Senior Programme Accountant Senior Programme Accountant …

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
in Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Permanent, Full time
Last application, 09 Apr 21
EUR 92,770.32 net of tax
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
in Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Permanent, Full time
Last application, 09 Apr 21
EUR 92,770.32 net of tax
ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 by a group of European nations and is today supported by 34 Member and Co-operating States, mostly in Europe.

The Centre’s mission is to serve and support its Member and Co-operating States and the wider community by developing and providing world-leading global numerical weather prediction. ECMWF functions as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions and holds one of the largest meteorological archives in the world. The success of its activities relies primarily on the talent of its scientists, strong partnerships with its Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies such as machine learning across its operations.

Over the years, ECMWF has also developed a strong partnership with the European Union, and for the past seven years has been an entrusted entity for the implementation and operation of the Climate and the Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the EU Copernicus Programme, as well as a contributor to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The collaboration does not stop there and include other areas of work, including High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools. It is enabling ECMWF to now provide data and products covering weather, climate, ait quality, fire and flood prediction and monitoring.

ECMWF has recently become a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters based since its creation in Reading, UK, its new data centre opening in 2021 in Bologna, Italy, and new offices, also opening in 2021 in Bonn, Germany.

It is foreseen that ECMWF will be a major partner in the implementation of the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative starting later in 2021, together with ESA and EUMETSAT as partners. The objective of the European Commission DestinE initiative is to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called Digital Twins, to monitor and predict natural and human activities as well as their interactions, to develop and test scenarios that would enable more sustainable developments and support corresponding European policies for the Green Deal. For additional details, see

Summary of the role

ECMWF is undergoing significant change, and this is a particularly exciting time to be joining the Centre. We are currently establishing a new duty station in Bonn, Germany, which is due to open mid-2021 and to strengthen the finance team there, ECMWF is looking to recruit a Senior Programme Accountant. This new position will be based in Bonn, Germany and will be an integral part of the Finance Section in the Administration Department at ECMWF.

They will report directly to the Head of Finance in Reading, UK and be part of a highly-motivated and competent team having ultimate responsibility for the financial management of both the Copernicus and the Destination Earth programmes. This will include reporting to the European Commission in compliance with the respective delegation agreements and ensuring the integration of these accounts into the overall financial reporting of ECMWF.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Leading the financial management of both Destination Earth and Copernicus Services ensuring:
    • delivery of all the financial requirements specified in both the Destination Earth and Copernicus Services Contribution Agreements which will involve ensuring the integrity of all published financial reports and liaising with both operational and finance staff and with the European Commission
    • budgetary control and assurance of the Financial Statements
  • Ensuring the integrity of the Destination Earth and Copernicus cash flow forecasts; liaising with the Centre to ensure the efficiency of cash management
  • Ensuring compliance of all financial audits relating to Destination Earth and Copernicus
  • Representing both Destination Earth and Copernicus at procurement meetings, ensuring best value for money and financial compliance
  • Providing regular liaison with all senior stake holders, maintaining open lines of communication and information for both the financial and the operational aspects of both services
  • Leading and preparing specific areas of responsibility of the Financial Statement of Accounts prepared under International Public-Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) relating to both Destination Earth and Copernicus services
  • Managing a team of finance staff
  • Deputising for the Head of Finance as required
  • Managing and responsible for the financial control for costs relating to the running of Bonn office location
  • Responsible for co-ordinating and managing any localised finance related issues

Personal attributes

  • Ability to communicate complex financial concepts with scientific and technical staff that do not have a financial background and to develop a common understanding of the issues and potential resolutions
  • Solution-oriented with a strong experience of how to evaluate the financial, commercial, and strategic implications of ECMWF’s activities
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills with an ability to explain financial issues in terms which are accessible and understandable to all
  • Capacity to manage a range of conflicting, and urgent issues to tight deadlines
  • Good relationship management skills, including the ability to gain credibility with key stakeholders across the organisation and the user community
  • Excellent communication skills, together with demonstrated experience of team working within projects
  • Ability to work in a matrix-managed environment across multiple locations 
  • Strong analytical and excellent organisational skills are essential

Qualifications and experience required


Advanced university degree (EQF Level 7) and an internationally recognised professional accountancy qualification.


Strong demonstrated experience of working as a senior finance manager ideally in the public sector and preferably in an international organisation. Strong experience in setting up, developing and improving financial control processes.

Strong experience in financial aspects of contract management and the financial evaluation of projects and programmes.

Experience working in an international, multidisciplinary and multi-lingual environment would be an advantage.

Experience of working with the European Commission, its Agencies and intergovernmental organisations would be a strong advantage.

Experience of providing statistical analysis, for reporting for key decisionmaking, including the use of core accounting systems combined with report writers.

Experience / proficiency in use of ERP system is required. A good working knowledge and experience of using Business World (previously known as Agresso) would be an advantage.

Knowledge and experience of accounting using the IPSAS framework would be an advantage.

Demonstrated experience of managing a team.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

Excellent working knowledge at advanced level of MS-Office (Word and Excel).

Fluency in English is essential as candidates will be required to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English. Ideally candidates will also be fluent in German with fluency in French highly desirable.

Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A3 grade, according to the scales of the Coordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be EUR 92,770.32 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.

For more information on how to apply, please click the “Apply” button.

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