Monday, December 11, 2023

How To Interview A Bookkeeper

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Are They Registered And Qualified

How to Pass Bookkeeper Job Interview: Questions and Answers

You will find that some bookkeepers will have a diploma, accounting degree or may even be Chartered Accountants or CPAs.

If your bookkeeper is going to be lodging your BAS in Australia then, at a minimum, your bookkeeper should be a Registered BAS agent. BAS agents are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.

The qualification and registration requirements differ from country to country. Be sure to ask your bookkeeper what their qualifications are and whether they are registered to lodge / file sales tax in your country.

Remember, some bookkeepers are specialists while others are more generalists. When hiring, you need to determine the specific needs of your business to ensure that whoever you hire can handle the workload. If there are more challenging or difficult aspects to your bookkeeping, you will want a more specialized bookkeeper on your payroll.

Are You Hiring The Bookkeeper Directly Or Working With A Bookkeeping Business

If you hire a bookkeeper directly who isnt part of a bigger team, then ask questions about a back-up plan. What will you do if this bookkeeper is sick or has an accident? How will you make sure your team and suppliers get paid, and your customers are paying you?

Working with a bookkeeping business with multiple staff

Hiring a bookkeeping business rather than an individual bookkeeper helps spread the risk. However, with a bookkeeping team, it is likely that the person you are scoping out the bookkeeping job will be different from the team member who does your processing.

In this case, ask about what quality control and internal review procedures they have.

For example, at Bean Ninjas, all client work is reviewed by a Team Leader or Manager before going to a client.

What Do You Think Of Recent Updates In The Accounting Standards

Unlike questions that probe problem-solving abilities or relevant skills, this one explores knowledge of current industry practices. Have they had training in new tax changes? Their responses will help you determine their commitment to the profession theyve chosen and their ability to express themselves.

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How Do You Keep Your Clients’ Financial Information Private

The aim of this question is to assess the candidate’s ability to work with sensitive information and keep it private. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience working with sensitive information
  • Ability to keep client information private
  • Good ideas for upholding privacy laws


“To keep clients’ financial information private, I always work in a secluded space. This ensures no one can look over my shoulder at my files or computer or overhear conversations I have with my clients. Any physical files I have won’t leave my locked filing cabinet at work and my electronic files are password protected.”

Find And Hire A Professional Bookkeeper With Ease

How to Interview a Bookkeeper

Finding and hiring your next professional bookkeeper can be a challenge, but the key way to simplify this process is to use pre-employment skills tests. How you use them can make a significant difference to your recruitment.

Keep in mind that you will be looking for bookkeeping candidates that best suit your companys culture. So, in addition to hard skills tests such as the accounts payable assessment, you will need to use other tests to enhance your hiring process and select the best candidate for your organization.

For top skills tests, take a look at TestGorillas free trial and find out how pre-employment skills tests can make your hiring process faster and easier.

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Which Industries Have You Worked In Can You Describe Your Previous Experience As A Bookkeeper

This question gives you the chance to understand your bookkeeper candidates in more detail in the context of their previous roles. If your organization requires bookkeeping knowledge specific to your industry, look for signs that your candidate can either adapt to your requirements or has prior experience in a similar organization.

How Confident Are You When It Comes To Communicating With Our Organization And Informing Us Of The Nature Of Our Accounts

Communication tools should feature in the responses to your bookkeeper candidates responses to this question i.e., they should be able to use Zoom, email, and phone communication approaches to inform your organization of the nature of your accounts. They should also be able to explain complex numbers in simple ways so that you can understand them. Listen for any examples that the candidate provides to support their answer.

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Question : ‘what Is The First Thing You Would Do On Your First Day On The Job’

Where the first two bookkeeper interview questions focus on identifying the candidates passion, the third focuses more on technical expertise.

Present your candidate with the following scenario:

Its day one on the job. Youve finished all the paperwork for human resources, and now youre sitting in front of our accounting system for the first time. What is the first thing you would do?

There are many possible answers to this question, but the best one would be twofold. First, the bookkeeping candidate should say they would review the business bank accounts and make sure theyve been properly reconciled. Bank accounts are the biggest weakness in a small businesss internal controls, and you want a bookkeeper who understands that.

Next, the bookkeeping candidate should say they would review the balance sheet line by line, and then they would go through the profit and loss statement. If your bookkeeping candidate gives you this answer, then they understand very well how the financial statements work together and how to review and check their own work.

Bonus points if they take this a step further and say they would compare the balance sheet to the last completed tax return or external auditors report. This demonstrates their understanding of how all the pieces of your financial puzzle are supposed to fit together, which means youll get a truly immaculate work product from them.

What’s The Difference Between A General Ledger And A General Journal What Do You Use Them For

The 5 Best Bookkeeper Interview Questions All Business Owners Should Use

These are two accounting basics where the interviewer will want to ensure you’re familiarity. Use your past experience as an example of how you recorded and kept track of your organization’s financial information. Here’s a sample response:

Example:“The general ledger is the document that holds all of the company’s accounts while the general journal is where transactional entries post. In my last role, the general journal is where I would record entries, such as sales, purchases and cash receipts regularly. At the end of each month, I credited and debited the entries to the appropriate accounts in the general ledger.”

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Saying This Interview Process Was An Utter Waste Of Time Would Be An Understatement Very Few Questions About My Skill Set The Co

Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review regarding your interview for our Bookkeeper position. Please know that 100% of the applicants who interviewed for this position were emailed directly from Shawn once the job was filled. Once the position was filled, emails to all other candidates were sent out on September 22, 2015 between 1pm-2pm, directly from Shawn. We recommend that you check your spam folder to see if your message was filtered there. We can always forward you the message again. Please let us know if you would like us to do so. Additionally, at Rook our company culture is extremely important. This is why some of our interview questions may not seem typical. Please know Rook Coffee is an extremely fair workplace. We thank you again for taking the time to review your experience.Less

Let me assure you that 100% of the applicants who applied for this position were not contacted by Shawn, as I was one of them. I’ve checked my spam folder. The fact that you bring up your company culture and fairness of work place leads me to wonder if you’ve had EEOC issues. Reflecting on the questions during your interview process, you did seem to be weeding out certain demographics. Best of luck in your future endeavors.Less

How Would You Notice And Handle Ledger Errors What Would Your Process Be

Listen for detailed answers from your bookkeeper candidates about how they spot errors and whether they use any particular process. This will include how they have noticed the error in the first place, whether they have compared the opening balance with the change for the period and the closing balance, and then move on to how they would fix the error.

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If A Ledger Was Off How Would You Find An Error

An ideal candidate would have a clear way of approaching this issue and could explain it to the hiring manager in a clear way.

Example Answer:

Once the error has been confirmed, Id calculate the columns backward from the bottom to the top, and later test for advanced errors if needed like transposed numbers.

When To Outsource Bookkeeping Tasks

Bookkeeper Job Interview Questions &  Answers

Still not convinced that you need to hire a bookkeeper or getting cold feet now that you know what kind of information you need to gather when hiring a bookkeeper for your business?

Professional bookkeeping services are always ideal as your business grows. Simply having someone there to help with customer billing questions and account questions can help immensely.

Just take your time to do your research and make sure to ask all the right questions before hiring a professional bookkeeper and beginning the onboarding process. The interview process will prove to be very advantageous and will help ensure success during the hiring process.

The sample interview questions we have included above are just a few ideas and are there to offer you a starting off point as you search for professional bookkeepers.

Depending on your industry, you may want to find ways to personalize the questions even more to make them make more sense for your industry. Take the time to find someone professional and qualified, and one that best fits your company vision.

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What Are A Bookkeepers Duties & Responsibilities

If you really want to understand what a bookkeeper is, its wise to take a close look at the bookkeeper duties. Its those responsibilities that genuinely define a position.

While its true that every bookkeeper job description will be a bit different, most of them have quite a bit in common. Heres a look at some of the responsibilities that end up on a bookkeepers plate:

  • Maintain financial transaction records
  • Track fixed assets
  • Manage depreciation schedules


What Is The First Thing You Would Do On Your First Day On The Job

The interviewer wants to find out your priority as far as bookkeeping is concerned. Demonstrate the most important area of bookkeeping and keep it brief.

Sample Answer

The first thing I can do is to review the business bank accounts to ensure that they are properly reconciled. Then I will go ahead and review the balance sheet line by line as I go through the profit and loss statements. I would compare the balance sheet to the last completed tax return/ external auditors report to get the actual position of the business finances.

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Are The Classes Done At Your Own Pace

Amy: The course is something that you can complete at your own pace. You can determine how fast or how slow you want to go. There are suggested study tracks included with the training to help you determine the path and base that works best for you.

Kirstin: Yes, they go at your own pace.

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What You Need To Know For Your Job Interview

Bookkeeper Interview Questions with Answer Examples

If you have your eye on a bookkeeper job, then youre going to have to nail your interview. Impressing the hiring manager is typically a must. Luckily, we can help you do just that.

Whats the secret to success? Preparation. Spend some time reviewing the bookkeeper job description to find out exactly what the hiring manager wants to find. Then, head to the companys website to explore its mission and values statements, giving you insights into the organizations culture and priorities.

Finally, skim the companys social media profiles. There, you may find posts about any recent accomplishments as well as more about the culture. That will let you address that information during your interview. Its an extra mile style move that really makes an impact.

If you want to be ready for those tricky behavioral interview questions, then you need to adopt the right strategy. Combine the STAR Method and the Tailoring Method, and youll have an approach that can help you shine.

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Tell Me About A Time When You Received Difficult Feedback How Did You React

We all love praise, and we all dislike hearing our work criticized. Any competent interviewer in the accounting profession understands that mistakes happen. What youre going to want to do here is be sure to let the interviewer know what you did in reaction to this feedback. How accountable were the parties involved? Your ability to navigate though difficult situations will place you high on just about any accounting employers list.

Answer Sample:

Ive been on both ends of critical feedback, and clear, consice presnetation of facts is paramount, as is accountability

What Methods Have You Used For Estimating Bad Debt

Accounting interview questions like this one can help bring to light how the applicant has approached a routine process with previous employers. For recent grads, this line of inquiry allows them to apply theoretical knowledge in venturing educated guesses, which could open a dialogue about how your company handles this issue.

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Typical Bookkeeper Interview Questions Evaluating Soft Skills

Effective bookkeepers require skills in a variety of areas. In addition to expert bookkeeping knowledge and other job-specific skills, bookkeepers also must possess several administrative skills or qualities that allow them to work efficiently in an office, perform well, and meet deadlines.

Some of the most important administrative skills are soft skills or interpersonal abilities.

When interviewing for a job, be prepared to answer behavioral interview questions and situational interview questions that evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and help hiring managers determine how you would fit into the company culture.

The best answers to job interview questions aimed at evaluating soft skills are honest and emphasize your enthusiasm, interpersonal skills, and personality.

If youve gotten to the interview process, chances are you have the qualifications and experience necessary for the job. Nows your chance to stand out and show that not only are you the best-qualified, youre also a great team-player and see yourself fitting in well at the company.

In addition to answering questions thoughtfully and professionally, having strong job interview skills and appropriate body language will also help convey your soft skills.

Here are some tips on how to answer interview questions focused on evaluating soft skills:

How To Build A Skills Assessment For Bookkeeper Candidates

5 Bookkeeper Interview Questions All Business Owners ...

You might be wondering how to choose the particular skills tests for your bookkeeper candidates to assess their skills. Its important to use a range of tests not only to assess your candidates aptitudes but to assess their cultural fit as well.

Cultural fit is an important factor to consider when hiring any new employee, and hiring a bookkeeper is no different. So, we recommend that you use hard skills tests and soft skills tests to assess your candidates.

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Tell Us About Your Experience Working As A Bookkeeper

For this question, you will need to share a little about your past roles in the companies you worked for, your responsibilities, how long you worked there, and why you left.

Tips for answering this question:

Focus on explaining the roles that held the most responsibility and that you stayed at the longest, and share what you learned while working there.

If You Noticed An Error In Your Colleague’s Work What Would You Do

The aim of this question is to assess the candidate’s analytical skills and ability to communicate empathetically. What to look for in an answer:

  • Willing to point out errors to colleagues
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Good attention to detail


“If I noticed an error in my colleague’s work, I would approach them privately and let them know. I would show them the error and recommend a way to fix it. Errors and mistakes are good learning experiences, so I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but I want to help them learn by pointing out any mistakes, no matter the size.”

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How To Hire A Top Bookkeeper: A Comprehensive Guide

If youre searching for a professional bookkeeper for your organization, hiring the right person for the role is crucial. As your bookkeeper will need to document your business transactions, the candidate you choose will be critical in helping your organization monitor its finances.

If you make the wrong hire, many things can negatively affect your business. Not only can you expect the financial reports to be inaccurate, but by hiring the wrong bookkeeper, some of your business transactions might be incorrectly recorded.

Because financial tracking is a critical part of your business, as is data entry, you will need to hire a bookkeeper who can:

  • Use bookkeeping software competently
  • Input and enter data accurately
  • Understand the essential bookkeeping principles

To this end, this guide will feature the facts on:

  • The essential skills to look for in your bookkeeper candidates
  • A job description sample to ensure you attract top bookkeeper candidates
  • Proven ways to find bookkeepers
  • Critical pre-employment skills tests to assess your bookkeeper candidates
  • The recommended interview questions you should use when hiring a bookkeeper
  • How much bookkeepers typically earn and what you should offer them

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