Project Finance Manager

We are recruiting a Project Finance Manager to be based in Durban, South Africa.  

Sense is a dynamic economic development consultancy working to solve the gritty development challenges faced by agri-business in Africa. The accelerating shift from aid to trade in global policy means that we’re on the cutting edge of development thinking. As a result, we work with an increasing number of major donors in the development sector. Some of our clients are The World Bank-IFC, GiZ (German Development Corporation), The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teagasc, CBI, USAID, etc.

Each year we tackle surprising challenges in a wide number of food supply chains such as fruits, nuts, livestock & dairy, cereals, and forestry. Honestly, the variety of assignments, clients, and value chains we work in continues to grow, so much so, that we are in need of a Financial Manager.  This person will help us to complete the transition from a small team to a medium-sized business with more staff and bigger, longer-term projects.

This role will focus on putting simple, but effective systems in place to help with billings and the management of project expenses. We have a small portfolio of projects that are growing each year in size and complexity. Our hope is to create a more predictable and transparent system that will give peace of mind to the small management team. (We have a very flat management structure & a relatively small team of 9 people.)

It will also free up our Consultants to enable them to keep our eye on delivering the high standards we’re known for. Suitable candidates are able to dial up to a full-time job if they show an interest and aptitude for supporting project teams on client work.

What are your responsibilities?

Project Administration (the bulk of this role):

  • Tweak the project financial administration system- time tracking, supplier costs, expenditure vs. budgets, etc.;
  • Build capacity with the team so that they are able to implement the system & find this a relatively painless task;
  • Assist with project management- budgeting for projects and project proposals;
  • Establish appropriate internal controls and project governance;
  • Ensure that contracting is completed with clients and suppliers and is in line with agreed budgets;
  • Overseeing projects relating to cash flow, financial reporting, and revenue and expenses;
  • Track progress of projects- budgets versus days spent and materials and travel budgets;
  • Financial analysis on projects to guide management planning.

Management of Accounts – Payables and -Receivables 

We have a small invoicing book, but we have specific contracts that require some clever management on the invoicing end. We also have incoming expenses from many African countries.

  • Develop and implement the incoming and outgoing expenses and invoicing process;
  • Ensure that invoicing is completed in line with client requirements- formats, timelines, portals, required documentation, etc.;
  • Manage registration on client supplier databases and oversee contracting;
  • Manage cash flow- highlight issues and bottlenecks, follow up on outstanding payments from clients, etc.;

Salary Administration:

  • Administer salaries- oversee payslip generation ensuring compliance with company policies, labour laws, etc. (we work with a reliable Supplier);
  • Ensure that leave accruals are recorded on payslips & that we comply with relevant legislation;
  • Support the management team to make job offers, rate offers to local Consultants, etc.

Month-end Accounting & VAT Compliance- South Africa: 

We have a strong local firm managing our taxes. Your role is to work with them to organize documentation and ensure that you can together to reconciliations and paper for year-end.

  • Work with the accountants to develop month end accounts for the South African Business (downloading and reconciliation of bank statements, allocation of costs to different categories, liaise with the accounting team);
  • Analyse the management accounts providing key insights for the management team;
  • Oversee the payment of VAT and other tax obligations at the required intervals and work with the accountants to manage a fair tax load. Believe it or not, we don’t mind paying our dues.

Cash Flow, Month End Accounting & VAT Compliance- Ireland:

  • Support the management team to develop a system for the financial management of the Irish company- identify suppliers, tools, or personnel who can assist with monthly accounts capturing;
  • Liaise with Irish accountants around regulatory compliance under the guidance of the Managing Director;
  • Oversee payments, invoicing, and incoming payments;
  • Manage the VAT registration in Ireland by liaising with key suppliers and providing key documents (this is a work in progress);
  • Manage registration as an employer and compliance with financial legislation as an Employer;
  • Ensure that payslips are created and distributed and that salary payment are made.

Year-end Accounting: 

  • Manage the year end accounts process in South Africa and Ireland;
  • Liaise with key Suppliers around requirements, process, and move this process to completion;
  • Oversee the payment of VAT and other tax obligations at the required intervals and work with the accountants to minimize the tax load.

Project Support:

  • Support the project teams in developing solutions for clients- training modules, reviewing analyses, cost price calculations reviews, budgeting, etc.;
  • From time to time, you will be required to support the team in other ways.

Who you are?

We are looking for a sharp thinking, team player who wants to make a positive difference in the world and at work. You’re looking to grow with the company and so are interested in helping with back-house administration and with client projects.

You’re willing to take on new challenges and learn by doing. Our new colleague is able to work independently and looks for creative solutions to problems. They’re results-oriented and hands on. They are analytical and data driven and tackle projects with energy.

Ideally, you’d find the fine details fascinating, but use this to help us create an insightful picture for our internal clients. One of our favorite questions is “so what?”

People skills matter. This is a job for someone personable, with a good sense of humor.

What you bring?

  • Minimum BCom accounting degree;
  • 5-10 years experience;
  • Strong financial knowledge with accounting skills;
  • Enjoys working with numbers and is highly numeric;
  • Good project management skills and a systems thinker;
  • Agency or consulting experience is highly desirable.

What we offer.

Sense offers a dynamic, international environment with lots of scope for personal and professional development. There are no cogs in the machine here. Each member of our team is important. And all the while you’ll be playing your part in bringing about meaningful, lasting change in Africa.

  • Salary: Market related
  • You must be willing to relocate to Durban, South Africa
  • Start date:  1 October 2021

For more information about Sense, please visit our website


To be considered send your CV & a cover letter to Kerry Kyd –

Employment Type