hunger UK’s strategic development and long-term financial planning.
  • Experience of systems management, including identifying and implementing improvement and efficiencies and identifying and mitigating risks.
  • Experience with computerised accounting and payroll. Sun Accounts experience is an advantage.
  • Experience of developing a full cost recovery model would be an advantage.
  • Strong interpersonal skills: engaging, persuasive and energetic. Able to build enthusiasm and shared excitement into the team; sees the potential for positive change and can drive improvements, bringing others along.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to explain and clarify financial information to non-financially literate staff; good literacy skills.
  • Ability to develop effective relationships with other NGOs, donors, and counterparts across the ACF network.
  • Strong negotiation skills.
  • Able to work to specified time schedules and budget constraints.
  • Creative: finds solutions to problems in an autonomous way.
  • Discretion: able to manage contacts and information requiring a consistently high level of sensitivity.
  • Sensitivity to the humanitarian environment, able to manage in a crises context.
  • Fluent written and spoken English.
  • Willingness to travel overseas.
  • He/she must have the right to work in the United Kingdom.