Advert. no. 2023_0059
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.


ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.


At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA. On Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


As part of the Administration Directorate the Finance Department ensures that financial resources are used according to the applicable rules and regulations, and in line with the directions defined by ESO's governing bodies. Our Finance Department covers four main areas: budgeting & controlling, accounting (including payroll), invoice control and treasury. It operates in an integrated way with units in Garching/Germany and in Santiago de Chile. The Finance team is made up of 15 staff with 9 nationalities and a wide range of experience making up our multicultural and diverse team.


Within this structure and following the retirement of one of our staff we are looking for someone to join our team as an

Invoice Controller


Vacancy closed on 17/12/2023

Deadline 17/12/2023

We are looking for an experienced and detail-oriented Invoice Controller to join our dynamic finance team at our HQ in Garching. You will play a vital role in ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of our accounts payable processes. You will be joining at an exciting time as we look to implement a new ERP system in the near future.

This is an excellent opportunity for professionals in accounting. The role is critical in supporting the Invoice Controlling team within the Finance Department in the execution of various tasks falling under their respective responsibility.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Review and validate incoming invoices for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with our policies and contractual terms.
  • Collaborate with various departments to obtain necessary documentation and resolve discrepancies.
  • Process invoices in a timely manner and ensure prompt payment to vendors.
  • Assist in preparing financial reports and statements as required.
  • Liaise with Treasury to optimize cash flow management and with General accounting to ensure the correct accrual process.
  • Provide support during audits and address audit-related inquiries.

Reports to:

The Head of Finance

Key Competences and Experience

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • At least five years experience of working as an Invoice Controller or in a similar financial role.
  • Analytical mindset and a strong attitude to solving problems and resolving issues.
  • Ability to understand and work with complex contractual terms
  • Solid knowledge of a larger scale ERP system (e.g. SAP, Oracle) and the Microsoft Office Package (especially MS Excel).
  • High level of attention to details and ability to quickly and effectively identify potential flaws;
  • Ability to work independently and to adapt to change.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in an international and multicultural environment.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • Strong multi-tasking and organizational skills with ability to prioritize her/his own activities;
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills;
  • Ability to rapidly understand and adapt to ESO specific context and;
  • User experience of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.


Bachelor's degree in Finance, Accounting, or a related field or General Educational Development degree is required. In lieu of a degree, relevant technical qualifications may also be accepted. In this case at least eight years of directly relevant experience are required. Additional qualifications, such as experience in dealing with complex construction contracts is desirable.

Working experience in an intergovernmental organisation would be an asset.

Language Skills:

A very good command of the English language is essential, a good command of Geman is desirable and a working knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and support to place your child/children in daycare.

Our Salary Structure

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our jobs. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience.

Please follow this attached link for more details

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment ( Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

ESO Headquarters at Garching, near Munich.

Career Path: III


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Closing date for applications is 17 December 2023.

Interviews are expected to be held soon afterwards.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

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