Act Expertise Analyst (Senior Controls Specialist) - Unilever

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Act Expertise Analyst (Senior Controls Specialist) - Unilever

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The Africa Controllership Team ‘ACT’ focuses on Financial Reporting control matters and leads the Africa (initially only West Africa) Controllership agenda, which include monitoring controls (including documentation), identifying and driving improvement opportunities, training, sharing best practices, and supporting the country Controllers to prioritize stewardship matters. As well as performing independent monitoring of control operation, the team leads on the formal Sarbanes-Oxley controls testing (FCA).

The team works extremely closely with the country Controllers to jointly ensure the highest quality of control operation, documentation, accounting compliance and stewardship standards. The team also works closely with the Unilever centres of excellences (including Operating Centre and Commercial Experience ‘ComEx’ teams) and has visibility of controls operated by ComEx (or by third parties for ComEx). The team is the first point of contact with the Unilever global central accounting and controls team (Group Chief Accountants Department ‘GCAD’) for all accounting matters.

The team has the primary relationship with local external auditors for all in scope countries and must approve the external audit methodology for each country to ensure it is optimal based on, and utilizing, the centralization of Unilever control operation and audit work performed in these countries.



The team participates in key external audit meetings and ensures 1) smooth audit planning / progress; and 2) audit observations are adequately and sustainably resolved. Additionally, the team works with the Africa Internal Audit and Corporate Audit teams to support their work, monitor progress and track follow up actions.

The team also seeks out and challenges any accounting they observe that could be judgmental, incorrect, or inaccurate and ensures/maintains comprehensive documentation of such matters.

The team supports the Africa Controller with other Africa-wide stewardship matters including Business Risk Assessment ‘BRA’ exercise, reporting to the Africa Leadership Team ‘ALT’, and ad hoc initiatives including training.

Senior Controls Specialist (ACT Expertise Analyst) – MAIN JOB PURPOSE

This role focuses on improving stewardship across Africa and maintains an independent view on the health of the business internal control environment. They act with objectivity and ethics, seeing the bigger picture & holding the mirror up whilst moving between controls, accounting & value-based topics.

Main Accountabilities

Overall accountability

Monitoring Of Control Operation

The role supports the ACT Expertise Lead to achieve the objectives/purpose of the team as set out above (subject to change by agreement with the Africa Controller). Within this remit, it is expected that the role will deliver the following:

The Role Will Directly Do The Monitoring Of

  • over 1/2 of the ACT activities to review countries’ Global Framework ‘GFCF’ controls operation
  • over 1/2 of the ACT activities to review countries’ GFCF documentation standards (through an online tool eGRC lite)
  • over 1/2 of the ACT activities to review countries’ non-GFCF control operation and documentation

Controls Testing

The role will perform some independent testing of controls, based on the scope determined each year by the Unilever global central accounting and controls team (Group Chief Accountants Department ‘GCAD’), in accordance with the Financial Controls Assessment ‘FCA’ Unilever testing standards (derived from Sarbanes-Oxley section 404).



System / Tool Ownership

The role is responsible for management, updates, and maintenance of the eGRC lite tool.

Local Table Of Authorities

The role leads the Local Table of Authorities process, ensuring it is updated regularly and communicated successfully.

Tracking Issues And Audit Observations

At the direction/discretion of the ACT Expertise Lead, the role is likely to ensure all key stakeholders have regular ongoing access to the status of stewardship issues and audit observations identified. This includes:

  • Corporate Audit actions
  • External Audit observations
  • Africa Internal Audit actions
  • FCA observations


At the direction/discretion of the ACT Expertise Lead, the role may support with:

  • controls expertise and advice as needed across Africa
  • accounting expertise and advice as needed across Africa
  • the Africa Financial Flexibility ‘FinFlex’ discussions, which focus on tax and treasury related matters including risk management and dividend planning;
  • The Africa ‘Business Risk Assessment ‘BRA’ exercise; and
  • Ad hoc initiatives including training.


  • All functions within Unilever Africa
  • Africa Finance Controllers (currently West Africa only)
  • Unilever ComEx
  • External Auditors

Key Skills And Relevant Experience

  • A Chartered Accountant and Member of a Professional Body (in-country Accounting Certifying body) with at least 10 years’ experience in a similar role and FMCG environment.
  • Qualified and experienced to perform Sox testing, audit, internal control, corporate governance, and financial reporting.
  • Excellent Communication – written and verbal.



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