This client applied for a Finance Officer role in State Government in the Qld Health Department and gained a job interview. Instead of addressing the standard five criteria from the Capability Leadership Framework (CLF) – Strategic Direction, Achieves Results, Cultivates Relationships, Demonstrates Drive, and Communicates with Influence – the application called for the addressing of four specific criteria. Following are excerpts from two of the selection criteria.

Demonstrated ability to perform duties in the area of Financial Accounting and Reporting.

In one of my previous finance-related roles, when a new reporting platform and chart of accounts were implemented, I conducted an extensive review of the General Ledger (GL) accounts to analyse potential misreporting. Using Microsoft Excel, I performed checks on accuracy and completeness of the GL accounts and mappings to major balance sheet and profit and loss accounts. I ensured the GL accounts were used in accordance with the company’s accounting policies. Any findings and proposed action items were reported to relevant personnel and units for their review and/or approval. A clean-up of the chart of accounts was made and additional adjusting entries posted to reflect correct balances. As a result, this strengthened the accuracy and reliability of reports and minimised the need for additional adjustments and/or resubmissions of financial reports in the succeeding months.

Part of my process improvement targets in 2013 was to reduce the number of month-end adjustments. On my manager’s approval, I executed a review of the recurring adjustments, evaluated the nature and materiality, summarised and documented those adjustments; and based on materiality/relevance, segregated those that could be processed on a pre-month-end basis. Additionally, adjustment requests from business unit operations that fell below the agreed threshold were rejected for processing, and more emphasis was placed on process improvement and minimisation of errors. By year end, the number of adjustments was reduced by 20% which provided more time to perform meaningful review and analysis of financial figures before submission to head office.

Sound oral and written communication skills including ability to consult and negotiate with officers at all levels in the Department.

Previously, I represented the Asia Pacific (APAC) reporting team on a project concerning a new reporting requirement of the US Federal Reserve (FFIEC 30 deconsolidation). My task involved preparing a process manual and working file for the APAC finance team. To gain more insights on the report and on data and system requirements, I conducted regular conference calls with the regional controller, head office reporting team, and other project coordinators from various countries. I conducted surveys via email/phone with the APAC country controllers, and studied the specific reporting requirements via internet and manuals provided by the head office reporting team. I took each opportunity to ask questions and raise issues and concerns about the reporting process to the project leads located at head office in New York. I collated all the information and formulated a process flow chart and a Microsoft Excel working file for the report. Next, I illustrated the draft files to the APAC finance teams in Manila in order for them to test the effectiveness of the working file and the reporting system. I coordinated with my APAC team and the head office team on updates and outstanding issues. When the reporting requirement was implemented, the APAC team delivered on manageable issues in the first month. I received a Praise Award for the successful implementation of the project.

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Annie Cerone