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Accounting Interview Questions & Answers

Brian Schuchart is a CPA with fourteen years of experience, including nine years in financial strategy roles. He has held the roles of auditor, staff accountant, manager of financial planning and analysis and senior finance partner.

10 Accounting Interview Questions with Answers

Entry Level Accountant Interview Questions

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  2. What qualities or skills do you believe make a good accountant?

  3. What are the three financial statements and what do they indicate about a company’s finances?

  4. What are some steps you would take to ensure you are meeting your manager’s expectations?

  5. What is the difference between auditing and accounting?

Continue: View All 25 Entry Level Accountant Interview Questions

Bookkeeper Interview Questions

  1. What are the differences between accrual accounting and cash accounting?

  2. What are the steps involved in the accounting close process?

  3. What have you done at your previous job to reduce costs or save time?

  4. What are some methods you use to self-review your work?

  5. What have you done recently to become a better bookkeeper?

Continue: View All 30 Bookkeeper Interview Questions

Finance Manager Interview Questions

  1. How have you managed the annual budget process in previous roles?

  2. Describe how previous experience has prepared you for the Finance Manager role.

  3. What is your experience with presenting to senior executives?

  4. What is your approach to budgeting, forecasting and other forward-looking projections?

  5. How do you keep up with the latest developments in accounting and financial reporting practices?

Continue: View All 25 Entry Level Accountant Interview Questions

Controller Interview Questiosn

  1. Give an example of a time when you implemented a policy or procedure that improved a process.

  2. What experience do you have with developing business metrics?

  3. How would your management style change in an increasingly remote environment?

  4. What are some methods you use to motivate your team?

  5. In your opinion, why is it important for organizations to have effective internal controls?

Continue: View All 25 Controller Interview Questions

Cost Accounting Interview Questions

  1. Why do you feel cost accounting is important in our business?

  2. Bring your experience to life for me and highlight some of your biggest wins in your career as a Cost Accountant.

  3. Have you ever used an SAP or ERP program? If so, which one(s)?

  4. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?

  5. Why did you choose Cost Accounting rather than another field of accounting?

Continue: View All 25 Cost Accountant Interview Questions

Inventory Accountant Interview Questions

  1. What are the differences between accrual accounting and cash accounting?

  2. How would you handle working in an increasingly remote work environment?

  3. What are the three main financial statements, and what do they indicate about an organization’s financial position?

  4. What are the steps involved in a physical inventory count?

  5. What are the different inventory valuation methods?

Continue: View All 25 Inventory Accountant Interview Questions

Staff Accountant Interview Questions

  1. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the different accounting packages you have used.

  2. What kinds of management reports have you prepared?

  3. How do you prioritize your work?

  4. If I gave you a ten key pad, and a list of numbers, could you enter them in without looking at the key pad?

  5. Give us an example of how you have used your creativity to solve a problem on the job.

Continue: View All 28 Staff Accountant Interview Questions

Junior Accountant Interview Quesetions

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

  2. What have you done recently to become a better Junior Accountant?

  3. What have you done at your present/last company to increase revenues, reduce costs, or save time?

  4. What are your greatest strengths?

  5. Describe a situation in which you received instructions with which you disagreed.

Continue: View All 31 Junior Accountant Interview Questions

Position Summary

Accounting is the reporting, processing and safekeeping of financial information about a business or other economic organization. It is a diverse profession with a variety of roles for different skill levels and interests. Within accounting, there are general roles such as bookkeeper, staff accountant and controller. There are also more specialized roles, such as tax accountant, inventory accountant and fixed asset accountant.

What are an Accountant's Responsibilities?

  • Preparing financial reports
  • Collecting and producing financial information in order to close the books each time period
  • Implementing internal controls to safeguard financial information and company assets
  • Recommend policies and actions that can increase revenue or reduce costs
  • Forward looking analysis such as forecasting and budgeting

Accounting specializations to explore:

  • Accounting/Bookkeeping: Responsible for day-to-day financial duties such as account reconciliations, monthly accounting close and financial reporting.

  • Business Planning and Analysis: Focused on analysis of financial results, as well as forward looking projections such as budgets and long range planning.

  • Treasury Accounting: Responsible for the reporting and stewardship of an organization's investments and loans payable.

  • Tax Accounting: Focused on implementing tax strategy that reduce, defer or eliminate taxes owed by an organization. Additionally, responsible for calculating tax liability and remitting payments to various taxing authorities.

  • Inventory Accounting: Responsible for tracking, reporting and evaluating inventory for obsolescence.

  • Fixed Asset Accounting: Focused on the tracking, reporting and depreciation calculation of an organization's fixed assets.

How do I become an accountant?

- First and foremost, an accountant must possess several traits. They should be ethical, trustworthy and honest, as they will be entrusted with an organization's financial records. They must also be meticulous and have great attention to detail, as stakeholders rely on the financial information prepared by an accountant to make important decisions.

- An accountant should also have the necessary baseline education to perform the role adequately. Most roles require an associate or bachelor's degree in accounting. Some advanced roles also require a masters degree or a CPA license, which is obtained by completing on-the-job training and passing an exam.

What is the Interview Process?

When being evaluated for an open accounting position, there can be several rounds of interviews depending how large the organization is. After applying for the role, the interview process may include:

- A pre-screen call with an internal recruiter or talent management specialist from the organization's HR department
- An in-depth first interview with at least the hiring manager for the role and possibly others.
- An in-depth second interview with leaders of finance.
- Subsequent interviews as required.

Interviews will likely consist of technical and behavioral questions, with management questions for leadership roles.

Larger organizations may ask you to provide references electronically, so it is wise to have your references lined up.

What should I wear for my interview?

As an aspiring or continuing finance professional, you want to demonstrate that you take the interview seriously. Even if you are interviewing at an organization with a casual dress code, it is expected that the interviewee will dress business formal. This means a suit and tie or pantsuit.

What is the career path for an accounting professional?

Similar to other professions, most accounting professionals start out in an entry-level role and then advance from there with hard work.

-Entry-level roles include Bookkeeper at smaller organizations and Accountant/Accounting Coordinator at firms with larger finance functions

- Within a couple years, a professional may be promoted to Senior Accountant or Senior Analyst

- Manager-level roles, such as Accounting Manager or Business Planning Manager

- Leadership roles such as Accounting Director or Controller

- Executive-level roles such as CFO or VP of Finance

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