Financial director Interview Questions

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Brown Brothers Harriman
Fund Accountant was asked...November 19, 2012

How far apart is the hour and minute hand a 3:15?

5 Answers

No matter what time of the day, the minute and hour hand are always touching in the center of the clock face. Less

7.5 degrees

360 degrees on the clock. Each number is 360/12 = 30 degrees apart from one another. at 3:15, the minute hand is at 3 while the hour hand is 15/60 = 1/4 away from 3. So (1/4) * 30 = 30/4 = 7 + 2/4 = 7.5 degrees Less

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Wolters Kluwer

In an environment of layoffs and restructuring, how do you keep your team motivated?

4 Answers

Be open and honest if their roles are in jeopardy. Understand their concerns and answer their questions as best you can. If you do not know, say so. Keep them busy, and involved in important work. Less

Mo on g ok ok lfNikki

Stay positive, and focus on the work at hand. Keeping busy on important work helps people realize what they are doing is important. An ideal mind is the devil's.... well, you know the old saying. Be sure the physical environment is welcoming. In summer, raise the blinds, clean the common areas of papers and clutter. You will be amazed how much better things look when you take 10 short minutes a day to make the physical environment look better. The sun is out, blue skies, and maybe it's not so bad here. Let people vent. If you are not holding 1-on-1 meetings, then start. Hear people out. Be honest about what you can talk about. Don't sugar coat anything, but give those more junior to you some context and a bigger view. Sure some people will be laid off, but most will remain. Opportunity to do different things will become available. Sure you will work harder, but you will learn, growth, and build your reputation for having a level head in complex times. Lastly, have a plan. Know what you will do as a manager if you have to layoff 1,2 or 3 people. Know how the work will move around. This will allow you act quickly and decisively should things come to that. Having a manager who looks in charge because they already thought it through will go a long way. Less

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EY

Imagine you make a very complicated calculation in excel for a client who is going to make a decision. After you reviewed it a couple of times you notice you are going to save the client $10 million in taxes. You give it to your senior and your partner, who review your work. They agree on your calculation and tell the client about the tax savings and the meeting to finalize the transaction is tomorrow. It's 9 o'clock at night and you are finalizing the paperwork, and you suddenly realize you made a careless mistake on excel and instead of putting a minus, you put a plus, so the client is not going to save $10 million, but is going to owe $10 million. What do you do? How do you handle the situation?

3 Answers

Firstly, tell your partner and senior about it. After that, finalize the paperwork and bring it to your client's house. Talk to your client and just tell your client that you've made a mistake and tell your client the correct info Less

Start looking for a new job as soon as possible.

Answer: Everyone makes mistakes and you have to acknowledge it in a humble way. Tell the senior or the partner of the mistake as soon as possible, so they can help you minimize the damage. Less

Arrow Electronics

What is an accrual?

3 Answers

Revenues and expenses are recorded when earned; not received or paid.

Is an accounting method

An adjustment to either 1) record revenue earned but not yet recorded or 2) record expenses that have been incurred but not yet recorded Less

Clark Schaefer Hackett

When you're under a lot of pressure and tight deadlines, how do you manage your stress level?

2 Answers

I always try to have a positive mindset. Things are only as bad as you build them up to be in your head. I am not the type to get stressed out because I know I'll get through whatever obstacle is thrown my way. Things always seem to fall into place when you stay focused, determined, and positive about the final outcome. Less

For the past five years I have been living with my very beautiful girlfriend who is twenty-five years younger than I am (I’m 55 yo and she is 30 yo). I let her de stress me the way she knows best :). Less

Cornerstone Healthcare Group

What's the accounting equation? It wasn't difficult but it was unexpected and resulted in me having to ponder for several seconds to recall the information to mind

2 Answers

Xx

assets-liabilities=owner's equity or assets=liabilities + owner's equity The balance sheet should always net to zero Less

Par Electrical Contractors

Can I balance a high stressed work environment and role being that I was a single mother.

2 Answers

That was an illegal question they asked if it is about your parental, marital, or health status. Less

As long as the company allowed my son to come first in my priorities, I would be able to balance and maintain work and personal life. Less

Henkels & McCoy

They asked a question that was somewhat confusing at the time but made a lot of sense later. They asked how I would deal with monitoring the work done by payroll administrators even as I was not their supervisor but was still responsible for the accuracy and quality of their work. Ironically, this question rang in my ears for a long time--it was definitely a dilemma.

2 Answers

Lacking overall context, this question appears to be taking a long view on the project ... if you're managing budget, tracking tasks and attentive to remaining scope of effort, it would be useful to ensure (minimally) that: - hours worked/paid aligned with estimates - hours worked by groups aligned with delivered work -- is it done, did that element exceed budget - reporting on overall project relative to plan ... in short, does it mirror (quite literally) where you say we should be. In this space, labor is one of the few variable costs ... failing to completely supervise payroll could quickly cause a project to go over budget. Less

That is true and I was happy to do that. The problem did not lie in tracking and managing budgets. The problem dealt with administrators having trouble receiving constructive criticism or being asked to fix their entry errors by someone that was not their supervisor, especially on a weekly basis since books closed weekly. Nonetheless, that was a big part of the job I was paid to do, the accuracy and integrity of the reports was my responsibility. Less

Williams Overman Pierce

How did you handle a group member who didnt pull their weight?

2 Answers

Approach the offending party with specific examples of what they are doing wrong and what they can do specifically to fix the problem. Show them -how- they aren't pulling their weight, rather than just saying it. Ask the group member's input on the matter and help them come up with solutions to correct the problem. Anyone can identify an issue. It's the ones that can fix the issue that truly count. Less

Approached the person and explained they had to pull their weight or they would not share in the grade. Less

Con Edison

Describe a time when you were pulled in many directions.

1 Answers

Always Asking for the priority, if not sure go ask your boss directly, no time to guess, no time to waste Less

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