Interview Questions for Accountant

Accountant’s aid in the financial decision making process. They compile information, correct discrepancies and report a company’s position. Ideal candidates will be ethical, thorough and possess strong bookkeeping skills. Avoid disorganized or dishonest applicants.

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We’ve compiled the most frequently asked accounting interview questions along with what we believe are the best answers.

1. Why did you select accounting as your profession?

Well, I was quite good at accounting throughout, but in my masters, when I got a distinction, I decided to adopt this field as a profession.

2. Do you have any professional experience in this field?

Yes, I have worked as an accountant at two different places.

3. If I had only one statement and wanted to review the overall health of a company which statement would I use and why?

Cash is king. The cash flow statement gives a true picture of how much cash the company is generating. That being said, it’s important to note that all three statements truly are required to get a full picture of the health of a company.

4. Did you use accounting applications at your previous companies or prefer working manually?

Yes, I have used Advanced Business Solutions and AME Accounting Software in my previous jobs.

5. What is your experience with developing business metrics?

This question can help you evaluate entry-level business or financial analyst candidates all the way up to mid-career professionals who aspire to roles that come with budget and staff oversight responsibilities.

6. Describe any accounting process that you’ve developed or sought to improve?

If you’re still early in your career, you may not have developed any processes yet, but you should be ready to demonstrate that you can innovate. In my role at ABC Company, I discovered that the process for handling company travel reimbursements for the sales team was so difficult and time-consuming that everyone’s expense reports came in late.

7. Can you name any other accounting application?

Yes, I am familiar with CGram Software, Financialforce, Microsoft Accounting Professional, Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Small Business Financials.

8. What does having negative working capital mean?

Negative working capital is a sign of efficiency in businesses with low inventory and accounts receivable. In other industries, negative working capital may signal a company is facing financial trouble.

9. Which accounting application you prefer most and why?

I think all are good though, but Microsoft Accounting Professional is best because it offers reliable and fast processing of accounting transactions that saves time and proficiency. It helps with financial analysis as well

10. What’s the difference between deferred revenue and accounts receivable?

Deferred revenue represents cash received from customers for services or goods not yet provided. Accounts receivable represents cash owing from customers for goods/services already provided.

11. What are three examples of common budgeting methods?

Examples of common budgeting methods include zero-based budgeting, incremental budgeting, and value-based budgeting. Learn more about the various types, in CFI’s budgeting and forecasting course.

12. What is the abbreviation for the accounting terms debit and credit?

The debit abbreviation is “dr” and credit abbreviation is “cr”.

13. If you were CFO of our company, what would keep you up at night?

Step back and give a high-level overview of the company’s current financial position companies in that industry in general. Highlight something on each of the three statements. Income statement: growth, margins, profitability. Balance sheet: liquidity, capital assets, credit metrics, liquidity ratios.

14. How many types of business transactions are there in accounting?

There are two types of transactions in accounting, i.e. revenue and capital.

15. What is working capital?

Working capital is typically defined as current assets less current liabilities. In banking, working capital is normally defined more narrowly as current assets (excluding cash) less current liabilities (excluding interest-bearing debt).

16. Describe a time when you’ve helped decrease costs?

Cutting unnecessary costs is part of a great accountant’s regular work. It should be easy for a good candidate to name a few examples of situations when they were able to positively impact their employer’s bottom line.

17. What methods have you used for estimating bad debt?

This accounting interview question can show how the applicant has approached this routine process with previous employers. This line of inquiry allows recent grads to apply theoretical knowledge in venturing educated guesses. The answer will reveal the level of understanding of the methods most commonly used and could open a dialogue about how your company handles this.

18. What do you consider the top three skills of a great accountant?

Yes, you’re looking for someone with numerical abilities, but not necessarily a mathematician. You also need someone with analytical know-how, who can communicate 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.

19. How do you differentiate between auditing and accounting?

If you’re interviewing recent graduates, you’re looking to see how well they paid attention in class, rather than a deep level of expertise. Look for an ability to explain the fundamentals of the roles and processes.

20. How do you maintain accounting accuracy?

A small mistake could cost your organization a lot of money, especially if it goes undetected. I use every tool and resource available to check my work and limit the potential for an error to slip by. At my last job, employees used Expensive to track receipts when they went on business trips. I looked at the real-time reports and compared them to the credit card statements to confirm the numbers.

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