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Associate, Business Control

Location Geneva, Switzerland
Closing Date June 25, 2018
Contract Permanent
Job Level Associate


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact for shareholders, the environment and societies.

Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing combined revenues of more than $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. WBCSD is uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.

Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability: united by our vision of a world where more than 9 billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050.

Job Overview

As the size and complexity of WBCSD’s program evolves and the level of grant funding increases, there is a need for formalisation and refinement of the project and grant management processes and the modification of related information systems and flows.

The position of Associate, Business Control incorporates elements of several functions including business analysis, FP&A, coordination of grants including reporting to donors and coordination of project management. A key part of the role is to coordinate the annual budgeting process to ensure that both members’ preferences and WBCSD’s strategic priorities are appropriately funded. WBCSD runs two reforecasting cycles after 4 and 8 months and tracks known deviations from forecast on a continuous basis. The most important financial targets are set for membership revenue and core surplus annually and the position of Associate, Business Control is critical in delivering these targets.

The Business Analyst reports to the Director, Finance.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Strategic and operational considerations
    • Review the medium and long term financial objectives and challenges of the organisation and support senior management in developing a five-year financial plan
    • Provide financial management input into the enterprise risk management process
    • Continually review and refine financial and related operational KPIs to drive the appropriate behaviours
    • Monitor overall status, financial progress, and milestones of major financial initiatives
    • Proactively implement ways to improve accuracy of financial projections and provide early warning to senior management of deviations from plan
    • Ensure that the process for approving any expenditure budget (i.e. giving the green light to spend) is clear, transparent, understood and documented
  • Financial planning and analysis
    • Coordinate the annual business planning process including:
      • refining the structure of the program
      • assisting with any survey of members’ preferences
      • coordinating and critically reviewing income projections
      • assisting in the development of assumptions
    • Manage the process of defining the parameters of the resource allocation model (RAM) for each budget cycle
    • Drive the finalisation of the budget in good time for presentation to the ExCo and Council at the Council Meeting each year
    • Coordinate the four, eight and twelve-month (R4, R8, and R12) forecasting processes to ensure all income and expenditure is realistically forecasted and risks are identified and quantified
    • Continually monitor actual and forecast progress towards key income and expenditure targets, including financial risks, and alert senior management to any significant deviation or concern
    • Develop a process of identifying opportunities to improve the financial situation in the short and medium term in terms of additional income, reduced cost or optimisation of resource allocation
    • Develop and maintain close working relationships with budget holders and ensure their forecasting aptitude through hands-on support and coaching
  • The Project and Performance Management process
    • Design and get approval for a clear project management process that supports each of the key steps of the project life cycle and adds structure and appropriate approval points to the organisation’s program and project design, monitoring and evaluation processes.
    • Develop and report on metrics which demonstrate the progress of the organisation’s portfolio of projects
    • In close collaboration with program leads and senior management, develop a process and system for tracking and communicating the performance of WBCSD’s program work
  • The Grants Management process
    • Design and get approval for a clear, simple but comprehensive grants management process that supports each of the key steps of the grant life cycle and is coherent with, and mutually reinforces, the project management and budget management processes
    • Design and build a grants management database to support the management process including visibility of timelines, deliverables, deadlines and reporting requirements
    • Coordinate the grant management process to grow the organisation’s access to grant funding whilst controlling liabilities and protecting reputation
    • In collaboration with program and accounting staff, prepare and submit financial reports to grantors as per the requirements of their respective agreements
    • Design and prepare a dashboard or other recurring management report for senior management to illustrate funding trends and issues
  • Business Analysis - Systems Development
    • In close collaboration with colleagues, in particular in the ICT function, design system improvements to support the various FP&A, project and grants management activities outlined above within the resources available
    • Maintain a close relationship with the Accounting and ICT functions and program leads to ensure alignment and integration where possible of accounting, financial management, project and performance management and grant management systems
    • Develop and maintain a close working relationship with the ICT function and ensure systems and processes are robust, documented and adequately secure
  • SMT, ExCo and Council Reporting
    • Actively assist in the preparation of reports for SMT, ExCo and the Council on financial, project and grants management subject areas
    • Ensure that any communications to staff and governance bodies on finance and associated operational matters are clear, helpful and easy to understand
    • Participate in the onboarding of new budget holders to ensure understanding of the resource allocation and budgetary control rules from the outset.


  • Education level – Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance, Economics or similar
  • Experience
    • 3-5+ years of business finance or other relevant experience
    • Some experience of grant management
    • Not-for-profit experience would be an asset
  • Skills and competencies
    • High proficiency with financial modeling and techniques
    • Strong fluency with Salesforce or similar system as well as Excel macros
    • Strong analytical and data gathering skills
    • Strong interpersonal skills, including written and oral communication skills
    • Good problem-solving skills and business acumen
  • Personal characteristics
    • Self-starter with drive and enthusiasm
    • Comfort dealing with ambiguity
    • At ease interacting with staff at all levels including executive-level management

The candidate should hold a valid Swiss working permit and/or be a Swiss or EU national.

Please also note that the WBCSD will only respond to candidates selected for the interview process.