What Mistakes From Past Jobs Have You Most Learned From
No doubt you know the typical interview question, ïWhat are your greatest strengths/weaknessesï Many bookkeeper sample interview questions retain this approach, but this question and the one above it, number 4, are more reflective of real life and should result in answers that that are less rehearsed. Practically everyone knows to expect the strengths/weaknesses question.
Question : ‘why Do You Want To Be A Bookkeeper / Why Did You Become A Bookkeeper’
This may seem like a strange question to ask right off the bat, and chances are it will throw some of your interview candidates off-guard.
This is a good thing.
Although there is no right or wrong answer to this question, the candidates reaction and answer will tell you a lot about their passion for their work or their lack thereof. The answer the candidate for your bookkeeping position gives you should inspire you, and leave you with the assurance that this bookkeeper is absolutely dedicated to the service theyll provide you.
For example, maybe the candidate will tell you they have a passion for small-business success. Maybe they even had a family member whose business didnt survive due to serious bookkeeping errors or unchecked cash-flow issues, and so theyre committed to making sure this doesnt happen to other small businesses.
However they reply, the right bookkeeper for your business will give you an answer to this bookkeeper interview question that aligns with your needs and your companys mission, while also staying true to their why for working in their profession.
What Is Your Availability
Passing an interview relies on your personal and professional skills however, it also depends on your availability for the company. We need to understand if your availability aligns with our needs. Are you available within the next two weeks , or do you have a contract specifying a more extended period? For the part-time bookkeeping position, we may ask how much time you can dedicate to our company. Make sure you commit to the time you give and check your existing contract agreement to know exactly how much time you have to give your current employer.
We hope that these questions help you in your job search process and land your dream job.
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Finding The Right Bookkeeper For Your Business
How do you know if a bookkeeper candidate is the right fit for your small business? The above bookkeeper interview questions should help you determine that, but generally, theyll need to tick a few boxes:
They have the technical knowledge you need.
Theyre experts within your industryor theyre ready and willing to learn those intricacies.
Theyre passionate about the work they do.
They fit within your companys culture and align with your businesss larger mission.
When Should You Hire A Bookkeeper
In our experience, many eCommerce business owners think they need a freelance bookkeeper when in reality, they would be better served by another hire, like a tax accountant, a virtual CFO, or an eCommerce accounting firm, like Bean Ninjas.
For instance, when you are first starting out, your first financial hire should be an accountant, NOT a bookkeeper that can provide strategic advice and help with tax planning and tax filling. As your business grows to six figures, then you may want to bring on an experienced bookkeeper or a professional bookkeeping service to assist with inventory management, cost of goods sold calculations and keep your business finances in order year-round. This ensures you can pull financial reports, like profit-and-loss statements and income statements, whenever you need them and not have to worry about having inaccurate numbers.
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What Can You Expect Around Delivery And Response Times
A common complaint about bookkeepers is that they can be slow to respond to emails and that the bookkeeping isnt completed to a set schedule.
Ask about what you can expect each week / month from them and what the expected response times are you to your questions.
Here at Bean Ninjas we streamlined our operations in order to improve our response times.
Related reading: Top 7 Bookkeeping Frustrations For Business Owners
Describe The Accomplishment That Most Impacted Your Career
This question gives you the chance to highlight your core values, career goals, and work habits. You should be able to outline at least one professional accomplishment that you are particularly proud of. Explain how the accomplishment benefited the client or company that you were working for at the time.
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What Type Of Financial Reports Did You Handle In Your Last Role
The hiring manager will look for your specific experience and what mode of reporting was used, since they may have a specific preference for reporting.
Being the only bookkeeper at the company I previously worked for, I was keeping all records. This included managing documents for inventory, sales and expense accounts, loans and accounts payable, payroll sheets, accounts receivable, and cash records.
Assume That The Ledger Is Off By 70cents How Would You Find The Error
The interviewer is gauging your ability to pinpoint errors and fix them on time. In your response, highlight your ability to apply, analytical, mathematical skills, and problem-solving to competently distinguish errors in a balance sheet and find solutions to fix them.
The first thing I would do is to check whether the error is caused by the software being used since at times the accounting software can get corrupted during the programming updates and result in errors in the organizations account details. After ascertaining that the software is not the issue, I would check in the monthly balance sheet to find out whether there is any issue in every ledger account. In case I find that the problem is only in one account yet the balance is still 70cents, I would refer the difference to a miscellaneous expenses account.
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What Is The Scope Of The Bookkeeping Work
This may sound like a simple question, but there is a big variation between the services that bookkeepers offer. Your requirements will also vary depending on your own skills and the scope of the work your accountant completes.
Some bookkeepers act as management accountants and can analyze financial statements and other bookkeepers skills are limited to data entry.
Consider who will do the following:
- Bank reconciliation
- Entering supplier bills, categorizing company expenses, and paying suppliers
- Raising sales invoices and following up with debtors
- Checking the coding of transactions to ensure they have been coded to the correct account and with the correct tax treatment
- Lodging / filing US sales tax, GST or VAT
- Prepare financial documents such as Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet
- Help to interpret the reports and tell the story behind the numbers
Need More Quality Interview Advice
And, staying on the funny side, if you need a great T-shirt or mug, check out the Womens Half Coffee Half Bookkeeper Gift, Bookkeeper V-Neck T-Shirt, or the Super Cool Bookkeeper T-Shirt Funny Gift. And for your morning coffee, how about the Spreadsheet Whisperer Mug or the Ohh This Calls For A Spreadsheet Mug.
Tell Me What You Know About This Business And The Services We Offer
Of all the bookkeeper sample interview questions, this question could be the most important. You can learn about a job candidates work experience through application materials, but these materials do not really give you a sense of how much a candidate has prepared for the interview. The answer to this question tells you how interested the applicant is in working for your business as well as the level of her thoroughness.
4. Describe a Complicated Project You Had to Finish Under Deadline. Did You Succeed, and What Were Your Challenges
The answer to this query illustrates a job candidates problem-solving approach as well as her definition of ïcomplicated.ï It also should shed light on how well she collaborates with others and how she stays calm under pressure.
Why Are You Applying To Work For Our Company
If you do not have any familiarity with the company, this will not look good in the interview. Make sure you research the company before the interview to learn any key facts that show you are familiar with the business.
- I understand that has been in the industry for ___ years, and in that time has worked with ___ clients globally. Your reputation as a company is respected in this industry.
- I would love to join a company that is not only enjoying this success, but that would benefit from my skills to continue to enhance their cash flow, reduce costs, and have clear and effective systems in place.
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Questions About Experience And Background
Your professional background and experience help the interviewer understand your skill level and proficiency in the bookkeeping tasks that you’ll likely perform for the role. Here are several questions about your experience that you’ll want to help you prepare:
How did you become interested in bookkeeping as a career?
Describe your previous experience working as a bookkeeper.
Do you hold any professional licenses?
The role of a bookkeeper can be repetitive and routine. How do you plan to stay motivated on the job?
What is one area of your work you would like to improve?
What do you do to ensure you are up-to-date on regulations that affect your work?
What kind of financial documents and reports did you prepare in your prior role?
What steps do you take to ensure the accuracy of your reports?
Do you have previous experience working with QuickBooks? If not, are you willing to learn?
What methods do you use to stay organized?
Can You Explain The Difference Between A Bookkeeper And An Accountant
The aim of this question is to test the candidate’s understanding of the role and a Bookkeeper’s relationship with Accountants. What to look for in an answer:
- Understanding of the role
- Ability to differentiate between Accountants and Bookkeepers
- Willing to support accountants
“Bookkeepers tend to be responsible for day-to-day administrative tasks, such as analyzing and recording a company’s financial transactions. They create detailed, organized records for accountants to consult. Accountants use these records to complete a company’s taxes and provide financial advice.”
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What Is Their Level Of Expertise
You want your bookkeeper to process your accounts accurately and to communicate with you in a way that doesnt take up much of your time. You dont want to get to the end of the financial year and have to pay extra to clean up a mess.
A good bookkeeper has established financial processes that they follow each time to ensure they process transactions accurately.
You could also ask to talk with one of their clients or an accountant that they work with. Plus, it never hurts to really dig into their expertise and work experience to find out where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
How Familiar Are They With Your Industry
If your bookkeeper is unfamiliar with eCommerce businesses, there will be a steep learning curve.
We recommend asking whether they have any other eCommerce clients and ask them to give a few examples of common bookkeeping issues that come up related to your industry and how they would resolve them.
Pro Tip: Depending on your business, you may want to take this even further by working with a bookkeeper who knows the ins and outs of the eCommerce platforms and channels you sell on. For example, here at Bean Ninjas, we specialize in working with eCommerce businesses on Shopify, WooCommerce, and
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.
Bookkeeper Interview Questions And Answers
A bookkeeper is the profession of accounting in which a person is responsible primarily for maintaining the financial records of the company on a daily basis that includes maintaining the record of the sales, purchase, and other various financial transactions that take place in day to day operations of the business.
In this article, we provide the top 10 bookkeeper interview questions and answers for you.
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Why Is It Important To Prepare For An Interview In Advance
When applying for a job, youll want to prepare a stellar resume and cover letter. But once you make it past that part of the hiring process, youll likely have to do an interview.
An interview is a great opportunity for you to really show a hiring manager why youre a good fit for a job. Youre no longer trying to sell yourself on paper like in the resume portion of the hiring process. The hiring manager gets to actually meet you, and you can better express your qualifications and desire for the job.
But you dont want to get tongue-tied and have nothing to say. While you cant know exactly what theyre going to ask you, practicing your answers to commonly asked questions can help you confidently enter the interview.
How Would You Record A $1200 Annual Insurance Policy Premium Using The Accrual Method
This type of question allows the interviewer to get an idea of how you process financial information for an organization. Describe your process for using the accrual method and give examples of how this can apply to effective bookkeeping for their company. Use the following example to practice your response:
Example:”I would record the $1,200 premium in the current assets account as a prepaid expense. Since insurance companies usually require six months’ payment in advance, my monthly balance sheets will show this as a $100 per month payment from accounts payable.”
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What Is The Biggest Mistake You’ve Made In Your Work And What Did You Learn From It
The aim of this question is to assess the candidate’s ability to admit their mistakes and learn from them. What to look for in an answer:
- Honesty in admitting their mistakes
- Willingness to learn from their mistakes
- Experience in a similar role
“The biggest mistake I made in my work was mixing up my accounts receivable and accounts payable files for the first few months of a new job. I thought we were earning much more than we actually were, and I wasn’t following up on a lot of our outstanding payments due. Once I realized this, I corrected all my errors and followed up on all the payments due, but it took at least a month to get back on track. I learned to always double-check my files and entries. I also label my files very clearly now.”
What Have You Done To Improve Your Knowledge For A Office Manager Bookkeeper Position In The Last Year
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
Employers look for applicants who are goal-oriented. Show a desire for continuous learning by listing hobbies non-work related. Regardless of what hobbies you choose to showcase, remember that the goal is to prove self-sufficiency, time management, and motivation.
I believe that everyone should learn from his or her mistakes. I always try to consult my mistakes with my kith and kin especially with elderly and experienced person.
I enrolled myself into a course useful for the next version of our current project. I attended seminars on personal development and managerial skills improvement.
4. Tell me about yourself
This is a common question during an interview, possibly the most asked. It is used as an ice breaker, gets you talking about something comfortable, but you need to have something prepared for a response. However, you dont want it to sound memorized. The fact is, the interviewer isnt interested in your life story. Unless asked otherwise, focus on education, your career and present situations. You should work chronologically, starting as far back as possible and working until present.
5. Why do you believe we should hire you?
6. What knowledge do you have about the company?
7. Why are you leaving last job?
8. What do you consider to be your best strength?
Did You Interact With Clients And In Your Last Bookkeeping Position
If this question comes up, it is likely to be an important part of the role you are interviewing for. Therefore, you need to provide examples of working directly with clients and vendors. Your answer should highlight your ability to establish a rapport and your strong communication skills.
In a worst-case scenario, you may have little or no experience with direct interaction. However, it is best to be honest while giving the situation a positive spin. Explain that you enjoy interacting with people and you are looking forward to this aspect of the job.
What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job
The recruiting team wants to find whether you are ready for challenges and if you can handle them in case they happen. Demonstrate that you are well informed about the potential challenges and you can handle them.
There are many challenges that relate to this industry such as AI, software, and inexpensive labor. However, the major challenge that I foresee in this industry is fraud and cyber threats of many kinds. However, I up to the challenge since Im familiar working with bookkeeping soft wares that can detect high-risk areas as well as providing solutions to overcome safety challenges.
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