ESA - European Space Agency

Head of the Financial Accounting and Fixed Asset Section

ESA - European Space Agency

Paris, France

Vacancy in the Directorate of Internal Services.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.

This post is classified A2 - A4 on the Coordinated Organisations' salary scale.


Head of the Financial Accounting & Fixed Asset Section, Accounting Division in the Finance, Planning and Controlling Department, Directorate of Internal Services.

Acting as ESA's Chief Accountant, the postholder is responsible for implementing the Agency's accounting policy and procedures. This involves a variety of tasks to ensure timely and accurate delivery of IPSAS-compliant (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) balances under the current ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.


Specific duties include:

  • leading, coordinating and supporting the preparation and consolidation of annual IPSAS-compliant financial statements;
  • establishing and specifying ESA's accounting policies, defining its Chart of Accounts, and ensuring their consistent implementation Agency-wide;
  • managing the preparation of regular and ad hoc financial management reports;
  • monitoring the compliance of IPSAS-related audit observations;
  • maintaining and monitoring the application of internal controls and procedures for fixed asset management;
  • monitoring the monthly and yearly closure of financial accounts and related tasks;
  • ensuring, in liaison with Cost Accounting, consistent cost accounting and financial accounting data, notably regarding asset valuation and periodic financial/cost statements;
  • assessing and contributing to the possible evolution of the accounting system by analysing best practices (industry and public organisations);
  • contributing to the provision of accounting data requested by ESA delegate bodies (e.g. Administrative & Finance Committee, Programme Boards); or in the context of internal and external (e.g. European Commission) audits;
  • managing the Section's team of financial controllers and accountants.

Technical competencies

  • Knowledge of cost, financial and/or management accounting, accounting standards;
  • Knowledge of the Procure-to-Pay process;
  • Cost control and resources and activities planning;
  • Finance module and consolidation in an ERP, preferably SAP.

Leadership competencies

  • Acting as a Role Model;
  • Promoting Diversity;
  • Driving Performance;
  • Developing & Motivating People;
  • Fostering Cooperation & Effective Team-working.

Behavioural competencies

  • Results Orientation;
  • Customer Focus;
  • Problem Solving;
  • Communication;
  • Planning & Organisation.


Applicants should have a Master's degree or equivalent qualification in business administration, finance, accounting or a related field. An accounting qualification as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is required.

Additional requirements

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively-responsible professional experience of accounting and auditing at private or public sector multinational organisations is required, as is demonstrated experience of complex accounting operations and consolidations;
  • Several years of demonstrated experience in transitioning private sector or public sector accounting standards such as International Financial Reporting Standards or IPSAS is required;
  • Extensive experience of working with the finance module and consolidation in an ERP system is required (preferably SAP);
  • Candidates must be able to apply conceptual, analytical and evaluative skills to accounting operations. They should be able to conduct independent research and analysis, identify issues, formulate options and make conclusions and recommendations.

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

The closing date for application is 26 June 2017.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email

Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada and Slovenia.

Priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented Member States.

In accordance with the European Space Agency's security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment.

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