Financial Systems Expert


Lilongwe Malawi

Expected Assignment Period:

February 2024 to July 2024 (20 working days)


CASA is an FCDO-International Climate Finance (ICF) funded programme driving global investment for inclusive climate-resilient agri-food systems that increase smallholder incomes. CASA makes the case to impact and return-oriented investors for increased investment in agribusinesses that work with smallholder supply chains. The programme achieves this goal by:

  • Demonstrating the commercial viability and investment-readiness of small and medium-sized (SME) agribusinesses with significant smallholder supply chains
  • Helping investors to increase the impact of their investments through the provision of inclusive technical assistance
  • Strengthening the socio-legal empowerment of smallholders within value chains
  • Tackling the information and evidence gaps holding back investment

For demonstrating the commercial and development potential of smallholder sourcing models, CASA focuses on catalytic interventions in the agriculture sectors of Ethiopia, Malawi, Nepal and Rwanda that support agri-SMEs prepare for and secure investment while connecting smallholders to commercial markets.

CASA’s work on research and communications is structured around identifying constraints, opportunities and addressing evidence gaps through research; shaping the debate on smallholder agriculture to influence actions of investors, governments and donors; and creating networking opportunities through events and stakeholder engagement.


The main purpose of the assignment is to strengthen fiduciary management policies and systems, including governance, financial management and internal control systems, of CASA downstream Implementing Partners (IPs) in Malawi. The targeted IPs under this assignment are the six SMEs that have been identified to enter into partnership with CASA to facilitate implementation of catalytic interventions under the third cohort of CASA’s projects in Malawi. For each one of these six SMEs, CASA has carried out a preliminary due diligence and identified minor and major gaps and weaknesses in the internal control environment which presents exposure to different types of risks, including the fiduciary and reputational risks. CASA is therefore planning to support these oncoming SME partners to conduct a detailed review and develop robust fiduciary management policies and systems for each SME partner to strengthen the internal control environment and reduce the exposure to risk of aid diversion. This will include supporting the partner to set up a governance structure that is consistent with the prescriptions of the law for such SME entities, where such structure is found to have some gaps. It is expected that a well-developed internal control and governance system will guard against risks of fraud and instill a sense of heightened integrity amongst the management, enhance employee competence, improve records-keeping, strengthen procurement and approval procedures, amongst others. The planned strengthening of these fiduciary management systems is also aimed at supporting the SME partners to start becoming investment ready, which is a core rationale for partnering with CASA.

It is against this background that CASA intends to engage the services of Financial Systems Experts that will support CASA to implement the identified capacity building activities towards strengthening the fiduciary management systems and policies for the six oncoming CASA SME partners. These experts will be engaged as Short Term Technical Assistants (STTAs) for a defined number of days under each SME. Depending on the scope of work, one STTA may be assigned one or two SME partners over a period of two to three months. For each one of the targeted SME partners, the assigned Financial Systems Expert STTA will specifically be required to conduct a detailed review of and update the existing financial management and internal control systems as well as develop policies and systems that are currently non-existent. The services of the Financial Systems Expert will aim to build strong financial management and internal control systems which the companies can easily and immediately adopt and continue using in the medium to long-term. The developed fiduciary management and internal control systems are expected to be in line with CASA and FCDO fiduciary management guidelines and protocol and fully comply with all statutory provisions as prescribed by the relevant laws governing the setting up and operations of companies in Malawi. The Financial Systems Expert will coordinate directly with the management of the assigned SME in reviewing, updating, and developing the prescribed fiduciary policies, systems, and tools. Besides developing the internal control systems, the Financial Systems Expert will provide training to the assigned SMEs on any changes to the existing systems, or newly developed systems. The training will include an orientation on how to use the systems as a management tool to improve organisational efficiency and reduce any exposure to risks.


Under the overall supervision of the Market Manager, the Financial Systems Experts will be responsible for reviewing, updating as well as designing and/or developing the necessary fiduciary management tools for each one of the assigned SME partners. These policies and tools will include but not be limited to financial reporting systems, financial operations manuals, procurement policies, Conflict of Interest policies, and ancillary documentation. After completion of the prescribed fiduciary management policies and tools, the STTA will be expected to thoroughly orient the directors and senior management of the SME partners to facilitate timely adoption and proper utilisation of the same.

Specifically, the Financial Systems Expert is expected to deliver the following:

  • Conducting a detailed review of all existing fiduciary management policies, systems and tools for each assigned IP;

  • Updating or developing and facilitating the setting up of a CASA fund accounting and costs tracking system for each assigned IP;

  • Developing and instituting a procurement policy with clear procurement guidelines and thresholds that meets the minimum acceptable standards, rules and regulations of the FCDO;

  • Developing a conflict-of-interest policy for the IP to mitigate the risk of funds mismanagement;

  • Review and supplement the existing documentation tracking mechanisms to enhance audit trail systems and fiduciary documentation for CASA funds;

  • Reviewing and setting up a system that enhances Value for Money (VfM) for CASA funds in all areas of operations for the assigned IP;

  • Developing and setting up a fraud detection mechanism in the SOPs of the assigned SME IP based on the fraud and anti-corruption training and awareness that will be provided and facilitated by CASA;

  • Developing and orienting the directors and senior management of the assigned SME IP on updating an asset register for all assets procured under CASA subaward funds;

  • Contributing to periodic progress reports and outputs for relevant project interventions in accordance with CASA Team’s evolving reporting needs and obligations; and,

  • Complying with the Standard Operating Procedures manual and other relevant requirements of NIRAS Malawi.


The specific number and types of deliverables for each SME partner will be dependent on the specific needs of the IP based on the identified gaps. As such, the STTA will be provided a specific list of deliverables for each IP, in form of a Work Order at the time of assigning that particular IP to the consultant. However, the following is a list of all potential envisaged deliverables:

  1. Submission of the key fiduciary management policies, tools and documentation, including;

      1. The CASA Fund Account and cost share tracking system

      2. A detailed Procurement Policy that meets the minimum guidelines of the FCDO

      3. A Conflict of Interest Policy

      4. A Fraud and Whistle Blowing Policy and detection mechanism

      5. An Asset Register for the IP

  1. Monthly timesheet after completion of every month, within 10 days of the following month.

  2. Other deliverables as per the emerging needs of the IP as determined and agreed upon by CASA Country Team.

All the deliverables above will need to be vetted and sign-off by the IP and CASA to be deemed to have been satisfactorily completed.


    1. Assignment Duration

This assignment is scheduled to be carried out between February 2024 and July 2024 for all the six targeted SME IPs. However, for each SME partner, the STTA is expected to complete all the prescribed tasks and deliver all required fiduciary management policies, systems and tools within a maximum of two months.

    1. Assignment Days

For each assigned IP, the Financial Systems Expert is expected to accept and sign a Work Order within which will be allocated a maximum of 20 work-days. Any work beyond this cap will be dependent on mutually identified and verified extra needs of the individual SME partners. Such extra work and days will only be carried out after special approval by CASA in the form of an amendment to the Work Order.

    1. Assignment Days

The consultant will report to the CASA Market Managers and the Grant Administrator with the overall oversight of the CASA Malawi Intervention Manager.


The STTA will be responsible for assuring the quality of the fiduciary management tools and documentation developed to ensure that the information given is representative of the needs of the SME partners as well as being fully compliant with the acceptable standards, rules and regulations of the FCDO and Niras. The CASA Country team and each assigned IP will discuss and agree with the STTA expert on the expected criteria for quality and will subsequently ensure that every deliverable fully adheres to the prescribed quality standards.


The successful candidate will be required to possess the following:

  • Possessing a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy, Finance, Auditing, Business Management or in other relevant fields (Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) preferred);

  • Qualified Accountants (or at least partly-qualified with a recognised accounting professional body);

  • Demonstrable prior experience in designing fiduciary management systems, policies and tools such as financial accounting systems and manuals as well as procurement policies is highly desirable;

  • Critical thinking with excellent financial and data analytical skills and competences supported by a high proficiency in MS Excel and strong ability to model financial information;

  • Demonstrable relationship management and performance management skills;

  • Excellent written and oral communication, listening and interpersonal skills with the ability to deal tactfully and diplomatically with a wide range of people combined with an appreciation of the importance of confidentiality;

  • Willingness to take on new assignments at short notice and to travel frequently even to remote areas;

  • Ability to make decisions regarding own work, often in ambiguous situations and suggest recommendations regarding own functionality and discipline;

  • Ability to function with minimum guidance and under pre-set procedures with attention to detail; and

  • Able to exercise independent judgment within defined policies and practices.


Interested candidates should send an Expression of Interest not more than 6 pages long (Font:12, Line spacing: 1.15) broken down as follows;

  1. A maximum of 1 page EOI submission letter providing an overview of the candidate’s suitability for the role and their preferred daily rate expressed in GBP per day.

  2. A maximum of 2 pages outlining a proposed methodology according to their understanding of the assignment and its requirements as specified in the Terms of Reference.

  3. A maximum of 3 pages Curriculum Vitae/Resume outlining only the RELEVANT experience, qualifications and attributes for the role. Emphasis should be placed on similar consultancy assignments carried out by the candidate in the past five (5) years.

The deadline for receiving applications is close of business on Monday 12 February 2024. Applications to be sent to rhch@niras.com