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Top 15

Project Accountant Interview Questions

1. What are your career goals?
Next Interview Question

Project accounting (sometimes referred to as job cost accounting) is the practice of creating financial reports specifically designed to track the financial progress of projects, which can then be used by managers to aid project management.
Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_accounting

Project Accountant Interview Questions

2 of 25

Why are you the best candidate for us?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
To advance in the field of accounting.
 
2.
Higher position in Accounts and finance department.
 
3.
Becoming a financial controller in five years time.
 
4.
Maintain interesting and challenging roles continue to learn and widen and improve experience become more valuable.
 
5.
Be all rounder as a qualified accountant. Make a difference an dput something bak in community.
 
6.
Achieve my own career to join your esteemed organization & to be part from successful of the organizaation.
 
7.
To advance in the field of accounting.
 
8.
Want establish myself within a stable company.
 
9.
Become a certified accountant and an expert in my industry . Maintain challenging and important roles. Keep learning.
 
10.
I would like to be at a level where I can influence external investments in a manner that will have a vast positive impact on GDP and standard of living in both short term and long term.
 

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Question
#3 of 25

How did you handle it when projects were over budget? What did you do to keep it within budget?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Firstly to try and understand the causes and then to discover if there are any mitigating actions that can be taken, including cutting cost in other areas or analysing projects critical paths to see if dead time can be used more effectively. Can we charge the customer more - was it there actions or requests that have caused the overrun. It's important to have regular reviews even if everything is running smoothly to catch problems before they occur if they have a financial impact.
 
2.
I call the attention of the project manager to request approval from the donor/grantee on the excess on the budget. Monitor and control request for disbursements.
 
3.
Look at variances and understand them. Ascertain that the actuals are correct. If correct communicate it to the budget lead, if it is possible to revise budget.
 
4.
Actually I will try to follow the following procedure: - control & monitoring my expenses - trying to maximize the benefit of the goods. - coordinate with the project manager to make our workers happy to raise them producer to finish the job before the planning time - I will try to find alternative materials with low price complying to the project specs.
 
5.
Ensuring that you keep your expenses and commitments captured and maintained timely in the system. This will at least enhance decisions on whether you request for reprogramming or you use other cost saving tactics.
 
6.
I first review the situation on ground as in reasons for the variations. I compare the budget with the actual and investigate the factors for the variations. I ensured effective cost control and agree price with vendors ahead of time.
 

Question
#4 of 25

Tell me about your education.

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I have Level 2,3 & 4 AAT and a degree in Accounting and Finance reading a 2.1 and I am exempt from the first 7 ACCA exams. I am very dedicated to finishing my professional qualifications and am planning to start studying at the weekends once I have settled into my new role, paying for the qualification myself.
 
2.
Qualified accountant with extensive experience in both management and financial accounts.
 
3.
Bachelors degree in finance.
 
4.
I graduated from Alexandria university - grade good- 2005 & I got scholar ship from ministry of defense in american language course for 6 months also I got ICDL from New Horizon institute Alexandria.
 
5.
Still learning in school.
 
6.
Degree in Accounting, Informatics and pursuing an MBA
 
7.
I studied accounting. I am a member of many professional bodies. I am completing my Msc program in financial manament by December 2016.
 

Education Requirements

Employers typically require project accountants to hold at least bachelor's degrees in accounting or a related field; however, some prefer candidates who hold master's degrees in accounting or a pertinent discipline. Bachelor's degree programs in accounting typically entail course loads heavy in courses like financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing and taxation.

Question
#5 of 25

How do you stay organized as an accountant?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I have my calendar, I make daily work list and check list and get organized.
 
2.
By Maintaining secrecy All documents to be kept confidential never discloses any information to anyone.
 
3.
I parotize my work according to deadline.
 
4.
Completing work with the time frame provided, all daily work should be up to date and also ensure accuracy to avoid rework or any other unnecessary work. In terms of documentation, ensure all supporting documents are filed for easy location when needed.
 
5.
I believe that I am very organized person with a good time management, I like to prioritise my job and make sure that I provide the best service. I like to check my job and make sure that results are accurate.
 
6.
Same way as anyone else does. I keep lists of tasks including longer term lists - such as I'd like to Anaya's a trend etc. That isn't required immediately. I use outlook tasks and email filing - I try to avoid paper note taking and printing so I don't lose paperwork.
 
7.
I have excellent time management skills, and I know which to prioritise.
 
8.
I have a work diary. I like to update it at the end of the day and read it in the morning over breakfast. This helps me plan the day ahead and keeps me organised. Of course there will always be further tasks or queries allocated throughout the day but this gives me more control over my projects and responsibilities.
 
9.
Keep repriotising work putting most important on top.Deadlines need to be met but accuracy is equally important. If mistakes are made it will take longer to resolve problems. Keep stakeholders informed.
 
10.
Keeping my office tidy - make notice to my self in order to dont miss any requirement for the project.
 

Question
#6 of 25

How have you monitored the performance of your team?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I monitor the overall forecast Accuracy.
 
2.
I have weekly meeting with my assistant, to see where we are. I have a monthly meeting with the team leaders giving feedback and raising issues.
 
3.
Use of performance appraisals. I have noticed that one should always have a clear understanding of TORs, work plan and the structure as a whole.
 
4.
I have the schedule of everyone on my spreadsheet. I maintain regular meeting and communicate effectively with my team. I try to meet them personally especially the introverts amongst them.
 

Work Environment

Project accountants work closely with project managers to devise the budget, facilitate the billing process and perform cost assessments for a particular project or portfolio. They usually take part in the executive decision-making process, often providing financial analyses on which management may base decisions about product development and other matters.

Question
#7 of 25

Describe the systems you have in place for keeping track of assignments given to staff members.

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Spreadsheet weekly tracking.
 
2.
That is done by pms not me.
 
3.
Describe the systems you have in place for keeping track of assignments given to staff members.
 
4.
I have my inbox, schedule calendar. Deadlines and follow-ups. I use the email notification. Flag and put tasks in categories.
 
5.
Following up with them - encourage them to finalize the issue concise and help them to find out the solutions and im believing to work as group.
 
6.
Outlook calendar has been the most dependable so far.
 
7.
I maintain spreadsheet and calendar most times.
 

Question
#8 of 25

Have you had any disputes with other employees in different departments about costs?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Yes but i always try to find the solution and make the employee to inderstand the situation.
 
2.
Yes but i always try to find the solution and make the employee to inderstand the situation.
 
3.
Yes and I always try to resolve the issue and make things easy to understand for other employees.
 
4.
Yes, but an amicable solution always comes where I show them the need to conserve costs and how to monitor their own costs.
 
5.
Have not worked on costs but have solved the situation with other department.
 
6.
Yes, but everytime a dispute rises I always find a way to met our minds towards better ends.
 
7.
Yes, but I have always found ways to resolve the issues.
 
8.
No sir there isnt any disputes.. You can say arguments with other staff but not even close to any dispute.
 
9.
Sure, project manager and me.
 
10.
Yes, at certain time this arise by as usual they are always resolved within the day.
 

Question
#9 of 25

What can you do for us that other accountants can not?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Contracts evaluation/Subcontracts accuracy.
 
2.
Using my knowledge i can provide great accounts and helping the company achivening the goal.
 
3.
I will try to work harder than that of other accountant in the project by analyiing all the reports that directly related to project accounts work.
 
4.
I will not only be an asset to your company in accounting field but also in other decision making processes. This is because my last job involved designing projects thus I have gained insights in the area.
 
5.
Attention to detail, just need to be familir with system no training, and financial role.
 
6.
I will do my duty honestly and extra hour also if company ask me to do so but how can I say about others what they will do or not.
 
7.
Committing myself towards work.
 
8.
I'm sure many other accountants have my skills but I can bring my general skills - I'm a fast Learner and am self teaching, I'm easy to get along with and build up a rapport with business partners, I am dedicated and loyal. I work hard and will take on challenging tasks with enthusiasm.
 
9.
I can bring to your company the expertise I had working with an international NGO managing projects with EU and USAID.
 
10.
I can build great working relationships with other colleagues at the university. I can ease the burden of staff having to train me as I have already held a similar role. I am familiar with the systems and management accounts and I can confidently communicate with project managers needing very little supervision.
 

Question
#10 of 25

How long do you plan on working in our department?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Like any one else, I look for a long term relationship with the company. After giving considerable amount of time, if there are opportunities to grow within the company, until then.
 
2.
Provided it provide opportunities to grow in my career I would stay in my department until I will retire.
 
3.
It solely depends on Comapny.
 
4.
Well, I have had much interest in working in a hospitality industry and since this is a great opportunity, I would like to stay until my contract expires and would like to extend should I get an extension.
 
5.
I hope that it will be as long as possible.
 
6.
As long as I can I can contribute in the achievement of the dpartment's.
 
7.
For at least the next five years, I have held many jobs and I love the culture of the university and its staff. If I did leave the department it would potentially be to progress on to a role with more responsibility in the university.
 
8.
I can see the role covers all aspect of accounts, I would love to continue working as long as I can unless the department lead see that I can be of further help in another area, that will support the department I am working for.
 
9.
For as long as am not bored.
 
10.
As long as my contract allows me. But I will be pleased if it can be renewed.
 

Question
#11 of 25

What areas of accounting are you particular good at?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
analysing cntract bills and profiling best contract to be sorted for
 
2.
IAS 11 - Construction Contracts
 
3.
Allocation Method.
 
4.
Auditing and preparation of books of final accounts.
 
5.
Well, I understand the concept of accounting but in terms of a particular area it would be accounting for projects.
 
6.
I believe that I am good at Financial Accounting –which includ month, quater and year end journal entries reconciliation, preparation of financial statment and analysis Month, Quarter, Year-end journal entries, reconciliations, sometimes financial statement preparation and analysis Management Accounting – BI, Budgeting, forecasting, financial statement preparation and analysis.
 
7.
I'm good a resolving system errors Or at least identifying the cause. I enjoy the analysis areas where you see a different way of looking at the data which illimunates an issue - eg analysing risk and cont budgets compared to labour costs - Often majorly out of sync which creates forecasting errors.
 
8.
Cash management and financial reporting.
 
9.
Management accounts and project accounting are where my major strengths lie but I am also very good at financial accounting.
 
10.
Reconciliation, costing, budget and financial analysis.
 

Question
#12 of 25

How do you handle difficult clients?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Emotional intelligence win win approach.
 
2.
Calmly, try to understand there issues properly so they feel heard but also be sure of my own position so I can defend myself. Examples - Neil not wanting me to go.
 
3.
How do you handle difficult clients?
 
4.
Firstly I would ask what difficulties they faced and see if I could resolve there problem as soon as possible. I would choose my words carefully ensuring I did not put any further strain on our working relationship. I would always be on hand and ensure that I was providing a service far beyond what was expected of me in order to gain respect and trust needed to achieve our objective and work as part of a team.
 
5.
Understand the clients problems. Listen and explain. Admit outright if I have made a mistake and give assurance that matter is being dealt with.
 
6.
Trying to satisfy his request and trying to keep my relation good with him - I dont have culture of loosing client - work is work.
 
7.
I listen ... And let them speak.
 
8.
In my world, there is nothing like a difficult client. People react in various ways for various reasons, once you capture or understand the other person's logic or level of IQ, you are in total control of the situation. For me the challenge would be how to understand the client without losing valuable time. A few conversations which may not be directly linked to the issue at hand helps you appreciate the other person, by the time you approach the "difficult client" you get to propose a solution that will leave both of you happy.
 
9.
I have come across different clients-stubborn, intimidating, angry clients. I first ensure I am well in control of my emotions then I listen attentively to their complaints showing empathy in all cases. I proffer solutions where I can or humbly request if I can get solutions from a superior officer.
 

Question
#13 of 25

What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
When bored I can be lazy and procrastinate which is why I'm looking for a new job. But wothin my current job I'm trying to use down time productively so I don't get bored- identifying ways to streamline my job To the extent someone else can do it! Trying to identify value add activities and taking advantage inteaining.
 
2.
Sometimes I find it hard to let go of projects and can over burden my self with an intense workload. For example all of our projects were split into cost centres I looked after half and so did my counterpart. Although we shared the cost centres evenly by luck of the draw I had substantially more projects but I didn't want to give them up as I felt I have built a relationship with my project managers and I felt asking for help would look like a weakness. I continued to get through all the work but it left me frustrated at times. I did eventually ask for help in redistributing the projects to ease the burden on my self and to offer a better service to my project managers. This was a real turning point and I realised that my only weakness was not letting my counter part help me with my increased workload. This also improved her confidence and enabled us to work more effectively as a team.
 
3.
I strive to meet deadlines, and often work over to complete a task. I often have to keep repriotising my work and accept that there are times that I would not be able to meet it and just need to let those affected know if I have difficulties.
 
4.
I get too engrossed with my work. I try to lossen up and take a break where I feel I'm overworking myself.
 

Question
#14 of 25

How do you determine how much labor costs are for a particular employee that has worked on several projects, not just this one?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
The labor costs are usally pulled out from a payroll system. Particular employee should be coding his/her time according to the cost code worked.
 
2.
By looking at the expences for the particule projesct and the labour hours involte in the eacch project.
 
3.
Check the previous amounts he/she earned per hour add any increment as per contract he/she signed with the company then multiply with the number of hours he/she worked.
 
4.
Time track data is the key and total employee cost and divide by projects.
 
5.
This can be determined through the time cards of each employee or attendance sign in at the project site.
 
6.
Labour is booked specifically to projects so this hasn't really been an issue I'm faced with. It's more the opposite problem that a project manager will assume they are getting 100% of someone's time and so does another but they don't necessarily compare their data. The is really difficult to spot but can usually be unearthed eventually by looking at the bookings and also by ensuring reviewers such as finance see projects in groups where the same people generally work.
 
7.
On how much time she spent on each project.
 
8.
I would establish a per hour rate and then do a percentage on that rate attributable to each project.
 
9.
I will need to work out time spent on other projects. Work out the salary and apportion base on time spent on the project.
 
10.
Time allocation or the level of effort against the total time spent in a day.
 

Question
#15 of 25

Tell me about your education in accounting.

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Business Administration degree
 
2.
I have a Batchelors Degree in Accounting. My area of study was Costing. Allocation is the key for costing.
 
3.
I am a certified public accountant working towards my CMA .
 
4.
Right after high scholl , i did Certificate course in financial management for two years and ihave been working as Sr. accoounta for the last 19 years. i have a good knowlegde of accounting works.
 
5.
I amna qualified project accountant with experience of provide accounting support for projects preparing financial analysis and reports for project activities
 
6.
I have a Batchelors Degree in Accounting. It helps me understanding the concept of my day to day work.
 
7.
I have an honours bachelor in commerce with a major in accounting.
 
8.
Yes I have, it was a project suported by global fund. It was a five years project.
 
9.
I have a degree in bachelor of commerce accounting option.
 
10.
I have compelted 10+2 in accountanty and Bbs as major accounting.
 

Question
#16 of 25

What was the most challenging project you worked on?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Project A . Infact I didnt work but just watched it. Its a Nice Movie starring Jackie chan.
 
2.
I have worked on a Project that was handed over me in the middle of a mess. I first took a look at the accrued receivables and started clearing the unreconciled balance. I was sucessful to bring the balance down to a nominal cost of couple of thousand dollars.
 
3.
Whwn i was a student at university I had to managet a project including 5 people in a team I was the one responsable for the project and coordonate.
 
4.
When I designed a project targeting vulnerable populations I did not have adequate information about.
 
5.
Clear the balance sheet from a mess.
 
6.
Six residential Tower Project(Dubai Creek harbour)
 
7.
Most challenging are the outsourced projects.
 
8.
Setting revenue recognition.
 
9.
D was and is - it's a big project with a low margin with a large Third party component - accounting wise it is cost to complete So they'd a lot of translating frombusiness to finance speak. The third party is very small And this project is a very large percentage of their existing business so delays are particularly painful. Lots Of negotiation for early payment. In addition there are delivery problems so the margin is getting lower. On top of that large Bom element £2m which keeps moving and causing fluctuations. Cars all the time which are also low marginal require large governance , Plus frequent change of MPs and prog ms.
 
10.
Project with EU and USAID
 

Question
#17 of 25

How would you come to a resolution disputing material costs for a project that you shared materials with?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Split the cost.
 
2.
Agree % used internally and find out what the other project though and negotiate - also not get too bogged down of all costs are incurred by company anyway.
 
3.
I would take the total cost of the material and charge the percentage of the costs inline with the amount of materials each project used. This would be the fairest resolution as it would be unethical for a project to bear costs attributable top another project.
 
4.
Share using number of output if it is quantifiable. If not base on percentage on turnover.
 

Question
#18 of 25

What is an audit query?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Any questions related to a company which is audited either by an internal or external auditor.
 
2.
The final touch of the accounts.
 
3.
It is the matter being investigated while examining financial report of a company.
 
4.
Audit queries are questions asked by an auditor during an investigation. These may be used to gather information to come to a conclusion in the audit.
 
5.
An audit query, is a explanation that is required by the audit team on certain points that they may have identified during an audit.
 
6.
When you get asked to justify an action by the auditors - eg invoice accrual Prepayment etc.
 
7.
It is an inquiry from an auditor or also known as findings.
 
8.
Audit query's are questions asked by the audit during an investigation. The response can be used to help the auditor come to a conclusion regarding an audit.
 

Question
#19 of 25

How have you monitored the regulations that affect your accounting position?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Yes - from and hp policy point of view they meet us gasp and idea - I don't specifically read new frs.
 
2.
I have attended Mercia courses as continuing professional development.
 
3.
I use the IFRS guidelines, sometimes use CIMA /Linked in and other colleagues in organisation.
 

Question
#20 of 25

Why did you choose to pursue a career in accounting?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Because Accountancy field is very interesting and challenging.
 
2.
I have an answer to long to type.
 
3.
Maths has always been my favourite subject. I was intrigued to find out more about accounting and so I signed up to Abingdon and Witney college and completed level 2 & 3 AAT. I then obtained work experience in the management accounts department and enjoyed it so much I decided to pursue a career in accounting.
 
4.
I had a basic understanding book-keeping at O levels. Continue in my tertiary education. I understand the double entry concept. I like economics and politics. I feel that they are important elements in organisation. Understanding them and make it work to achieve objectives.
 

Question
#21 of 25

How do you prioritize when you have multiple deadlines to meet?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I always Alsace multiple deadlines. Work out quickly what I can do in the available time. Work out which Asha's the biggest impact -'discuss with customer to see if anything can be extensdesmor set expectations, docuss with magr If an an impasse.
 
2.
I always have the intention to meet deadlines regardless of when they fall due, worst case scenario I would seek help from within my team. Part of my preparation will be to rank my tasks in order of importance in the event that I could not meet all the deadlines concerned. That way the more important tasks would get finished and the less important tasks would not cause too much disruption if they were late.
 
3.
I have to deal with one that would have the most significant impact first. I have to also remember cash is king.
 

Question
#22 of 25

Tell me about your experiences as a project accountant.

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
my experience as an accountant has been great ranging from, Financial Reporting, treasury management, budgeting and budget control, compliance and general ledger management, internal control management and human resource duties
 
2.
Gained considerable knowledge in costing. Lots of analysis and how effectively cost accounting system can be used.
 
3.
I have worked as account consultant for two years where I specialized in conducting project feasibility studies, designing alternative sources of finance and preparing project budgets.
 
4.
I have an experience of eight years now as a project accountant working with two different project at Plan tanzania.
 
5.
I have more than 8.5 years expeience in accountancy field working as a project accountant in any site/project is awesome.
 
6.
Ok lots of different profs - monthly service with VR, stand alone milestones, etc.
 
7.
My experience working in research projects was great. I was given lots of responsibility early on and had the highest authorisation limit on my team. I was able to head all my own meetings with the project managers and have even been to meetings instead of my manager. I already had experience in management accounts but this role gave me the confidence to communicate financial aspects to both external and internal staff. It was a very enjoyable job and I would like to pursue it as a long life career.
 
8.
At the BBC in costing department before producer choice. It was our role to monitor actuals against budget. Work in progress before completion of programme. I, e. Then when programme is costed.
 

Question
#23 of 25

Have you ever worked on a project that lasted multiple years?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Yes I have worked on projects that spanned over multiple years and even multiple finance systems. Its more of a challenge when you are dealing with queries from a period before you were in the role, but it is a very good learning curve and a good way to have a feel for the project.
 
2.
No. only as trustee to view the organisation performance and reporting structure. To comply with FRS102
 

Question
#24 of 25

What is your greatest strength?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
I would say my greatest strengths are excellent communication, being extremely organized, stakeholder engagement and flexibility to achieve deadlines.
 
2.
Fast learner self started, have confidence I can learn anything and becaus I want that to remain true I am very determined.
 
3.
I have great interpersonal and communication skills and I am able to communicate financial information to people from a financial or non financial background. I am very proactive, have strong analytical skills and use my initiative to complete tasks independently. I have a great level of attention for detail and often pick up inefficiencies that other people have missed. I am a team player willing to go above and beyond what is expected of me.
 

Question
#25 of 25

How have you implemented the recent tax changes in your company?

User Submitted Interview Answers

1.
Discussed with management.