EC (European Commission) & Institutional Donor Grant Auditor

Job Title: EC (European Commission) & Institutional Donor Grant Auditor
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: London
Salary: Competitive
Reference: n/a3
Contact Name: Human Resources
Contact Email:
Job Published: August 07, 2019 11:25

Job Description

Not for Profit Division

The Not for Profit (NFP) division has an impressive pool of knowledge and experience to share, and from which to learn and grow. The team is led by partners with extensive experience in this broad sector, ranging from auditing and advising diverse NFP entities, carrying out high profile investigations into public spending and managing significant contracts with the European Commission and other International Donors.

NFP organisations are distinguished by the fact that they exist for a social purpose, rather than by what they do day to day. This means the NFP world encompasses everything from radical campaigning organisations to big businesses with a public benefit remit. This is an exciting time for anyone with an interest in the sector to be joining our NFP team and, in return for your enthusiasm to develop and learn, we can offer you the opportunity to build a rewarding career.

What skills will you need to be effective in this role?

Responsibilities Job Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose and aim of the role

PKF Littlejohn LLP hold a number of framework contracts with EC and International Donors:

• Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) of the European Commission to audit grant funding awarded to various organisations within the European Union, with audits undertaken both within the EU and globally;

• Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), or ‘EuropeAid’, of the European Commission to audit grant funding awarded for development aid across the globe;

• Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) to audit entities across the EU in receipt of grant funding;

• A framework contract with Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency, EACEA, also covering the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) and Innovative Networks Executive Agency (INEA);

• Directorate-General for Budget, DG BUDG, to audit grant funding across the EU in a number of different fields;

• The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with whom we have a framework contract to provide French speaking auditors;

• Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) JU, a joint undertaking between the EC and industry in the field of medicines, this framework contract also covers other EC/industry JUs – Clean Sky JU relating to improving the impact of air transport on the environment and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JU which supports fuel cell and hydrogen development projects; and

• Various other contracts covering other International Donors such as DFID, the UN etc.

PKF Littlejohn LLP leads consortiums of European firms to audit grant funding awarded to various organisations within the European Community under the above contracts. The firm has a Partner permanently based in Brussels to oversee the completion of assignments on these contracts, as well as to identify new business opportunities.

The above contracts cover the audit of grants awarded to organisations operating typically in the fields of humanitarian aid and civil protection, development aid, research and culture. Assignments take place either within Europe or across the world according to where the aid is being delivered and/ or where the supporting records are kept. In the context of humanitarian aid, this often means travelling to places suffering due to conflict or political instability, these are referred to as field audits. The time spent with each organisation in the area of action varies between 3 and 5 days depending on the level of in-country access available due to security issues and the distance between country offices, field offices and project sites. Whilst it is not a requirement to have experience of working in high risk security contexts it is an advantage.

The successful candidate will be expected to perform a role that involves:

• undertaking field audit trips throughout the year usually ranging from 1 to 3 weeks per trip, but occasionally lasting up to 5 weeks; and

• undertaking other audits within Europe which typically last up to 1 week but can sometimes last up to 3 weeks.

It is anticipated that successful candidates will travel for 2 – 3 weeks of each month with the remainder of time spent in our London office, planning future audits and writing audit reports.

The successful candidate will be required to work with the rest of the audit team ensure the audits to which they have been assigned are thoroughly planned and executed in order to ensure:

• the maximum possible safety of the team in the field; and

• the final signed reports are delivered to our clients within the contractual deadline.

The work for field audits is performed in teams of two in the areas of action, where needed, assistance may be provided from other consortium firms. For EU-based audits the team may range from 1 to 4 staff, again with assistance provided from other consortium firms. The locations of the work are chosen by the various EC DGs and DG personnel may also accompany the auditors on some trips.

The successful candidate will report to the managers and will be responsible for delivering to them a fully drafted audit report and complete set of working papers. The individual will complete audit work in the field (EU and global), covering the following key areas of the beneficiary’s operations and project costs:

• Organisation

• Compliance

• Internal controls

• Accounting systems and IT

• Cash and bank

• Personnel

• Travel and subsistence costs

• Other direct costs

• Indirect costs

• Fixed assets

• Procurement

The successful candidate will also be responsible for planning assignments, file audit completion and drafting the audit report.

In addition to all of the above, should the firm win similar assignment work from other international donors or implementing organisations (e.g. NGOs or International Organisations, IOs), the role as described here can be expanded and varied to incorporate such new work as deemed appropriate and necessary.

Responsibilities or involvement in Management

• Active involvement in the development of audit staff;

• Assisting in the motivation of staff; and

• Assisting with marketing activity.

Communication and Business Relationships required

• Effective internal communication – both oral and written – with all members of the audit team

• Effective external communication with European Commission, other International Donors and auditees

Job Knowledge Required

• Attend training courses as appropriate

• Possess core IT skills, including Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

Person Specification

Skills and Qualifications

The ideal candidate will be skilled in the following areas;

• Proven skills in external auditing;

• Proven skills in audit planning, fieldwork and file completion;

• Good report writing and communication skills; and

• A keen interest in specialising in the Not for Profit and Grant Auditing sector.


ACA qualified (or equivalent) or have internal audit skills/qualifications

Language skills

Fluent English required.

Knowledge of (spoken and written) Spanish and/or French preferred.

Other language capabilities a bonus (EU and non-EU)

Personal Attributes

• Leadership skills, with the ability to command respect at all levels; • An understanding of the European Commission; • Comfortable with working with a wide range of people from many different countries; • Able to provide direction and support to assistants from other firms and countries; • Ability to work in challenging environments; • Ability to take responsibility; • Be commercially aware; • Able to communicate effectively and keep others informed; • Ability to encourage team spirit and improve the performance of junior staff by providing clear instructions, supporting and involving team members, monitoring individual performance and providing constructive feedback; • Able to consider the needs of the team members under supervision and identify training needs as and when required; • Proactive; • Strong technical skills; • Sound professional judgement; • Report writing skills; • Analytical and problem solving skills; • Flexibility in approach to work and willingness to assist others if needed beyond the normal work parameters; • Strong organisational skills; • Ability to prioritise workload and work to deadlines; and • Decisive – can make correct decisions when under pressure.