Vacancy: Head of Finance

We are looking for a dynamic and experienced accountant to join our senior leadership team and head up the finance team of Forest Peoples Programme, bringing financial leadership as well as strong team management and communications skills. This is an opportunity for somebody looking for a wide-ranging role at the heart of a dynamic organisation.

Forest Peoples Programme is a human rights organisation that works with indigenous and other forest peoples to defend their rights to their lands, territories and resources.

If you are a qualified accountant with leadership experience and experience of the not-for-profit sector and are passionate about supporting communities to protect the forest ecosystems on which both their cultures and a stable global climate depends, we want to hear from you. 

About Forest Peoples Programme

Forest Peoples Programme is a dynamic human rights organisation that supports people who live in tropical forests and depend on them for their livelihoods. We believe that the smartest way to protect the rainforest is to invest in the people who have managed them for millennia.

We are an international charity that works with indigenous forest peoples and local communities in 20 countries around the tropical forest belt. For almost 30 years, we have worked with those communities helping them secure their rights, control their lands and decide their own futures.

We do this by working side by side with indigenous and local groups and by bringing international expertise including legal expertise to support their cause – from mapping traditional lands to litigating governments, from engaging powerful global companies to shifting UN standards.

The role

It’s an exciting yet challenging time for Forest Peoples Programme as we seek to work with indigenous peoples and local communities, to increase the impact of our work at both the local and global levels.

As the new Head of Finance for Forest Peoples Programme you will be the financial strategic lead for the organisation, playing a pivotal role in the senior management team. You will bring leadership in the area of finances to provide sound financial advice and use your skills and knowledge to ensure the organisation is sustainable in its growth, responsible in its reporting duties and diligent in the management of day-to-day accounting and financial activities. You will lead a small and well-respected finance team to meet legal requirements and the requirements of funders, as well as helping to bring an understanding of finance to the wider organisation.


Duties and Key Responsibilities 

Senior leadership role

  1. Work as a member of the senior leadership team including shaping overall strategy of Forest Peoples Programme, ensuring future sustainable development of Forest Peoples Programme as an organisation, and ensuring the resources and systems needed for the structure and functioning of Forest Peoples Programme and organisational policies are in place 
  2. Joint responsibility for overall management, oversight and decision-making concerning Forest Peoples Programme’s day-to-day operations  

Finance Responsibilities

  1. Monitor the overall financial health of Forest Peoples Programme, including financial planning, reporting and budgeting, identifying shortfalls and assisting with strategic fundraising, salary allocation etc 
  2. Ensure that finance policies and procedures are developed and adhered to in Forest Peoples Programme, including finance procedure manuals, procurement policies, reserves policies and the monitoring of the use of unrestricted funding 
  3. Ensure adequate attention to risk management and mitigation at an organisational level 
  4. Oversee compilation of the Annual Accounts, liaise with auditors and the audit sub-committee of the Board  
  5. Ensure that due diligence systems are in place to fully understand the capacity of Forest Peoples Programme’s local partners 
  6. Hold overall responsibility for financial compliance with grant requirements and lead on developing and implementing policies on fraud 
  7. Develop the financial aspects of business models, scenarios and future plans for the organisation 
  8. Manage the finance team, and ensure that the tasks of the finance team are undertaken to the high quality expected by Forest Peoples Programme 
  9. Line manage approximately 3 staff 
  10. Keep abreast of financial developments across the charity sector 


Person Specification

Essential Skills

  1. Experience of being part of a senior management team
  2. Experience of supporting decision-making with forecasting, scenario planning and the development of business models  
  3. Fully qualified accountant (ACMA, ICAEW or ACCA) with several years post-qualification experience  
  4. Experience of working in or with the not-for-profit sector  
  5. Solid grounding in all aspects of financial and management accounting, including understanding of FRS 102 and Charity SORP   
  6. Experience of grant management, including the management of complex grants such as EU, DFID, etc  
  7. Highly developed communication skills – ability to explain complex financial information to a wide range of audiences   
  8. Excellent team working skills – ability to work effectively as part of a multi-cultural, dispersed team of Forest Peoples Programme staff, partners and allies to achieve shared objectives  
  9. Ability to interpret financial information to advise on best courses of action  
  10. Strong alignment with Forest Peoples Programme’s values and principles  

Desirable Skills

  1. Context experience – experience of working in or on countries in the Global South  
  2. Language skills – fluency in, or good knowledge of, French and/or Spanish  
  3. Accounting Software – knowledge of MYOB Greentree 



  • Salary in the range £50,000 - £55,000 p.a. depending on qualifications and experience 
  • Full-time. It may also be possible to explore 4 days a week as part of our commitment to gender equality and accessibility  
  • Location. This position would be based in our office in Moreton-in-Marsh, and we would expect you to work regularly (full time or at least 3 days a week) from this office. Expected foreign travel would be around 1-2 times per year.  
  • Benefits include:  
    • 20 days leave per year, plus all public holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year when the office is closed. 
    • Organisation Pension Scheme: Employer Contributions at 3% of gross salary 
  • Reporting to: Executive Director 

 To apply for this post 

Please send your CV and a covering letter of no more than 2 pages of A4 explaining how you meet the requirements of the person specification by email to  with your name and Head of Finance in the subject line. 

Closing date for applications: 9:00 am, Monday 6th January 2020 

Interview date: Friday 10th January 2020