Finance and human resources director PRACTICAL EXERCISE

Thank you for your interest in working at Democracy Works! The first step in our application process is a practical exercise we hope you’ll enjoy.

We Do Better, a hypothetical nonprofit, is hiring a finance & human resources director to help scale the organization in the coming year. This role requires the ability to communicate and manage various functions related to financial reporting, budget, and cashflow analysis. To that end, we would like for you to complete the following tasks, centered around the work of that nonprofit organization.

Part I
For this portion, please use this spreadsheet of a month-end finance report. The CEO and the Board of Directors would like a summary of this month’s financials. Please summarize/explain November’s financial report. Provide a narrative that answers these questions:

  • How did the actuals compare to the budget for this month? 
  • How much of the cash is restricted and unrestricted?
  • What numbers would you highlight for the CEO and the Board in the summary?
  • What recommendations, if any, would you make to the CEO based on these observations?


Part II
The organization was awarded five grants/projects this past year. This document is a list of the grants/projects and the amounts awarded. Please complete this spreadsheet associated with this question. 

Part III
The organization is on a fiscal calendar year. On December 20th, 2017 they were notified that they have been awarded a $200,000 grant for the period 2018-2019. The grant letter is dated the date of notification. On the same day, We Do Better also receives a $100,000 check for a contract deliverable that has not been met yet, with a due date of January 15, 2018. What are the accounting implications of both of these scenarios? How would you record each on their books? What method(s) are you using? What types of funding are they?

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about any of these exercises.

We don’t intend for this to be a significant time investment. Our expectation is that you’ll be able to complete this in 1-2 hours.

To submit:
Please attach your response to an email and send it to work@democracy.works (your answer can remain on this email thread). Please do NOT include any personally-identifying details in your work, as we’ll be anonymizing before evaluating it. We hope to hear from you in one week (if that’s not a reasonable deadline, just let us know). Thanks again for your interest!