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How To Interview An Accountant

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Operational And Situational Questions

TOP 20 ACCOUNTANT Interview Questions And Answers!
  • What do you know about our business model?
  • How do ensure accuracy in your work?
  • How have you handled tight deadlines?
  • How do you stay motivated while doing repetitive tasks?
  • Describe an accounting process that you developed or improved.
  • Describe a time you helped your company reduce costs.
  • How would you set up an internal control system for processing invoices?
  • Which accounting software programs have you used?
  • Describe your familiarity with accounting standards such as FASB and GAAP.

Describe A Time When You Helped To Reduce Costs At A Previous Accounting Job

What They Want to Know: All accountants should be able to reduce costs. Thats a major part of why employers hire them. Describe a time when you reduced costs unexpectedly through your personal innovation or diligence. Have the financial details of your success available in case your interviewer asks you to elaborate.

Often unused licenses to software programs that charge a per-license fee eat up a significant amount of budget. I led an audit of our software, spending time with each department to understand what programs and services were in use. We discovered that several departments had purchased programs that did essentially the same task and that we were paying for more licenses than were being used. I did an analysis to uncover that streamlining our programs could result in a 15% savings in this area of the budget, and presented my findings to the executive board.

Q46 Give Some Examples Of Fixed Assets That You Record In The Balance Sheet

Ans. To answer this accounting interview question, you need to specify your understanding of the concept. Before jumping straight to the answer, you may want to define fixed assets first. A brief intro such as fixed assets are those which are not consumed in one fiscal year, will ensure the recruiter that you mean these are long term assets. You can further mention that these assets are recorded in the asset section of the balance sheet.

Some typical examples of fixed assets are automobiles, furniture, office or any equipment an organisation requires.

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Interview Questions For An Accounting Manager

If you’re a candidate for an accounting manager job, going through an interview to assess your skills and suitability is often an important step in the application process. Arriving prepared allows you to feel more comfortable during the interview and more confident about your answers. If you’re looking for a position as an accounting manager, use sample interview questions to your advantage. In this article, we cover general and in-depth interview questions and provide sample answers you can use to inspire your own.

Q118 How Do You Manage Deadlines With Multiple Accounting Projects


Ans. This accounting interview question is for the experienced who know how to prioritise their work. You can mention the following:

  • I lay out the time-sensitive tasks first and complete them.
  • I can multitask without hampering the quality of another project at hand.
  • I identify repeatable tasks such as sales proposals and client billing and turn them into the standard operating procedure . So each time I do these, I dont have to start from scratch.
  • I use time-tracking apps for each project.
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    Q34 How Important Is Documentation When It Comes To Accounting

    Ans. I believe that the accounting team of any company has a responsibility to present a true and fair view to the shareholders and management of the company. The accounting team is like the watchdog of the organization.

    That is why documentation becomes very important in accounting. Appropriate documentation must be verified so that an adequate audit trail is maintained and justified when necessary.

    Things Employers Want To Hear In An Accounting Interview

    Accounting interviews can be stressful affairs. After all, you have a short window of time to make a great impression and separate yourself from the other candidates. Here are 6 things you can say in an accounting interview that will have employers sitting up and taking notice.

    I Am CoachableIn a study by Leadership IQ, the single most important trait that determined the success of a new hire was coachability. Specifically, 23% of new hires failed because they could not accept feedback. Make sure to talk about your ability to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues and clients. Bonus points for connecting this willingness to improved performance and positive company outcomes.

    I LearnedEmployers are interested in how you well you learn from your mistakes and how adaptable you are. They also want to see that youre invested in your professional growth. People who embrace lifelong learning also prize continuous improvement a trait employers value.

    I Was Pleased With the OutcomeAnyone can speak about their responsibilities and duties. What employers are really looking for is the results. Craft success stories around a challenge you faced, how you managed it and the benefits that resulted. Have specific numbers to back up what youre saying.

    Read: Interested in the kinds of questions that employers might ask to assess your motivation? Read How to Assess Motivation in a Finance Interview.

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    What Is A Ledger Account

    Sample answer: A ledger account or accounting ledger is an account or record used to store bookkeeping entries. This ledger is then used as the entries that need to be placed into the balance sheet and income statement transaction. Accounting ledger entries can include cash, accounts receivable, investments, accounts payable, expenses, and other customer deposits.

    What Does It Mean To Be An Accountant

    7 Senior Accountant Interview Frequently Asked Questions

    Sample answer: An accountant is an essential function of a business. Without the accounting function and accounting application applied to a business. The organization and business operators can suffer losses. Or financial burdens at the end of each quarter or fiscal year. The accounting concept is the act of recording financial activity to report and review the status and health.

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    What Accounting Software Systems Or Apps Have You Used In The Past

    What are you assessing?

    System and technology skills.

    How do you handle this question?

    This is not a trick questionyou want a list of all the systems your candidate has experience with, with detail on their level of expertise if relevant. If a candidate has used some of the apps in your firms stack, it will be extremely advantageous, saving you time in their onboarding process and ensuring they are performing value-adding tasks sooner. Not only this, but many technology skills are transferable, and if they can demonstrate skills using systems similar to yours, they will likely pick up your technology more easily.

    What Accounting Licenses And Certifications Do You Have

    Many provinces and territories require certification as a Chartered Professional Accountant . Auditors sometimes require recognition from the Institute of Internal Auditors, and accountants who act as trustees in bankruptcy proceedings may need a separate license. You should look for:

    • Certification in provinces and territories where your company operates
    • Knowledge of local laws
    • Ability to act as an auditor


    I’m certified as aCPA in Ontario and Quebec. I can also operate as an auditor in Ontario. I’m a quick study, and I can get certification in other provinces as needed.

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    Ask As Many Questions As You Want

    When you interview an accountant, hopefully you will have a good dialogue going with him or her as you speak over the phone. Keep your ears open for the questions the other person asks, as well. This will help you get an idea about their level of expertise. Do they ask questions? Do you offer solutions to your problems? The accoutant may be able to fill in some areas you may have forgotten to mention or may not have taken into consideration.

    How Do You Bill For Services

    20 best accounting interview questions and answers

    Most accountants and finance firms use the hourly billing model, whereas others have adopted value pricing or flat fees. It’s important to know in advance what to expect and to determine which method works better for you.

    Flat fees typically come with a subscription model that involves a monthly payment structure , whereas hourly billing is exactly that .

    Depending on your team structure, the decision to use a service or individual who bills hourly versus flat monthly rate could be the difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fees.

    Considerations for determining the best payment structure for you include:

    • How complex are the core functions of your business? More complex finances = more time .
    • How involved do I want to be on the day-to-day basis? Less work for accountants = less time .
    • How much explanation or detailed explanations are you expecting with updates and reports? More time sharing thoughtful analysis and discussing the results of financial reports = more time .

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    The Questions You Should Ask In Your Next Accounting Interview

    Before going into your next accounting interview, be sure to remember the following three principles enthusiasm, curiosity, and try not to be weird! It is important to remember those principles prior to beginning the question-and-answer portion of the interview.

    When you begin to ask questionsabout the open position, you will want to remember to stick with as manyopen-ended questions as you can and then be an active listener while theinterviewers are responding. It is important to look the interviewer in the eye,have a light smile, nod your head, and ask follow-up questions to the responseif possible.

    Being able to remember andcoordinate all these tasks in your head while remembering the three principlescan be a daunting task. It takes time to master, so practice with friendsand record yourself if necessary. It also helps when you ask about things that youare curious about like clients in the office, professional developmentopportunities, and community service.

    Another important point to rememberis that it is okay to clarify information to which youre unclear. In otherwords, you can ask the same question to multiple interviewers if it issomething that is important to you. However, you should not askall the same questions in each interview. The interviewers will find out and itcould be a mark against you.

    Questions for your next accountinginterview:

  • What type of opportunities does your company have for professional development and training?
  • FollowingUp

    Need an example?

    How To Open The Job Interview

    Interviews naturally breed nerves, so the first part of your interview should aim to make the candidate feel comfortable speaking with you, youll get much more information out of them and a better sense of the person they are if they feel like they can trust the environment they are in.

    To do this you can ask some fun and interesting questions linked to the role, they should be open-ended and encourage conversation.

    For the interview

    A positive opener to start

    Why did you choose to work in this industry?

    What has been your journey so far?

    Behavioral Questions

    • Why did you choose to become an accountant? What do you like most about your job?
    • Gives you some background information and shows a little about their personality.
    • How do you usually prioritise and organise your day?
    • A good financial accountant needs to be very organised and plan out days and weeks in advance to ensure they are not missing important payment dates.

    Soft Skills

    • How do you stay up to date with new processes and laws surrounding accounting?
    • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes they will need to legally implement.
    • How would you approach explaining a complex financial situation to a team member that has little experience in the industry?
    • Should have good communication skills and be able to explain complex issues in an easy to understand way.

    Hard Skills

    Operational / Situational Questions

    Start hiring and prepare your interview

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    Why Are You Applying To This Position

    After employers ask why you chose this career, theyre going to want to know why you are applying to their specific job.

    They want to see that youre targeting specific things in your job hunt and not just desperately applying everywhere. Employers ALWAYS want someone whos looking for the right fit, not just any job thatll hire them.

    If you dont take this approach, it could be a big reason why youre not finding a job.

    If you seem to just want any job you can get, employers will be worried that youll take their job, but leave as soon as you find something better. They dont want to spend weeks training you just to have you leave in six months, so they arent going to hire you unless you can show youve done your research and know why their job and company interest you.

    What Was The Last Thing You Obsessed Over

    7 Tips to NAIL Your Accounting Job Interview!

    What are you assessing?


    How do you handle this question?

    Creativity, innovation, and a willingness to learn all stem from displaying curiosity. This question explores the last thing that your candidate became extremely curious about, and how they fed that obsession. Every new hire in your firm will be required to learn new systems and processes during their onboarding, and this learning will not stop as they progress through their career. A good answer will not necessarily be related to accounting, but you want a candidate who demonstrates a healthy curiosity about something, and an ability to feed that curiosity.

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    Answers To The Most Common Accountant Interview Questions

    Most accountants fail to get their desired accounting position not because they are not qualified but because they overlook the interview process. Preparing for the interview is an important part of getting an accounting role in any company.

    The lack of proper preparation for accountant interviews renders many professionals jobless in the field. This article gives you insight into common interview questions you can expect, and some of the ways you can prepare.

    Q104 Share A Stressful Situation That You Have Been A Part Of And How You Have Handled The Situation

    Ans. In the field of accounting and finance, you are constantly under pressure. Its not a job to be taken lightly, which is why interviewers ask such basic accounting interview questions, just to assess your composure in times of stress. Be careful to bring up a really stressful situation and dont worry about the work pressure they have faced on a day-to-day basis, as no one wants to hire someone who cant handle work pressure.

    Also, be realistic about the stressful situation you mention. You shouldnt sound fake. The situation can be one of employee fraud, massive damage to the company due to natural calamities, scrutiny of the income tax of years when you were not even part of the organization, etc.

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    Top Five General Accountant Interview Questions And Answers

    To learn more about your accounting experience, hiring managers use general accountant interview questions. How you answer them will help them gauge your exposure in the accounting field and your ability to carry out the tasks at hand.

    Most accountants dont expect their answers to general questions to have a significant impact on an employers decision. However, that is not the case. Your answers to these questions will heavily influence the final decision. To make sure you get them just right, follow the sample answer provided for each question.

    How many industries have you worked in as an accountant?

    This question helps them determine your level of experience and your accounting background. They also want to gauge the vastness of your accounting skills. Through this question, they can also assess accounting managers exposure to accounting tools.

    You must remain honest in your answer. Be sure to highlight the variety of tools and skills youve gained through the industries youve worked in. If you have worked in several industries, youll want to name all of them, and briefly mention significant takeaways.

    Do you have experience with accounting software?

    Which is the most prevalent challenge in accounting?

    Why did you choose a career in accounting?

    Why do you want to join our company?

    What’s A Purchase Return

    15 best accountant interview questions and answers

    Much like the name indicates, a purchase return is the return of merchandise. This should be reflected in the balance sheet. A purchase return can be for multiple types of assets. But mostly surrounding fixed assets. Where a customer or buyer experienced unsatisfactory products. And returned the products to the seller.

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    What Do You Consider The Top Three Skills Of A Great Accountant

    You want to hire someone with numerical abilities, but not necessarily a mathematician. You also need someone with analytical know-how and who can communicate effectively with others. Look for responses that show a recognition of the importance of general business knowledge, technology expertise, customer service orientation and specialized experience that might apply to the role.

    What Does Negative Working Capital Mean

    This is a particularly relevant question if you are applying for a job in the restaurant or retail industries. For example, customers pay upfront in a shop and inventory moves fast but suppliers normally give 30+ days credit. As a result, the company gets cash from customers before it needs money to pay suppliers. Despite the name, negative working capital is a positive thing in businesses with low inventory. However, it could be a very bad sign in other industries.

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    Should I Interview An Accountant In Person

    Since your accounting may involve all your private information, you may want to put a face behind the name before hiring someone. Not to scare you, but hiring a self-governing accountant can be, well scary. Unless you have received a personal reference from a close family member or friend, we suggest you use extreme caution.

    Therefore, your last question when you interview an accountant may be to ask if you can meet with him or her in person and where? Of course, if you meet with someone in an established office that has been around and recognized for years, such as Worthtax, you can be confident that we will be around long after your taxes are filed year-over-year.

    However, if the accountant is a self-governing entity, they most likely will meet you at a Regus Office Space building , a coffee shop, or a local library. You can meet them at their home office, but we dont suggest that. However if you feel you must, do so at your own risk. At the very least exercise caution if you do that. Tell a family member or friend the address to where you are going and give them the name and phone number to the person you are meeting. Also, tell them if they dont hear from you in 1 hour, call you to make sure you are safe.

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